Years ago, before I found passion in the dirt, I managed a specialty knife store in Burnaby’s Metrotown Centre. We sold mostly kitchen knives, but also a dizzying array of sporting knives. With a few decorative swords for good measure. What can I say? From this job I gained a deep appreciation for quality tools.
My kitchen knives are stunning. Sure, when I first moved away from home I could only cook Mac & Cheese. I might have had to emergency call a friend in the first week to learn how to make mashed potatoes, but that didn’t mean I didn’t cut that potato with a seriously badass blade. A full set of impressive, single piece, forged steel blades. WÜSTHOF knives to be particular.
Fear not, even back then I had my handy Husband near by with his ever accumulating bag of things-he’s-really-good-at. Cooking has always been one of them. Being a tool guy is another.
On his end, a good tool was something that fixed thing. His Grandfather used to say: “You never borrow a tool, you buy one. If you needed it once, you will need it again.” Keeping with that philosophy he handed down a wide range of fantastic, unique, well built, old hand and table top tools to my husband when he passed. An impressive collection with just about every funky and useful tool you can imagine.
So where is this going? Oh WHERE is this going Laura?
Well, in a circular tangent, clearly! If there is a point, (which is questionable) It has to be that a good tool is a great asset to have, and doesn’t go bad. So keep them, and scoop them up when you see them! Garage sales make a great place to find old tools in need of some love, and a new home!
The fallout of this lesson? We are endlessly storing tools and supplies. We regularly add more and more to the “someday” pile. We will get to it “when we have time”. My husbands recent desire to organize the madness caused him to happen upon some left overs that fit my needs for a garden project.
We now had the supplies to make row covers!!!!!
So look at that! Time was found! Sure it was 11 o’clock at night, but that’s normal, right?
How to make row covers
- Taking the sheet of chicken wire we used metal snips to cut it in half. Creating two rectangular shapes for double the row cover action! You can use any size of the material. Row covers can be quite small or large depending on your needs. The ones we were making were quite large. Just over 3 feet long, each!
- Next lay out a sheet of clear poly or vinyl. Cut to slightly larger than the metal mesh. An inch or two on all sides. It is always easier to work and handle a supply that is slightly too large. Allows a little more room for mistakes, or corrections.
- We made our holes with the leather punch. It would have been a wasted opportunity if we hadn’t. That bad boy needed to get out and stretch it’s legs! It worked perfectly to poke little holes in the plastic covering. A pen knife, or a punch from a swiss army knife, or scissors would work just as well if you don’t happen to have any antique tools lying around.
- Once the holes are made slip some small zap straps through and tightened them up!
- Almost finished now! The row cover just need to be trimmed and cleaned up. Excess zap strap cut, ect.
- The final step is a simple one. Follow the natural curve of the chicken wire and create a semi circle. Voila!
I’m looking forward to setting these up in the back veggie beds. They will allow me to get a head start on some crops that could use the extra growing time, but don’t like all that cold spring rain. The perfect solution to my desperate need to get into the veggie bed early in the year!
Here they will grow! Safe and sound!