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Building The Budget Homestead

lumberYou can’t go home again, but you can return to an old abandoned farm that was once home and reclaim things that were left behind.  Such was the case this weekend when I returned to claim my compost tumbler and rain barrel from certain doom.

One of the coolest finds for a budget homestead (should I trademark that?) is old and discarded lumber.  Lucky for me, the farm I used to run shut down and had quite a bit of usable lumber just waiting to be picked up.  Not being the kind who needs an engraved invitation, that’s precisely what I did.

In addition to old fencing planks, a vintage wooden screen door and pristine 2x10s we were also able to dismantle all three of my raised beds that were made from discarded cedar rafters.  These raised beds look amazing and I can’t wait to get them installed and growing.

There is still lumber to be salvaged but after three truckloads and three separate trips, that will have to wait for another day when I’m not so wiped out.

There were several other wonderful discoveries on the farm today as well.  First, I spotted a very old wooden ironing board in perfect condition.  As the ironing board John purchased a couple of weeks back is still in its original wrapping, it will be returned and we will be using this wonderful piece of history that will also add some vintage charm to the new home on the homestead.

greensThe other discoveries were of the edible variety and they made me incredibly happy.

A bed of purple top turnips that were planted early last fall before I left the farm were growing like crazy next to three Georgia collard plants.  I dug up all that I could as well as a handful of tiny carrots from one of my raised beds that had come back after being planted last summer.

Starting plants from seed is a great experience for me, and finding volunteer veggies the next season makes it even greater.  When I separate and thin these turnips they will produce a huge amount of food both from the greens and for the tubers themselves. The three collard plants will make for at least a few good meals as well but most of all I was able to salvage food that would have grown and gone to waste otherwise.

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