Growing up I always was trying to find a way to make new uses out of otherwise discarded objects.

Whether it was an old four post bed, or boards that I could craft into something neat I would always be on the lookout for what others considered junk or garbage.

Somehow my parents tolerated this — to an extent. They more viewed it as me being creative and luckily were supportive of most of my crazy ideas in life.

Fast forward 20-plus years and I am still at it. I still have that white four post bed that resides in my chicken pasture — where my chickens enjoy perching on it and stalking bugs in which they will devour if they come within range.

A few years ago, I had a front load washer that somehow survived me for a course of time and was ready to be retired. We removed the exterior (which we left at the curb for scrappers to pick up) and kept the inner drum. That has become my all-time favorite planter that I have in my yard. And the holes that were intended to drain away water during the spin cycle work perfectly for the drainage of all my plants. Looking at it, you would never know it was a washer drum in a past life.

Last week I finally went out and bought a new set of tires. I may have been intending to do that the entire summer, but it seems something always comes up. At any rate, I opted to keep my old set of tires and have them send them home with me. I unloaded them from the car and was thinking I would spray some colorful spray paint on each and turn them into some upcycled planters.

I figured that I could set them out in the goat field so that my Matthew didn’t totally freak out at the idea that I brought my tires back home with me. He for some reason doesn’t always see the beauty of my upcycled items. But before I set the fourth one down, my goats already decided they were going to have their own upcycled item. Apparently old tires (providing they are still intact with no metal sticking out of them) make excellent back/ side scratchers for the goats.

I have a feeling that I will end up digging those tires into the ground a little and making them a little more sturdy — because I am sure a few of the smaller goats will end up climbing on them. Goats love trying to turn everything into a mountain.

At work I have started a collection of old doors. I plan to sand those down, paint them and turn them into an art installation of sorts. So, during this plan, which I decided on a few months ago, I have managed to accumulate three old doors. I have had Matt’s sander in my office for maybe the last month.

There looks to be a little bit of a break in my schedule in the coming weeks, which means I may get them finished and in place. And when that happens I will move onto my next project, which I haven’t quite decided what will be. But I am sure that I will stumble across something and save it from being sent to the landfill forever.

Sacha Burns is an organic gardener and owner of Sunkissed Organics in Pinola. She may be reached at

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