DIY Soil Block Maker


diy soil block maker

I’ve been hearing some buzz lately…

…about these handy-dandy soil block thingies that people are using to start their seeds.

I’ve been pretty loyal to my nifty little newspaper pots for a while now, but being the nosy curious homesteader that I am, I just had to check out these new pots on the block. (Sorry… I couldn’t help myself) :)

My initial detective work led me to this soil block maker on Amazon for $30 (affiliate link). It has good reviews, and a lot of people seem to be having success with it, so it’s definitely an option.

But then the DIY-side of my brain kicked into gear and I started scheming about how I could make one of these oh-so-trendy soil block makers myself.

So that’s what we are doing here today–and there are two different styles you can choose from. The first one (the classy tin can model) was my project on Sunday afternoon. I like that one because it’s super simple and super cheap. But then hubby came along and decided he could make it even better, so I’m including his version as well. I actually like his design better, but don’t tell him I said that…

DIY Soil Block Maker (the classy tin can version)

You will need:

  • An empty tin can (I think the one I used was the 15 oz size–or something like that)
  • A chunk of dowel or a round/square wooden stick of some sort (scrap lumber is great)
  • A screw (or two)
  • Potting soil
  • Water
  • A pan/tray to hold the blocks

diy can soil block maker

Remove both ends from the can. You’ll need to save one end, but you can toss the other one.

Attach the lid of the can to the dowel/stick with the screw. We drilled a guide hole first, and then screwed it together.… [Continue Reading]

DIY Daily Shower Cleaner


diy daily shower spray

It’s kind of a bad combo…

Not only does our poor shower have to deal with the normal grime that comes as a result of farm life, but we also have super-duper hard water…

And let’s be honest–scrubbing down the shower on a regular basis isn’t real high on my priority list right now.

So what happens?

You guessed it– things get scummy really quickly. And when I say scummy, I’m talkin’ about a build up of dingy grime that’s thick enough to scrape off with your fingernail.

Um, yuck.

Thankfully, my Homemade Scum Buster Bar is a lifesaver–and it takes a lot of the elbow grease out of the shower cleaning process.

The problem is that you need to actually use it in order for it to work, and I’ll admit that I don’t pull it out of the cabinet as frequently as I should.

So, that’s where this nifty DIY Shower Cleaner Spray comes into play!

I mixed up this concoction to help keep things slightly less-scummy between cleanings. And so far? It seems to be working!

DIY Daily Shower Cleaner Spray

Instructions:

daily shower spray recipe

Mix all the ingredients together in a quart-sized spray bottle.

Shake well, and spray onto shower surfaces every day after use.

Notes:

  • Remember–this is designed as a maintenance spray, so I would suggest starting with a clean shower first. It won’t remove built-on grime by itself, it’ll just slow down the process.
  • Want to try a fun shower cleaning technique? My DIY Scum Buster bar is a favorite at my house!
  • [Continue Reading]

50+ Ways to Detox your Cleaning Cabinet (Coupon Code!)

diy natural cleaning recipes

I have some good news and some bad news…

I’ll start with the bad news…

An investigation by the Environmental Working Group looked into 2,000 different cleaning products on the market today and found that many of them contain toxic substances linked to things like cancer, asthma, and birth defects. And some cleaning products even contain lovely ingredients like formaldehyde and chloroform… Nice, huh?

So about that good news?

There are approximately 1,783, 094 different recipes for DIY cleaning products online so it’s pretty easy to figure out how to replace many of these toxic cleaners with non-toxic homemade concoctions instead.

But sorting through those 1,783,094 different recipes can be rather overwhelming–especially when many of them just plain don’t work.

So what’s a homesteader to do?

A DIY Cleaning Masterpiece

DIY Non-Toxic Cleaning Recipes is a one-of-a-kind collection of tested home-cleaner recipes. Not only does it include proven techniques for some of the things I’ve really struggled with (like dishwasher detergent…), but a lot of these recipe titles sound almost good enough to eat. (But don’t, m’kay?)

I have hundreds of ebooks in my digital collection, but this one remains one of my all-time-favorites. For reals.

Inside, you’ll find 50+ recipes for things like:

diygrapefruit

Ruby Red Grapefruit Soft Scrub

diyair

6 different natural air fresheners with scrumptious names like Tuscan Escape, Tahitian Lime, and Earthy Delight

diyliquiddish

Homemade Dish Liquid

diylemonade

Pink Lemonade Dish Detergent

diydisposal

Garbage Disposal Freshener Cubes

Plus, Learn How to:

  • Make Lemon & Rosemary Dusting Spray
  • Make your own washing soda
  • Make simple coconut oil soap for your laundry
  • Create a lemon oil infusion
  • Remove rust from your cast-iron cookware
  • Make DIY leather conditioner and stainless steel cleaner
  • Mix up a safe fruit & veggie wash
  • And TONS more!

The recipes are proven, the photos are lovely, and this is one cleaning book that I actually enjoy reading![Continue Reading]

15 Creative Uses for Coffee Grounds


uses for coffee grounds

I have a fascination…

… with finding ways to save common everyday “cast-offs” from ending up in the trash.

So far, I’ve compiled some big ol’ lists of ways to put your eggshells, leftover whey, and sour raw milk to good use, and I’ve been thinking about coffee grounds for a while now…

Even though we don’t drink a ton of coffee here on the homestead, we still end up with plenty of extra grounds, and I always hate tossing them in the trash.

Come to find out, coffee grounds are pretty amazing! If you aren’t a coffee drinker yourself but would still like to try some of these projects, visit local coffee shops and ask for their spent grounds.

15 Creative Uses Coffee Grounds

(Note: these ideas are all meant to be done with used coffee grounds)

1. Mix them into your compost pile

The simplest way to put spent coffee grounds to good use? Toss them in your compost pile to give it an added boost of nitrogen.

2. Use them as plant food

Coffee grounds are acidic, which makes them a great soil amendment for blueberries, roses, hydrangeas, and other acid-loving plants.

3. Grow ‘shrooms

People love coffee and mushrooms love coffee. Who woulda thought? Give your mushroom growing operation a boost by mixing coffee grounds into the growing medium.

4. Give your worms a buzz

OK, not really… But worms do appreciate coffee grounds–and they actually need gritty substances (such as coffee grounds) in their diet to aid in the digestive process.

5. Deter the creepy-crawlies

Sprinkle coffee grounds in areas where you would like to repel ants, snails, or slugs.

6. Cook with coffee grounds

Use coffee grounds as a meat rub or mix a bit into your next marinade concoction.

7.[Continue Reading]