Wednesday, March 25, 2015

recycled , reused, and repurposed; projects on the homestead

Having fun making some improvements inside and out this  past week :) Our new hoop house is done! My folks were here to visit last week and helped put the plastic on.
 If you are interested in how to make your own hoop house be sure to check my next blog post! I will have a basic how to on how you can build your own!

Most everything in our home is second hand or recycled. Not only because we cant really afford new but because I find a total thrill in buying something used for a fraction of the cost(who doesn't love that rush! haha), and knowing that I am treading lighter on the earth buy reusing something is important to us.

Our hoop house is made with almost all recycled materials. The base and the plastic are the only two things we bought new.

RECYCLED items include:
wood for framing on walls, rustic wood on the outside, those super duper cool camper windows, the pvc conduit piping, the door... oh and those gorgeous gold ceramic pots ;)

I was also able to spruce things up inside the house ! I went shopping with my mom, and ya know when you go shopping with your mom, you naturally go to the thrift store and buy a light pistachio green retro couch ;) Got it for a steal and its in amazing condition!
My living room is quite dark ( I love earth tones,, browns etc, maybe a little too much,) so brining some color into the room and brightening it up was a great idea.....

The bluebird curtains are made from Old/Recycled sheets I scored at the goodwill. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them, I thought maybe some clothes for my little one. My mom mentioned that curtains would look cute, and she was right ;) I finished them up yesterday and they turned out lovely.
Stay tuned for the "How to build your own recycled hoophouse " blog.. I will need my husband to sit down and blog with me...
Hopefully we can find time in the next couple days to sit down and get that done..


The Cools

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Spring Awakening

I do believe spring is officially here ( and hope I don't kick myself for sayin so)! . Mother earth is waking from a long winters nap. The Maples are finally blooming( about 3 weeks behind last years bloom time) and its a big relief for us as beekeepers, because it's the first real source of pollen for our bees!
daffs are up and ready to bloom, early spring perenniasl are popping through the soil, garlic is taking off and our Hens are laying like crazy..

I am hoping you are seeing signs of bring in your neck of the woods!!

The Cool Family

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

3 More Solar Panels and other homestead projects.

After 3 rounds of snow, sleet and Ice, we finally had a break in the weather yesterday. I have been having My normal "spring is coming and there is so much to do and none of it is done" anxiety,,haha
Usually around this time I am constantly chattering about everything that needs done, and my wonderful husband ( being a mild mannered fella') usually nods and listens,, knowing that this is my normal behavior this time of year.. ;)

Right now the list of things to get done is pretty much endless,( don't get me started)

It felt SO good to be outside yesterday. It was about 60 degrees and partly sunny.. a perfect day to get our Solar stand built! We bought 3 additional panels about 3 or 4 months ago, but time, money and weather prevented us from getting it built, ( if its not one factor its another , sure y'all know how that goes).
So with all variables in our favor, we got it built! This is going to help our  energy situation immensely. Right now we have 1440 watts of solar., This would in fact be plenty if we didn't live in a holler. We are down in, surrounded by some very tall mountain ridges, so sun is not in great abundance here. These 3 additional panels should really help us in winter especially! we are adding 3  more 240 watt panels.

While Robb worked on the Solar stand and my waddle fence ( which is almost done. pictures soon!). I spent the day, planting spinach , getting the pea trellis up , planting peas, made a stepping stone, transplanted some kale, did some more seeding .and finished of the day with baking a homemade apple pie ..

Hoping to get the gardens tilled up next week, weed barrier down and some fruit trees transplanted before they bud! Chicken tractor still needs finished for the meat birds as well..
The Forecast looks pretty nice after the rain clears out in the next couple days, So I feel like we will be right on schedule!

Everyone enjoyed the sun and weather,  kids n critters included ;) ( and the bees, oh yes they were out BIG time , just didn't get a pic but trust me they are happy to be out as well :)

The Cool Family