Worm compost bin in 10 easy steps! With video tutorial from my 4-yr-old son

diy-worm-compost-bin

Find this post and other gardening/DIY tips on my Gardening Pinterest board

DIY Worm Compost Bin

I shared this post originally in May 2012 – but it’s one my most popular posts and I wanted to bring it back for those of you who haven’t seen it. 

Worms creep me out. Sorry, it’s true. But I do have a four-year-old boy, so for better or worse, they have become a part of my reality as of late. I can’t touch them or even look at them too closely without getting the heebie-jeebies. But nobody can deny it – worms are good for eating food. Worms are good for composting! Worms are just generally helpful fellas – so I’m making a worm composting bin – and I’m going to show you how!

Believe it or not, my husband and I used to have a worm bin back when we were first married – it was a wedding gift from one of my bridesmaids (I have the coolest friends!). But for whatever reason that worm bin, made out of a rubbermaid tote, only lasted us a couple years before it turned into storage for our halloween decorations. :) So we’re bringing it back and I’m going to show you how to make a Rubbermaid Worm Composting Bin! 

What’s so great about worm composting? Worm composting is a fabulous way to take your family’s food waste and turn it into nutrient rich fertilizer for your garden or lawn. If you have a lot of space you could skip this whole worm composting thing and just create a big ole compost pile in your backyard. But compost piles aren’t for everyone – especially if you’re short on space. A worm compost bin can be a great way to take care of your food waste – but do it in a contained, mess-free, smell-free, easy-to-maintain system – that in-turn gives you rich soil amendments for your garden or yard.

 Mouse over image, top right to PIN this

YOU’LL NEED:

  • Red worms – about one pound
  • Two (2) 8-10 gallon Rubbermaid totes
  • Power Drill 
  • A couple good size rocks or wood pieces for spacing
  • Newspaper and cardboard

INSTRUCTIONS

[Read more...]

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links support this site, see our disclosure policy here

Shopko – FREE 4-pack of Annuals through tomorrow!

shopko-free-4-pack-annuals
Shopko has released a new coupon for a FREE 4-pack of Annuals (up to $2.59). There’s no purchase necessary to redeem this freebie. There’s a limit of one per family while supplies last. This offer expires tomorrow, Saturday, May 24.

You can find a Shopko location near you here.

(Thanks, Bargains with Brittanie!)

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links support this site, see our disclosure policy here

Great Western Supply – Awesome selection of soil, beauty bark, rocks, more (Olympia, Washington)

Great-Western-Supply-Olympia

For the last two years – ever since we built our raised garden beds – we’ve been ordering our gardening mix and our beauty bark from Great Western Supply in Olympia, Washington. I adore the company so much that I wanted to do a post just about the products they offer and because I’m often asked where I get my soil for my garden. If you live in the Thurston County area – this post is for you!

My favorite things about Great Western Supply:

  • Amazing customer service. A real person answers the phone and answers your questions and/or takes your order.
  • Reliable delivery times. Every time I’ve ordered products that were delivered – they pulled into the driveway right on time (even early sometimes!). So grateful for punctuality!
  • Great delivery crew. I set out tarps ahead of time and the delivery crews have always taken great care in getting the huge pile of soil or bark right on the tarp.
  • U-haul options – Don’t want to pay for delivery? Haul it yourself for lower prices.
  • Awesome products. My garden has flourished in the Great Western Garden Mix that I’ve used the last two years in my raised beds. The beauty bark is top-notch stuff and has definitely transformed our yard.
  • Affordable prices. You can go to the local hardware store and spend $3-$5 on a small bag of beauty bark – or you can get a haul yard for as little as $17.95 from Great Western! See product/price list here.
  • Lots of products – They have soil, organic soil, soil amendments, beauty bark, mulch, sand and gravel, decorative rock and more. See product/price list here.
  • Yardage calculator – It’s hard to visual a how big a yard of soil is, but Great Western has a yardage calculator to help you gauge how much product you’ll need.

Garden-June22

Let’s talk Soil

So you want to start a garden. If you build raised beds like we did, you’re going to need to fill them with soil! Great Western Supply has a few different options to choose from. They have a Simply Organics line, they have eight different non-organic soil varieties and they have soil amendments.

Raised-garden-before-planting-april20

The last two years, based on conversations I’ve had with Great Western Supply employees, I’ve ordered the Garden Mix. It’s 1/3 topsoil and 2/3 mushroom compost. The mushroom compost comes from Ostrom’s Mushroom Farm here locally – which I love. I’ve been so pleased with how well my garden has grown in this mixture. I had very, very few weeds and/or sprout issues.

Garden-July21-2012

I didn’t supplement my garden with any fertilizers or additives last summer and everything grew like gangbusters. I give all the credit to the soil, because I had no idea what I was doing!

