Ward House

What do you have to trade?

This weekend had some amazingly mild temperatures and Ronnie and I took advantage by cutting more wood and hanging laundry outside.  Several things happened during this little adventure: we now need a new chain for the saw as the one we have will not tighten up anymore and is too loose (anyone tried to remove one of the links and then use?) and we completed busting out the back cab window of Ronnie’s truck.  Now he is true red with a piece of Plexiglas screwed into the back.   Yee haw!

I gazed wistfully at our garden spot, waiting for when I can start playing.  I know there are things I can be doing to the garden to help prepare it for the upcoming season yet am paralyzed on where to begin.  Dancingfarmer at WNDN had a great post including some of the goodies that she does to prepare.  If I put a layer of newspaper down, how do I keep it from blowing away?  Wetting it down helps initially; however, once it dries the newspaper becomes flighty again.

Mudrooms:  our mudroom is small, 9×10, and is also the laundry room, recycling center, clothes drying rack holder, worm bin housing room.  I found this cute blog today while reading about an eco-mudroom and the benefits of removing your shoes at the door.  Some of this clay would be nice on the walls.  =)

Bartering – something that seems to come naturally for some (I know they have worked to get it to appear effortless) and a skill at which I will become more skilled.  Skills that I have to exchange would include knitting/crocheting/cross stitch, novice sewing/mending, novice bread maker (need help with biscuits.  Mine do not seem to rise enough, even when using biscuit flour), teach bellydance (not the hoochie coochie), set up blogs for the less computer literate. . . . I am still thinking.  My homesteading skills are not as well honed as my mentors and learning is a constant process.  Perhaps I can make some chutney to sell local restuarants?  Eggs will be great once I have the chickens housed.  =)


February 2, 2009 - Posted by | Cooking, Gardening | , ,


  1. Annette: somehow your comment got messed up at Women Not Dabbling under my soil post. In regards to your newspapers: I hang on to mine until I have some soil/hay/mulch or anything like that to place over them and hold them down. I do like to wet them first (my preference not a have to kind of thing) for ease of placement and to hold them in place until the mulch is placed over them. I keep them in a spare trash can just for that purpose or stacked neat as I can until use. Another idea is to shred them by hand and put them into your compost pile or use them in a worm bin. In the compost pile try and layer/mix them in so (again) they don’t blow away.
    When you mulch your plants, especially bushes,perennial flowers and small trees with thick (8 pages thick) newspaper and then put mulch over them: It will be a good 2 years before weeds find their way through that. That newspaper makes a great “weed fabric” plus it adds nutrients and draws worms. I even use newspaper around some of my more long lived veggies (asparagus, rhubarb etc) and berries covering with old hay instead of the more expensive bark mulch though.
    Good Luck!
    Monica (aka dancingfarmer)

    Comment by Monica | February 3, 2009 | Reply

    • My apologies Monica – Didnt mean to mispost; I think I was trying to link to the WNDN post. Oy! =/ I appreciate your replying though. I need all the planting, amending soil tidbits I can get my hands on!! Right now we have 5″ of snow and expecting another 7 so it’ll be this weekend before I can start laying down some paper.
      Thanks Monica!

      Comment by Annette | February 3, 2009 | Reply

  2. Our clothes drying rack moves around the house to keep it out of the way. In the evenings it is in the kitchen whereas, in the afternoons and mornings it is in the living room. As soon as the weather is nice enough it will go outside on the patio!

    Comment by Mary Q Contrarie | February 21, 2009 | Reply

    • I love my clothes drying racks. One lives in the laundry room and the other lives over the duct in the family room or is tucked behind the sofa when not in use. Using these racks and not the dryer has trimmed $90 from our electric bill! I wait for sunny days above freezing to hang sheets. If there are no nice days above freezing then I use the dryer. Cannot wait for nice days to start hanging outside all the time. =)

      Comment by Annette | February 22, 2009 | Reply

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