Sharing the Cornerstones of homesteading and good farm living.

Index

Being a homesteader, whether it's natural or otherwise, is generally a means of becoming self sufficient or a means of living a "better" life by eating or living healthier.  Also included in many homesteaders definition of what they do you will find "Lessening our impact on the world around us."  Recycling, reusing or repurposing accomplishes many things towards both lessening our impact on the world around us and saving money at the same time. 

Here are some of our repurposed items we have made (and how we made them) along with some that I found to be quite interesting and would like to try someday.

Goat feeders from an old baby crib

Goat feeders from barrels

Kid (the Goat kind) sweaters from old human sweaters

Mittens From an old sweater

Thermal Curtains  from old blankets and sheets

Rabbit Cages from a discarded wooden display rack

Pallets

back to contents

Thermal Curtains

I used sheets and blankets purchased VERY inexpensively at the thrift stores to make these.  This can also be used to repurpose frayed, holey, stained or threadbare sheets and blankets.  (PICTURES COMING SOON)

  1.  Measure the window(s) to cover and add about 4 inches to both the length and the width to allow for overhang.
  2. Choose either store bought material or as I did, sheets from the thrift stores.  It takes a while to find colors to my liking, but every time I found something I'd scoop it up!  Flat, not fitted, work the best although I did use some king fitted I found and they were big enough.  For each window I selected a white or off white sheet, a patterned or colored sheet and one blanket.  The color, pattern and type not too important for the blanket, however with thin light colored sheets the pattern will show through during the daylight.  Flat twin sheets and twin blankets were big enough to do my biggest windows.
  3. Prepare the fabrics by cutting to size (add an adequate amount to your measurements from step one to allow for the hem). 
  4. Use the trimmings to make a "tie backs" for your curtains.  Depending on the length of your curtains, two strips about 24"X3" per tie back should do it.  I used two tie-backs per 43" window and three for an 83" window.  Place the strips face to face and sew both long sides and one short side.  Use a broom handle to turn the strip "right side out" and carefully sew up the open end. 
  5. Layer the curtain materials thusly:  A) Place one sheet FACE UP on your floor or other work surface.  B) Fold the tie backs you made in half and place on the sheet with the fold to the top.  C) Lay the second sheet face down on the first sheet and tiebacks.  The two colored sheets should  be face to face (both the sides that will be the outside of the curtain should be touching).   D) On top of these place the blanket which will be the inner "thermal" part of the curtain. E) Pin or otherwise attach these three together to avoid slipping/moving while stitching.
  6. Sew together three full sides (I do the two sides and the top) and then about all but 12" of the last(bottom) side. 
  7. Turn the entire curtain right side out through the unsewn hole.  
  8. Hand sew the opening left. 

NOTE:  There are a multitude of ways you can then hang your curtain.  I decided I would just put nails into the fabric and nailed it right up.  But remember I have log walls!!  I think you could very easily make loops in a way similar to the way the tiebacks were made.  But instead of placing your strips (which could be made much shorter than the tiebacks) with the fold at the top, put the fold facing "down".  Perhaps one loop every   4-6" would suffice?  I might have to try that myself.    I have seen some tutorials have shade draws, but I'm just not that creative or talented so went as simple as possible. 

back to "recycle, reduce, reuse"

Mittens.....

Coming soon.

back to index

Goat feeders.....(baby crib)

 We found this metal baby crib at the thrift store.  All four sides (but NOT the bottom which had "dangerous" size holes) make great feeders. We used a type of conduit clamp on the bottom and used wire (2x4 hole size garden fence) cut to size to keep hay falling out the sides.  A wire attached to the top rail and then to the mounting surface (i.e. the wall) hold the feeder at the angle that works best for us.  It also helps to reduce waste if you use the same 2x4 garden fencing to line the inside of the feeder.  

 

 back to index

Goat feeders.....(barrels)

Scroll through....we made a few attempts here.  

 This was our first attempt making a keyhole barrel feeder.  We have horned goats so I thought using a 55 gallon barrel would work the best (besides it was what we had on hand!)  We still have this feeder mounted and in use in the barn, well at the time of this posting anyway.   It works well but there is still waste since we made the hole quite large.  I tend to hyper alert to "possible" injuries when it comes to the goats.  