[Read more...]

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links support this site, see our disclosure policy here

Raised Beds – How to build raised garden beds for $35

Build-Raised-Beds-for-cheapDIY Raised Garden Beds on Pinterest

I originally published this in spring 2012.   Our DIY raised beds are still growing strong and we’ve added a few more over the years.  

Raised Bed Tutorial

I’ve dreamed of raised beds for years – but I was intimidated by the idea of building something. Intimidated by the cost. But in Spring 2012 we jumped in head first and we built our first raised garden bed – in an afternoon – and I realized just how easy and inexpensive they can be! We now have six raised beds that provide a bounty every summer and I’m so grateful that we went for it!

This tutorial is based on what we did to build our raised beds – but we don’t proclaim to be experts.

The price. I know there are probably cheaper ways to make these. I wanted a mixture of simple design, easy to acquire supplies (no stalking Craigslist or driving 30 miles for “free wood”) and frugal. I built two 8×4 raised beds and one 8×2 with an average cost of about $35 each, which I think is completely reasonable considering the bounty that will hopefully come from these and the years they will last. AND it’s about half of the going rate that I found for pre-built raised beds on Craigslist or the kits at Home Depot.

DIY-Raised-Garden-Beds

The design. I’ve spent plenty of time over the last two years reading online tutorials. I went with the easiest method and design possible (in my opinion). I had Home Depot even pre-cut my wood, so I wouldn’t have to bother. It was SIMPLE.

I’m no expert. My raised bed resume is short. This is it. I don’t pretend to be an expert and if you’re looking for a tutorial that would be certified by someone with a Bachelors in Raised Beds – this isn’t it. But I’ll share what we did, in hopes that it’s helpful.

[Read more...]

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links support this site, see our disclosure policy here

Snow in the Northwest! Sliding, sleds, snowballs and snow much fun

Snow-storm-northwest-slides

Waking up to snow on a warm Sunday is pretty sweet. The snow was PERFECT. It was the stickiest I’ve seen in a LONG time and the best for snowballs, snowmen, snow slides. . .we spent most of the day out in the snow and had so much (free) fun.

Snow-storm-elephant-slide

What started out as a big snowball ended up turning into a pretty sweet slide, that strangely resembles an elephant. My fingers haven’t quite recovered from all the scooping and packing – and I’m fairly certain I’ll be a bit sore tomorrow – but what fun we had building this!

Faster-faster-snow-storm

My daughter saying, “faster, faster!” as we give her nudge from the top of the slide. She is quite a daredevil.

[Read more...]

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links support this site, see our disclosure policy here

Urban Farm Magazine subscription $8.99 a year, today only!

urbanfarmmay2013

Today only, you can subscribe to Urban Farm Magazine for $8.99 a year (69% off the cover price)! You can order one year at this price. Just enter coupon code QUEENBEE at checkout to get the special pricing. I think it’s worth every penny and would probably buy it off the news stand at full price I like it so much.

Magazine description: A guide for those in cities or suburbs looking to become more self-sufficient by growing some of their own food and treading lightly on the environment in the space they have. Articles include how-to projects, gardening basics, composting, beekeeping, roof-top gardening, preserving and freezing, and time and money-saving ideas.

This offer expires at Friday 11/22/13 11:59 p.m. EST.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links support this site, see our disclosure policy here

Saturday in the yard – Chickens enjoying the fall weather, lots of leaves to rake (someday)

Barred-Rock-Leghorn-Chickens-Fall-November-2

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted chicken photos. We’ve just been busy truckin’ along this fall and the chickens are doing the same. Thanks to the beautiful, dry, weather we’ve had here in the Northwest the chickens have spent a LOT of extra time running around the yard. I love looking out my kitchen window watching them peck and waddle around the yard. Combine that with the gorgeous fall leaves and it brings me joy to watch.  I still dream of having an actual farm someday and we are saving our pennies to someday make that dream a reality.

Family-pic-all-chickens-november-2

Family photo. All eight chickens are here. Of course they are more interested in eating grass and finding grubs than they are about getting their photo taken.

[Read more...]

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links support this site, see our disclosure policy here

Urban Farm Magazine subscription $8.99 a year, today only!

urbanfarmmay2013

Today only, you can subscribe to Urban Farm Magazine for $8.99 a year (69% off the cover price)! You can order one year at this price. Just enter coupon code QUEENBEE at checkout to get the special pricing. I think it’s worth every penny and would probably buy it off the news stand at full price I like it so much.

Magazine description: A guide for those in cities or suburbs looking to become more self-sufficient by growing some of their own food and treading lightly on the environment in the space they have. Articles include how-to projects, gardening basics, composting, beekeeping, roof-top gardening, preserving and freezing, and time and money-saving ideas.

