Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Building a Pallet Compost Bin

I'm catching up on my posts here, so I actually build this before I sold the chickens.

My current composting situation was not cutting it. . .

Due to the Raccoons of NIMH getting in our trashcan as always and tearing open our trash bags, which was also during a period of high temperatures, which caused a million flies to get into our trash, which then caused our trash can to literally bubble over with maggots as I opened the trashcan to put a bag in which caused me to scream - said maggots found their way to the compost pile which became a nasty mess of flies which then got torn into by the armadillos that live next door which destroyed my compost pile as seen in the above picture.


We were in the middle of constructing the chicken palace, and so I did not want to buy anything more, so buying the compost bin I would like (or making one that looks like it) were out of the question.

C.E. Shepherd compost bin

So I thought -  what is free that I could use to make one that is a little more sturdy (at least until I can buy the one I want)? Pallets are free. Lemme try that.

So we scrounged up a few pallets from a local hardware store and a grocery store (the story that accompanies this process could be its own blog post) and brought them home.

I wanted to have a two bin system like I (kind of) had, so I figured I would need 7 pallets (2 for the back, 2 for the sides, one for the middle divider, and two to cover the front). Once I laid them all out (and killed a brown recluse spider living in one of them) I separated them into similar sizes and shapes. For some reason I had thought that pallets came in a standard size and shape. Nope.

So I removed my old arrangement and started to build it in place - those things are a lot heavier than you would think. . .

I screwed the side to the back piece with a 3 in deck screw (because that's what I had) towards the top of the pallet. That's all I did - it was sturdy enough.

I then added the other pieces in a similar way. The divider between the two sides was a little different - because of the way it was shaped, I was able to wedge it between the two back pieces and screw it in to both of them.

I then stood back and looked at my work. I thought it looked pretty darn good. But it was huge. And it actually kind of looked like a pen for a farm animal. And since I was still in covert chicken operation mode, I knew this simply would not work. It was very noticeable from the street, and I knew it would be a red flag for HOA enforcers, and I really didn't want to attract them to my property. So, I decided to disassemble it and go for a 1 bin setup for the time being.

I think it actually ended up looking pretty nice! It provides a perfect hiding place for snakes behind it, but other than that, it is fine for now. The front is simply propped up against the frame so that it can be easily removed for turning or whatever (I'm not really good about doing that. . .)

So for the cost of two screws, I have a pretty snazzy compost bin! Can't beat that!

End of the Chicken Ranch. . .at Least for Now. . .

So we sold the chickens.

After spending days constructing the frame for the chicken coop/run and laying the foundation.


You know how sometimes you encounter (or maybe it's just me, I dunno. . .) situations where EVERY.SINGLE.THING is a battle, or a struggle, and the only thing keeping the whole thing from crashing and burning is your own stubborn will? That, for us, was the chickens. And that for me at least, is a sign that it is not meant to be.

That doesn't mean that we didn't want them, or don't want them in the future, because we did, and we do. However, right now I guess is not the right time. It was so ridiculous that our family couldn't even enjoy them anymore - and that totally defeated the purpose.

So I sold them to the guy I sold my other 3 to - and I know they will be loved and have a very good home - those people love their chickens!

We knew it was the right decision because once we were sure of it, it was like an immense weight was lifted off our shoulders. And then everything went smoothly from there - by that morning, the chickens were in their new home, and we had returned what supplies we could to Lowes. We were out some money, but recovered our sanity.

The wood that had already been used for the frame and stained (which took hours. . .) was disassembled and will be used to build the playhouse we have been wanting to build for our daughter. And I have to say, we have learned a lot about construction and about chickens.

So. . .one day we'll have our chickens. But right now I think my garden is enough. I'll leave you with a couple pictures I took the day before I sold them - they were starting to look crazy cute!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Merge of the Blogs

In order to simplify my blog world (at least the ones I write, not necessarily the ones I read. . .) I decided to merge two of my blogs.

So, if you normally just read this one, surprise! There is now even more info on here mostly related to decorating, sewing, and general homemaking stuff.

If you normally read the other one and are now finding yourself lost in unfamiliar territory, no worries. There are now tabs found at the top of the blog that contain the blog posts that fall under each category. You can also use the search engine at the top right hand side of the blog.  All the posts from the old blog are still here, and there are new ones to explore, mainly ones related to gardening and homesteading.

One blog for all your home-creating needs!

Enjoy!  :)