Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sometimes You Get More Than You Ask For...

So, I had explained my raised bed garden plans to the Darlin' Man and explained to him that we either needed more cinder-block/stone or lumber of some sort to construct them. I figured we would budget out the funds in April and see what we could find in the way of scrap lumber on Craigslist as well.
Well. Sometimes things happen...
My Darlin' Man is in the military.
His unit is getting ready to deploy again to Iraq, so they have been getting lots of equipment, etc. Lots of equipment, etc. means lots of pallets and shipping crates.
Friday afternoon his C.O. told him to "get rid of all that stuff now". The fella said "Sure, when the dump opens back up on Monday". C.O. said "I need it gone NOW". Fella: "I can get rid of it, sir, IF I can take it off base" C.O "Where are you taking it?" Fella, "I believe in recycling, I'll take it to MY house". C.O. "Grab some warm bodies , a few trucks, load it up and be gone. I don't want to see a scrap of this sh*t here on Monday."
Apparently his C.O. told another unit's C.O. about this clever plan to clean up all the scrap lumber in time for an inspection Monday morning...so they added a couple truckloads as well...
These were NOT pick up truck loads, mind you. These were trucks that were a little larger than the average dump truck but a little smaller than a semi with a trailer.
A platoon of guys came along to unload.
So...until around 10-11 pm Friday night I had a line of trucks showing up with nice men in uniform, unloading their contents onto a corner of the property. As we have walls around much of our property, our befuddled neighbors could see the trucks arriving, but could not see what was being unloaded.
Needless to say, a few neighbors asked questions on Saturday!
Many of the crates are already PERFECT for raised bed gardens!
All I need to do is drill some holes in the bottoms for drainage, fill with soil and plant!
I have WAY more than I need, so a couple of my neighbors are getting ready-made raised bed gardens as well!
The pallets will be put to good use as well. I am starting a new compost heap in the front yard and will use pallets for the sides along with a bit of left over fencing. A neighbor is getting a few to build a small chicken coop for the hens she is getting.
Just think...if we weren't recycling all this lumber, it would be taken to the military dump and burned! What a waste that would have been!
A nice thing about the lumber is everything is labeled...the labels not only tell us what the crates contained, but also what (potentially) hazardous chemicals/materials may have been in them, whether or not the lumber itself was treated and with what. Information you normally don't get with scrap lumber and is important to know if you are going to be using the lumber in a garden bed!
So, first seedlings are sprouting nicely...raised beds are darn near ready...the first of April we get our garden soil delivered...I am S-O-O-O-O-O ready to get this garden going!
This week I will start my *second wave* of seedlings. I stagger plantings all season long for maximum productivity. That way I don't end up with a gazillion heads of Bibb lettuce all ready at once, or a ton of tomatoes all ready for canning at once.
Since I live in the American Southwest, I have the luxury of having an extremely long growing season, so staggering my plantings just makes sense!


  1. Sounds to me like you and the neighbors made out like bandits thanks to the government and Monday inspections!

    How often does THAT happen? Good for you! Tell the fella he did good!

  2. I know, HJ! Although while it was actually happening it was like the sorcerers apprentice getting the brooms to fetch water...the trucks just kept coming ...and coming...and coming...and more lumber on top of more lumber...it was crazy for a bit there!
    The great thing is I will now be able to have twice or three times the raised beds I thought I was going to be able to have!

  3. Good job! That's great,I wish we had a few raised beds,but not going to happen this year. Blessings jane

  4. What a score, congrats on the lumber. May your raised beds grow plenty for you and your Dh.

  5. How exciting! I love to hear things like this. I shudder to think of all the waste from the government, etc. so it's a happy story to hear.


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