So what do you do with 5 old tires in country that has almost no waste management system?????? Well that should really be a no brainier, garden planters! They are beautiful, eco friendly, and great way to teach kids about healthy eating and gardening, where do we sign up? The reality is in order to make a nice planter like this you first need to become a professional tire wrestler (I had no idea what that even meant till we did it). So please enjoy the grueling tale of 4 big strong adults that thought they could and the 13 littles that laughed at our struggles.
"Hey guys!!! I have the best idea in all the land. Lets take our old iky tires and turn them in to a magical garden for each of our children to tend to!" This is how I got Nono, Randy, and Nick involved in the longest 5 day project of our lives.
See here in Haiti we don't always have the nicest of roads and many of the ones in our small town are dirt roads littered with rocks and pebbles. Because we spend about 50% of our driving time "off roading" we are obliged to change our tires about once a year because they go bald, more bald than I've ever seen in the states. All this stills sounds normal right? Well it would be if we could just go down to PEP Boys for a quick pit stop. That's not the case for us. Generally we prepare our selves for the 3 hours drive to the capital run up a pretty steep mountain of traffic and then we reach the tire shop. After 20-30 mins of negotiations they sell us our tires and swap out the old ones of the new ones. For some strange reason they always load up the old ones in the back of the truck and I always figured this was normal and never questioned it. But what do you do with so many tiers that build up over the years?
Well on one of my dreaded missions to the capital I found my self running an errand for our vet. I was to drop off a dog to its new home on my way to buy diapers. When I pulled in to the house i saw a long row of beautiful planters and all kinds of herbs and tomatoes and many other fun things. I asked about the pots and how they found so many matching ones. The Lady smiled at me and said " Oh I made them with our old tiers, it was so easy! (once you get the hang of it)"
I was so excited because we have so many tiers in our yard. I looked up some pictures of the magical tire gardens and figured "hey, how hard could it be?" If she could do it so could I. Plus I figured with all our little helpers it was going to be a breeze). I proposed the idea to the house and everyone was on board and ready to attack our ugly tiers with love, paint and an electric saw! Our first indication that the project was going dominate us and haunt us was right after the kids had scrubbed them clean and we finished our stenciling for the flower petals. In all the videos we watched old guys were cutting through the tiers like butter. We broke our knife and moved on to a jigsaw. Even the jig saw was no match for the BALD rubber tiers we had just made sparkle. We all took turns as the kids cheered us on after 2 2/12 hours we had cut 2 tiers.
This is when I called for back up and we drove our shiny bald tiers down to the docks and had them cut by friends with super saws. So the =hard part was done.....or was it? All we had left to do was twist them inside out and then the kids could paint them beautiful colors and we could plant magic plats inside them. NO!!!! This turned in to several days of the 4 of us sweating and bleeding to turn the tiers inside out. We jumped on them, body slammed them, we stomped on them and eventually we ran them over with both our truck and our motorcycle. Five days later we had 6 beautiful inside out tiers.
The kids jumped in to action and split in to teams of 2. They painted their tiers and truly turned them in to little works of art. We placed all the tiers up on the roof of the house to dry for a few days and then started clean up. The paint we had to use was a sticky oil based paint and we we all covered in it. Thankfully we had some secret magic potion that took it right off off. Once the garden planter were dry we filled them up with soil and the kids got to planting. They all take turns watering and have asked that we start a bigger garden over the summer.
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I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!