Gardening and Recycling: Perfect Partners

Recycling Center workers helped load the unwieldy pool filter into the truck. We're pretty sure they thought we were crazy.

Recycling Center workers helped load the unwieldy pool filter into the truck. We’re pretty sure they thought we were crazy.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Friends of Cozumel’s Garden Team reached new heights of recycling expertise when creating three gardening areas at Vida Abundante church: a raised bed, a hanging garden and the Epcot planters—named for their resemblance to the Epcot Center’s dome at Disney World.

The first step was to visit the island’s recycling center to see what could be turned into containers for gardening. The team found a variety of plastics—3-gallon cooking oil jugs; the inner liner of a refrigerator door; and a huge, circular pool filter that we hoped would yield two planters if we were able to cut it in half. We also gathered beverage bottles and plastic coated clothesline from volunteers to transform into a hanging garden.

Gary drills holes into a variety of recycled containers.

Gary drills holes into a variety of recycled containers.

The containers were cleaned and cut apart—no easy task in the case of the Epcot planter. Then holes were drilled for drainage and the containers were filled with dirt and the super soil we experimented with at the gardening workshop last week.

After planting, we once again used recycled materials to create an anti-iguana barrier for the raised bed. Three sunny days after planting, the first seeds had already begun to sprout to the delight of Pastor Mariela.

The garden bed, planters and hanging containers will be used to grow vegetables to supplement the diet of pastors family. In addition, the areas will serve as test plots and educational examples for the church congregation. The lesson learned is that we could create a great deal from items others have discarded. Gardening and recycling are perfect partners. ~ Phyllis from Nebraska

Pastor Mariela (right) plants seeds after Gary (left) and Kristin (center) created containers in the new hanging garden

Pastor Mariela (right) plants seeds after Gary (left) and Kristin (center) created containers in the new hanging garden.

 

Karen puts soil into the Epcot planters.

Karen puts soil into the Epcot planters.

 

Success in cutting the Epcot planter in half, thanks to a reciprocating saw.

Gary used a jigsaw to cut a recycled pool filter in half to create the Epcot planters.

When space is an issue, a garden can be created on a wall.

When space is an issue, a garden can be created on a wall.

 

 

Phyllis and Kristin create a barrier against iguanas in the garden bed that was built with cement blocks.

Phyllis and Kristin create a chicken wire barrier against iguanas in the garden bed that was built with cement blocks.

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