Saturday, 8 March 2014

Recycling Slats To Make Smallholding Paths.

Been busy making hard surfaces for ye old veg plot yesterday.  A kind Bantry farmer sold me a trailer's worth of old  concrete pig slats.  I asked him how much he wanted for the slats stood up against his farm outbuildings:

"Give me forty Euros".

I said:

"I'll give you fifty for them.  They are worth it to me."

Then I noticed some more slats and asked what he wanted for the them:"

"I wants nothing for them.  You give me more than I wanted.  So you can have them for free."

What a kind man.

I persuaded my brother and number one son to go and collect the slats the next with the trailer and Jeep.  My brother and Number one son heaved and humped them and brought them back to our smallholding by the sea (Bantry Bay) and I had to give him 20 Euros for Diesel.  I think it was very cheap for some more smallholding projects, don't you?

We made a slatted pig tank (for 2 pigs) and a hard path for the vegetable plot.  Thinking of sprinkling some grass seed in the gaps to disguise them a bit.  Now even on the wettest days.  I will be able to get about on the veg plot with my trusty wheelbarrow and spread farmyard manure and compost from the paths without leaving giant ruts in the soil.  Who invented the wheelbarrow?  Is there anything more ingenious than a wheelbarrow?  What do you use for paths on your vegetable plot?


  1. Sounds like you got a good deal, nice to see that business can still be conducted in a gentlemanly fashion.

    Look good, hard standing with built-in drainage. Wouldn't bother with the grass seed though, they will be movable if necessary and grass will only make them harder to move. They'll soon fill up and grow grass and weeds anyhow.
    Dunno who invented the wheelbarrow, probably the guy who invented the wheel?

    Spring didn't happen today, it's dull with a cold wind, sun just trying to break through; not raining though.

    Must be getting warmer, Raggy cat been out for the last 2 days, fire hasn't been on and the heating kicked out yesterday, first time this year.

  2. Yes the farmer was a gentleman, Cumbrian. The slats are reinforced with steel so they are very strong. I am going to sow a quarter of the vegetable plot with grass seed and I thought if I sprinkled some grass seed in the drainage slats they would blend in with the grass. You are right though it will make good drainage. I love recycling materials and old machinery. There is tons of useful materials and mechanical equipment rusting and rotting away in the countryside.

    Think it was the ancient Chinese who invented the wheelbarrow.

    It was rough and wet here last night again. Next week is supposed to be very good weather. Hedge man came with his tractor and hedge cutter today. He did an excellent job and he was very reasonable. Rain seems to be holding off.


  3. Thanks Bedford Gypsy. We dug the veg plot over with our Smalley mechanical digger yesterday. It took less than an hour and for once my back wasn't aching and I didn't feel exhausted after hours of digging. Polytunnel arriving later in the week. It will be our second one. Hopefully the gales will be kinder this time! Thanks!

  4. Now that's a good idea. We have grass paths, which are soon to be ploughed up when Lester (my husband) gets going on the veg plot with his Kubota tractor, when it arrives, which it hasn't yet, so the green paths we still have! I have noticed that you are getting a new polytunnel soon. We want to get a poly at the end of this year, so will follow with interest your experience with your new one.

  5. Hi Vera. Grass paths look good but they require regular mowing or strimming and they cut up into ruts when the weather is bad. Paving slabs or the concrete pig slats make great hard surfaces. Especially if you can source second hand one's. I recently subscribed to your blog and I enjoy reading about your smallholding in France. Thanks!


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