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Items that normally might have been thrown away found new uses in a student exhibit in March at Plantasia, Western New York’s premier garden and landscape show.
Aluminum cans became plant tags, coat hangers helped support vining plants and pallets became an A-frame vertical planter and an entire suite of patio furniture! The exhibit was created by students in the horticulture programs at Niagara County Community College (NCCC) and the adult education program at McKinley High School as well as the day program at McKinley High School.
The exhibit received three awards at Plantasia: the Buffalo Spree Award for Best Landscape, Best Garden in the small garden category and Best use of Water in the small garden category (the exhibit included a hydroponics demonstration).
With the second style, you take the lid of an aluminum can, poke a small hole in the lid and thread it onto a shepherd’s hook made of a piece out of a wire coat hanger.
My favorite idea, though, was to take the entire can and poke it upside-down into the dirt.
Tip: Dan Robillard, horticulture teacher at McKinley High School day program and adult education, pointed out that the students mixed in many vegetable plants among the ornamental plants– and it looked lovely! In order to prevent the spread of insects that might be living in the wooden pallet (and thereby prevent the spread of invasive species), pallets are treated to kill the insects.
The wood can be treated with heat in a kiln or oven, or it can be treated with a chemical called methyl bromide.
According to this post on Instructables, pallets now need to be stamped to show which method was used to treat the wood. The A-frame vertical planter was built by the adult students at McKinley with help from some of the high school students and is a simple project.
Simply take two pallets and nail on a brace (a horizontal piece of wood) in two spots to hold them together.
The furniture that you see in the photo at the beginning of the story is also a project that a beginner can handle, said Leshinsky, the NCCC student. He used a full pallet for the back of the loveseat, seen in the center of the photo at the beginning of this article. The most important thing to keep in mind when building the chairs and loveseat are the angles, Leshinsky said. The parts of the chairs most likely to show wear and tear are the planks on the seats, Leshinsky said. Other faculty members involved with the exhibit included Carolyn Stanko of NCCC and Ron Callea, high school teacher at McKinley.
This entry was posted on April 2, 2013 at 1:31 pm and is filed under Garden tips, Recent events, Uncategorized.
I will use old plant markers from the nursery and use duck tape and make a new front & back, though the sun does fade the writing over time.


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You could sand down the seat and smooth the edges, Leshinsky said, or drape the chairs with a towel or add cushions.
Leshinsky thinks the pallet furniture won’t last as long as furniture made from better lumber.
If a plank splits, you can remove it and replace it with a plank from a new pallet, he said.
I guess if you have one set of broken mini-blinds, you’d have a lifetime supply of construction material.
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However, once the ink is dry, you can run water over it and scrub, but that lettering isn’t going anywhere. The post includes a picture of what the stamp looks like and what each part of the code means. He came up with the design for the chairs made from pallets after looking at pictures of similar projects on the Internet.
He estimates the pallet furniture will last five to seven years and other furniture will last 12 to 15 years.
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