Penny Pinching Peach


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Upcycled Trellises for Gardening

Stroller Trellis
Stroller Trellis

Being a penny pincher who was raised homesteading and upcycling before it was the “in” thing to do, recycling unused items for my garden is like breathing.

*May contain affiliate links,  which help my little family without costing yours any extra money. *

Broken Stroller Trellis

Broken Stroller Trellis

When my cucumbers started getting out of control, it never occurred to me to go buy something to use as trellises. My first instinct was to scour our property for things to be used. I have used pieces of leftover fencing, unused animal cages, tree limbs rigged up and many other myriad random objects to trellis or stake plants with. This year my objects were a wee bit on the creative side.

Order non GMO seeds and supplies using the coupon code SAVE10NOW for 10% off at SeedsNow!

Have you ever used a baby stroller as a plant trellis?

 

It works great! We had this ancient stroller left outside on our property by a former resident and beyond safe use for it’s original purpose. We’d never bothered to haul it off, so I rolled it’s wobbling wheels on over to the end of my garden and started encouraging my cucumbers to climb. The photos illustrate the interesting results. My daughter loves it. She says our cucumbers are babies with their own baby carriage, and is eager to show off her baby cucumbers to anyone who may happen to be around. 🙂

Trellis From Yard Objects

Trellis From Yard Objects

You thought I was finished? I wasn’t done upcycling yet!

I needed more than what the rickety stroller could handle on it’s own, so I went a-searching again. I came up with a couple of leftover pieces of plastic yard edging, barely visible in the picture, and a black metal decorative tower thingamajigger. They both work well for the purpose, as you can see from their barely visible appearance in the featured snapshots.

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

What items have you upcycled, recycled or reused to trellis your trailing plants in the garden?

In the spirit of sharing, this Kindle book The Upcycled Garden shares over 50 ways to use “discarded” items in new ways for your garden. Check it out!

For one of my favorite gardening tips, please read about my topsy turvy planters I made with my husband.

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Chickens on the Cheap, Part 1

Chickies!

Chickens on the cheep, cheep, cheep! Raising chickens on a budget on your back yard homestead!

This post is from a couple of Easters ago. I don’t advocate chicks as gift “just for Easter”, but this worked out perfectly for us because we did want the feathered friends as egg laying adults. 🙂

We got five fluffy baby pullet chicks this spring!

Our daughter was thrilled, I was excited to have chickens for the first time in years and years, and my husband was fascinated by the whole process of raising a farm type critter. This was a new adventure for our little family!

Alot of folks get those cute Easter chicks without a clue or thought of what to do with them.

I got my hens as chicks so they would be friendly backyard pets. I chose the breeds for the dual purpose of being pets and good egg layers. We got three Barred Rock hens because they are both calm and very productive layers. We got two Aracauna hens because they lay Easter egg colored eggs and are moderately high producers.

We had a chicken house that we found on an online yardsale set up in our back yard before we brought them home, although they had to stay in a big box under a heat lamp inside for a few weeks. We had fencing materials and a plan for making a ramp down from the coop into the little pen, which my hubby did for me when the chicks were big enough to need the space. If you want chickens yourself, do your research, make your plans for their long term care and prepare yourself before you bring them home!

Feeding chickens could add up to a huge expense if you don’t do it correctly!

For us, we spend about $12 on a bag of feed for our hens and it lasts about six weeks for our five chickens now that they’re full sized “teenagers”. However, the reason it lasts is because I save scraps for them every day, and have our 3 year old give them their scraps before I pour their feed in. We save things like the chopped up odds & ends from fruits and veggies, stale bread, crushed cereal leftovers, leftover plain pasta pieces, and anything else chickie friendly to chop up for them to gobble up. We also have a compost pile my husband and daughter sometimes dig up worms from to feed to them, and the two of them like to turn over large rocks and boards to collect grubs and worms to feed the feathered fowl as treats. These “extras” not only save us money on their feed bill, but it keeps them much healthier.

