As i’ve been getting the gardens ready and building some projects around the homestead this Spring I have had to pay special attention to the budget. Sometimes my desires to expand things around here exceed the limitations of my wallet. So what is a guy to do who wants to keep working to become more self sufficient but can’t afford to do all the things he wants to do that will get him there? Sometimes You have to look for ways that can save you a dollar or two, here are couple ways I was able to save some money just this last week and make some big differences on the homestead.
I have found Craigslist to be a very valuable resource. Just this last week I found a guy selling used 2×4’s for $1.50 a piece and they were in real good shape, he had hundreds of them and I bought 50 from him to do a few projects like build 2 new raised beds with trellises and border some walkways I filled with gravel. I also find that I have a lot of uses for large field rocks around here along walkways and around the pond and I found a bunch of these for free on craigslist as well. It is also a great place to get your hands on barrels of all kinds, I found in the past a metal barrel that I made a wood stove out of for my garage and plastic barrels for water catchment systems.
Another way I saved money this week was by getting wood chips for free from our local County Highway Department. This is a very valuable resource around here as we use wood chips in garden areas and for making pathways. I know when I have purchased wood chips in the past it cost me about $60 for a truckload so getting a couple loads from the County really saved me some money.
Many of you have probably read my post on building my raised beds out of pallets but I still have a lot of pallets laying around so I find these are another great way to save some money on little projects that need a few small pieces of wood.
These are just a few of the ways we are trying to get stuff done around here without breaking the bank and yet work toward having a more self sufficient homestead. So don’t let a lack of money stop you, there is always something you can do to take the next step.
Ever Expanding Gardens
As I mentioned above, I built 2 new raised beds with heavy duty trellises that I will be using for vining vegetables. I also mentioned that I put in some new walkways, these create edges and edges mean more accessible growing spaces. Any time you create a new edge on a property such as a fence line, walkway, a building of some kind or perhaps a pond, these create edges that can be expanded upon, because I live on a small piece of land I have to take advantage of every area I can, so I am always looking for a way to create a new edge.
I just planted two more fruit trees as well, a cherry and an apple. These also create an opportunity to plant more garden as you create an area of living mulch around the truck of the tree. I love to plant bush beans around them because they are a nitrogen fixer that really helps the tree and their broad leaves do suppress weeds and create an area of living mulch and also I think they have an ornamental look to them as well.
To podcast or not to podcast, that is the question. I love podcasting but it takes a lot of time, the pre production, the actual recording of the podcast, the post production, I can have up to 5 hours in a thirty minute podcast and I just don’t have that kind of time. So what is the future of The Modern Homesteading Podcast, after all I haven’t put out a podcast in four months.
I have a couple ideas but I’m looking for some feedback.
1. I spend a lot of time on the road and I feel like I could probably record a podcast while I’m driving and post it as is, that means no post production. The downside of doing this is it would be a poorer audio quality and I wouldn’t be able to have guests and I just know know if anyone would enjoy listening to that podcast.
2. Get a co-host. This option I would prefer, although I don’t know of anyone who wants to host the podcast with me. This would save time in show prep because when two people are just having a chat about a topic you don’t need too many notes to guide you and keep a show interesting and because it is in the format of casual dialogue you save time in editing in post production. Again I don’t know if anyone would be interested in doing this but I am putting it out there as an option to anyone like minded who thinks this might be something they would like to partner in.
I welcome any other ideas and feedback, I love to podcast and I think it is helpful for many people and I have seen quite a bit of success with the podcast thus far, so it is something I would like to continue if I can find a way to do it.