The Shower Tractor

No, not a diesel-powered agricultural behemoth with a bathroom behind the cabin. This is much simpler; a portable shower which can be easily moved to water the garden wherever it’s needed. Our small 1-acre property, which gets around 800mm rain each year, often benefits from a little extra water during dry spells. Some extra water will mean plants will continue growing which would otherwise become dried hay-like lifeless husks. Adding rain tanks for garden use would be expensive while the perfect untapped (pardon the pun) resource of greywater is available in abundance.

The benefit of moving the bathroom, rather than piping the greywater to the garden is simplicity. Our bath water is electrically pumped to our garden (the garden is uphill of our bath) and our shower greywater plumbing is inaccessible inside the house concrete slab. Thus it is easier for us to make another shower (using a garden hose and hand sprinkler) than to replumb the indoor shower greywater. Discarded plastic billboard fabric and fencing mesh make a simple lightweight shower cubicle (actually shower spiral) giving enough space for dressing and showering.

The whole structure can be easily rolled around the garden or lifted by one person and moved. Warm water comes from the laundry taps (we have solar hot water for the house) and a garden hose does the job of getting the water to wherever the shower is. Now it’s possible to tractor our shower around the garden to deliver water wherever it’s needed. A few days on one spot and the ground becomes soft, then a short move uphill and dig a small garden bed. A few more showers and the plants in the new garden bed downhill are watered in. Move the shower to a new location and make another garden bed. Any beds looking dry can benefit from a temporary visit of the shower uphill of the bed.

Now we can shower tractor across our lawn converting it to garden beds. In our case pumpkins, which suppress the grass, make satisfying roast vegetables, and mean less mowing. Maybe next we’ll add a seaweed and basalt dust body scrub dispenser. That way we can make new garden beds, exfoliate, remineralize the soil, and water all at the same time.

How to build a Shower Tractor

Roll it into position.
The fencing mesh is held in a spiral at top and bottom by wooden supports.
The top support also holds the shower head. In this case an old hand sprinkler.
Shower in place establishing pumpkins downhill. Once established the pumpkins will expand out across the lawn.

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