Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

Add to My MSN

HOMEGROWN Life: The Potato Bin Experiment

12/15/2011 11:52:12 AM

Tags: compost, potatoes, no-dig, tubers, urban farming, Farm Aid and

After a completely miserable potato harvest this year we’ve decided to pull them out of the ground and do them in boxes made out of pallets. That way we can use weedblock under them to eliminate the whole bindweed issue. So today, the boxes went up.

 We cleaned up an area of our yard which was just a pile of old scrap wood. We pulled the weeds and raked it as smooth as we could get it.

 weed block 


We got some 4 wide contractor grade weedblock and laid it down using staples.


We used two sizes of pallets. The back and front sides are 36×48 and the sides/dividers are 36×36. This allowed the weedblock to extend past the bottom footprint of the boxes.



The corners were screwed together in 4 spots with 1-1/2 deck screws.

   screw back 

We used 3 deck screws to attach the front and back pallets together in 3 places.


We did the back, sides and dividers first before attaching the front pallets. Of course the two sides closest to the camera were put in sideways and had to be redone, which really didn’t take much time.


Tom had to jump in for a photo op once they were all put together.


We started filling them by putting straw on the bottom just to help keep everything from falling out.

We then started putting in composted animal bedding and manure and screened top soil. We only filled them about half way so we can build up as the potatoes grow.



 Rachel Dog Island Farm 

My friends in college used to call me a Renaissance woman. I was always doing something crafty, creative, or utilitarian. I still am. My focus these days, instead of arts and crafts, has been farming as much of my urban quarter acre as humanly possible. With my husband, we run Dog Island Farm in the SF Bay Area. We raise chickens, goats, rabbits, dogs, cats, and a kid. We’re always keeping busy. If I’m not out in the yard I’m in the kitchen making something from scratch. Homemade always tastes better! 


Related Content

Land Pride Post Hole Diggers: SA20 Series

This skid auger is ideal for land owners, landscapers, hobby farmers and contractors.

3 Ways to Compost

Three easy ways to compost in small spaces and with little effort.

The Most Important Four Inches In Your Garden

Cam describes "double digging" as a way of creating a new garden without losing precious topsoil.

How to Start a Compost Pile

Making compost is 1-2-3 easy — layer green and brown vegetable matter, keep it barely moist and stir...

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


1/3/2012 10:15:07 PM
Also if you used three or four heavy strap hinges on the front pallet of one or two of these "bins" they'd make great compost bins. You could swing it open to turn the compost--and remove it when it's ready. Could use a gate hasp or a pair of heavy bungee cords to keep it closed.

1/3/2012 10:05:28 PM
This is clever and could be useful. I'm looking forward to learning how your experiment turns out. Keep us posted.

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.