Repurposing things for container gardens

May 16, 2021

One thing 2020 hopefully taught a lot of people is having extra food and supplies on hand can really help families during an emergency or disaster.

Also growing your own food can help supplement dietary needs, plus gardening will get you outdoors so you can soak up some vitamin D.

We are fortunate enough to live on some acreage so we have several in-ground gardens, but we also made a few raised / container gardens this year repurposing some things around the property.

Temperatures have been nice and cool this spring so the lettuce we planted in an old truck box is doing great. The box used to hold several kinds of flowers but, after the February snowpocalypse with subzero temps hit Texas, we lost those plants (and many others) and decided to use the truck box as a container garden for vegetables.

The raised garden required more work to build using some leftover metal roofing sheets and steel poles (and lots of free mulch from our local preserve), but the finished product makes it so much easier to work and harvest without having to bend over.

raised garden

The 14’ x 4’ container garden also can be tightened with turnbuckles on top in case the mulch and soil starts to settle and tries to push out the sides. And we can use poles and wire to throw some shade cloth over the sides and/or top during hot summer months, or to help insulate winter crops when temperatures drop, if needed. The goal is to can, freeze and dehydrate foods from the raised and in-ground gardens to complement our stored preps.

Even if you don’t have a yard, you can still grow vegetables and herbs in small tubs or pots on your patio or indoors by a sunny window.

And if space is limited, consider vertical gardening … or learn how to grow microgreens or sprouts.

And if you like flowers, look into edible flowers and realize some varieties also have edible shoots, leaves, and tubers.

But back to repurposing things – check out some cool repurposed garden container ideas here and here, and share pics of your gardens and/or container suggestions in the comments.

Happy gardening ~ j & B


We’re baaa-aack

June 7, 2016

tx-signSorry we’ve been so M.I.A. lately, but we’re back in the saddle now and wanted to share some updates and pics about our latest adventures.

We have officially left Arizona now and moved our company to Texas where we plan to settle down someday. For the next year or 2 we hope to travel around the country in our motorhome, but haven’t hit the road yet since we’ve had some serious family health issues the past several months. Thankfully both Mom and my brother are doing better and so glad we were able to be here to help them during this time.

Anyway — we are now living in our 36-ft motorhome full time back working on custom book projects, revamping our sites, and helping moderate the U.S. First Responders Association facebook page and website.

Plus we’re helping Mom and bro with their dogs, gardens/yard work, and Mom’s chickens … and spending time with family we haven’t seen much the past 19 years since Bill’s health limited our travel.

Bill has a great green thumb but I’ve never been much into yard work, however now that I’ve been helping with the gardens, I love it and learning LOTS.

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I’m also smitten with Mom’s chickens. She’s got 15 white pullets (young 9-month old chicks) and 8 older hens from 3 other breeds she bought over the years. (If you purchase breeds that lay different color eggs it helps you find out which older ones are still laying ~ esp. when there’s only 1 or 2 older hens left.)

We won’t bore you with chicken stories (for now) but they are entertaining, very vocal and stinky ~ and they bless us with 15 to 20 white, brown and green eggs a day so I don’t mind putting up with their crap. (giggle)

Mom doesn’t raise meat chickens so we haven’t dispatched / butchered any, but once Bill and I settle down on our own personal farm that is on my wish list (along with raising rabbits, bees, a mini cow, etc.)

Here are some photos from east TX…

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tx-garden n greenhouse

In addition to the wonderful veggies and fruit in gardens and greenhouse, Mom and bro have beautiful flowers everywhere so Bill makes pretty arrangements often for our motorhome…

tx-flower collage

Cheers all, stay safe and talk soon! j & B

tx-flowers n wine


12 Deadliest Garden Plants (descriptions, photos and symptoms of poisoning)

January 31, 2013

We wanted to share a great post from ThisOldHouse.com about 12 deadly plants that parents and pet parents need to be aware of. Danielle Blundell provides photos, descriptions of the plant including the deadly parts of each, and the toxic toll it can take on small children and critters.

12 deadliest garden plants

Your garden may be a relaxing retreat, but it’s not a place to let your guard down, especially when it comes to small children and the family pet. Some popular plants you prize for their ornamental beauty can turn into toxic killers within minutes if ingested, whether consumed out of curiosity or by mistake. With this list you’ll know what flowers, shrubs, and berries to warn young, inquisitive minds about and which bushes and flowers to keep out of paw’s reach. You’ll also learn the symptoms of poisoning because—after prevention—rapid treatment is the only defense against death.

Continue reading on ThisOldHouse.com


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