Mini Homestead…In A Trailer Park

Learning to Live for the Future

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Posts Tagged ‘garden’

Homemade Food Gifts: Dried Herbs

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on November 30, 2010

Dill Anethum graveolens

Image via Wikipedia

(Originally posted to the Frugal Recipes blog earlier today. Wanted to share with you as well.)

Throughout the summer and autumn months, you have harvested and dried organic herbs to use in your culinary ventures throughout the winter. As is usually the case, you have far more of these dried herbs than you will be able to use before the next harvest season. Why not share your bounty with family and friends?

Hopefully, throughout the year, you have been cleaning and saving the jars from your food purchases. Perhaps you have purchased canning jars, lids and rings frugally at yard sales and thrift shops. You may also have fabric, twine or raffia from the projects that you have been working on throughout the year. If so, you have the makings for great holiday gifts.

Single Herb Examples


Bay leaves





Herb Mix Examples

Basil, oregano and thyme

Basil, thyme and parsley

Dill, mint and parsley

Lemon balm and mint

Parsley and rosemary

1. Sterilize all of the jars, lids and rings. Dry completely. It is important that no moisture is evident when packing the dried herbs.

2. Fill the jars with single herbs, or herb mixes.

3. Tie squares or rounds of fabric onto the cover of each jar with twine or raffia.

4. Add a tag or sticker to the jar with the name of the herb, and with ‘From (Your Names’) Garden.’

How do you package your dried herbs for gift giving? Share your ideas in the comments below.

Shannon Reference:

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

Posted in Food Gifts, Winter Holidays | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Composting and Organic Gardening

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on November 11, 2010

The finished compost bin

Image by London Permaculture via Flickr

As part of my Mini Homestead activities, I am gardening organically. I want the foods that I prepare for myself, my cats, my family and friends to be as healthy as possible. I have been experimenting with things and doing much research. I feel that I have a pretty good grasp on what I am doing. My two latest articles reflect this:

A Composting System for Frugal Eating

Frugal Meals by Gardening Organically

I have written other gardening articles as well, that will help you with the plans for gardening on your own homestead, mini or otherwise:

Container Gardening Questions

Different Levels of Green Gardening

Foods for Worm Composting

Garden Window Ideas

How to Clean and Prepare Garden Spaces this Fall

How to Design a Small Kitchen Garden

Organic Indoor Gardening

There are many more of my articles on,, and

I don’t know about all of you, but I have a notebook that I am writing all of my gardening plans and lists in. It is not real organized, but it keeps everything in one place.

Have a great day, all!



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

Mini Homestead Happenings for 1/9/2010

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on January 9, 2010

During the week after Christmas, I received the first 2 seed catalogs. One was from Burpee. I was super excited, and keep going back to the catalogs time and again.

I am beginning to formulate a plan in my head for next spring. I have my compost that will be ready to be used, and I will also do trench composting this year when preparing the garden beds and planters.

I have the two mini greenhouses that I purchased at the yard sale last year, so starting plants early out on the porch will be a breeze.

I want a sunflower garden, an herb garden, flower beds and produce. I just have to set everything up for growing on my small lot in this trailer park. LOL…I’m not sure what our new landlords are going to think about this.

Have a nice day.


Posted in Gardening, Mini Homestead Happenings | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Just Sharing

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on October 19, 2009

Hello! Just wanted to share my The Green Mom column articles with you.

Happy Reading!


Posted in Cats/Kittens, cleaning, Gardening, Greening Our Lives, Money Matters | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mini Homestead Happenings for 7/17/2009

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on July 27, 2009

We are leaving for camp early this afternoon.

So, we had more than a month of daily rain, and many people’s gardens just did not fare well. However, the news reports state that we still have plenty of time to replant. I plan to start this during the coming week.

I purchased 2 mini greenhouse set-ups at a yard sale for $10.00 each, and will use them to start the plants, as we are still getting rain – just not as often. We are having more sun. I would like to be sure that the seedlings are well started before planting them in the containers.

I can only us container on my little lot this year, because I have to have people here working on the water damaged parts under the trailer and whatnot. I have to be able to move things about.

Have a happy weekend!


Posted in Gardening, Mini Homestead Happenings | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Mini Homestead Happenings for 5/19/2009

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on May 19, 2009

It has rained so much that the ground hardly has a chance to dry before it rains again. This makes it difficult to begin working in the garden beds. Soon, I will be starting seeds. I am excited! I am also able to begin adding to the compost bin again, but I first have to go out and turn the heap.

