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2020 Christina Dodd

“Re-purposing has always been a thing with me”

…Before re-purposing was trending…

Growing up in rural Ohio with grandparents as my primary caregivers, we repurposed before re-purposing was trending.  We gathered newspaper and cardboard to use them for mulching our gardens and strawberry patch. Every glass jar a mason lid could fit onto was saved. Year after year we used them for canning fruits and vegetables from our farm. Large metal coffee cans were saved to use as buckets for blackberry picking in the summer. My grandmother would punch holes in opposite sides of the can, and slip a wire between them to make a handle. With two buckets strapped around my waist using twine from a bale of hay, off I would go in search of berries on the 50 acre farm. Rarely did we throw a plastic bag away. Always washing them out and reusing them. Especially for the eighteen-or-so loafs of bread my grandmother baked every Saturday morning.

2020 Christina Dodd 2

Growing flowers for Reconnecting Our Roots Community Garden

In Fall of last year…

Our children’s sandbox at Reconnecting Our Roots Community Garden became unusable. We quickly repurposed as a small raised flower bed to attract bees and butterflies to our green space. A simple and easy re-purposing act that adds beauty and functionality to the garden.

In addition to the sandbox frame there was a heavy plastic dome lid.  It sat on top of the sandbox to keep the sand free of debris and roaming critters. When we repurposed the box, the dome was set into the high grass waiting to be hauled to the dump. I never got around to it.

Fall descended, Winter passed and Spring emerge…

“Under the dome was light and warmth.”

Suddenly, under the sandbox dome were sweet little yellow flowers. Weeds really, but precious blooms could be seen through the top of the dome. Even though it was still chilly outside and the possibility of a frost was looming ahead: growing under the dome was beauty. Under the dome was light and warmth. Under the dome was a safe place for nature to quickly move forward. There was enough light and warmth to accelerate early blooms on the weeds.


I instantly thought “Greenhouse”…

With excitement, I pulled the dome out of the weeds! Loaded it in the bed of my red truck, and immediately took it home to re-purpose it as a greenhouse dome. It is now May and I have already grown enough flower seedlings for the Hunt Street Bank at Reconnecting Our Roots Community Garden, and the perennial garden. Cosmos, zinnia, daisies, nasturtiums, bachelor buttons, sunflowers and more. All will fill the spaces of our perennial garden. Bringing vivid colors throughout the summer months. The sandbox dome has found a new purpose for our garden, as it brings forth beauty from the light and warmth beneath its sheltering frame.