Community Philosphy Blog and Library

HOMEGROWN Life: The Potato Bin Experiment






After a completely miserable potato harvest this year we’ve decided to pull them out of the ground and do them in boxes made out of pallets. That way we can use weedblock under them to eliminate the whole bindweed issue. So today, the boxes went up.

We cleaned up an area of our yard which was just a pile of old scrap wood. We pulled the weeds and raked it as smooth as we could get it.

We got some 4′ wide contractor grade weedblock and laid it down using staples.

We used two sizes of pallets. The back and front sides are 36×48 and the sides/dividers are 36×36. This allowed the weedblock to extend past the bottom footprint of the boxes.

The corners were screwed together in 4 spots with 1-1/2″ deck screws.

We used 3″ deck screws to attach the front and back pallets together in 3 places.

We did the back, sides and dividers first before attaching the front pallets. Of course the two sides closest to the camera were put in sideways and had to be redone, which really didn’t take much time.

Tom had to jump in for a photo op once they were all put together.

We started filling them by putting straw on the bottom just to help keep everything from falling out.

We then started putting in composted animal bedding and manure and screened top soil. We only filled them about half way so we can build up as the potatoes grow.


My friends in college used to call me a Renaissance woman. I was always doing something crafty, creative, or utilitarian. I still am. My focus these days, instead of arts and crafts, has been farming as much of my urban quarter acre as humanly possible. With my husband, we run Dog Island Farm in the SF Bay Area. We raise chickens, goats, rabbits, dogs, cats, and a kid. We’re always keeping busy. If I’m not out in the yard I’m in the kitchen making something from scratch. Homemade always tastes better!

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4 Responses to “HOMEGROWN Life: The Potato Bin Experiment”

  1. So cool! Thanks for the play-by-play. Can’t wait to see the result.

  2. Wow! This looks incredible. I’ll be following along to see how it goes. I would try it out but my wife

  3. That was weird it posted before I finished. Anyway, my wife needs things to look “pretty” and I’m more of a functional type. You know, if it functions I don’t care what it looks like. Thanks again!

  4. That looks really cool! Nice use of the pallets. They are surely an easy item to pick up, most businesses like to give them away so they don’t have to pay for the disposal. I hope you keep us all posted on your progress with more photos! I bet the ‘taters will make some wonderful soup and home fries!

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