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How We Made a Homemade Rain Barrel Aquaponics System

A new year means a new wave of projects for Ian to delve into, and he wasted no time setting up a home-based aquaponics system right in our pantry.

Actually, saying Ian waited till the New Year is putting it too strongly. He had the system set up in our pantry back in early December, and I was forced to verbally combat him in numerous lengthy arguments over why he couldn’t justify buying fish early and getting a fish sitter through the holidays. Yes, these are the kinds of fights that define our marriage- Ian begging for new pets and me never quite managing to talk him down (our second dog, anyone?)

In any case, I think he nailed it with this latest project. Who knew it was this easy to raise your own edible fish right in the pantry? We now have tilapia to join our worm bin as a kitchen-friendly self-sufficiency boost for our daily lives. In fact, I think this system is so great I’m going to try to convince you to build your own.

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Our Pallet Pig Pen: Best Tips for Success

Shipping pallets are a popular building material right now. Just look on Pinterest and you’ll see plenty of pallet crafts and DIY projects. With a little internet browsing, you can find everything from cute pallet coffee tables to fully functional kitchen shelves.

But a pallet pig pen? That’s probably the only pallet project capable of exciting Ian.

Surprisingly enough, Ian does occasionally venture into the visual world of Pinterest, and when he saw photos of pallet pig pens online there was no going back. For the past five months, he’s been scheming ways to acquire enough pallets to tackle this project, and a few weeks ago he made it a reality.

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DIY on a Dime: Rabbit Lawn Mower

Who actually likes mowing the lawn? Not me. Gas powered mowers are noisy, time-consuming, and belch more fossil fuels into the atmosphere per hour than the 11 cars. Yikes. Most of our yard can be allowed to grow wild and natural, but there are some portions, especially along the front patio that simply look better with trimmed grass.

Because one of the primary motivations for moving to our Appalachian homestead was the opportunity to live more sustainably and better connected with biologic systems, the question of how we would tend to our lawn became an exciting challenge to overcome with scrappiness and some new-found DIY skills.

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