Wild Things Farm

  (Crab Orchard, Tennessee)
Farm life adventures of the Happy Hoer
[ Member listing ]

Recycling--Country Style!

Any farmer knows that to make ends meet, you've got to get creative!  I'd like to share with you some of the ways items find new uses around this farm. 

The chicken coop is framed out of pallets that metal roofing is shipped on.  They are 9 feet long x 3-1/2 feet wide, they are very sturdy, and a few straight ones and a little imagination go a long way.  The house is now covered with board and batten siding salvaged from a dead tree.   Inside the chicken coop are a kitchen cabinet with 4 nest boxes in it and a chest of drawers with 6 boxes in it.  You could say the Happy Hens have a "furnished house", complete with floor covering made of rubber roofing salvaged from a roofing job. 

The shop attached to the greenhouse is also framed from pallets and the windows are from an old house.   The greenhouse was salvaged for the price of hauling it off on a trailer behind a pickup truck, but the real cost was in figuring out just how all the buckets of gasket materials, different size glass panes and different channels would all work out to make a greenhouse to attach to the shop (without instructions).  It leaks here and there but it's great!


An old laundry tub serves as a washing station down at the gardens.

The 3/4" solid oak paneling in the farmhouse was salvaged from a local restaurant being demolished.  The oak covers the bottom half of all the walls in the house, plus made some very usable kitchen cabinets.  The glass doors on the upper cabinets were salvaged from a bookcase that had been discarded.

The floor in the foyer is made of rosewood, salvaged from---you'll never guess---pallets made to ship copper coils.  It hasn't been sanded and finished yet, but it's really unique. 

One of the bathroom doors came from the same restaurant


and the other one came from an old house in town.  The kitchen sink (temporary) is an old service bar.  It has a really nice big tub and two side drain boards, but the hole is rather small for a kitchen sink.  I've got my eyes open........

The door under the stairs is a door from one of the Homestead Houses built about 75 years ago.  The backside is a "z" bar.  The wooden latch is handmade and the knob was found at an old house site in nearby Knoxville.   The hinges have been in a box for years and the entire ensemble was provided and orchestrated by my awesome significant other :)

Feed bags are utilized for trash, and mountains of leaves from a nearby community are recycled on the gardens each season. 

The chickens are the major recyclers of kitchen scraps and garden waste. 

It takes lots of imagination, storage space, and treasure piles here and there to hang on to items that "I'll use that someday".  You never know, that day just might be today!


Update on the Happy Hens at Wild Things Farm

One of the highlights of Wild Things Farm are the Happy Hens.  They scratch and jabber and do chickeny things all day, every day.  Last week there was a breech in security....aka the fence came loose from the chicken house....so about 9 chickens decided to go for it.  I've actually let all the hens out this time of year to scratch around and "fly the coop" so to speak, just to break the winter boredom.  Well, this day a hawk decided he would also check out the chickens.    I arrived at the pen just in time to persuade the hawk to fly back up into the tree where he came from, but the chickens were all spooked and one buff orpington was "hiding" somewhat under the edge of the coop, but I picked her up and put her back in the house. 

The next day was "wing clipping" day.  One of my jobs as a chicken momma is to keep them safe and you know, EVERYTHING likes chicken.  So, early in the morning, just at daybreak (brrrrr) each chicken was caught and one wing clipped then moved to the pen outside.  When all were done I left the door open and no one offered to come back in---imagine that!

Now, every time I get near the pen to feed, water, collect eggs, or just say "hi" they all run like haints to the other side of the pen.  Maybe they'll get over it soon.

On Monday another group of lucky girls was brought to the farm to be part of the Happy Hens at Wild Things Farm.  They are called Production Reds and they are 8 weeks old.  They spent the first night in a big cardboard box in the shop, the second night in their box in the henhouse, and last night they stayed in the chicken house with the big girls and Mr. Rooster sir.

The coop was originally constructed to house more birds than were occupying it, so now we're up to capacity----except a few more nest boxes need to be built--that's a project for a warmer day.


Keeping an eye (and bucket, and board, and stick) on the weather

Here we are, "knee deep" into winter.  December around here was as cold as I remember it being for such an extended spell.  At least the temperature has gotten into the double digits now, although still quite cold. 

Back in the fall someone from the NOAA contacted the farm to see if being a daily "weather observer" was something of interest.  The duties include reading and reporting the temperature maximum and minimums and temperature at observation time,  every day, which is all done with this handy-dandy inside unit:

The temperatures are detected by this strange-looking thermometer on a stick in the back yard:  (the blocks are part of the future fireplace/chimney project)

 and when it rains or snows, the rain gauge, a fiberglass snow board, and a measuring stick come into play.

The rain gauge is pretty cool though, because you can measure down to the hundredths-of-an-inch of rain.  A plexiglass "cutting board" is utilized to measure the snowfall depth.

The weather service utilizes observers to more completely get a picture of weather and climate in an area.  It's also interesting to see how many degrees difference there are between Wild Things Farm and the local airport.  Airport you say?  Why certainly---the Crossville International Airport-----just kidding.

RSS feed for Wild Things Farm blog. Right-click, copy link and paste into your newsfeed reader