We decided that we would extend our vegetable garden this year and make some 2×2 metre raised beds in the field so that we can grow sprawling vegetables like pumpkins and squash, sweet corn and some cut flowers for Kirsten. The plan was to remove the grass and build the raise beds to a height of around 40cm using 8×2-inch boards.
I started to pull up the grass for our beds this morning, and calculated exactly how many boards we’d need for the raised beds (and for the compost bin extensions). All in all, we worked out that we needed 40 4.2-metre boards.
I called our wood merchants at lunchtime to put in our order because it typically takes them 5-7 days to make the delivery. I gave them our account number (to get our discount) and I nearly fell off my chair when the salesman informed me the wood amounted to £1,135. This was our discounted price. £1,135. That’s a whopping £6.80 per metre.
I asked the sales guy if he’d made a mistake and he laughed saying no he hadn’t and that the price of wood has skyrocketed because of supply issues across the UK. I have no idea whether that’s true or not, but £28.50 for a 4.2-metre, 8×2-inch board is sheer madness.
Needless to say I never placed the order and we’ve decided to be a bit more creative. We have plenty of pallets that we’ve collected for various projects, and I’m going to cut them down to size and build the beds from them. We probably won’t have enough for all the raised beds, so I’ll visit our local hardware store and collect used pallets from them which they give away for free. From our perspective this is a far more sensible and sustainable approach, because whatever pallets are left over, they typically burn or discard.
It’s going to be a lot more work, but it’s the right thing to do from a sustainability perspective and it’ll save us over £1,000.