Wild Things Farm

  (Crab Orchard, Tennessee)
Farm life adventures of the Happy Hoer
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Building Beehives

One person's demolition project is another's construction project.   A friend of mine added a garage to his house and in the process demolished part of the porch.  The porch ceiling and floor were both made from cedar boards.  They were headed to the burn pile but he offered them to me.  I saw beehives!

One of "the winter projects" is to build 7 beehives.  I'm wanting to expand the apiary and I think 10 is a good, reasonable number of hives for a novice beekeeper.  I've been waiting for warmer weather to continue working on the boxes, and every day I think it will be warm enough but today I decided to just do it although the high for the day was only 31 degrees.

My woodworking shop is on the back porch so I put on down-filled overalls and jacket and started up the table saw.

All the sawing was done outside, and the glueing and nailing done in the warmth of the house.

The boards are not wide enough to make a medium box (I use all medium 8-frame supers) so I'm gluing two of them together then trimming it to size.  The piece that is trimmed off the glued boards is then cut at an angle on one side to shed water and then glued and air-nailed over the seam--voila! a dual purpose handle and joint reinforcement.



The ends are notched to accommodate the frames and allow for "bee space".   Corners are glued and nailed with finish  nails.

Finished box, sitting on top of the crude jig I made to put these boxes together.

FullSizeRender (2)The handles are ending up at different positions on each box but I don't think that's going to be a problem because every time I look at the them I'll know they are in the "free" position!

Plans are to just let the hives weather.  Can't wait to get back in the bees and the gardens!


Yet another creative use for plastic grocery bags

Any of you that grew up when paper grocery bags were the only option at the store knows just how handy the plastic bags are that we get now.  I know they are annoying and they have a bad habit of multiplying in the cabinet, BUT could you imagine being able to carry in 9 paper bags of groceries at one time?  Nope.

Plastic grocery sacks are recycled here on the farm to hold veggies, bag trash, and even stuff floating row cover in and mark the bag with a marker as to which garden bed it fits.  The latest "aha" moment came when I was wearing lace-up boots and wanted to come in the house without tracking garden debris everywhere........

Voila!  I have hundreds of shoe protectors...........and my floor stays a little bit cleaner :)


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!

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