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Raised Garden Beds Made From Refrigerators
Due to a spinal cord injury, Rick Metheral, Cranbrook, B. C., needed to find a way to garden without bending over. He couldn't justify the cost of raised wooden beds so he came up with a new approach - growing vegetables in old freezers and refrigerators.
   Upright angle irons bolted to the sides of the freezers and refrigerators support wire trellises for growing peas and beans.
  "I already had some old freezers in my barn that I had been using to store grain for livestock. That's what gave me the idea," says Metheral. "I now have 29 freezers and refrigerators placed in neat, straight rows."
  He removed the lids and shelving and punched large holes in the bottom for drainage, then lined them up in rows. He used a loader to dump 2 ft. of horse manure into each unit and then topped that up with composted soil. He places old window panes across the top of some of the refrigerators to make hot boxes for early or late season growing.
  A drip irrigation system is used to water the garden. Discarded carpet is placed between the rows of refrigerators, which makes for a clean, comfortable and weedless work area.
  "It works great and grows tremendous vegetables," says Metheral. "Because of the insulation in the freezers and refrigerators, the soil temperature at the roots never varies more than 5 degrees within a 24-hour period. In contrast, the temperature varied 15 plus degrees in the ground. As an added bonus there are no slug or rodent problems.
  "The freezers and refrigerators could be placed on used pallets and moved anywhere to make a mobile garden."
  Metheral also uses an old freezer as a horse watering trough. "It's easy to clean and is at just the right height for the animals. And because of the insulation, it takes less power to keep water from freezing during the winter."
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Rick Metheral, 7277 Hwy. 3 and 95, Cranbrook, B. C., Canada (ph 250 426-8590).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #5