Thursday, June 11, 2009

The importance of persistence.

Persistence. As humans, we need it badly. We live in a universe in flux and if we want to succeed we need to keep trying.

This is the year when I decided to jump on the re-use wagon. Mind you, I was already reusing some stuff, like my empty plastic soda bottles; but this year, I decided to do more. With that in mind, I began to collect 4 and 5 gallon buckets for my sub-irrigated containers, I scavenged for wooden pallets, and I began to think of new ways to use other stuff.
Then I ran into Peter from Wichita Rain Barrels at the Wichita Garden Show and this encounter expanded my ideas on reuse.
I originally set out to buy a rain barrel from Peter but then I decided to learn how to make one.
So I need a 55 gallon plastic barrel.

This is where the persistence comes in.

I called the local Coca-Cola bottler and they told me they only give their plastic barrels to the State of Kansas. Next I called the local Pepsi bottler; they told me to come and get one or two if they were available. I've made two trips out there (they won't tell me over the phone if they have any barrels available) to no avail. Apparently, demand for the barrels has increased dramatically. "Check with us later" the guard at the guard gate told me. And I will.

The same thing happened with the 5 gallon buckets. At first, I tried and tried and no restaurant in town would give me any buckets. I kept at it until I found a restaurant that would. Now, every two weeks or so, I go and have lunch there and come out with a few buckets in hand.

I am also trying to locate a steady supply of wooden pallets. I have gotten some here and there but I will continue to look for a place where I can get them steadily. You will be surprised how many companies pay to dispose of them.

Then there's Craiglist. I know serial killers lurk in there but there are so many cool things you can get for free!

So remember; if at first you can't get what you need for your gardening needs for free; Persist.

Over and out.


  1. If you have a Harbor Freight near you, they often dispose of their pallets by just leaving them out back of their store. Check behind other discount-ish stores like that... just prowl the strip malls. ;)

  2. My LORD that is indeed an admirable. Now I might be inspired to get up off my ass and witness my garden carnage again...maybe not...

    Those are some awesome ideas, though.

  3. Hmm... over here, in yesterday's newspaper, the headline was on the coming hot season. So, I would not expect to see rain so frequently like in the past months. But, you have good suggestions here. Will be keeping them in mind once the rain comes back again ;-)

  4. IF you are trying to find buckets, you should ask the local bakeries (like the ones in the grocery store). They get things like frosting and flour in the buckets and just throw them away at the end of the day. Except around flower holidays like Valentines day and Mother's Day when the store will keep some to put flowers in for display. I know some stores will charge a dollar or so, but most will give them away.

  5. Hey, David, check out this link for some ideas about self-watering containers and the like...