Saturday, May 2, 2015

Simple Succulent Garden in Papercrete Shell....

I always have fun with easily constructed gardens. Succulents are the perfect match for these papercrete shell bowls and the addition of the little dragons is only icing on the cake!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

About as Big as it Gets...........

This is about as large as the finished pile gets. After Easter weekend our Spring sales events start and there will not be as much time to replenish from weekend to weekend. We are ready for warmer temps and the flurry of gardeners flocking to our booth!

Customers at our early season shows carried off plenty of containers and we did have sales during our classes. It was easy enough to keep track of what we sold and without many other tasks here at the farm we had time to replace the items that were sold. As warmer weather arrives we will have lots of plant material to maintain and use to create our signature miniature landscapes. Those warmer temps also spurs gardeners into a frenzy of shopping for new goodies for their gardens and projects they have dreamed up over the Winter! We are excited too!

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Reality of Winter.......

The reality of Winter hangs on here in Southwest Missouri. On top of our normal cold temps Mother Nature dumped a load of snow in our neighborhood while she was on her way to Boston. This season of cold slows our production a little but we keep plugging away. Today I sanded what was dry in the cold frame and stacked it on a pallet. I could have carried it to the pile outside but I dislike walking in the snow or having my feet slide out from under me on the ice. Notice the snow pile just outside the cold frame.......

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Why We Build Pots.......

Our first papercrete pots were built because we wanted a specific sized and color of pot to display dwarf and miniature plants. Oh how things morph over time as we experiment with a variety of plantings plus accessories. I begin to wonder am I building pots to match the plantings or do I find the accessories and build a pot to match my finds. It is the old which came first the chicken or the egg question rehashed. Either way the journey is exciting!

The fairy houses pictured are the result of a chance meeting at a craft show. When a ceramic artist meets a plant geek who likes building small gardens the magic happens. Spring is just around the corner and it is going to be fun to put all the elements together.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Papercrete Mold and Results...........

Always game to try something new so I re-purposed some one by six fence pickets into a geometric shape then recreated it in a smaller size. The molds are then filled and stacked accordingly to create a double decker star shaped planter.

I am anxious to see this planter filled to overflowing with succulents. Until warm weather returns I will refill this set of molds multiple times. I think this one will be a winner with gardeners.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Papercrete Process.......

To begin making our signature papercrete containers we begin by running newsprint through a strip cut paper shredder. We stuff the cut strips into five gallon buckets until the buckets are well filled.
We then fill the buckets of strips with water and allow the strips to soak for at least a day. Many times these buckets will sit a few days before we get around to turning the soaked paper back into pulp. We have found that thoroughly soggy strips are easier to pulp.
We try to keep several buckets of strips soaking at all times. These have been soaking for over two weeks but they cannot be over soaked.
Well soaked strips are then turned to pulp with an electric drill and a small paint mixer. Five gallon of well soaked strips only take three or four minutes of mixing to get the results one needs for good pulp.
The resulting pulp will be to soggy to use as is. We have a few buckets that over time have developed leaks so I drill lots of quarter inch holes along the sides and bottom of those old buckets. These buckets when filled with the soggy pulp will in twenty four hours time allow the pulp to drain to almost the exact consistency of moisture for proper mixing of the final recipe.
 Five Gallon of finished pulp
We then have three gallon buckets we use to make individual recipes of papercrete mix. This bucket is ready for the addition of portland cement and perlite. We then use the same drill and mixer to mix this thoroughly. Once mixed it is ready to mold into whatever shape you have a mold for or can dream up!
Mold filled and drying.
Finished containers sitting in the greenhouse drying. Having just experienced record cold these containers might take as much as two weeks to completely dry. Once dry we will knock off the rough edges with sandpaper and place on pallets outside to weather until sales season begin early next year. We are expecting bumper sales in 2015!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Pots on Stands

We have two choices for this one......find it a new home or build a miniature landscape in it then find it a new home!