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Reducing and Re-Using Around the Barnyard

| 10/15/2013 2:59:00 PM

It might have been a curse or a blessing but I grew up with a mother who is the queen of looking at something and telling me five other purposes for whatever she’s holding.  That skill set is a real treasure for living more sustainably because it makes it possible re-purpose and re-use lots of things that people easily toss in the trash.

cob wallLife at the barn is just naturally an activity that lends itself to re-using and re-purposing things.  In any barn the first goal needs to be to reduce what we need and use.  The main way this can be demonstrated is by composting anything that rots - throwing all of the manure into the compost bins or piles.  Bins can be made from junk lumber or discarded pallets, OR just piled around trees and bushes for fertilizing.  The next goal is to re-purpose or re-use items as much as possible - plastic bags for egg gathering, mineral buckets for carrying small amounts of feed.

Most of the ideas that are listed here are meant to encourage creativity.  Knowing what to re-use is limited only by the imagination.

Here are a few ideas that we’ve used over the years:

ANIMAL WARNINGS:  Make a hole in used canning jar lids, or tin cans and thread with heavy string.  Hang these in areas to scare off birds, squirrels, and deer (you’ll need back up strategies as well but that’s another article).  When they move in the wind, the wild animals are spooked.

BEER BOTTLES: Embed the beer bottles in a wall to use for hanging rope and tackle.

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