Farming on a Shoestring Budget.

If you follow me often, you know that this year I’ve started a small suburban farm, Collingwood Farm. I love it. I tell people I am more content than I have ever been. And I am. But this year, things are a little slow going, as expected. I’m still working my “real” job, so I can afford to run the farm. Time is a little tight, and so is money. But, we expected the first year to be the investment year. Next year will be better.

But how are you making it work?” you ask. The answer is simple. RECYCLING!

One of the unspoken mission statements of the farm is to reduce waste, and utilize as much “trash” as we can. In turn, we end up saving on expenses. So, I wanted to share some of our more recent projects, because I think they’re pretty darn cool. 🙂


My husband and I made this coop kind of on the fly, back in February. We inherited some chickens, (and then bought 3 more), but really didn’t have adequate housing for the poor girls. It houses the 6 girls comfortably, and they have plenty of space in the pen while we’re at work. And it all cost about $50 bucks!

The base of the coop is some shipping pallets I got free from craigslist. The frame and pen were made from lumbar we got free from a local business that just threw it away after using it for shipping materials. The inside was lined with pressed board that came free from craigslist, and given a good coat of paint from left-overs from painting some rooms in our house. The roof is pieces of plastic awning that shaded the windows on our house when we first moved in. We took them down when we replaced the windows, and my brilliant husband saved them! The fencing and other doo-dads were all things we already had acquired somewhere along the way.

The main investments were:

  1. (2) Plywood for the outside and roof- $16
  2. Hardware (screw, nails, brackets, hinges)- $25 **We got these from the Habitat for Humanity Restore, so they were also recycled!
  3. Red paint- $15 (The guy at the paint counter liked what we were doing so much, he gave us a discount!)



There you have it! Check back soon for a “Part 2”!


I’m back!! For the moment…

Hello my blogging friends! I have found my way back to my blog. I’ve been more of a lurker lately, mostly due to the fatigue of Spring farming. (Don’t feel bad, I love it!) I have been doing a lot of blogging at Collingwood Farm, because we’re trying to get the business off the ground.  Check it out. Constructive criticism is always welcome.

In my absence, I was nominated for not one, but TWO, awards. And I am extremely honored.

Thank you to Anna, at Oceannah, nominated me for the Very Inspirational Blogger Award.

According to the rules, I am to share 7 things you don’t already know about me, so here goes:

1. I’m a nurse practitioner by trade, but farmer by everything else. 🙂

2. My neice looks just like me. (Shhh…her mom hates when I say that.)

3. My husband is my best friend.

4. I hate canned peas. HATE THEM!

5. I love the color red.

6. I wear a size 8 1/2 shoe

7. I farm in my flip flops.

Probably too much information…. 🙂

And my second award is From Julie at Outtakes on the Outskirts. The Sunshine Award comes with the follow questions:

  1. What is your favorite color?  Red
  2. What is your favorite animal? Dogs, monkeys, pigs, and I never thought I’d say it–chickens!!
  3. What is your favorite number?  22 (My birth day.)
  4. What is your favorite non-alcholic drink? Coffee.
  5. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter?  Never twittered, and gave up facebook for New Years. It’s worked out beautifully! And I don’t miss it!
  6. What is your passion? Hmmm…farming, independence, happiness.
  7. Do you prefer getting or giving presents? Making, then giving. That’s my fav!
  8. What is your favorite pattern? Pattern. Really?? Whatever is on my pillowcase.
  9. What is your favorite day of the week?  Friday.
  10. What is your favorite flower? Sunflowers!

So thank you, Julie!!

I promise to pass the awards on to deserving bloggers the next day it rains. 🙂 (Which at this rate seems like never!)

Well, I had ideas to post about my recent arugula pesto recipe, and some other goodies that came up on the farm, but I’m afraid I’ve already run out of time. I promise to post again before a month goes by.

Happy Memorial Day!


I was going to post about this tonight, but Soulsby Farm beat me! And since they did it wonderfully, I’ll just reblog! Enjoy!

Two Barn Farm

I’m not one to post back-to-back entries, I’m usually good for one a week but if you didn’t see the new ad for Chiptotle, take a couple of minutes and watch it. This is Chipotle’s first tv ad and wow! They nailed it, amazing. Smart campaign to target a “Back to Basics” farming approach in this short animated commercial featuring Willie Nelson covering Coldplay…

It reminds me of Pixar’s “Up” when they were able to convey so much emotion in the first ten minutes (when she was unable to have children) completely through nonverbal means. I’m not saying go to Chipotle’s (owned by McDonald’s) but I am saying what they made here is gold and will hopefully force change in the industrial agricultural factory farming community.

Baby steps, right?

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