When purchasing the farm 7 months ago, we inherited a lot of stuff. From outbuildings to questionable lumber, from electric fencing to old roofing, from drainage problems to really smelly compost.
Now, Paul Wheaton says, “If it stinks, you are doing it wrong.” And my experience says that is true. I spent summers growing up in the Midwest where when winds were just wrong, the surrounding hog farms wafted penetrating odors. Kinda burned your nostrils a little actually. Now that we have pigs, when we recognize that smell brewing, it is time to do something.
- Move them.
- Add carbon.
- Remove nitrogen (yes, scoop poop).
Interestingly, if a compost pile stinks, it isn’t too different to amend.
- Move it (by turning)
- Add carbon, or nitrogen, depending.
- I like to mulch it (top dressing w/ carbon), which I believe decreases the amount of escaping greenhouse gases and keeps the moisture balanced.
Anyway, back to the inheritance. Amongst the lot were several pallets as you might expect on a farm, just lying around. Because our chickens will unpile any pile around, the compost needed containing, as well as unstinkifying. Enter pallets.
Pallets make nice walls, gates, platforms, you name it. They come in varying sizes, weights, and degrees of grossness. The last pallet pick up we made yielded to pallets where the wood was clearly sprayed with something orange. Around here, treated lumber is coated with copper arsenic or some other unsavory chemical stew. Its probably not fresh squeezed OJ anyway. So, let that be a warning if you want to use them next to edibles, or what feeds your edibles.
Two stall compost shelter:
Pig paddock gate:
Flooring for firewood:
Farm chic = use what you got and make it last, for a while at least. Form will follow function. And frugality seems to help it look a little better.
Do you find it palletable?
5 thoughts on “101 Uses for Pallets on the Homestead: #1-3”
Awesome!! I had to hunt for my pallets – made my own 2-stall pallet compost bin this weekend!! 🙂
Great minds think alike!
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We use pallets all the time! As long as you see that mystical “HT” stamp you’re good to go! We’ve built raised planter boxes for fruit trees, pig house and sheep shelter…. everything with pallets! Nothing like free wood!
Great, wow, a sheep shelter too? Thanks for the heads up on the stamping. So, heat treated then may mean the pallet is less likely to be chemically treated?
Yup! HT means it wasn’t chemically treated (the concern of the wood carrying insects so it was treated to kill the insects so they don’t get transported into another country), so then the only concern you have is what was transported on the pallet and potentially leaked out.. or where it was stored. But generally you aren’t picking up your pallets from a chemical company so we use just HT ones here, sourced from the hardware store. We check for the HT symbol and if it looks like it’s been leaked on or not! If it’s clean, and we see the symbol, it’s building time!
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