I had a wild idea the other day. I have a 24' round pool (about 4-5ft deep), around 13k gallons of water, that is a mini-job during the summer months. I was thinking of getting rid of it, either by selling/giving it away (it came with the house) or recycling it.
Over dinner with friends, we were discussing the book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" and about becoming localvores and growing our own food. I started talking about the pool, and how if it's gone there is going to be a large hole (about 1ft deep) of dead soil under it that I would have to repair if I wanted to plant a garden. Then it hit me, why not turn it into a raised bed as is?
If I cut a 15ft diameter circle out of the vinyl liner, haul in some top soil/compost/manure and fill it to the top, it would be an awesome garden. With a gate right off the the deck, easy access. Should be plenty of area to feed a family.
The stopping thought was the stress on the walls. Soil is going to be heavier than water, and it will expand during the winter, though I leave the pool filled/covered for the winter with an ice compensator. Could plant a barrel or two in the center so the ice has something to squish. Or a foot or two high reinforced concrete wall around the outside to keep the walls from pushing out... it's the engineering that is the stumbling block.
First, I went to an event just a few days ago where Barbara Kingsolver read a few bits from that book. I wanted to holler out and .... um ..... ammend ... a few things she was saying - but I figured that that wasn't my show and I need to keep my pie hole shut.
Nice show though. There were probably 300 people there.
Soil is going to weigh about the same as water. Even when wet. Water is pretty heavy stuff. The trick is that those pools work on the idea of one continuous piece of fabric. You probably won't be able to put in a drain hole.
Something that would be fun would be to raise fish ....
Okay .... throwing out the idea about the fish ....
Let me gather some more information ...
What kind of soil is under the pool? Granted, it is sterile now - but was it soil at one point? Sandy? Clay? How deep to the subsoil? What is your subsoil like?
Do you have a rototiller or other power digging equipment?
If you were going to keep the pool and fill it, what would you fill it with? Where would you get it?
If you were to sell the pool, how much would you get for it?
I'm thinking along the lines of building raised beds that are easier to get to .... most crops have shallow roots - so the extra depth won't get you much. It may turn out to be far cheaper to have something more along the lines of something you would REALLY like, as opposed to something that might only last five years and might start to seem .... less than natural.