Over the years, we have done our fair share of renovation and DIY. During this time, we developed a habit of seeking out items that could be repurposed for our needs. If we are being honest, in the early days, it was probably as much driven by cost saving as it was a moral philosophy to minimise landfill. As the years went on, it also became about the thrill of a good discovery and the challenge to make it work. We are, if we do say so ourselves, quite skilled at sniffing out great items. We joke that if any of the reality DIY T.V shows required you to only use second hand products to build, furnish and decorate, and you only had 10 bucks to do it all...we would be champions!
Since moving here and owning land, we have levelled up. Now, not only do we repurpose items for their original intended use, we also think about being able to utilise as many natural resources as possible. Build a retaining wall? We have a log for that. Need a ramp? We have rocks for that. Need a pole? We have bamboo for that. It’s amazing how infrequently you need to visit a shop (much to my husband’s delight) to buy new when you apply a repurposing way of thinking. All that said, it’s not always the easy option, and sometimes you need to get a bit creative.
Take this week for example. Our footings have all been completed this week, all dug by a solid, built-to-last Massey Ferguson post hole digger. This particular bit of equipment was built in....wait for it.....1950!!! When Nick bought it, he remarked to the retired farmer that the only other example he had seen online was in a museum! The farmer told him that actually the other person who had also enquired about buying it was in fact an antique tractor parts collector.
Fitting it on Thursday morning was an ‘interesting’ process (read stressful and soul crushing). Retrofitting a museum worthy auger onto a recent model tractor required a little ingenuity, a little adaptability and a whole lot of perseverance. But we are nothing if not determined, motivated by a stubbornness to not waste and a can do attitude that has been ingrained into our psyches...so persist we did and it got the job done! And I dare say even a bit more easily than a newer more lightweight model would have done. This antique auger is a veritable beast, such that we now have a soft spot for it and we shall call it Augie and hope to still be using it in another 70 years!
Without being too cheesy, a lot of the stuff we get may not be shiny and new and full of the latest tech, but through either the stories that they tell or that they create, they become infinitely more valuable to us. Augie for example came from a big farm out West, from a farmer whose family had owned the land for generations, but who was forced to sell up due to the drought and move to a lovely home in Buderim. It has more character in it’s faded branding than anything that comes in a box...or worse...plastic.
For Noosa Eco Retreat, it’s good to know that repurposing will be a key element in its development and also ongoing operation. We are doing our little bit for the planet, and helping to stay true to our ethical values for nature preservation. It’s a win all round...especially if our creativity gets a workout too!