Meanwhile, Back at The Ranch: A RE-Purposeful Life

Trailer of trash
We try to limit deliveries to the landfill to once every seven years.

Our pile of junk had been sitting in the pasture for seven years.  It was a mixture of plastic, metal, and old wooden posts from a variety of sources around the ranch.  It had evolved over time.  If we needed a certain material for a project, the junk pile would be our first place to look to see what we could use out of it. Once I found an old door that we installed on the goat shed when we created a room addition for our new baby goats.  I still remember the thumbs up my father-in-law gave me when I propped it up for him to see.  Unfortunately,  I noticed the goats and horses spending a lot of time close to the pile, and I worried that one of them would get tangled up in something and hurt.  It was time to take this pile of treasure to the landfill.

We hooked up the trailer and started loading the accumulation of seven years of destruction.  Mixed into the pieces of roofing, gutters, batteries, and brass candlesticks were landscape timbers that had been used for a small round pen built by my father-in-law in 1997.  Hmmmm. Why had he used landscape timbers for a fence instead of fence posts?  Had they been left by someone else?  I was intrigued.  Even though it was time consuming, I removed only the staples that held the remaining fence in place, put the old fence on the trailer, and set the wood aside.  It took quite a bit of time and effort, but I loved the idea of salvaging one last repurposed item from the pile.

I love the fact that the staples that once held the fence in place are still visible on these old landscape timbers. The white "ornament" on the top timber is for an electric fence.

It took several trips with the wheel barrow, but I hauled every last salvageable landscape timber to the very front of our property.  My mind was churning with ideas of adding them to the steep bank next to our driveway.  They lay in a couple of piles for almost a month, and  I fought the urge to just burn them in a bonfire.  Then just a few days ago, on a beautiful evening without rain, my husband and I went down to the bottom of the driveway and created a plan.   We placed every timber in two rows and used ten inch screws we found in the attic to attach them to each other.  I painted some old metal fence posts black to use as supports for the front row.  Greg made a mental list of a few items he needed to purchase to complete the job, and the next afternoon he hammered in several twelve inch nails and installed support for the other row of timbers.  Yesterday, Greg added dirt his mom helped us get from a nearby farm.  After I add a couple of bags of topsoil, my bank will be ready to receive plants: perennials for zone 7, shade to part sun.

A few logs cut from a fallen tree after a storm help hold the added dirt in place.

If you’ve never actually been to a landfill, you should go at least once.  The amount of trash our world creates is overwhelming.   Once you’ve seen the mountains of trash that have accumulated over time, you will want to figure out a way to repurpose anything you can get your hands on.   I’m sure it will inspire you to lead a repurposeful life.


The part of our earth that is covered in trash looks something like this. Please repurpose items if you can.








2 thoughts on “Meanwhile, Back at The Ranch: A RE-Purposeful Life”

  1. I’m sure your bank will be gorgeous! I wish I lived closer to you. I have lots of perennials I could share. I’m in zone 6 so I think at least some of them would work in your area.

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