Have You Taken a Farm Tour Lately?

Have You Taken a Farm Tour Lately? It’s Great Fun!

I think that Sean Zigmund and Cheyenne Miller are audacious. They have a few acres in upstate NY and they call it a farm. And you know what? It is a farm. These young people know how to work the land so that they are both producing and building soil for the years to come. On the day we visited Root N Roost Farm, they were busy processing duck, but Cheyenne took the time to show us around the farm. (Yes, we emailed ahead of time). On this small plot, they are producing enough to fill 15 CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) shares, in addition to stocking their farm stand and feeding themselves and their apprentices. And they are raising hens for eggs, and pigs, ducks, turkeys, and chicken for meat, and bees for honey and pollination.

Sean Zigmund

Cheyenne Miller

Their raised beds are built using hugelkultur and/or lasagna gardening. And they use hoop houses to extend their growing season (winter CSA shares are available). And if you think they couldn’t possibly fit one more thing on their land, you would be wrong. They recently built two small ponds!

Missing from the farm are tractors or even rototillers. All of the work is done by hand – well, the animals help work the land as well.

While “pretty” or “manicured” would probably not be apt descriptions of their farm, you could certainly ascribe the adjective “resourceful” to these farmers. Their outbuildings are built from pallets, and one of their coops is made from an old truck cap. Sean and Cheyenne know how to recycle or, I should say, upcycle. We’re not talking dog-patch, though. (That’s the probably not politically correct term we use for people whose property is littered with junk that they think they will some day use). No, Sean and Cheyenne put this rescued junk to good use.

As if they aren’t busy enough, they love what they are doing so much that they conduct classes to share their knowledge with others. While you may not live near Root N Roost, you live near a farm. Call them up; take a tour. You’ll learn something, and hopefully you’ll take home some fresh organic produce and eggs like we did.

300 x 250To learn how to build a garden that builds healthy soil, be sure to check out my eBook The Art of Gardening: Building Your SoilYou really can become a better gardener, and you really can grow healthy, nourishing produce. It’s all about the soil! Click here to buy now.

 

Glass Etching

etched glassI enjoy taking something that no longer has use and making it into “something else”. Old glass bottles, a little acid etching cream, and that “something else” can end up attractive. Here’s how I do it:Continue Reading

Christmas Ornaments From Aluminum Cans

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is making ornaments for friends and family. This year, I wanted to make the ornaments from something I had recycled. I thought that aluminum cans would be fun to use, but we do not buy anything in aluminum. I asked around and several friends quickly provided me with the raw material I needed. The cans are very easy to cut with regular scissors and after cutting, aren’t as sharp as I guessed they would be. For most of the ornaments, I lightly sanded the aluminum first because I preferred a toned down color. I played around with several shapes and used super glue to glue the shapes together as needed. I hope you enjoy my creations.

Aluminum Can Ornament

Aluminum Can Ornament

Shared at: Six Sisters Strut Your Stuff

Reusable Shopping Bag From Plastic Grocery Bags

I take reusable bags with me when I shop, so why does that pile of plastic bags behind my kitchen trash continue to grow?  I’m convinced that they are like rabbits and breed incessantly.  I am my mother’s daughter when it comes to throwing things that still have use in them into the garbage.  (Yes, I suppose I could recycle them). So I recently did some research on reusing bags and came up with a fun project.  I found a great video that gave instructions on fusing plastic bags into a fabric like material:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZPP2FYHiyc .  Using one of my cloth grocery bags as a template, I made a pattern out of newspaper and sewed my plastic fabric into a new bag.  It has the look and feel of leather!  I get asked how I made it almost every time I shop.

This reusable grocery bag is made with plastic bags that were fused together with an iron!I’ve been using the bag frequently for a few months now and it is holding up well.  If you search http://www.youtube.com there are many ideas for projects using the fused plastic.

Seed Starting Pots From Newspaper

I’ve begun to gather supplies I will need to start seeds for my garden.  Mike was busy yesterday hanging plant lights while I made little pots from newspaper.  I have some plastic starting trays, but not quite enough for the seeds I plan to start, so rather than purchase more plastic, I recycled newspaper into pots. I made 8 dozen pots in under an hour. Here’s how it’s done:Continue Reading