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Senior Contributor

Repurposed materials on the farm

Just got some info from a friend and freelancer on an outfit in Denver, Colorado, that sells repurposed commercial materials for ag uses. Like, streetsweeper brushes for scratching posts for cattle and old bulldozer tracks for livestock flooring. 


Got me thinking: What are some other ways you've repurposed materials from an entirely different industry on your farm? Fun topic -- Looking forward to hearing your ideas!

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Honored Advisor

Re: Repurposed materials on the farm

Nice feature, Jeff. We re-purpose a lot of materials on our laces...much of it is already ag stuff, but we use it in novel ways.

Probably one of my better ideas was using salvaged concrete gang slates as paving material for watering stations on our grazing facility. I figured out how to get them configured so that the center of a set of eight of them was left open for making a small pour of concrete for the energy-free waterer to anchor to. They are roughly 6 inches thick, so the slf-forming worked great.

This saved us thousands of dollars on the project, nd the NRCS gave us permission to substitute this design and material for the geotex and gravel. I explained this design using the salvaged slats at a conference, and another grazier there went crazy over it, so I hooked him up with our source, which was giving the slats away. All it cost any of us was hauling. These slats will never erode like a load of gravel, either.

Meal gangs of tri-bar nursery flooring out of our defunct house buildings in Va are in our dog kennel floor, and we used the last few pieces as the self-supporting deck of a large stoop on my office last year. It really helps to knock the crud off of workboots,

We use lots of conveyor belting for temporary sidewalks. I have used ten sheep troughs that weren't needed for feeding anymore, when we went to solely grassfeeding, for raised garden beds.
A sheet of expanded metal or woven wire on a treated wood frame makes a great entry stoop, almost as good as my pig nursery flooring.
My main office desk is a repurposed seed bin from an old hardware store...the bins are great for rolled maps and such. Its top is a piece of an old roll top desk, minus the tambour.. It was headed for the trash heap.. .I love using all the cubbyholes. Mike's ofice bulletin board is a huge old sawmill blade. Magnets hold up his notes and schedules.

They aren't old, but I used some huge tool cabinets with a nice wooden top for my baking center in our new kitchen. An old card catalog cabinet, grabbed when the local university changed to all electronic collection management, made a great set of small-object storage drawers. I used a slate pool table bed for doing the soldering in my glass shop.

Our whole house in Carolina is a salvage project. Once you start using salvage, it becomes addictive.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Repurposed materials on the farm

I worked for years in a cardboard box factory. The corrugater belt is very heavy felt. Ours was 87 inches wide by about 80 feet long. It made excellent stall matts. Lots of other conveyor belts are also usefull. We have a concrete cross tye manufacturer near the farm that sell their test and reject tues pretty cheep. They also have many uses. From fence pistes to bridge flooring.
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