Every week we read about another school or community group ready to get a garden going. Wonderful news! We all know the value of eating fresh veges and fruit, keeping the ‘travel miles’ down, encouraging us all to like those greens.
What does make me sad is the wasted opportunity to show how we can make these gardens, including the soil and much of the infrastructure, out of ‘waste’ materials.
Where is the lesson for us when the raised beds are made out of new corrugated iron, the soil is prepared and trucked in, and the plants are all bought as seedlings? The soil and garden beds can all be made by reusing common waste materials.
Compost bays, mulch piles and large worm farms help us to enrich the soil yet where they are housed is the afterthought, the problem location. When we see what makes up the soil we become empowered to use the knowledge elsewhere.
This is a real example of ’closing the loop’. Where is the lesson if it is all done for us? How can the beautiful garden be used as a teaching tool by people just coming to look for ideas when it all costs so much money!
How ironic is the process of massive pruning put on the verge to be taken to be mulched to be bagged and sold back to us to mulch our plants so they grow better so we can prune them again…
Our homes, workplaces, schools and leisure sites are churning out useful ‘waste’ continually and if we can learn how to utilise this waste ourselves, immediately there will be local benefits.
Why don’t we use the monies we have available for establishing garden spaces to install efficient watering options, reticulation, tanks and pumps etc and only purchase items when we have exhausted all other recycling options?
Do you have interesting ideas about how to reuse waste products? Is it just too hard to reduce, reuse and recycle in our in our time poor society?
18 Apr 2011 9:00 AM
/ gardens, recycle, reduce, reuse, waste