I am a scavenger! I have been one since I was broke at college, when I put my salvation in the hands of the Hare Krishnas for a couple of hours in return for one of their delicious meals, while my ancestors buried in the ghettos of eastern Europe reeled in their graves.
These days I never walk by a skip without investigating it for potential treasures. My house is almost entirely furnished with cast-offs.
My ancestors must have forgiven me by now because in the last couple of weeks we have been blessed with extraordinary bounty delivered by wonderful coincidences…
A few weeks ago Krzysztof, carpenter, scavenger-of-note and genius upcycler, had to vacate the workshop facility where he stored tools and the odds and ends of materials that he had been collecting for his various projects. I suggested he use the end of my garden to make a shed for himself. The deal was that I would provide the site, he would build the shed, and it would be used both for his storage needs and for any materials needed for the 5k extension.
We decided to make the shed a project in itself: it was to be constructed as far as possible out of reclaimed materials or stuff diverted from landfill.
So in telling the story of our shed so far, I am like a six-year-old child, excitedly prefacing each turn of events with “And then…”
And then … we got a delivery of pallet wood which would otherwise have been discarded, from a pal of Krzysztof’s at the factory where he used to work.
And then … my neighbour Liam, an urban farmer who uses my garden for his overflow (he needs more space, I don’t have the urge to garden), emptied the compost bin to fill his vegetable beds.
The concrete blocks from the now-empty compost bin were used to build foundations for the shed, and the space was mapped with pallet wood.
And then… Francis drops by to chat about his wife’s 50th birthday and leaves behind some heavy-duty plastic sheeting, that he is no longer using. Essential for protecting the structure from the relentless Irish weather!
And then it all starts pouring in… and not just the rain. Bloom Fringe showed an interest in our project and introduced me to Dara from ReCreate who run a recycling initiative that takes end of line and surplus stock from businesses to reuse as art materials. Dara mentioned that a gallery that they collaborate with was in the process of dismantling an art installation and did we want any MDF and wooden supports to which I said YES!
And then … my neighbour Dave who happens to work at the aforementioned art gallery heard that I was taking the MDF and offered me the Rockwool insulation that was used to soundproof the installation as well. I said YES! The hero Dara from Recreate collected it for us even though they wouldn’t normally stock that type of insulation. And this, along with the pallet wood, gave us the bones of a shed.
And then.. it rained and rained but between the showers we had lots of visitors and helpers and cake!
I really like the look of the shed at the moment – it makes me nostalgic for my South African childhood.
And this is how we stand…waiting for the ancestors to do their heroic work of intercepting good stuff on its way to landfill and sending materials our way to finish the walls, and floor. We are thinking about using the election posters to make the roof tiles (best use for them!). Any suggestions welcome.
Lots more to come: My pal Karin is putting a bee lure in the garden to try to coax in some local bees. Krzysztof is making it from found materials.. Work continues on the shed…
Bloom Fringe comes to the 5kextension
On the 31st May we are opening up the garden between 3pm and 5pm see www.bloomfringe.com for details
- The Project Architects will discuss their response to the project brief
- Krzysztof will show how he will reuse discarded materials to build a structure
- Information on bee keeping
- Beautiful sculptural flowers and insects produced by Karin Stierle from scraps courtesy of ReCreate
Read Liam Patersons’ post about his garden efforts in the Neighbourly Garden. Liam is an avid gardener who helps out and shares a space in my garden- You can peek at his own edible front garden Bloom Fringe day too
Please have a look at http://www.crni.ie/. The Community Reuse Network is the all Island representative body for community based reuse, recycling and waste prevention organisations.