In honor of Earth Day…I did research on how to utilize all the stuff in our resource yard.

For a decade, the land where Wellspring Community will be locatedwas home to Robert, our daughter Maud, and I. We accumulated a lot of stuff because we were visionaries. People would offer us things, and we had space!

We also made the mistake of not regularly taking out the trash and recycling. Most of the trash is gone. Much of the recycling is still here along with the resources we collected.
Because of a generous donor, I was able to build the Common House which is one of the most essential ingredients of a newly formed community. The construction debris has been awaiting clean up for 3 years.
 
I have spent about 4 full days at Wellspring recently cleaning and organizing.  I was hoping to have people who could help me do this. I thought that working alone, the job would be impossible. Yet I am seeing results, and finding the light at the end of the tunnel. I 
Working alone, I experience this restoration of the land as a way to heal. Although I have many beautiful memories of living on this land, there are also painful experiences that come to mind as I am present.  
During my solitude, I also envision people joining me in community and be being excited about the possibilities. People who will be so creative that every bit of the re-usable stuff can be used in constructive ways. I found lots of ideas in the articles below. I don’t have to wait! 
Hundreds of ends of treated wood will make lovely edges for gardens!
Garden Bed Edging Ideas ~ pressure treated scraps
Boredpanda.com offered these ideas for re-using tires.
Tire SwingsTire Garden StairsTire Garden Planter
This is a cool idea for a simple shelter. We have lots of tarps to reuse. Found on Pinterest here. 
Recycled Tarpauline Gardening
The above picture is from a post that shows how to recycle old tarps permaculture This article talks about covering up soil to temporarily smother unwanted invasive plants.

This article talksabout how to use 55 gallon barrels, which we have a number of.
Harvesting rainwater using 55 gallon barrelsA raised bed made from 55 gallon barrels.I had an idea about growing things in shoes and just about anything. So did Permaculture Magazine.  Learn more in this article
Sustain My Craft Habit had this idea for repurposing coolers which we have collected many of over the years.
In my opinion, evry home should have an herb garden. They can add flavor to bland meals, they make great tea, and they provide ma...We have tons of jars that were given to us by someone who was saving them. This link to Pinterest has tons of ways they can be used, including that above.
Wow. We have lots of tin cans. Now I know why I saved them. Plant guards! this article from Permaculture Principles shares more uses of the scrap tin we have laying around from building left-overs.
Tin cans with their base cut off work well for smaller plants.
Here is an idea for the truck camper shell and some pallets.
Redneck firewood storage. Recycled pallets for the walls and floor. Old truck ca...#firewood #floor #pallets #recycled #redneck #storage #truck #walls
Here is something else to make out of pallets–a tree house! This articlesays that tree houses are for kids–and I think they can be used for anyone who is a kid at heart. I dream of a tree house community.
Pallet wood tree houseWe We have quite a few plastic bottles. Here is an idea for building making bricks out of the bottles filled with sand.
And here is an idea for building a greenhouse.
plastic bottle greenhousePlastic bottle greenhouse on Blue Rock Station, Ohio. This one sits on old tires and is made from 1000 2-liter plastic soft drink bottles. Flickr photo by ticticticticboom
We gathered a lot of untreated wood thinking we would build with it. I could get depressed because it is rotted. Or, I could make hugelkultur beds. 
I’ve got some dresser drawers to recycle. I learned how at Earth911 here. 
recycled drawers into vegetable garden
I was thinking about making a planter out of the metal watering container–and here is the picture to prove I can do it! From article above.
Dresser drawer repurposed into vegetable garden
I can’t wait to make these lovely stepping stones out of the broken pottery I’ve been saving. Here are the directions.
IMG_7974
We have tons of plastic containers for plants that we’ve been collecting over the years. I am going to start a permaculture nursery.   I just figured out the spot to put it. I can’t wait to get my beautiful nursery of comfrey,  mint, yarrow, plantain and so much more going. This article about creating a permaculture nursery really inspired me.
This article about comfrey being so amazing motivates me to get a bunch of comfrey plants started.
There are several old generators laying around. Yay! they can be used. This article from Survivopedia explains how.
This article has ideas for how to deal with a site that needs to be cleaned up. Sadly, we who lived on the land were the ones who messed it up. I’m so glad to be cleaning it up. And making it better than we found it. The PDF has advice on using animal agriculture–and I won’t be using those ideas!
I feel so grateful to the people who have focused on repurposing things on shared their experiences so that I and those who will join me in community can make the best out of the resources that are available on Wellspring land.
Perhaps you might be such a person?

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