A friend has given me seeds and planters. I have also purchased other seeds.

I have clothes hanging outside, drying in the breeze. They will smell so good when I bring them in.

I also have blankets draped over the back of the sofa. I think the look has a homey feel.

Hope you are all doing well. We are eating up the last of the food stores from winter.


Posted in Food Preservation, Gardening, Mini Homestead Happenings | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Mini Homestead Happenings for 5/15/09

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on May 15, 2009

So, I have been spending some time contemplating my garden. I can’t actually plant anything until the end of the month, but I am planning now. I will let you know what I will plant when I have made my final decisions:

  • I will start seeds as soon as I can outside. I have a little ‘greenhouse’ set-up that I use during this process just in case we get that dreaded last frost after I have started the seeds.
  • I will build a few beds, and do some container planting.
  • I still have a compost bin.
  • I will do succession planning, so things are ripening at different times.
  • I will begin early by digging holes where I want the beds and sifting out the rocks. The dirt will get mixed in with the compost, and I will keep a bucket of the mix near each bed location. Each day, I will place compost-able food scraps in a hole and cover it up a little with dirt. I have read that you keep layering this until you are ready to plant, then you add a good amount of compost/dirt on top. It is supposed to help to better nourish your plants.

Hope you are all doing well.


Posted in Gardening, Mini Homestead Happenings | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Mini Homestead Happenings for 3/30/2009

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on March 30, 2009

We have been having some more spring-like weather, with temperatures actually hitting the 40’s. I love it! I can’t wait to begin my gardens.

My friend is moving and won’t be able to garden, so she gave me a bunch of seeds and planters. Yay!

Zowie had her gynecologist appointment. Keep in mind that this is a new person, and that she had seen the other one for a year. This is our second opinion. Her new gynecologist is Pamela Gilmore.

Pamela listened to our concerns and does not feel that Zowie actually has Endometriosis, which is what Lois has been telling us for a year that Zowie has. As a matter-of-fact, she does not think that Zowie’s problem is exclusively female related.

Pamela agreed to do the lacroscopic surgery, which neither Zowie’s doctor no Lois wanted to do. Pamela says that, if we don’t do the surgery, every time we take her to a doctor or specialist, they will say that Zowie has Endometriosis or a burst cyst. This practice is far too common when people don’t want to take the time to find out what is wrong, or when they have exhausted their knowledge base, I guess.

The surgery will tell us for sure, one way or the other, if Zowie has the Endometriosis, which Pamela does not think is the case. The problem is that this is the only way to know for sure whether or not she has it. If not, we start over from scratch to find out what the problem is.

A whole year has been wasted already, and I would like to know what is going on with her before she moves away for college.

My stepfather, Lloyd, also will be having surgery. A back problem with a disk. The man can hardly move at all, and cannot work at all.

Well, I gotta go for now.

Hope you are all doing well.


Posted in Gardening, Mini Homestead Happenings | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Mini Homestead Happenings for 3/11/2009

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on March 11, 2009

I think that I have decided that I will be digging small trenches in my garden spaces this spring, before planting. The idea is that you dig the trench, and put your compostable food waste into the trenches. Once you add some food waste, you cover it with dirt. Keep layering until it is full. Then you add good dirt on top of all of that before planting.

Sounds good. I’ll see if it works.

I am having a friend fix my laptop, which I will be giving to Zowie. She will be going to college in a year-and-a-half and will need her own lap top. My friend is a computer genius, and can keep the laptop up-to-date for at least the first four years of her college career (hopefully).

Have a nice day!


Posted in Gardening, Mini Homestead Happenings, Money Matters | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Mini Homestead Happenings for 1/8/2009

Posted by Shannon L. Buck on January 8, 2009

We had another storm last night, wet and yucky. It started yesterday afternoon, but I was wakened by it and the plow trucks a few times last night. The snow accumulation wasn’t too much, but I now have to go shovel the heavy stuff.

More and more seed catalogs are coming in, so I am planning the spring garden. I want to learn about succession planning, and have heard that I can start the actual planting early if I save empty milk jugs, cut the bottoms off and use them as little greenhouses. I may attempt this.

Hope you are all doing well.


Posted in Gardening, Mini Homestead Happenings | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

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