Never underestimate the power of a simple, bush-pole structure. Our market garden shed might be rustic, in every sense of the word, but it is 100% pure awesomeness. It keeps tools and organic minerals dry, ordered and available, all in the center of the action.
So this is about as simple as a shed gets, but it’s a great start, and way better than no shed at all.
It’s constructed with ‘bush poles’ – young trees with the bark knocked off to lessen termite invasion. Add some scrap corrugated iron, a bit of old insulation from Nick’s dad’s junk pile, some recycled hardwood beams, and there you go.
Not that I’m trying to oversimplify the importance of, or the effort that went into, this structure. Quite the opposite.
Since we started this market garden in August 2011, ‘we need to build a garden shed’ has been an ongoing refrain. For convenient storage of tools and equipment against the elements, and also just to have a central ‘point’ in the market garden. And some shade in the heat of the day.
But as we’ve learned, sheds don’t build themselves. And we all seem to have been rather busy these last two seasons, so the shed has remained on top of the list, but un-built.
Enter Shane. Yep, the same Shane that plugged away at the Tiny House build with fearless dedication until it was finally, finally done. Shane knows how to do things. Most things. Ok everything we’ve ever asked him to work on.
The trick with bush pole construction seems to be to get the bark off immediately after the trees are felled, in which case the bark comes off easily. Wait even an hour after felling, and the de-barking job requires many more expletives and much more time.
Could it be fancier, funkier, more complicated and better optioned? Hell yes. Will it do for now, given our available energy/inputs/time/funds? You bet.
So there you have it. One super simple, super useful shed, made with scrap and offcuts and love.
- Total build time: about 8 days labor
- Total cost (not including labor): about $200
Appropriate technology at its best.
I love sheds and this is a beauty. By the way, David Jackes presentation on Friday night was amazing. We have stopped doing anything on our 1200 metre urban block now until we have considered yields and guilds and attributes and interrelationships coupled with aesthetics and context systems etc. His books on Edible Forest Gardens are must haves!!
Glad you enjoyed 🙂
Nice! I need to build something similar to keep my trailer (and a few other bits and pieces) out of the weather. This looks like a nice simple design to borrow from.
Here in the UK sheds are integral to our way of life. It’s a well kept secret – forget Buckingham Place, the Queen etc – sheds are where we’re at. If there’s an allotment attached that’s even better…. Yours is a lovely simple design which many people would love, however we have taken the shed to an art form that is the missing link between your shed and Shane’s Tiny House – while away a few minutes and consider the Brit and his shed and prepare to be amazed…. 😉 http://www.readersheds.co.uk
That one with the roman columns! Ha! You’re a funny lot over there 😉
If only I was this organised!
You’re right Kirsten about getting the bark off quickly. However in drought time you will never find an easy time to get the bark off. It hangs on for dear life, what ever tool you throw at it. Taking the bark off won’t stop termites either. Pour old sump oil around the post and you should have painted the post with it too. We here now have to pour 12mm into the bottom of the hole to stop them. I have been building using round timber most of my life. Its good if you can get hold of it. I… Read more »
Yep we’ve been told about the sump oil thing but I’m reticent to pour that stuff into the middle of our organic market garden 🙂 So we make the best of it… not expecting to stop the termites, just slow them down a touch…
I have an architect friend who believes a mixture of lime and pool salt will stop them in their tracks. Possibly a little less of a problem for the organic veges too. He painted the inside walls under the subfloor area of his pise house and showed me where the termites had commenced their way up the wall, then given up at about 150mm.
Paul Wheaton from Permies.com recommends pouring borax and diatomacious earth into the hole when putting in posts. He reckons it’d keep all kinds of bugs and fungus at bay. I don’t know of anyone who has actually tried it for a significant period of time though.
Our electricity provider uses borax tablets on their poles about every 4-5 years. They drill a hole deep down into the pole from just above ground level then fill it up with the tablets which measure something like 70mm long and 25mm in diameter. Then they screw a black plastic plug in to keep out the moisture and soil.
That is a big difference to when many years ago they would use creasote once every 10-20 years. That was toxic!
Lovely shed, beautiful, simple design, and organization! I love it sheds are not supposed to last 100 years I wouldn’t worry too much about termites! Maybe you could find something that likes termites as a snack if they get too peskey!
Wow! 8 days? My dad is still working on what he refers to as the 8 year pole barn. Lol.
nice, this inspires me for a chook barn i’d like to work on but have been hesitant to choose local timber instead of steel because of living in a cyclone prone area, termites and wet season, but i resonate with that similar remark that sheds arent always meant to last that long anyhow. 5 years would be long enough for my hens id say 🙂
Sweet shed… we built ours from large reclaimed wooden pallets and corrugated iron salvaged from an old shed up the back of the farm. I think our out of pocket costs were about 6
$100, for nails and slinging a bit of cash at our neighbours, one who helped with his tractor to bring the corro in, the other with a trailer to put it on.