The patch has always attempted to re-use waste, scavenged or reusable items. This is a great feature of most allotments, but we do try to innovate.

  • Watering systems – a plumbing scrapheap challenge, collecting water from rooves, and containers connected underground to provide dipping tanks around the garden
  • Our Greenhouse – is packed with scavenged baths, cisterns, guttering, paving slabs to provide thermal heatstores, hydroponics and automated watering of the tomato bed
  • Compost bins – re-used pallets. Because we have the space, we have 4 bins back to back. This retains heat, and whilst one bin is receiving green waste, two are rotting down, and the last is quarried for compost. Returning nutrients and life to the soil.

    Mark showing Hillborne schoolchildren wildlife in the compost bins

    Mark showing Hillborne schoolchildren wildlife in the compost bins

  • Compound – steel frame and wood from used pallets, to keep all those useful bits out of the way
  • Bindweed/marestail composting -  in an old chest freezer. Both being pernicious and deep rooting perennials, they need to be kept separate from the normal compost to prevent regrowth. In keeping with our aim of recycling all living material from the site, we are experimenting with composting methods.
  • Humanure Toilet / Composting Loo – a project on the go for many years, but now (2011) nearing completion.

Of course some useful materials never quite get used, so we have a loosly enforced rule that items over 6 months on site are unlikely to be used unless they are there for a specific project. Exceptions are everywhere !

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