Forward Thinking

Forward Thinking

Growth Strategies

With recycled pallets providing extra value and pallet wrap going beyond its everyday use this innovative approach to native seedling propagation is growing strong.

A garden tower of pallet power in Central Otago

Wilding & Co are a forward-thinking company in Central Otago who have found success converting the invasive wilding pines into essential oils.

Owner Michael Sly wanted to find a way to replace the 30,000 pines used so far in his products with 30,000 native seedlings. His mindset of converting pests into products delivered not just the popular oils but also an innovative new compost approach. Distilled needle pine chips combined with household and restaurant food scraps to create the perfect soil for propagating and growing new natives. 

However Sly was stuck trying to find the best way to plant and protect the precious seedlings.

That was until he came across a large pile of unused pallets and, with a clever stack process and the help of some handy wrap, got to work building a vertical grow space. His prototype now houses close to 100 native seedlings and, when fully grown, each ‘eco pallet’ is simply placed in a suitable position out in the wild. As the pallet suppresses everything underneath the natives get a perfect head start in what Sly calls “a prefabricated one square metre of wilderness. 

The Queenstown environmental entrepreneur has also been experimenting with other harvests in the pallet stacks, growing basil outside despite the arrival of the infamous southern frosts.

As we emerge from Covid-19 it’s this type of outside-the-box, inside-the-pallet thinking that need celebrating. We can’t wait to see more of them!

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