May 13, 2017

Distressed Bucket For Distressed Chives

Since moving from the west coast in 2014, I have lived on an old potato farm just above the ocean in Nova Scotia. There is an ancient disposal system that comes with a property like this, a sign of the times and the evolution of waste disposal.

Yes, across the field, down  a slight slope, then just into the forest, and one finds several small middens.

Midden is a Swedish word meaning "an old dump for domestic waste", and that is what I came across while exploring the margin of the woods. For someone that loves sourcing found things for free, the midden is a treasure trove of vintage discoveries.

In these piles I have found mostly glass and rusted metal, but in the top-most layers a new material makes its ugly and permanent appearance - plastic. It is the most uninteresting and unattractive stuff in the piles.

I also found a vehicle licence plate from 1954, and that was toward the top of the pile, so the midden may be older than that. Considering the European presence here since the 1600s, it could be much older.

The items that drew my attention were several galvanized metal buckets in various states of breakdown. Some were squished, others rusted through. But they all looked beautiful to me, and I needed something for some stressed out chives planted in an unattractive broken plastic container, left here by the previous renters.

I'm not much of a decorator, but from what I know, distressed is de rigour "whether your style is primitive, modern, or shabby chic".  Even better if you style is like mine: found and free.

Next midden rescue project? A large group of intact vintage canning jars.


  1. What a treasure! When I was growing up we lived next to one of the many potteries that once thrived in this area. They had a dump at the end of the street. Truck loads of not so perfect pottery were dumped each week. Although we weren't allowed, we kids snuck in after the trucks and found all kinds of useful items. Some of the bisque pieces we would paint and use for art. Some of the glazed pieces were still in good shape and my family used them in the kitchen. There was also a dump over the side of the hill toward the Ohio River. We would climb over and find old bottles and glass canning jars. We still have some all these years later.

  2. Anonymous5/13/2017

    Thinking of waste I have had an interesting experience today. Our printer stopped working a few days ago with a cryptic error message. We haven't used it much and it's well looked after, yet it just suddenly stopped working. It was very well made and always worked well. After doing a bit of research it appears to be built in obscelence, it's basically programmed to stop working after a certain amount of time. What a terrible waste of resources. This website has some interesting info on the rigged printer market:

    1. Alex,

      I have read about the whole printer scam. We gave up printers years ago due to the high cost of ink cartridges, and the planned obsolescence to which you refer. Why not just put a kill switch in everything we buy? Toasters that toast 1000 slices, then quit. Cars that go 100,000 km, then shut down. Permanently. I am not buying that.

      Can you hack the kill switch in your printer?

      That kind of evil profit-making pisses me off, so we opted out. The rare time we need to print stuff out we just visit our local public library.

    2. Anonymous5/15/2017

      From researching the problem online it appears to be written into the firmware, which is not easily accessible. This is the problem with closed software. Will be trying the library option from now on.

  3. Your chives look very happy in their new home. What a great view!

    1. Lorraine,

      We don't have much for trees, shrubs, or flowers on our lot, but the view is unobstructed. The sunrises/sunsets and moonrises/moonsets are spectacular. I split the chives in two as they were very root bound, and have another distressed bucket full of previously distressed chives. They are much happier.


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