This day, we held a pallet planter box workshop. As the egg is to the chicken, so pallet planter boxes are to the UBC (except we don’t have to push them out of a small hole). No one can say which came first: the group or the boxes.
Here’s the idea: we use discarded pallets to make a big, cheap, handsome container for growing food.
German Michael drew up the excellent plans attached below. If you try to build one, remember that it’s not very complex, and there are no rules. No two pallet planter boxes seem to turn out the same.
At Stewart Lodge, we split into four teams, each one a mix of UBCs and volunteers, with residents helping out. We were building the containers to be handy garden beds for residents who can’t bend down easily. They can be set up on bricks, blocks or sleepers for extra height.
To begin, you’ll need at least two pallets. You can pick them up for free all over town. Ask your local shops or hardware stores and be sure to avoid the painted, treated kind. You’ll also need a saw, hammers, a drill, nails and screws.
Saw one pallet to the width you’d like for the container’s base. Next, dismantle the rest of that pallet and the other one, careful not to break the slats as you go. You can use the claw end of a hammer or a jemmy bar to prize them off.
To construct the sides and the ends, place slats between two uprights and screw them in place and onto the bottom of the box. Voilà! It usually takes a couple of hours to put one together. We’ve also been lining the timber with old chook feed sacks to postpone the rot setting in.
See Dale settling in for a well earned rest:
One more thing: the UBC needs an HQ. We’re looking for somewhere in Melbourne’s inner north to store a small amount of timber and hammer away for a few hours one evening during the week. It could be a garage, shed or backyard, or space on a community garden or a quiet corner of a warehouse. Just so long as you don’t mind some clanging now and then…