 

Second attempt at goat feeders made from barrels.  These were actually my 2013 birthday present from my wonderful husband.  This time we used a 30 gallon barrel.  I like these much better since I don't fill them up to the top anyway, the 55 gallon barrels just seem to waste a bit more space. 

And attempt three....... I used cut down 2x4 fencing.  This  size fencing does seem to be a common theme when it comes to our goat feeders and this size works well to help reduce hay waste. There are actually three cut-out openings in the barrel.  I cut down a piece of fencing to size and then drilled tiny holes to allow me to run scrap pieces of electric fence wire through them and then twisted the two ends of this piece of wire on the inside of the barrel to hold on the fencing.  (Picture tying off the back and front of a quilt together with the little snipets of yarn.) So far this is my favorite.  I think we will be adding wire to all the keyhole feeders as well.  It is harder to reach in this feeder though and clean out the debris they won't eat, but I'll find a way to make it easy soon I'm sure! 

 Attempt four......We really like the size of these white barrels along with their sturdiness and how inexpensive they are.  Our next attempt just l entails putting nose size holes in the barrel itself. Imagine:  large round laundry basket?  

We added to "attempt four" and made it even better.  (We will be offering the style pictured below for sale)

 

back to index

Rabbit Cages

I had a chance to get a rose display rack from our local Tractor Supply.  I had hoped to put my current wire rabbit cages ON the shelves which would allow me to put them in a sheltered area outside during the hotter summer months. Well when I started to put a cage on it (which barely fit) I realized there would be no place for trays.  So that idea was out.  I then realized I coud make the entire rack INTO cages.  This is what we ended up with. 

We used scrap plywood and in the little nesting area there are leftover ceramic tiles for them to "rest" on. I did buy some of the wire and hardware (hinges, hooks and staples) but many of the boards we used were scraps. 

back to index

Goat sweaters.....

Sometimes I find it necessary to put a warm dry sweater on a few of our newborn goats.  What I have found to be the best is the sleeves from wool or wool blend sweaters.  I have also seen people use sweatshirts the same way.  They would probably fray less, but I like to wicking and warmth properties of wool personally.  Wool or high content wool sweaters are becoming harder and harder to find at the thrift stores unfortunately.  With the "left-over" sweater you can make a set of mittens!!

back to index

Special Announcements

 We are on Facebook.....drop by and say hi!    We also have a page dedicated just to our fainting goats....Fallen Angels Fainting Goats!

Thinking of stopping by?  Please check out our "Visitor Info" section.  Thank you!

See a problem with our site?  Can we do something to make it easier to browse?  Please let us know!!

NOTE: We seem to have continued issues with both our internal and external links.  Please let me know if you encounter such an issue and I will fix it as soon as possible.

Contests

CONTESTS

Current contest - FREE STUFF soaping give away!  Win either a place at one of our classes or if you are too far away to join us, win 8 bars of soap!   

Check out the contest by clicking HERE


Upcoming Events

No upcoming events

Farm Production Totals

Wow...I'm WAY behind in posting totals.  I guess 2017 will be a better year.  ;)

2017

(last update 6/22/17)

Meat: 0

Vegetables/fruits: 48#

Eggs (chicken only):  1038

Honey: 0

Maple Syrup: 0 (this year is a bust)

Fiber: 2.94 oz

Babies born/hatched: 97

Jars into the pantry (dehydrated and canned): 16

Milk: 20+ gallons (I haven't been keeping track very well!)

New Additions:  12


2015

 

(last update 10/31/15)

 

Meat: 362#

Vegetables/Fruit: 551.88#

Eggs: 1918

Honey: 28#

Maple Syrup:  2 gallons

Angora Fiber:

Babies Born/hatched:  157

Jars into the pantry: 113

Milk: 16 gallons

New additons:  60 (plus a nuc of bees)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014

Meat: 240#

Vegetables/Fruit: Didn't keep track

Eggs: 3348

Honey: 1 pint

Maple Syrup: None

Angora Fiber: 5 oz

Babies Born/hatched: 168

Jars into the pantry: 150

Milk: 5 gallons