Retrofit, Recycle, Reuse

Back in The Three R’s – Reuse, Restore, Recycle The Three R’s – Reuse, Restore, Recycle I told how I took a old rusty swing set that had been passed along to my grandchildren and extended the looks and life with some metal paint.  Four years later and the set has not only lost it’s looks but had become dangerous.  One of my granddaughter’s fell from a swing and hurt her back when a chain broke.  The swings and slide were promptly removed. Our newly expanded garden would be needing trellises for green beans, squash and cucumbers.  My daughter-in-law had the wonderful idea to use the swing set frame for one of the trellises.

A neighbor who has a tire shop was happy to give us some tractor tires. The tires are a smaller tractor tire but larger than pickup tires. These will be used to grow potatoes.  As the leaves grow up another tire is stacked up, dirt added and more potatoes are added. This method not only saves space (which isn’t our problem) but saves labor (which is our problem).

Another reuse project is converting a well used sand box that had lost most of it’s sand, actually small river rocks, to a kitchen garden.

Farmers, ranchers and homesteaders have always had to make do and reuse what they had on hand.  Funds, time and shopping options are limited.  We’re carrying on that tradition.



Tired but Thankful

It’s been a busy, hectic and stressful week on the Prairie. In many ways, this is a good thing. I’m thankful for grandkids that need to be fed 3 times a day, dishes that need to be cleaned 3 times a day, chickens and pets that need to be fed and watered, and gardening activities. It takes our mind off the worry about this strange silent killer that has taken every one hostage. I’m thankful that we are all together and working together as a family. Right now the children are outside enjoying the warmer weather, laughing and enjoying a Spring day. It’s moments like these that bring hope.

Our little flock of 8 chickens that are close to retirement have decided to step up production to 6 eggs a day.  They are Novagens.  When I decided I wanted to try pastured egg layers, I wanted to have a flock that were already laying.  I found these on Facebook Marketplace.  Novagens are commercial layers that are a cross between Rhode Island Reds and White Leghorns.  They do well on the pasture and  lay  beautiful brown eggs.  Their prime egg laying is up to 18 months so that’s why we went ahead and bought the chicks as their laying numbers have declined.

We bought a mixture of breeds at Atwoods, Rhode Island Reds, some black chicks that may be Barred Plymouth Rock (not sure yet) and some white chicks that have grown at a much faster rate than the others.  It’s possible they are Cornish Cross.  I used to raise the Cornish Cross for meat  with the movable pens and they were ready to butcher in 8 weeks. Today I noticed that the white ones had some sores on them and then the little Rhode Island Reds were picking at them and pulling out their feathers so we had to separate them.  I was surprised the little guys were picking on the much bigger chickens.

The indoor plants are coming along very nice but they need to go outside quick.  Our last frost date is April 15th and I usually try to stick to that date.  Oklahoma can have such nice weather in March that you really want to get those tomato plants out in the garden but along comes a hail storm and it’s all for loss.  We’re so close to that date and the weather report is showing warmer weather, I think we’ll risk it this week.

Like everyone else our world is getting smaller.  I’m so used to many friends of ours and our kids coming by on a daily basis, but that’s all changed.  Our front gates have been closed and we’ve set out a little table for packages to be left by the post office or FedEx.

I miss attending our local church. I’ve been watching online.  It’s Palm Sunday today. This virus has stripped us (me) down to the bare essentials; Health, home,  food, family and faith.  

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19 NIV