Country Living & Penny Pinching

Getting back to "Little House on the Prairie" living

Tag: fun

Becoming A Wood Hoarder

When starting to do any projects around the homestead wood is almost the number one material and that material is soooooo expensive. So when we moved out here I started thinking of all of the cool projects to do but instead ran into a really big materials bill. So….onto the internet I went trying to find something that could help. Have you heard of Craigslist?

Now, Craigslist and me are tight. I LOVE shopping on Craigslist. Almost everything I get rid of goes on Craigslist. If you too love Craigslist or are thinking of trying it, make sure to be safe and bring someone with you. I have multiple saved searches on Craigslist that send me emails when someone posts about it.  Very cool feature. Well, wood is one of my saved searches. Let me rephrase, FREE wood with in a fifteen mile radius from me. Most posts are a few pallets, some scraps from someone else’s project, or broken down fences. Although, every once in a while someone posts a BUTTLOAD of wood.

Most often I don’t have the Hubby’s truck so I have to pass, but one day the stars aligned and my wish was granted. I had the Hubby’s truck, the Hubby, and a post showing a butt load of wood only minutes from our house. After loading up the Littles we went to go get it. Now not all of this wood was usable but the polite thing to do was take the bad with the good. The couple that had hoarded acquired all of this wood was so ready to get rid of it that they let us load up their truck too and followed us back home so it could be done in one trip. After we dumped the wood in our driveway it became an instant eye sore to the Hubby.

Now you can see why. 1/4 of it became fire wood, 1/4 went in the dumpster, and the other half was definitely salvageable. Then about a month later we re-purposed an old shed into a working chicken coop and all that extra wood went to a special place. That’s right, my wood pile!

I love my Costco hat. Not super flattering but this hat stays on and gives me plenty of shade 🙂

The Hubby was again not pleased because the pile kept growing and it was the first thing he saw when getting home. Also it was a bit of a hazard to the Littles because most of the wood was filled with nails or screws. So most of the afternoons were spent ripping out nails and having the Littles gather them up in a tin can. Don’t worry they had to wear their gardening gloves when helping.

Now it became a bigger priority with so much wood there. So another month and a half later the Littles and I finally moved the last piece out of the driveway and up against the fire-place from the abandoned foundation. **Our first choice of where to put the wood was under our patio cover until a friend told me about black widows liking wood, and if it was up against the house then that would be an easy way for them to get in the house. YUCK!!! Just FYI**



I don’t know about you but this beautiful wood pile makes me super happy. It just screams “Build Something!” Now we just need power tools of our own to actually make the things I’ve pinned all over my Pinterest. Feel free to hop on over to my Pinterest account and check out some of them.

Stay tuned for those projects and let me know if, what, and how you became a hoarder?


Lessons From a First Time Gardener

 1. Research all of your options

I knew about raised beds and the old fashioned method, straight in the ground. There are many more ways than those. Permaculture, square foot gardening, containers (even for the big stuff), etc. different methods are everywhere. I will be implementing permaculture and square foot gardening next. They are opposites but I want to experience both to see which one is better and why.

straight in the ground and a short fence

straight in the ground and a short fence

2. Observe the wildlife

Look at all of the creatures of the sky and ground. Will you need a scarecrow, rubber snakes, gopher wire, short fence, tall fence, or no fence? I know its awful to wait but even watching your land for a week or two will give you some insight on the best ways to protect your garden.

3. Ask around

Good neighbors love to help. Some might even have extra materials to have/borrow. Now don’t get me wrong, all neighbors love to give advice but be wary of the naysayers who tried once and failed. They will have advice but it may only be what NOT to do. No matter what don’t poo-poo what the neighbors have to say.

4. Prepare the soil with out breaking the bank

According to experts my garden was not going to do well. The pH levels weren’t just right, the soil was on clay-y side, i had quite a few little rocks mixed in, and I did not perfectly measure out the fertilizer. Making everything ideal would have cost WAY TOO MUCH money. Just get out there, do your best with what you have, and there is always next year. My crops could have been much bigger if I had used the chemical fertilizer but we don’t want to use chemicals so we suffered through a smaller crop and learned more this year that should allow a bigger harvest next year.

5. Plant a garden for the Littles

Keeping kids out of a fenced garden is quite difficult unless…they have their own space. Giving kids their own garden responsibilities makes them feel good about themselves and helps them not step on your precious plants. I do recommend getting the dollar store fences to place around their garden so they know the borders and the house pets and even littler Littles don’t walk in the garden.