Chicks and Princess Peach

Chickies and Chica

Another thing I am doing for the chickens is saving up eggshells, letting them air dry, and crushing them into powder. I let my little girl crush them in a plastic bag with a cup as much as she wants, then I grind them the rest of the way into powder. I’ll be adding this to my hen feed as soon as they start laying eggs, as it is a cheap way to help them get their calcium. They’re due to start laying…well….any time in the next month or so, really. 🙂

A misconception alot of folks have that surprises me every time is that you need a rooster so the hens can lay eggs. You don’t. You only need a rooster if you want the eggs to be fertilized so you can hatch your own chicks. A rooster in the back yard would be loud and obnoxious. Hens are pretty quiet, just clucking most of the time with an occasional cackle, and are actually less likely to disturb anyone than having a cat. My mom got our first hens while we were living in a subdivision, and all three of the neighbors connected to our back yard loved them!

You don’t need alot of time, space or money to keep a few laying hens.

Teenaged chickies getting scraps.

“Teenaged” chickies getting scraps.

Just do your homework and prepare yourself before you bring them home, and you’ll do just fine. They’re cute, fun, teach kiddos responsibility, and the fresh home laid eggs are absolutely amazing and healthy. I loved raising chickens when I was growing up, and am thrilled to be able to share that with my munchkins now.

Is anyone else doing some backyard (or full scale) homesteading? You might be interested in my creative hanging planters!


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Let’s Celebrate Food Day!!!

Garden Fresh Jalapenos

Garden Fresh Jalapenos

You love food, I love food, we all love food! I mean, who can help it? We’ve all gotta eat! October 24th is an extra special day in the world of food. It’s not only the official celebration of Food Day, but also the birthday of one of my all-time favorite food lovers- my dear ol’ Dad! It’s only fitting that he was born on the day we celebrate one of his most beloved things (other than his darling children, of course! 😉 ). He sure loves himself some good vittles! Love you and a big happy birthday holler, Daddy!

Food Day isn’t just about any food. It’s about making an effort to eat real, healthy food and about the people who work hard to make sure these choices are readily available. It’s about encouraging families to choose more natural and less processed. According to http://www.foodday.org : In 2014, Food Day will have a special focus on food access and justice for food and farm workers.

Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeno Poppers

I just finally got my late autumn garden of kale, broccoli and butter lettuce planted a couple of days ago to give us a continued supply of some fresh healthy green veggies for a couple more months while produce is getting more and more expensive. I wanted to plant spinach, too, but I waited too long to start the seeds and couldn’t find the plants anywhere locally. I’d love to have more in, but life interfered with my larger plans for this year. The only thing still producing well from my summer garden is the jalapenos you see pictured. They are doing amazingly well! 🙂 If you want to know how I made those yummy unfried poppers in the picture, just click the photo for instructions.

What are you doing to make healthy food choices for your family? How knowledgeable do you think you are about things related to the growth and production of the food we eat? Take this quiz, and let me know how you did! http://www.foodday.org/food_literacy_quiz I took it, and got 12 out of 15 right. A couple of my wrong answers surprised me! Can you outdo me?

The friendly face of Food Day. Happy birthday, Dad! :)

The friendly face of Food Day. Happy birthday, Dad! 🙂


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Canny Canning

Canny Canning

Canny Canning

Most folks who are avid canners also appreciate the art of saving a buck. I have gathered together a few ways for myself and other savvy food savers to preserve their food and pennies at the same time. Read ’em and whistle! 😉

Outdoor Cooking is running a special through August 18, 2014, giving you 20% off of canning stoves and canning supplies when using the code CANNING14. This code only applies to items in the Home Canning category, but it is a fantastic savings!

Amazon has some wonderful bargains on canning items right now, as well, such as this less than half price Granite Ware Water Bath Canner and this Back to Basics 286 5-Piece Home Canning Kit at 35% off and a Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker at 29% off!!

Ball has a coupon for 10% off using the coupon code C88367. If you need me to explain who they are, you probably have never seen a shiny new mason jar in real life! 🙂

I found something that says you can get a free jar scraper with any online order from  Canning Supply using the code CS2013JS or a free set of four wooden corn on the cob holders with any online order using the code CSS812A.

Please note that I haven’t used any of these bargains. I discovered all of them through sources I have found accurate and useful in the past, so I have every reason to believe that they are valid, but I certainly can’t guarantee anything without having used them myself. Please let me know if you try them out!

 

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”