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!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Indoor Miniature Gardens.........


 
As temps start to fall and Autumn days begin to shorten we deconstruct our unsold gardens and consolidate the non hardy plant material into gardens that will tolerate indoor conditions. Today was the day to accomplish that chore. We grabbed some smaller papercrete containers and had fun combining older plant material and new accessories. The pots that have developed some patina over the season will be protected and used again next Spring. We always do our best to maintain the patina since it takes time to happen and many customers gravitate to the "old look".

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Colors...........


If you will scroll back through this blog you will see many containers of various color. Those containers were the result of using concrete colorant mixed into the paper pulp prior to adding the other ingredients of the recipe. I am always looking to expand my offerings and color was one way to fulfill that desire.

While the natural color has always been the best seller for us I'm sure there will be a demand for whatever color we can create. I am excited with results of this new finish process and only time will tell about the durability of this new finish. Winter's harshness will be the best test.

Small containers with finish applied, miniature patios installed, and ready for plants and accessories!

  

Friday, August 1, 2014

Miniature Garden............


My wife and I built a papercrete trough four feet long and sixteen inches wide. No plan just winging it as we went. I had built the mold late last Fall for a custom build project. That project was a success but we had not had time to reuse the mold.


One thing I had been wanting to try was to add feet to a project and with this being a larger project I needed substantial support. One pallet later the garden would have plenty of support and the feet I desired.


After the trough was dry and sanded it was time to add the plant material and accessories. I had set back a few items just for this garden I had been planning to build.








All finished!



Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pots on Stands.........


Pots on stands! I was sitting at a show just listening to customers compare notes about their gardens when a couple of ladies were discussing pots on their decks. One lady was complaining about water spots left on the deck from pots placed against the wood. Both ladies agreed that plant saucer under the pots took away from the display. But the juicy tidbit to come was that one lady said she liked to use plant stands under the pots which allowed any moisture that ran through when watering to dissipate naturally. We will now offer plant stands at each show and pass along the hint.