Who we are!

Hello all! We have had a nice influx of new people to our little blog since Mavis over at onehundreddollarsamonth.com featured my husband’s Blacksmithing hobby!

I really appreciated my Mr. being chosen! 

1. So obviously, my husband is a backyard blacksmith! He’s pretty awesome and makes all kinds of metal creations, including my favorite dinner bells!

He even did the brickwork on his forge 
Dinnerbell in the works! 

2. We try to grow as much food as we can and preserve our over abundance!

Our main garden. 
We ❤️ Tomatoes

3. I am a beekeeper! I love having them to help pollinate everything, and also the delicious honey and wax for crafting!


Baby bees!

4. I also love growing lots of flowers to keep the pollinators happy, and have plans to grow a much larger patch of pollinator friendly plants this summer!

Our state flower: black eyed susans!!
My favorite flower: echinacea! 

5. We keep chickens to give us lots of delicious eggs and they help us create less trash by eating leftovers!

Our ladies enjoying some leftovers! 

6. I’m the eco warrior at the school I teach at. I teach my sweet 3rd graders about caring for our precious Earth and do the recycling for our building! Someone has to do it!

Recycling for the staff! 

7. I love crocheting and craft everything from toboggans to washcloths to sell at local craft shows!


8/9. I love both sewing and upcycling whatever is headed towards the trash into something useful!

Upcycling and sewing! 

10. We try not to produce an over abundance of garbage and strive to be zerowaste!

Less waste! 

11. We have been tracking our solar panels and how they are working out for the past year!

We are on year 2 of having our solar panels! 

12. We try to eat at home and cook all of our own food! It helps to save money and I know what’s in my food!

My cinnamon rolls
My pizza! (Don’t worry, I make lots of healthier food too!) 

So these are a few things that we have going on here on our less than an acre in a small town! We really appreciate anyone taking time to read about our tiny homestead happenings!

Growing Popcorn

Last summer one new thing that we tried our green thumb on was popcorn. We grew 2 varieties: strawberry popcorn, on the right and a mixed color variety on the left.

We noticed right away the height difference between the 2 varieties! The strawberry popcorn was much shorter than the colored variety. It also seemed like the ears of corn developed faster on the strawberry variety.

Popcorn stalks

I left the corn on the plant to dry as long as they could and when the cold weather started setting in, we pulled the cobs off and brought them in to dry out the rest of the way.

Just now, in January, we decided to shell the corn. At first, we tried to just use our fingers, and that was painful. And then we read where if you rub 2 cobs together, they will come off easier. That worked better with less cut up fingers!

Our popcorn!

We decided to save some of both seeds.

Some of the seeds for next year

We used a funnel to pour all of the popcorn into a mason jar to keep everything sealed up!

Yep, that’s homework still on the table!

And here was how much we got for a very small patch!

Our whole harvest! 

And for the leftover cobs and husks, the chickens enjoyed looking for any kernels that we missed and kicked everything around!

A nice winter treat! 

Now on the the important part, did it pop?! It sure did! They might not be as large as the store bought, but the taste is much better!


Next year I’m going to focus on the strawberry variety because they seemed to pop much better, and took up less room.

So, I consider this new crop to us a success! Does popcorn make your list for the 2018 garden? I’m going to stay under these covers and dream of the beautiful weather that will eventually come! 🌱💚

Creating the garden cart!!

This summer we set up little produce stands on the front sidewalk.

Our tiny produce stand

As part of our 2018 goals, we are planning on possibly selling more produce next year! It all started out with the Mr. carving the handles:

Hand carved! 

Followed by framing it up, repurposing old wheels and cutting and putting the boards on top:

Already looking adorable! 

Then, he put the spindles on and the frame for the roof:

Almost finished! 

Then today, he finished it up by putting galvanized sheets on the roof:


I’m in love with it! 

So, even if I don’t sell a bit of extra produce, we still have this amazing, unique, perfectly husband-crafted cart!

As for the rest of the homestead, it has been soooo cold here! This morning I made our ladies a bowl of warm oatmeal to start the day!

They loved it! 

And, another sneak peek of the 2018 goals, is redoing a camper trailer! I’m trying to pick out some cute fabric to reupholster the cushions in:

I’m leaning towards the camping one!

And the save the pumpkins from the landfill project is going well! We are up to 78!!

3 more pumpkins!!

And now to continue crocheting, relaxing with puppies and attempting to enjoy this cooler season! Keep blooming!

Best Thursday!!

Today was a normal day in third grade, but here at the homestead, it was pretty terrific!

I have been trying to save as many pumpkins as I can from the landfill! It takes so much time and energy to grow a pumpkin! I put up an event for taking pumpkins on my Facebook page, and I’ve received so many! My goal was 20, and I’m already at 22! So, I guess I better make a higher goal!

I’m beyond excited to have extra treats for the chickens and extra rotting material for my compost!

Chickens enjoyed this pumpkin! 

We made one of our favorite less meat dishes: vegetable stir fry:

Our delish dinner! 

Everything was from the garden: zucchini, winecap mushrooms, eggs and onions! Only the rice and carrots were bought from the store!

I was delighted to see that after I used up all the mushrooms that more had popped up!

More mushrooms! 

And winecaps get pretty big! I decided to let some grow larger to drop spores!

A big winecap mushrooms! 

I also found a couple of luffa gourds that I put in a different place! So, now we have been able to harvest 22!

Luffa gourds! 

And the one and only baby chick that was hatched out this summer gave us her first egg. It’s not really brown or white. She’s a cross bred hen, but we love her just the same!

A first egg! 

And a preview of a secret project for 2018:

Secret project! 

