Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Thing of Beauty blah blah blah


Look at my new garden gate! It has hinges! It swings! I don't have to lift it up and drag it! It is indeed a thing of beauty, but it's not going to be a joy forever. We'll be lucky if it's a joy for a year. Because we have turned into junk farmers. Most people in the flush of youthful idealism vow they'll never become Republicans or corporate drones when they grow up. A. vowed he would never become a junk farmer. But we all change as we get older, and we are indeed junk farmers (though not, interestingly, Republicans or corporate drones).

Junk farmers keep every single thing--every old piece of rusted wire, every half-rotted board, every discarded pot lid--and then when they need to build something, they just use part of their stash. You could say they're the original recyclers. Or you could say they're cheap bastards. We're both.

The only thing we bought to make this gate were the hinges, and then only because all the hinges we had were too small or too rusted to move. The wood came from a board fence that was torn down some years ago, the chicken wire from the pile of old wire fencing in the lane by the rock pile, the nails from one of the numerous rusty cans-full in the shop. So the gate was pretty much free, but it will probably only last a few years before it falls apart entirely. But by then we should have managed to scavenge more boards to build a new one.

We haven't bought wood since we moved here. All our wood came from tearing down the old barn, the old fence, or A.'s friend who's a carpenter and would give us old wood torn out during remodeling projects. From this wood we have constructed a turkey shed, a sheep barn, a pen for the dogs, a table for the shop, and two gates.

Do you know how much all that wood would (ha, "wood would") have cost at Home Depot? Hundreds of dollars. And that is why we junk farm. As long as you don't mind having piles of junk around and building things from half-rotted boards and rusty nails, it's totally the way to go. And as long as your tetanus shots are up to date.

Who would've thought a suburban girl would grow up to be a junk farmer? My mother is so proud.

6 comments:

The Constant C said...

Junk farming is a fine family tradition. A. can't help it. It's in the genes.

SaraPMcC said...

You guys are wonderful recyclers! Who cares, anyway? As long as you're not Republicans.

tu mere said...

Move over Al Gore - you've got competition. It's good to be green!

Kristin said...

Al GORE? Have you SEEN that man's house? He's not exactly a junk farmer. I don't consider him competition. Sniff.

Sweet Bird said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sweet Bird said...

I'm going to have to agree with SaraPmcc.

...at least you're not Republicans.