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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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Building an Off-Grid Chicken Waterer From the Gutter Down

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Rain barrel off the side of the house

I have some very needy chickens. Almost every day their thirst demands that Ian or I refill their poultry waterer. Filling it is a simple enough process but made more complicated because our entire homestead runs on rainwater and all our livestock water comes from giant rain barrels off the side of our house. Walking back and forth from the house to the coop with a cumbersome watering can gets old pretty quick. When we first got our chickens it would take days for them to empty their waterer. Now that they’ve grown to full size and the weather has warmed, they empty it more than once a day.

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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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Oh the Ways You Can Grow: Trash-to-Treasure Style

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Welcome to my near-constant inner dialogue this time of year. Living deep in the woods of Appalachia has made me acutely aware of the changing seasons in a way that no other life experience has. A little surprising, because in my memory I’ve never worked a job that wasn’t predominately physically active and outdoors. The minor exception was my college job of working in the campus dining hall, but even then my preferred shift was “night crew”; a position that allowed me to work largely unsupervised and outdoors behind the kitchen cleaning floor mats. Suffice it to say I take advantage of any chance to play outside. Especially with plants and animals. Most working summers of my life have been spent landscaping, but the best ones have been spent farming. Having complete ownership of a vegetative plant from one end of its life cycle to another is a thrilling endeavor; one I believe I could devote my entire life to mastering.

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Nesting with the Clubhouse Bedroom

“The groups are coming The Groups Are Coming THE GROUPS ARE COMING.

Such has been the chorus in my head as the calendar days slide through February and approach March with alarming speed. With March comes spring breaks for college students around the country, meaning that Big Laurel will soon be inundated with service groups seeking respite from their workaholic lives. But the beginning of their break signifies the end of ours as Ian and I reenter our roles as program directors and help to lead these trips.

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