The Mr is making something pretty amazing for me! (You can guess in the comments if you’d like!) It’s part of next year’s goals, so I’ll share in just a few months! Next post will be an update on our 2017 goals and accomplishments from  October.

Greenest week ever!

This week I’ve been busy trying to green up my school!! My students read about an ecofriendly school and we did everything from discussing carbon footprints to writing letters to the mayor about more recycling opportunities in our town!

Remelted crayon and some student work 

I also created a recycling center in the teacher’s lunchroom for their soda/water bottles and k cup pods! I bought a cutter that makes cleaning out the cups way easier and then I just save up the cups to send in and compost the coffee grounds.

I have also been sharing my produce with my friends at work!

Yummy produce in upcycled containers!

And the Mr was able to upcycle the boy’s recalled crib into an easel that we are going to use at produce stands and craft shows!

I love it!

And, the sweet potatoes are blooming away! I think that their blooms are beautiful!

Sweet potato blooms

Does anyone else have to green up their workplace? I guess if I can’t get them to go zero waste, I can curb some waste! Have a great weekend!!

August Goals Update 2017

August was a month of birthdays, our 14th Anniversary and buying our new-to-us camper!  So, pretty great if you ask me! And, here’s how the ol’ 2017 goals are going!

1. Zero waste our home! We already do a good bit to avoid creating trash, but there is always room for improvement! We are still rarely eating  out, making our own cleaner and buying second hand when possible!

My thrift store haul! (Back to school clothes for me!) 

2. Declutter 20 items per month. Last year I decluttered 2016 items from this house. A major high five goes to the Mr!! He sold our roof top tent, camping trailer, and 2 sets of tires and rims! Go him!!

3. Create only 12 bags of garbage per year. Americans are super wasteful. We are going to try to only produce one 13 gallon kitchen trash bag per month. We also cancelled our garbage pickup because for $15, we can take our whole year’s worth of garbage to the landfill and still have extra money to spare!

Still only 4 bags for the year! 

4. Merge crafting and homestead business. I have not been getting too crafty lately. The beginning of the school year does that to me! But I am still getting some things made!

I’m working on more garden aprons! 

5. Create a summer kitchen. We will be turning a spot in the garage into a nice canning area. #comeonmrllewellyn!! Well, he isn’t an electrician so we shall see about this! But not to worry! We are still preserving all of our harvest!


6. Expand the garden. I widened the area along the fence and planted plants all throughout my yard. The fence garden is starting to fizzle out. The sunflowers are huge and the green bean trellis is growing pretty well too!

7. Grow some different plants. Luffa gourds were so fun to grow last year, and we are growing more this year! We are also growing popcorn, okra and my favorite: cucumelons! All are growing great!

8. Make a chicken viewing area. Yeah, um, I don’t think we are going to do this now! I love watching the chickens, but life has kept us busy!

9.Green up my school. Schools create an absurd amount of trash! My class recycled around 150 pounds of plastic film this year, and we are going to be doing the same recycling program this year! Plus, I’m going to green up the faculty lounge!

Our beautiful little pollinator garden! 

10. Track our solar panels. This month we reached 1.7 mwh! And our electric bill was less than $6 again!

We are loving our panels still! 

11. Continue beekeeping. We are still providing lodging for our flying insect friends! They will be getting a mite treatment and I’ll be checking in on their food supply! Right now they are really busy collecting nectar and pollen

All the pollinators are loving our sunflowers! 

12. Travel more with the family! We managed to visit so many places last year and only a few this year. But, next year has us excited! We got a great deal on a truck camper! With a little work, this baby is going to help us travel out west in 2018!

Our new to us camper! 

Hopefully you made August a productive month too! Tell me how your goals are going!!


Rotting food doesn’t make too many people excited, but I never claimed to be normal! Composting is an important part of our whole journey to creating less garbage, and a major win for the garden!  People most frequently ask how we create such a small amount of trash, or how a bag of trash that is in the garbage for over a month doesn’t stink! Well, keep reading to learn how easy it is!

4 bags of garbage so far in 2017!

So let’s get into the basics of composting! There are some rules to it because you don’t want a sloppy, stinking mess that attracts rodents! (By the way, I haven’t had that happen!) There are greens and browns, which are listed below:

The md extension website has a ton of great reliable info!

So, basically you collect these things instead of throwing them away. I keep mine in this ceramic crock that I empty out every few days. (If you empty it regularly, you don’t get fruit flies!)

Ceramic crock for scraps! 

You should try to keep your pile about 3 parts brown to 1 part green for optimal decomposition. I don’t focus on it being a perfect ratio. If it seems really wet, I add more brown (like leaves or shredded newspapers). If it seems dry, I add water and try to put in more greens. It is microorganisms at work, but perfection isn’t necessary! The biggest thing is to keep it moist and turn it about weekly.

Now, I’m not afraid to admit that I willingly take compost donations! Even my mom saves things for me! She knows my decomposition hierarchy:

1. Any edibles that are still good, go to the chickens. (If no people want it!)

2. Any moldy, slimy or just peelings go into the compost pile! 

Examples below:

Headed to the compost! 

Below is a picture of my first, and still slightly used compost pile. Your pile should be around 3 ft x 3 ft x 3 ft.

My grassy compost bin

As you can tell by the picture, this wasn’t working amazing. So, when we found a second hand composting tumbler for sale, we jumped at getting it.

Composting tumbler

Since it’s close to the house, it’s easy to use. I never smell it and it has 2 sides, which means one side is composting, while I’m adding scraps to the other side.

Almost ready! 

This compost is put right around my plants and it provides an enormous amount of nutrients for them. Healthy plants can fight off pests and disease better and grow better produce!

I have done my best at providing the basics to composting! If you have any questions, please ask!