Mini Homestead…In A Trailer Park

Learning to Live for the Future

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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Earth Day for the Homesteader

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on April 22, 2011

Raised bed of lettuce, tomatoes, 6 different t...

Image via Wikipedia

In general, homesteaders are already treading lightly on the Earth. We do many things on a daily basis that are considered earth friendly. If you have not already begun these projects, you might start with (at least) one of these activities today.

  1. Plan a vegetable or herb garden. Use compost when starting the garden, and seeds that are organic. Consider heirloom varieties whenever possible. Reuse containers from last year. Refurbish old raised beds.
  2. Expand your composting system, adding another bin. It is helpful to have at least a three bin system. You will also want to be sure that you are composting manure from animals such as cows and rabbits. Kitchen scraps will also work nicely.
  3. Use torn and stained clothing to make rag rugs, rather than throwing them out.
  4. Make a quilt from old clothing.
  5. Plant some trees on your homestead. I suggest orchard trees such as apples.
  6. Use wood scraps to build a bird house.
  7. Spend time cleaning up the yard.
  8. Make your own, non-toxic cleaners. Use them to begin your spring cleaning efforts.
  9. Make some reusable shopping bags.

In what ways are you celebrating the Earth today?


Posted in Greening Our Lives, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Homemade Food Gifts: The Cooks’ Gift

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on December 4, 2010

baked cookies

Image by roboppy via Flickr

(This is – I think 🙂 – the last article in the Homemade Food Gifts series being posted by me on the Frugal Recipes blog. I hope that you have all enjoyed the series.)

If you have taken the time to make the homemade vinegars, oils and butters that have been featured here on the Frugal Recipes blog as of late, then you have a great base for a cooks’ holiday gift. If you have made the dried herb gifts, you will be able to add them to this. All of these items, combined with some homemade baked goods, will make a great gift.

Place the a combination of these items in a large gift bag or basket.

You can add to this gift, if you have affordable ways of obtaining certain other items. For instance, why not add some homemade knitted or crocheted dish cloths to the gift. A dollar store will net you wooden cooking spoons and rubber spatulas, or even dish towels. I once found two large metal pots at a yard sale for .50 each. They were old, but looked almost new. A thrift shop may net you a hand grater for a quarter, or a couple of whisks. If you have been lucky enough to find such deals, create gifts with them.


  • Combine in a container. No need to wrap.
  • If you choose to use a basket, they can be found affordably at thrift shops.
  • I once found four large baskets at a yard sale for $1.00 each.


What food gifts do you give at the holidays? Please share with us in the comments below.



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Homemade Food Gifts: Herbed Butters

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on December 2, 2010

Clarified butter at room temperature

Image via Wikipedia

(This was first posted to the Frugal Recipes blog this morning. I am sharing all of the gift making ideas from that blog with all of you. I hope you enjoy the posts.)

Purchase sweet butter in large packages, preferably on sale. Generic and store brand butter is fine. Use a coupon if you have one.

Herbed butters are simple to make, and can be made up to three months before the date they will be given as gifts. Simply freeze them in 1/2 or 1 pint canning jars, or other thick jars that have been saved and cleaned for this purpose. Be sure to sterilize the jars before using them for the butter.

Two days before you wish to give the gifts, take the butters out of the freezer and place them into the refrigerator. The next day, you will want to tie a square or round of fabric over the jars’ lid with raffia or twine. Add a tag or a sticker with the name of each butter and its’ ingredients, as well as a line that reads ‘From the Kitchen of (Your Name).’

RATIO: 1/2 cup butter to 1 Tablespoon of herb or herb combination.

USE: Herbs fresh from the garden. Wash and mince them before use.


  • Dill and mint
  • Garlic and marjoram

Experiment with different herbs and combinations of herbs.

NOTE: These jars of butter do not need processing.

What combinations of herbs do you use when making butter? Please share your experiences with us in the comments below.



Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs (1987, Rodale Press)

Posted in Food Gifts, Recipes, Uncategorized, Winter Holidays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Happy Holidays!

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on December 21, 2009

I wanted to wish you all Happy Holidays! I am taking a bit of a vacation from blogging to spend time with family. I may pick up again next week, but certainly by the 2nd. Shannon

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

The trailer is banked…mostly

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on October 27, 2009

Good day, everyone. Zowie got the trailer banked the rest of the way Friday…mostly. We need another 1/2 length of plastic. I am considering the use of a few trash bags to finish the job.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Mini Homestead Happenings for 5/16/09

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on May 16, 2009

Yesterday I mention my little ‘greenhouse’ that I construct each spring to start my seeds in. The greenhouse helps to ensure that my seedlings do not die if there is a dreaded last frost.

