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Saturday, 11 November 2017

A Freegle flurry

We recently had some building work done in our house, which involved a room where we stored a whole lot of stuff, some of which was in daily use, such as wellies and trainers, and other things that are used every now and then - like sellotape, string, spare lightbulbs and the like. However, as we found when moving it all out of the room, there were a fair number of things that we haven't used for years.  So I was time to get Freegling!  Freegle have a lovely new site, quick and easy to use.  Here's the link. 

So we said goodbye to the chocolate fountain that has given us some fun times through SD and JD's teenage years, and it was goodbye to a couple of sets of Scaletrix, some "Scene-It" games that we've known all the answers to for many years.  Plus we parted with a huge box of books, some DVDs and lots of art and craft materials.

As for the more obscure items, we had a roll of chicken wire that we are not going to use and that found a good home and we parted with some large builder's supplies sacks that we had some gravel delivered in. They are great for use in the garden, but we accumulated a few more than we need.

That brings me to one of the wonderful things about Freegle: you often get to meet people who have similar interests to you and similar philosophy on life.  You can end up being inspired by other people's intended uses for the things you no longer use any more.

To see what I mean, here is how Louise and Mark made use of our gravel bags, and a few other things that we managed to find for them when they were telling us about their allotment and their plans for it.  They had originally envisaged cutting open the gravel bags to use as matting to suppress the weeds.  However, we had recently put up our fifteen year old tent for the very last time before we decided to retire it - too many leaks, bent poles and a large rip along a seem.  I had been contemplating what further uses I could find for it, and was thinking shopping bags from the upper part, underlay (i.e. weed suppressing) for paths for the ground sheet but being very busy with my new book I realised my projects would be unlikely to happen this year.  Louise and Mark were much more likely to make use and when the time comes, having had the idea, I am sure old tents are being decommissioned on a regular basis, so I could probably find what I need from friends or Freegle, when I need it.

Our old tent is now a weed barrier
It is so great to see your things rehomed and put to good use.

Louise says:

"The gravel bags are going to be used as a sort of raised bed, the idea is they get filled with compost (we will need some stronger posts!) and sink down onto the existing weed covered horrible clay soil.  We will then build up the sides, using more recycled wood (everything on the allotment is from Freegle or Freecycle, or various skips etc. throughout West Oxon).  The top bit of the bag then is cut down the seams, and folds over the wooden sides. The groundsheet/flysheet we have put down to prevent weed growth.

The gravel sacks are now raised beds
"The tent is currently just thrown over a terribly overgrown patch of mint and grass, and currently held down by anything we could find.  It doesn't look terribly attractive, but we get really high winds, so need anything we can get to hold it down.  Once the weeds have gone in the covered areas, we will rotivate (rotivator was found in a barn, and my husband Mark restores old engines so has made it work again) and then do more ground cover to stop the weeds and make raised beds with some decent compost on top.  Hopefully, we will be able to extend the concrete slabbed area for a pot garden - slabs, naturally, came from Freegle, and we will hopefully find some more!

Water butts and drainpipe collected from Freegle

A beautiful shed!

"I have also added a photo of the shed, which was upcycled from one on the allotment that was a wreck - it had blown over in the high winds earlier this year. We repaired it, painted it with some leftover paint from the garden at home, and re-felted the roof (alas, not recycled - we tried but it leaked).  The gutter, drainpipe and water butt are from Freegle.  Oh, and the compost heap is made from bits of wood found anywhere!"

Isn't Freegle a wonderful thing! I was so inspired that I decide to do a donation to Freegle.  It is such a wonderful service, it deserves our support.