I’m not cheap!

I just wanted to get that out of the way immediately.

I’m frugal, not cheap.

Thus my love affair with wooden pallets.

Let me also state that I am not a gifted carpenter.  I know very little about carpentry.  Most of my life I’ve been sorely lacking in any carpentry skills.  I mention that so you’ll know that if I can build things with wooden pallets then so can you.

Most people who dabble in farming, urban or otherwise, must learn to be frugal and must learn to do things with their own two hands and not hire out odd jobs.  Financially, farmers can’t afford to waste money.  We learn to do it ourselves. It may not be a perfect job.  It may not look like a professional job….but if it is functional then we’ve done what we set out to do.

Thus my love affair with wooden pallets.

They ain’t pretty but they get the job done.


I’ve actually talked to people who say they can’t find wooden pallets in their community.  Here in Olympia, business owners who receive shipments on wooden pallets are more than anxious to have someone haul them away. They literally give them away for free, and I’m right there with my pickup, making us all happy.

Go check with your local supermarket or some other retail place.  Drive around the back where the shipping docks are and most likely you’ll see a stack of pallets.  Ask the manager if you can haul a few off. If he says yes then you just received an early Christmas present.

WHY PALLETS ARE SO HANDYchicken coop March 31 2013 002

First of all, they are sturdy.  Think about it: thousands of pounds are shipped on pallets. They have to be made of quality wood to bear up under those loads.

Secondly, every structure you build needs to be framed, whether it’s a chicken coop or a garden shed.  Framing gives a structure strength.  Studs are normally used in traditional building, and pallets basically do the same job as studs. They are instant framing.  All you have to do is screw the pallets together, cover them with plywood and you have an instant structure.

How cool is that?


Well, gosh, where do I begin?

Chicken coop…..quail enclosure…garden tool shed….goat house….duck-coop….fence….worktable….woodshed….compost bins…..vertical gardening…..outdoor table…..greenhouse…..

I could go on but you get the picture.

Think about this: if I have the materials available, I can build a four-sided structure, 40”x48”, in an hour.

An hour!


That’s the question I’ll leave you with today.  At the very least, I hope I’ve given you something to think about over the winter as you plan next year’s gardening activities.

One final note.  A blog called “World Organic News” has been kind enough to share some of my urban farming blog posts, so I want to give a shout out to them.  You can find that blog by following this link.




12 thoughts on “Wooden Pallets and Urban Farming

  1. Pallets are amazing Bill, their uses endless. I need to go on the lookout for more. It seems they are getting more difficult to obtain because more and more people here are seeing the usefulness of them so there is more competition.


  2. Really enjoy your urban farming commentaries. I’d love to build something with a few pallets, with you. That is about the level of my carpentry skills, as well. Though you’ve got more recent experience!! What fun! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s amazing what one can create with these pallets. They would have made a great rabbit hutch for our pet bunny a few years back. This idea will save people money and provide some creative structures around the home.


  4. I saw a whole patio set made out of pallets once, and people do throw them away, so I am all for re-using them–hope you are well Bill!


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