Here is how I construct it:

  1. I have a three-tier metal plant stand that holds my seedlings in their pots. I set this up against my trailer in a very sunny spot.
  2. I plant my seeds in small pots and place them on the racks.
  3. I tack clear plastic to the trailer above where the top plants need to go. I let this drape to the ground on all three sides.
  4. I place empty buckets at the two front corner and at the back of each side so that cold air cannot get inside the construct.
  5. The buckets fill with water when it rains. I use this water to keep the soil in the pots moist.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Mini Homestead Happenings for 1/16/2009

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on January 16, 2009

We have had a nice visit with Skye, and she is leaving us this morning to move into her new home. She will only be living about an hour away this time, which will be nice. We will actually be able to visit her sometimes.

Zowie is going to Katie’s today to watch the Battlestar marathon, and will be spending the night there. The first episode of the new season is tonight.

Battlestar is a big deal with them. There are about 9+ people there watching it, and they make lots of food and such. They have a great time.

I am looking into starting a book review, proofreading and minor editing business.

Two mornings in a row I woke up and it was freezing in here. I always turn the heat down t 55* before going to bed, but that was not working for me on these two mornings.

So, last night, the weather was calling for an even colder night. -12*. So, I decided to only turn the heat down to 60* last night.

At around 6:00 this morning Zowie came down into my room and said, “Mom, it’s like -30* this morning, I don’t want to go to my class. It’s too cold to walk to the bus stop.” So, I told her that she didn’t have to go. I was not really fully awake yet.

I stayed in bed until 7:30, not even wanting to peek my head out from beneath the blankets. When I finally did, I could tell that turning the heat down to only 60* last night did me no good at all. I should have just left it alone.

So, at 7:30 this morning the temperature was only -21*.  Now, at 8:00 Am, it is only -19*.

So, sometimes, you just have to turn the heat up. It is on 72* here right now, and that is a rarity. It usually is only turned up to 63-65* during the day.


Posted in Family Matters, Mini Homestead Happenings, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

And the Lemonade Award Goes to…

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on December 31, 2008

Not long ago, I was given a lemonade award for this blog from another blogger who shares my name. I am truly honored.

When you have lemons, a problem, what do you do with them? You make lemonade!!! When you have a problem you should try to take that problem and work on it until you have it all figured out!

This award is meant for people who are positive, show gratitude, and of course: make lemons out of lemonade!

The rules for this award are:

1. You post the graphic for it.
2. Write a post that links back to the giver.
3. Pass it on to up to ten others.
4. Leave a comment on the blogs that get the award, so they know what’s happened.

Here are the Blogs/Bloggers that I chose to give the awards to:

1. Crunchy Chicken

2. Melinda at One Green Generation

3. Heather at Simple-Green~Frugal

4. Amy at Crunchy Domestic Goddess

5. Green Phone Booth

6. Little Blog in the Big Woods

7. Vanessa at Green as a Thistle

8. Eco ‘Burban Mom

9.Kristine at  It’s Easy being Green

10. The Quince Urban Homestead


Check the blogs out if you haven’t already, They are jam-packed with great information.


Posted in Awards, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Homestead Happenings on this Cold Autumn Day

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on November 19, 2008

I have been puttering around doing things. I have changed up my bedding, washing up the spring/summer bedding and hanging it to dry from doors and in the bathroom. This is one way in which I can save some money on electricity. Fuel assistance came through, but in order to be able to use the furnace I need electricity, which fuel assistance does not cover.

Saves Money

Hanging Clothes to Dry: Saves Money

 I also turned plastic food baggies inside out and threw them in with the wash. They are now hanging along my shower curtain until they are dry. I reuse these for two reasons:

  • It saves money.
  • Less plastic goes into the landfills.


Saves Money

Baggies Hanging from Shower: Saves Money

I did the mending today as well, and folded and took care of the mountain of laundry that was taking up so much space in my room. I had I.W. read to me from Daniel Boone (one of his school books) as I accomplished things.


Using the oil lamps and candles the other night worked out well. We have an overabundance of candles and oil, so we may as well use them. We will save a little on electricity this way. We ended up with enough light to do a few things, but wouldn’t have been able to read.

Use of Oil Lamps to Save Money

Use of Oil Lamps to Save Money

Zowie was a big help to me today. She took all of the fans out to the shed, as well as the recycling. She also took care of the rest of the outdoor furniture, and got the shovel out of the shed. I’m glad that this stuff has been accomplished before the snow comes.

It is so cold today!!!! I do not know the temperature, but it is low. I ran the furnace for just a bit this morning, and I also am running it this evening until we go to bed. Then it will be put down to 50 or 55.


Posted in Mini Homestead Happenings, Money Matters, Sewing/Quilting Projects, Uncategorized, Winter Prep | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »


Posted by Shannon L. Buck on July 31, 2008

I just wanted to note that I have added content to each of the pages. There are only pictures on the animals page, but I will get some more up soon.

I am still working on this blog, and will let you know as I add new stuff.


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

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