Monday, April 2, 2012

Lettuce Hanging Light Fixtures

Well.

Crafty McCraftington struck again.

And boy, it ain't pretty.

But ah, is it functional!

I decided to hang the long light fixtures I took home from the dumpster outside of my old office so that I could free up some space and use up materials I have on hand.

This year, since I don't think I'll be in this house all the way until fall (bummer/awesome) I'm using up and repurposing all the things in my garden that are just laying around waiting to be put to use.

Every once in a while I get on a "let's clean this place up, use up whatever is just hanging around and get this shit done already" mood and then the whirlwind starts. I have said before that I am not good at having projects take more than a day (read: I never finish them as I am an imperfect, inpatient beast of a woman [I blame my star sign - taurus.]) and the projects I have lined up are all one dayers.

So today? Hanging light fixtures for lettuce growing.

Next weekend? Pallet herb gardens.

After that? The Vatican. Just kidding. What's wrong with them will take slightly longer than a day. No offense if you're Catholic.

Commence:

It's lettuce time (only a little bit better than Peanut Butter Jelly Time) so I broke out all my seeds from last year and some that were gifted to me from this year and set out to find a spot for them. Enter: Light fixtures from last year that I grew lettuce in.

You'll notice that the hangers are two different sizes. I did not know this when I started. But never fear - Crafty McCraftington can solve any problem with enough zip ties, duct tape and string.

You'll also notice the sun is out. I almost shit myself as well. But every once in a while mother nature gives us a little carrot to keep us going.

 I hung them so that one side will be slightly lower than the other.

Notice that the sun is gone in this photo. A very little carrot indeed.

The light fixtures have no holes drilled in the bottoms, so I just hang them a little (stress: Little) lower on one side and the water drains out that way.

They look kind of pretty. Until...


BAM. What? Yeah. Those look awesome.

Q: Lindsey, what is holding those things up?

A: Twine. It's twine. Just until I can get to the Home Depot or somewhere to get some fine gage chain. I know twine won't last all summer.

Or will it...?

No no. I will get chain. Maybe. For now I like to think of it as rustic.

I plant my lettuce seeds by sprinkling gently across the surface of wet soil, then covering with just the barest hint of soil. I eat my leaves tiny (micro-lettuce anyone?) so I don't bother with the spacing or trying to get them to their maximum potential. I pretty much just intensively plant and harvest as I go, then plant more as I need it, every 3 weeks or so until it's too hot to do so...usually mid June.

I am very happy with this because it has opened up a lot of bed space for me to plant potatoes again this year. I am doing a small yield of Satina's - small yellow potatoes that are good for frying, baking, and cold. My kind of potato. And I'm glad to have them back in the ground this year - the past two years I have tried in upright containers with no luck. So back in the ground they go.

I was also able to plant a gifted sunchoke and a 6 pack of russian kale (holy God, the whole garden will be kale this time next year!) in one of the freed up beds, so I'm a happy girl. The Sunchoke is new, but I'm ready to start moving and shaking with the perennial food garden species. I dig that less labor, more yield thing.

What did everyone else do this weekend? Planting anything new for you?

4 comments:

  1. Now that's repurposing with a passion. I think the lettuce will look lovely growing in those pans - and no stooping over to pick it.

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  2. I love it! Rustic...maybe, but ingenious. And, if you used baling twine, like is around our hay bales, I would tell you it would last for years!! Hope you have a tremendous lettuce harvest in the coming months!

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  3. You are clever, clever, clever!

    We haven't had much luck with container potatoes either...

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  4. I'll definitely try this for sure, thank you very much for sharing this modification.

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