Hello all! I hope your holiday season was awesome! We played it rather chill this year and it was wonderful, quite relaxing. Though we’ve been quiet on the blog front, we’ve been busy on the home front.
As of January 1st, I’ve dropped down to 3 days a week at the good, ole Blue Mountain Pizza. Last year just got too crazy! I was at 5 days per week at BMP, working on etsy/Sam Squared business everyday, and we did a local farmer’s market once a week. Needless to say, there was no time for regular cooking or cleaning, much less everything else we want to accomplish around the house and outside. So I had a little reality check with myself and said, “This sucks! How can you make this not suck?” I did a little dreaming and a little scheduling and boom! Here I am with a new schedule and loving it! I fully anticipate changing things around after a bit, but this has been a great starting place. I’m finally catching up and, gasp, even getting slightly ahead on some things.
One of the main things we’re adding into our lives this year is a garden. Here was the original game plan: The backyard. We live on either right over or right under an acre but it’s a hard acre for growing. Most of the land is on the back and gets very nice sun, while the front is small and mainly shaded. Of course, the front is the flat yard and the back is a steep hill.
Undeterred, we planned on clearing the backyard and putting in a garden, using the hill to help with an irrigation system. While we’re at it, why not go ahead and redo the deck? It’s on the list and we’ll be working back there so might as well. Don’t forget the dog area. And didn’t we talk about having chickens and goats one day? Why not plan and add those in? I mean, we’re back here working. Might as well…Next thing you know, I’m planning a mini-farm over here and the garden might get going in 2020.
Enter reality check: it’s not even our house! Here I am, making grand plans for a place that isn’t even ours. See the problems is I love planning and scheduling things. I love them so much that I get carried away sometimes and need to pull it back into focus. So after a quick reminder of what I wanted (a garden big enough to provide Sam and I most of our veggies this growing season but as small as possible in case I crash and burn), I headed back to the drawing board.
New plan: (2) 8×4 raised beds in the front yard, some tire potatoes, a flock of 5 gallon buckets for container gardening along the sunny fence line, a few flowers for helping with bugs (and for some pretty), oh and 1 lonely pot for the mint (Rumor has it that mint will overtake a garden in no time flat so it’s on it’s own. I’m not taking any chances!) A bit more time consuming during start up and more expensive, but it’s easy to move and has a high success rate. A give and take really but the best option for us right now.
One of the thing that make it more expensive is the cost of filling the beds. From what I read online and in some library books, you can go up to a 50/50 mix of compost and soil. (Side note: there are some plants that like more specific soil but most of mine are ok with this ratio. ) If I remember correctly, the absolute best is 2 parts soil to 1 part compost. We will be buying the soil so I’m trying to cut cost a bit by going up to the 50/50. One catch: we weren’t composting before this. Eek! Immediate solution: grab an old coffee tin and write COMPOST on the lid. This really only buys us a couple of days, so I started looking online for diy options.
I just fell in love with this one for some reason but, again, I’m trying to keep cost down this first year. So I decided to do that one next year. I might even add a spigot to the bottom to drain tea before spinning. (Here’s the link for how-to if you’re interested.)
So until then, I decided to follow the happyhousewife’s plan and make this one. It only cost about $20 and would’ve been less if I could have found a value pack of bungees at Lowe’s. I didn’t have a lot of time and wanted to check out their pot selection so I got some fancy self-tightening ones. Regular bungees would work perfectly as well and cost less. The cost of rushing, I guess.
Super Fast Compost Bin
You will need:
1 garbage can
1 drill bit (I used the largest we have, 3/8ths)
I did about 8 rows of 5 but others have done half that.
Honestly, it was just fun so I kept going. 😉
2) Throw in compost.
4) Use your compost.
Since I’m trying to build a lot of compost quickly, my plan is to get it going in the bin and then move it to a pile. I don’t know how that will work but I’ll keep you posted. Big thank you to Sam for the pictures and holding the garbage can while I drilled. Time to make some lunch and get ready for work. Happy composting everyone!!