Early harvesting season is upon us and a new tool for the garden was needed; a garden washing station. Up until now, I have always harvested and lugged everything into my kitchen to wash and prepare for storage, canning or fresh eating. But oh, what a mess!!! (And, cleaning is my least favorite chore, so something had to be done!)
Problem, Meet Solution – Garden Washing Station
I wanted to have an efficient way of washing my harvest right in the garden as well as saving the water that I use to do so. The garden washing station, as I designed it to fit my needs, will do all of this. It can even move from one garden spot to another… which I love, because I have multiple garden areas around my property.
Digging for Supplies
The first thing that I did, was to dig through our excess supplies to see what was available for use. This is always my first stop because A) I hate waste and B) I hate spending money unnecessarily! We had a 5′ piece of rabbit wire left over as well as enough scrap wood to handle the whole thing. The only other supplies that I used were things that we always have on hand; 3″ screws, self tapping screws and staples. My impact drill and miter saw are my best friends in the shop and I wear them out!!
Step 1 – The Design and Initial Frame
With all of my scraps in line, I was able to narrow down my specific plan. I built a rectangular frame from 2x4s for the top then I cut 4 legs and attached them. A 36 inch high top is a good fit for me. I do enough bending in the garden, It’s nice to be able to stand straight up for some of my process.
Step 2 – The Washing Station Work Top
Once the legs were attached, I was able to work standing up. I wanted one end of my garden washing station to be somewhat of a work top / cutting board. I attached a piece of 2x4 to be a separator between the two sides. On the worktop side, I planned to use pieces of 2x lumber laid flat. To make it sturdy and secure, I installed 2x2s to act as a ledge on which the top boards could rest.
Step 3 – Adding the Washing Screen
On the ‘washing’ end, I used an air stapler to attach the rabbit wire. I wanted it to ‘sag’ a little kind of like a bowl so that it will hold onto my veggies as I wash them. In order to make that happen, I had to do some pressing and pushing and then a little bit of folding on the corners. That was a particularly important detail to address my needs.
Step 4 – Water Catchment
With the upper portion complete, I added a couple of boards between the legs, down low, to maintain rigidity as I move it around. Then the last step was to add a water catch underneath the worktop. We had some leftover pieces of roofing tin that would work perfectly. We attached them to 2 long 2x2s using self tapping screws with wide, washer-like heads and then attached the 2x2s to the inside of the legs with enough fall to allow the water to roll off to one side and into a bucket or bin…whatever happens to be available at the time!
Trash to Treasure
And there you have it. My Garden Washing Station was super simple and quick to build, it didn’t cost me a dime and it works so well!! It is pretty lightweight but also a little cumbersome due to it’s length so I will probably add wheels to one end in the future so that I can move it without assistance. I will probably also add a little paint on one of these upcoming days when I can take a few minutes out, but for now usability is my goal!
I would certainly love to hear (and maybe even see pictures) of what everyone else uses to wash their harvest! I’m sure there are lots of great ideas out there!
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