5_ The ModBOX giveth

Final Chapter

An outdoor project is a magnet for life. We’re not just talking about the pumpkins growing in your new garden bed. Once you put in your herbs, your sandpit, your worm station or your bench, you’ll find yourself out in the fresh air more and more, gardening, harvesting, eating, reading and watching. Friends and kids, butterflies and rosellas – life will slowly but steadily gravitate to your little patch of nature. Your first ModBOX is the thin edge of the wedge – we’re sure you’ll find that, like the Barettas, you’ll soon be addicted to life outdoors, in the garden, amongst the herbs and the vines.


4_ The DIY kit


ModLock - Interlocking System

ModLock – Interlocking System

Chapter 4

There’s nothing like the satisfaction of building something with your own hands. It’s one of the reasons we got started with this whole business. But we’re not greedy – we want you to get some of that satisfaction. We’ll cut the planks perfectly to size, we’ll ship it to your front door, we’ll give you a guide to putting them together, but the rest is up to you. The ModBOX is your project as much as it’s ours.

And there are dozens of projects this box can be part of: Raised garden beds for herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers and strawberries, garden benches surrounded by flowerbeds, sand pits for the kids, cascading retaining walls. Grow banana passionfruit vines all along the back fence, coriander around a tricky corner, basil beside the back steps. Add wheels, worm stations and wicking systems to turn your front yard into a permacultural paradise. We’ll give you the tools, and even some inspiration – all you need is the idea.

3_ The Workshop


Chapter 3

From the sawmill our timber finds its way, down south, across the Murray, through bustling Melbourne and down to our Hastings workshop, tucked away on the scenic Mornington Peninsula. Like raw blocks of marble hewn from the Italian alps our thick-cut beams of Murray Pine are hauled onto the shop floor overflowing with potential, waiting for human hands to draw it out. That’s where engineer, Marco Baretta comes in.

Marco comes from a long line of gardeners, craftsmen, experimenters and innovators. He’s also an Italian. A proper Italian. A born-in-Italy kind of Italian. For hundreds of years, the Baretta family have cultivated and cared for a sprawling veggie garden and enormous orchard on their country property outside Turin in Piedmont, northern Italy. For generations the Barettas spent every moment they could outdoors, in the garden, tending to their tomatoes, zucchini, basil and pumpkins, building new wings for the homestead, and feasting on home-grown produce with the family on warm summer nights. Outdoor living is in Marco’s genes. Bringing this lifestyle to the empty patios and barren backyards of Australia is Marco’s calling.

Marco’s ingeniously simple idea for making that happen is the ModBOX. From our beautiful hunks of Murray Pine, Marco carefully cuts his design for totally modular, interlocking planks. With laser-precision he drills holes and cuts his cleverly designed locks into the ends of each part. Once a set is cut, the pieces snap effortlessly together in any shape, any configuration, and combination you can imagine…

Marco Baretta Founder and Engineer

Marco Baretta Founder and Engineer


Giorgio Baretta Great-grandfather – 1892

Workers at the Baretta's farm

Workers at the Baretta’s Farm

2_ The Mill

The Mill



Mill Truck



Chapter 2

We’ve spent the last 3 years searching for the best sawmills in the country, and we think we’ve found a winner. Our Murray Pine is exclusively sourced from a family-owned and operated sawmill buried deep in central New South Wales.

Since the early 1970s, the Grants have run the Ganmain Sawmill in Narrandera, on the Murrumbidgee, to the west of Wagga Wagga. A decade later they took charge of a second mill in Condobolin, close to Parkes in Central NSW. Both mills produce the some of the finest quality of Murray Pine timber we’ve seen. From majestic, deep-rooted pine to strong, raw, beautiful beams, the Grants are master craftsmen.

1_ The Tree


Chapter 1

From the sandhills of the Murray River, up through Western New South Wales and into Southern Queensland, the Australian Cypress (or White Cypress), botanical name Callitris Glaucophilla, slowly and quietly grows. Their grey-green foliage and furrowed, grey bark has been part of the landscape for ten thousand years. Over that time these hardy trees have adapted perfectly to hot, dry conditions, its roots plunging deep into the soil to find moisture far below the surface. Since people first discovered the Australian Cypress it’s been highly prized. Australian Aborigines used its resins as adhesives, its bark to craft fibres. European settlers quickly fell in love with the trees too: its honey coloured timber, its fresh, lemony-pine aroma, its incredible durability, even in harsh Australian conditions. Today the Australian Cypress is renowned the world over as a premium Australian timber. A tree this good doesn’t grow overnight. It can take a whole generation for a young pine to mature -this is not the stuff of slash-and-burn commercial plantations, but patient, careful forestry. When the Australian Cypress finally does come to the end of its quiet percolations, the result is a simply sublime tree, one that naturally repels termites and shuns rot, one that yields timber so hardy that chemical treatments are useless, one that does not shrink or decay in the soil, one that lasts decades upon decades, looks spectacular, and smells even better – in other words, every bit a tree worth waiting for.

Murray Pine Cypress

Australian (White) Cypress (Callitris  Glaucophilla)

Cypress Pine Foresters

Australian Cypress Foresters