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what those idiots on pinterest don't tell you


[Disclaimer. There are two ways you can read this. You can think 1: My stars this girl complains a lot...  I'm disgusted with her attitude. OR 2: My stars this girl complains a lot... but it's funny and I'm going to learn from her mistakes - while having a good laugh.]

11: Grow all my own herbs and veggies.

The garden.

My precious, wonderful, well-loved garden.

The soil kind of sucks and is mostly full of roots from the trees I chopped down last year.  It's 99.9% ready-to-throw-in-a-kiln clay and therefore the plants struggle to form roots like truth struggles to permeate through the liber... oh wait. I probably shouldn't say that.

So I decided I'd build raised beds and use the topsoil that I could scrape up and pull the roots out of, mix it with manure and compost, and at least give the plants a chance.

And then I did what any good innovator would do and scoured Craigslist for free pallets because there is no way I'm going to go buy wood. And I found some!


Nine of them.  More than enough. I planned on doing something like this: 


Then I learned a few lessons: 
1. All those blasted idiots on Pinterest had personal favors owed to them by the Hulk. I like to consider myself at least a little bit strong and there was no way in Timbucktoo that those pallets were coming apart - at least not cleanly. 
2.  Pulling the nails out of the wood is more accurately stated by pulling the wood off the nails. I broke more than a few pieces of wood before the nails broke - leaving rusty jagged headless nail daggers just waiting for a victim. 
3. Alone in the backyard, there is no way to safely cut a pallet the way I wanted with the length of the blades on the saws, since I wasn't about to balance the thing in my teeth and run a circular saw with my left foot. 
4. Batteries on cordless saws die really quickly. Then they make that sound like your car makes when the battery dies - tunk, tunk, tunk. Then you hate them. Then they laugh.... tunk tunk tunk. 
5. Really old handheld jigsaws that have the traditional on/off switch tend to have minds of their own - not good when you're already angry from the tunk tunk tunks. 

So it was time to change the plan.  

I used the tunking circular saw (in shifts, tunktunktunk) and cut the things down the almost middle, leaving two main "supports" lengthwise. I then pulled the wood off the nails from the remaining piece and hammered them in (with roofing nails, ps, the kind that like to pop out when you hammer opposite sides of a bowed board).  This was the result: 

note the other saw sitting there useless since I bent the blade trying to do the impossible. 
Looks pretty ok, right? Well. There was a problem with this plan - instead of having a 10" height, I now had nearly two feet.  And if I wasn't going to buy wood - I most certainly wasn't going to buy dirt to fill the now two foot high raised bed. 

I tried cutting these in half - but between the short saw blade and the laughing battery, there was no way that was going to work. 

So I trenched it. 

Note the tiny dwarf sized shovel - yes, it's the best I have, since I broke the longer one.  I'm learning to laugh at tools when they laugh at me. Then I stick them in a pile of horse poop and laugh louder. 
And then I thanked God that I was not a male born on the cusp of the 20th Century because the whole digging a trench part really sucked and I can't imagine doing it with things like agent orange lurking about in the air while I hold a susu soaked bandana over my face.  

I also wished that my dad hadn't previously claimed any treasure that I find. 

But then all I found were cicadas that were not ready for their once every seventeenth year appearance.

I know. It's gross. 
I'm sure that at some point, somewhere, these were used as currency, so if we build a time machine and find the place, my dad could be rich... 


Finally, with a lot of digging, a lot of tunk tunk tunking, lots of hammering and nearly falling into the massive pile of horse manure that is right next to said project - I used eight of my nine pallets to make one raised garden bed and by gosh... for as much hatred as I have towards it, I am so incredibly proud.  

Now... I beg you... don't be fooled by those crazies who claim making a raised bed out of pallets is akin to riding unicorns that poop rainbows and dance with butterflies while fairies sprinkle fairy dust on the earth making tomatoes spring up out of the dirt shouting, "I will make the best salsa you've ever tasted!"

They lie. 

Update: Yes, I made another - and there are more pallets coming tonight so that I can finish the third (and final) bed tomorrow. And I made a little bench with the extras. (Don't be fooled by my ambition - remember that your greatest strengths can sometimes be your greatest weaknesses.  In this case... my determination might kill me.)


  1. You did it! That is quite an accomplishment! I'm impressed. I'll be waiting to see the glorious pictures of the produce that results from this!

  2. Ahahaha..oh my gosh it! And love your sense of humor. Wish you didn't live so far away :(

  3. hilarious and making me jealous! YOU DID IT!

  4. Nice. So I'm working at a greenhouse, haven't killed anything yet...I think.

    1. Awesome! I'm getting supports for a hoop house tomorrow. I'm really excited! And I don't think I've killed anything either... unless you count halving worms....