The Ultimate Recycle

See this 14ft. piece of timber? It’s just one of four pieces of a huge shipping crate. It’s lying here ready to be used in our garden bottom side up and those pieces secured to the bottom are actually the feet of the crate and took some head hillbilly muscle to pry off. But this is just the end of the ultimate recycle, let me take you back to the beginning.
HH calls me one day from work and says “Hon?”. And that’s all it takes to get me excited. He tells me that his work brought in a new piece of equipment and that it came in this huge wooden shipping crate. HH gets excited over large dimensional lumber like I do and he asked me if I thought he should disassemble the crate and bring it home. I said “woodoggie!”, that means YES.
That chore took a considerable amount of time, but eventually he slowly pulled up the drive with the over sized, red flagged behemoth and we dragged it out of the back of our pick-up one heavy piece after another and laid them in our pasture. We admired those manly hunks of wood awhile before we wondered just what in the heck we were gonna do with em’. That was 4 years ago! We had no foreseeable idea what we would do with all this beautiful lumber. And as time would have it, a year had passed and our precious crate wood lay unused and partially overgrown with grass.
But then destiny took over and we endeavored on the ultimate recycle of this precious wood.
In a what! are you flipping crazy? period of life , we embarked on a complete remodel from foundation to roof of a shack (literally, it was virtually uninhabitable, except for the cats and mice in the neighborhood) in the little town of Carlton, Oregon. But we envisioned the lovely cottage it could be, rolled up our sleeves and got started, never knowing that our recycled crate would save the day.
You see when we solicited bids for the foundation part of the remodel. We never anticipated the cost of that project to be as high as it was and well, being part frugal, part DIY’er, part crazy, we did it ourselves. Deciding not to get all worked up over a little mortar, brick and brawn. (Shout out here to our guru of DIY and best bud, Glen for his invaluable assistance and know how). But back to the crate!
We needed to jack the house up to put in the new foundation and lo and behold those crate beams were just the ticket to support the house while we worked on it. HH fastened two of them end to end with some old scrap iron, then placed multiple jacks under them and up the house went. When we finished that project, we loaded them back up and took em’ home and laid them back to rest in the pasture.
Little by little we have recycled wood from the crate back into projects around the farm. And just recently we placed what was left into our vegetable garden and we marveled as we reflected on how far this wooden crate had come and the many uses it had served before ending up here in our garden.

Our newly planted hillside vegetable garden is now home to the remainder of our shipping crate. We created raised beds and borders using the recycled wood with nary a piece left over, just an empty spot in our pasture now that needs filling. ;)

P.S. And then there was Carlton Cottage II (our second remodel) and the how to of selling in a slow housing market.

One thought on “The Ultimate Recycle

  1. Feminist Farmer's Wife says:

    Oh do I love this tale! My brother just dropped a pile of similar looking beams on our yard last night – they apparently came from a 100 year old barn. Better than new, I say! Your appreciation for these things makes me appreciate you immensely.

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