John Coldframe: Lush Life

One evening a few weeks ago when Mat’s parents were staying with us, Mat and I decided to go for a walk after dinner. We made it only three blocks before I was lured toward a collection of free items at the end of someone’s driveway (this is a common scene with us). I stood there, torn between a newish BBQ and an IKEA coffee table, until I realized that we had stumbled upon a great IKEA hack item! Mat carried the glass top, because he is less likely to drop things, and I carried the awkward frame. When we arrived home we announced that this free find would soon be…a cold frame for our salad greens! And (because we have to name everything dear to us & my baby loves his jazz) it would be called John Coldframe.

The following Saturday, while Mat’s mom baked pies & I planted seeds, Mat and his Dad brought out the power tools, picked up some wood and got to work on our newest project. I couldn’t resist getting in there to help with a few finishing touches with the drill. Just last weekend, Mat and I prepared the bed and planted our first salad greens of the year. There has been a wee bit of frost, but hopefully our little seeds will germinate and we will soon have a living green coffee table for our back deck living space.

You can make a cold frame using old windows, plastic or any collection of items creatively repurposed, like this milk crate covered with a duvet bag. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, it just has to get the job done! Happy growing. :)

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Filed under Action, Gardening, Low-tech, Reskilling, Reuse, Thrift

7 responses to “John Coldframe: Lush Life

  1. Jared

    Nice one! I hate glass coffee tables.

  2. Ben Ziegler

    Nicely done Margaret. I like the way you framed your cold frame project into a story. And, liked your use of the WP gallery plug-in; another story – in pictures! I’m going to have to try that plug-in myself.

  3. Sarah

    Hey Marg! Awesome job- I like John Coldframe way better as a cold frame than as a coffee table! I just picked up a book on gardening in small spaces and it suggests using a plain plastic storage container as a cold frame… great for apartment dwellers who don’t have any construction space to speak of. You just have to prop open the lid on warmer days.

  4. This is the coolest thing ever. I am definitely inspired.

    I also like your hair, but probably because it looks like mine but better.

  5. Thanks all!

    Sarah, that’s a great suggestion. My cousin grows tomatoes in large plastic bins & I use practically anything container-like for gardening. When you start thinking like that, the world becomes full of possibilities. :)

    Ben, I appreciate that! The storytelling aspect of this blog is important to me.

  6. Very nice! I do love to see cold frames and this is a new design.. Can’t wait to see it full of lovely veggies!

  7. Thanks for your comment Niki! This is my old blog, and this was my set up in Victoria. I gave it to a friend when we moved. I just asked her today how it was treating her actually and she said it was FULL of spinach last season and did excellent. We’re hoping to make a cold frame here in the valley out of old windows…

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