Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

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HOMEGROWN Life: The Potato Bin Experiment

12/15/2011 11:52:12 AM

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

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.

 corner 

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.

 

 screw 

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.

  back 

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.

  done  

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

  straw  

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

 compost
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! 

 



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Post a comment below.

 

RAY WHITE
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.

RAY WHITE
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.










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