Brisbane Local Food

Growing local

We are currently looking for a number of 'general' items that used to be widely available either cheap, or sometimes even free, but I can't seem to find anything in or around my area. Would appreciate if someone could point me in the right direction, or even if someone has any of these items for sale.

* Styrafoam boxes (used to be at the 'local' greengrocer)
* Drums (to store rainwater/ make liquid manure in)
* Hessian sacks
* Old stockings to tie up my tomatoes

I am trying to use as much recycled/ recyclable material as possible but I don't know where to start looking, in the old days it was almost a family affair to go rabbiting through the tip - Mum always complained because Dad took 1/2 trailer load and usually came back with more!

On the plus side, I rang a tire company in Wacol and asked for 'dead' tyres they said to come and get as many as I want!

I do have access to some Acetone drums but am not sure if they would be suitable so if someone has feedback on this I would appreciate it - Hubby is convinced they will be fine as it evaporates with no residue...

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Wikipedia says: acetone evaporates rapidly, even from water and soil. Once in the atmosphere, it degraded by UV light with a 22-day half-life. Acetone does not build up in soil, animals, or waterways since it is consumed by microorganisms. Note it is toxic though. You shouldn't be able to smell it (and don't if you can). Sounds like give it a good wash out with detergent and leave it in the sun for a couple of weeks and you should be OK. Maybe even fill it with soil then wash out before using for liquid storage. The main problem is whether the plastic in the barrel is going to slow-release petrochemicals on you, and whether it reacted with the ketone to form funky new carcinogens. Amazing what soil will lock up/ denature, but if you can find a food storage container I guess that would be better.
I've been on the lookout for a few small rain barrels too - like for sheds and cubbies etc. My dad uses old plastic pickle barrels in Melbourne, but I haven't found anything that looks good except mini rubbish daleks for $300 which is not exactly the plan!
Stockings from op shops?
Hessian sacks hard to get now potatoes come in those plastic web things. Landscape supplies will often sell sand etc in big hessian weave style bags, but again they're made of plastic, so if you want for the top of a worm farm or to biodegrade etc that's probably no good. Sometimes damp overlapping cardboard can do the same sorts of things - out back of retrovision etc.
Styrofoam boxes I get from greengrocers (and not recently actually) - but you have to ask cos they re-use them, they don't put them out the back anymore cos people take them. Especially the broccoli boxes with lids which are the best shape (deepest). Once the boxes get old they will generally let you have them - might take a few greengrocers/ few goes to get enough for a good patio garden.
I ended up buying black plastic garbage bins (60l) from the hardware store for rainwater and liquid manure etc. Cost about $35 each from memory - but worth every penny. I keep them near my vegie garden and use the (very slow) hose from the tank to fill them, then water the vegie garden with a watering can. I also dunk all the vegies here on the way to kitchen and can add worm juice etc if I wish. Works well.
Beware: from memory it costs $40 each to dump the tyres at the tip when you're done - so don't get extra in case (although cos of this I just put them back in the pile outside the tyre shop I got them from last time I did it - a short potato holiday in the life of a tyre :)
Thanks Scarlett, as always your advice is fantastic and practical. I have been buying old fashioned size bins (not sure of L) from Bunnings at about $10 each. I have an assortment of different additives in one and Anthony's wonderful fertiliser in the other. Will probably end up buying more but am also looking for something bigger - to put underneath assorted drainpipes around the house for collecting rainwater.

The acetone drums are (last time I looked which was awhile ago...) made of metal rather than plastic so shouldn't deteriorate as much - I hope. I will go with these until I find cheap alternatives.

Thanks again, you and Anthony are legends and make this site fantastic for newbies to the craft like me. Mind you, at this rate I will be able to help other newbies with information very soon. All it takes is an interest, the willingness to learn and not be afraid to ask questions, lots of questions of the wonderful gurus on this site!
I love that we can all be doing this when we're 80 and still be learning from each other :D
Had a win recently with styrafoam boxes, driving past the big bins at Inala shopping centre and there were five boxes which I snavelled. Although hubby isn't real crash hot on the way they look and is threatening to make stairs to the top of our container (used as a shed) so they can't be seen. Mind you I am tempted to get a price from Anthony for his vertical farms for up there but know that it will be WAY out of my reach lol.
you could paint them maybe
FYI, in Inala & Oxley I have found heaps of the styrafoam boxes for free, so it is worth asking your local greengrocer because they must still use them for something!
great - yep, am going to be looking for these again soon - mine about 8 years old now and getting too manky
Donna~

I’ve just been to a shop called Reverse Garbage (http://www.reversegarbage.com.au/) at West End on the weekend, I was checking for available materials to fence up a chicken run. They seem to have some of the stuff you wanted (you probably don’t need them any more ^^”, but I guess someone else may find useful) like drums, Hessian sacks, and stockings.

The Hessian sacks were in the bag your own aisle, where you fill a small bag (about A3 size) of stuff from the aisle for $5, and the big bags are $20. You can probably stuff 2 or 3 Hessian sacks into these paper bags. These are old Hessian sacks though; I’ve seen new ones at a pet shop for $20+ each. The stockings were not opened, so I assumed they were new at $1 - $2 each. I don’t know how much the drums were… but there’s lots of other things you can get there cheaply for the garden, like PVC pipes for drainage, timber for staking, fish nets for pea trellis or make do birds netting, and shade cloth off cuts just to name a few.

As for Styrofoam boxes, I see them all the time at farmers markets. If you haven’t been to these markets, do a search on http://ourbrisbane.com , there’re quite a few around.
i got some of those stockings for work recently :)
i like the teal colour, you don't see that one around. they'll look nice tying up my tomatoes once i ruin them

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