Collecting Repurposed Materials

Collecting Repurposed Materials

We have a mini-collection of repurposed materials, and this coming week we’ll be adding to that collection if everything goes as planned. I always need to hold onto plans loosely since free or inexpensive materials tend to go very quickly. I’m a member of Freecycle and at any given time a product being given away might be claimed by someone who lives closer than I do, or can go and swoop it up quicker than I can even get in my car!

Freecycle, the free section on Craigslist, and even Facebook Marketplace has been instrumental in collecting needed materials.

Back when we first moved to New Mexico in 2008, we came with only the clothes on our backs. We needed beds, furniture, cooking supplies, clothing, rugs and more. Everything we needed was found on Freecycle or Craigslist. We rebuilt our lives utilizing those two resources. I still have some of the things acquired on Freecycle or from Thrift Shops because their sentimental value far outweighs their real value.

Part of the structure we’re building contains a lean-to greenhouse that will go the full length of the structure on the south side. Our original plan was to frame it out and use greenhouse plastic, but we might actually be acquiring large windows for it! This was such an exciting find. If my plans fall through for picking up these windows, we’ll just use greenhouse plastic.

The reason for the lean-to greenhouse is to house our kitchen and bathroom. Because of my mold allergies, it never fails that a leak of some sort can develop when there’s indoor plumbing. Building a kitchen and bathroom outside the actual structure, yet still a part of it will help keep the structure free of all water damage unless that damage comes from a roof leak.

We have three heavy duty metal and glass doors we brought with us from West Virginia. Dom collected them from an old job site. Two will be used on the east and western sides of the greenhouse, and the third one will be located where the coffee roastery will be built on the eastern side of the structure.

We also have an old short water heater, which we’re thinking will be used to create a rocket stove mass water heater. Geoff Lawton has a video on how it works if you’d like to watch!

Adventures in Pallet Land

We spent the whole day in pallet land. Wait, let me back up a bit, first, lets start with yesterday. I was perusing craigslist yesterday (one of my favorite places to shop since I hate going to the store…ANY STORE OR MALL!) and came across a rabbitry for sale. What intrigued me about the ad was the it was only for $75 bucks (no pun intended). So I emailed him and he got back to me with the dimensions…4’x8′ rabbitry. Wow, really? So we rented a uhaul trailer and decided that since we had it, it would be a good day to pick up pallets. When we got to the house, I was impressed with how clean the rabbitry was. It was a bit weathered and would need a new roof, but Dom asked if $60 would be okay and the man agreed (Thanks Mike!). The extra cash paid for some gas for the upcoming marathon of traveling from business to business trying to score some intact wooden pallets. We brought the rabbitry home, unloaded it, and headed back up to Albuquerque for the pallets. One place was a bust, the second place was okay, but the third place we went…we really hit the jackpot! We’ll be going back to this particular place because their whole property was LOADED with intact beautifully strong wooden pallets. You’re next question might be, “What the hell do you want those for!” Well, we’ll be creating our main outdoor garden (we’ll also have an aquaponic garden in the greenhouse) comprised of many raised garden beds. The area we’ll be putting them is approximately 30’x60′ which turns out to be 1800 square feet. The beds will be 4′ W x8′ L x 3′ H and some may be smaller. The slats on the pallets will be filled in and to show a sample of what can be done with pallets in the garden, here is something I found online:
While the beds won’t be configured this way, it does show what can be done with pallets. We have four piles of compost made and we’re going to need a LOT more than that for this undertaking.

I was inspired by a youtube member that had all his raised beds in his front yard. His name is John at Growing your greens.com and his layout really got me thinking about how to best configure our beds. The location for this garden is on the north west corner of our property.

Here is his video if you’d like a shot of his garden:

We filled the whole trailer top to bottom with pallets and then Dom got all pallet greedy and wanted to go back tomorrow for more. We can’t do that, we need to get the angora rabbitry roof done tomorrow on his day off and more fall clean up around the property.

The other things that can be made with pallets and we WILL be making with pallets are:

  • The foundation and storage area for the Utility kitchen
  • A few dressers
  • Top bar beehives for the spring
  • A platform for our slaughter station
  • Containers to hold our Avocado trees
  • Our first humanure station

On a more serious note, we’ll be taking down two drakes on Tuesday of next week. Stay tuned for our first slaughter. I hope it will be done as quickly and humanely as possible. Its very important to us to get it right the very first time.

The Park, Project Overload and Time to Ponder…

Yesterday I don’t know what got into me, but I decided to take Simone to the park.
I know to some reading this, you may be thinking, “yeah, so? I take my kid to the park all the time!” Well, this child of mine has multiple life threatening food allergies.

We’ve taken her to places where kids hang out, and the result is always the same…some sort of bad allergic reaction just from touching things that other children touched after eating and NOT washing their hands.

The biggest culprit is peanut butter. Peanut butter residue does not come off easily. We can never take her to a McDonalds to go into the kid play area either.

Soy oil has the same affect on Simmi as peanuts, peanut oil and so on.

Anyway, I want to take her to the park more than once every year, and yesterday she was in her glory. She loved going on the slide over and over again. Then it happened, she started breaking out really bad. At first I thought to myself, wow, I found a place I can take her to each morning and she’ll have so much fun!

Then my optimism turned to doubt and fear as I watched her face and body start to break out. Within 45 minutes she had hives, was itching and scratching and finally I said, “are you ready to go home” and that little cutie pie picked up her things and started running for the car.

She was in pain. The poor little thing was scratching and ripping at her skin. She wants to go again to “special” (I told her we were going to a special place, so she just settled for special as the name) after her boo boo’s went away. I feel torn taking her to these places when I know the outcome is horrible for her. But I need to try too, because I can’t keep her in a bubble.

She usually needs to be holding something in her hands, today it was “raffie” and he accompanied Simmi on the slide over and over…till it hurt.

I’m glad we waited to allow her to go to school this year.

She is far too vulnerable since she can not say anything more than “boo boo” when she gets hurt.

Sometimes she can’t even tell us where the boo boo is.

That can be scary, especially if she were to eat something that could kill her.

All is well now, her rashes have subsided and she is once again ready for an adventure.

Last night Dom took her for a ride down the block to our neighbor’s house and Simmi got to ride a horse for the first time. I wish I was there to see it! Next time I’ll get pictures.

I feel like I’m on overload right now.

I know Dom feels the same way.

We have so many projects going on all at the same time, that sometimes it feels like I can’t catch my breath!

These are the projects going on right now:

  • Dom’s in the middle of building the rabbitry (it looks kick ass!)
  • The pond still needs to be finished- 50% complete
  • The duck house needs to be constructed
  • We’re exploring all our options for building our bio-dome greenhouse
  • The utility kitchen is being painted and items for the kitchen are still being collected
  • Dom brined 40lbs of cucumbers that will sit in a large pot for three weeks.
  • Dining room is somewhere on our agenda to complete before the holidays

One more big project that is looming in the back of my mind, is a new website we’ll be unveiling next year sometime.

While Simone was playing and having fun yesterday, I was pondering how this new website would function.

I purchased the domain name yesterday, but it will be a while before we unveil it…just know its all about food!

We have animals to buy, more structures like the animal shelters and adobe bread ovens to build before we can even launch the site. It will be quite a unique website with instructions, video, recipes and going where we haven’t seen any foodie go before…we are super excited about it.