This offer expires Tuesday, 08/24/13 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links support this site, see our disclosure policy here

Urban Farm Magazine $8.99 a year

urbanfarmmay2013

Today only, you can subscribe to Urban Farm Magazine for $8.99 a year (69% off the cover price)! You can order one year at this price. Just enter coupon code QUEENBEE at checkout to get the special pricing. I think it’s worth every penny and would probably buy it off the news stand at full price I like it so much.

Magazine description: A guide for those in cities or suburbs looking to become more self-sufficient by growing some of their own food and treading lightly on the environment in the space they have. Articles include how-to projects, gardening basics, composting, beekeeping, roof-top gardening, preserving and freezing, and time and money-saving ideas.

This offer expires Thursday, 08/29/13 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links support this site, see our disclosure policy here

Saturday in the Garden – More tomatoes, all the baby chickens are laying!

Sweet-Girl-Sweet-Cherry-Tomatoes

Things are really winding down in our backyard. The grass is hibernating (dead and yellow), the raised beds are empty with the occasional weed or lettuce gone to seed. We didn’t plant pumpkins this year (see ours last year) and I’m regretting it badly now (I just never got around to it).

BUT this morning my sweet girl and I harvested nearly 2.5 pounds of cherry tomatoes. They are every size possible, down to the itsy bitsy. My kids will eat this raw all day long, so instead of doing another batch of roasted marinara sauce, I think we’ll just enjoy these raw in salads and as snacks.

Cascading-color-cherry-tomatoes

I find it slightly magical the way cherry tomatoes so naturally cascade in a rainbow.

So-many-cherry-tomatoes-Northwest-gardening

And although all my plants have fallen over and they are on the ground, they still seem to be thriving – by the grace of something other greater than myself, since I haven’t been paying them much attention. Lots of green ones left, so we’ll have another couple weeks of harvests, I think.

Tomatoes-Weighed-2-25-pounds

We probably picked 2.5 pounds after you figure all the ones we ate while picking.

All-baby-chicks-laying-eggs

AND we are now getting TWO green eggs a day (for a total of 6-7 a day) so now we know all our baby chickens are now laying! So excited. Aren’t they glorious? We got these babies back in March, you can read more about there here.

So that’s what’s happening in my backyard. Humor me and tell me what’s happening in yours. . . . 

Beautiful-cherry-tomatoes-northwest

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links support this site, see our disclosure policy here

Saturday in the Garden – Our first green egg from our Ameraucana chicken

ameraucana-green-egg

Today’s Saturday in the Garden is short and sweet. My lettuce has gone to seed, I picked a bunch of tomatoes and made Roasted Marinara Sauce and the chickens are all doing marvelously.

The most exciting news from the yard this week – happened this morning, when the kids and I went out to check the eggs. We found our first GREEN egg! Wahoo. I’m so proud of it, you would have think I laid it myself. This gem of an egg came from one of our Ameraucana chickens – which lay either blue or green eggs.  I think all but one of the baby chicks that we got back in March are now laying. We are still waiting on the other Ameraucana.

The white eggs are from our Leghorn. And we still have a Barred Rock that is laying next to the waterer, not sure what’s up with that. My daughter was telling the Barred Rocks this morning (in a rather mothering way) – “you gotta put your egg upstairs, k?!”  By upstairs she means the nesting boxes in the hen house. If it was only that easy. We’ll see if they get it figured out.

I will tell you – getting eggs from the coop never seems to get old. We’ve had chickens now for about 13 months and every single day feels like a blessing. I’m serious! We love our chickens and the eggs that they lay for us – and no matter how many times we open the nesting box, it still feels like opening a present on Christmas.

Ameraucana-Leghorn-chickens

This is one of our Ameraucanas. I’m not sure which one is laying, but I’m betting the other one isn’t far behind.

So that’s what’s happening in my backyard. Humor me and tell me what’s happening in yours. . . . 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links support this site, see our disclosure policy here

Saturday in the Garden – Harvested nearly 6 pounds of onions! Plus, how do I get baby chicks to lay in nesting box?

I-grew-walla-walla-onions-nw

The exciting news this week is I harvested five pounds 12 ounces of Sweet Walla Walla onions. It’s about 20 onions. And I’m still in shock that I was able to grow them. I have never seen better lookin’ onions. I suppose it’s like having babies – you always think your own are cute. And just like a new mom, I’ll be posting entirely too many onion photos in this post – hope that’s okay. I haven’t cut into the onions yet, so who knows just how they taste, but at this point, I’m not really sure I’d care.

onions-bowl-full-august3

Right out of the ground they are dirty little buggers.

Beautiful-walla-walla-homegrown-onions

I wiped them off with a dry towel to clean them up. I have no idea what I’m doing, I should probably Google it.

[Read more...]

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links support this site, see our disclosure policy here