As homesteaders we tend to put up with certain things, like how mud and chicken coops typically go hand in hand. Growing tired of walking and slipping in the mud every morning during the rainy season, it was time to do something. We had recently replaced our back deck. Instead of just throwing the old deck away, we decided to flip some of the boards over and give the lumber a new lease on life, as a CHICKEN COOP BOARDWALK.


The coop sat in an old unused garden bed. By using the boards that made up the border of the old garden and several pallets, we were able to level out the deck and connect the coop to a nearby garden. We did incorporate 3 small gardening areas. One for wild flowers, a second for our beans, and a third for pickles/ tomatoes. We were also able to reuse some of the railing from our old deck and use it as a border around our “Pickle Patch.”


Finally, the coop needed a fresh coat of paint to brighten up the space, as well as some new welded wire after an animal attack tore apart one wall. We will be the first to admit that it might not be our “dream coop,” but in the end we are truly happy with how it turned out.


Most important though was NO MORE MUD and the project cost us NEARLY NOTHING due to the fact that almost all of the material was reclaimed!!!




IMG_5005This homemade dishwasher detergent washes great.
It has drops of LEMON essential oil that takes away the well water smell left on our dishes.
And is only approx. $.07 CENTS a load. Love it!!!
The name brand we have been using costs about $.20 cents a load.

So here is the recipe and cost breakdown.

Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (3 lbs. 7oz.) – $3.97IMG_5009
Borax (4 lbs. 12 oz.) – $3.97
Baking Soda (4 lbs.) – $2.24
Lemon essential oil (Young Living 15ml) – $14.80

We buy the large sodas and Borax in the laundry section of the store. It adds up to about 11lbs, so this recipe goes a long way.
From 1 purchase you will end up having 350 washes. I just love the idea of only spending $25.00 once a year for our dishwasher detergent. Here’s how to make it.

2 CUPS – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
2 CUPS – Borax
2 CUPS – Baking Soda
40 drops – Lemon essential oil

Mix all together in a airtight sealed container.
Our large mason jar works great. Use 1 tablespoon per load.
Hope you like it as much as we do.

Laundry Day!

IMG_4020Thanks to my amazing husband, we have a new clothesline! So happy that we have a beautiful day to hang clothes out, today. We hang our sheets in half, pillow cases by the end seam and t-shirts upside down. This works great for us. The sheets do not touch the ground this way. The pillow cases do not bubble up in the breeze and the t-shirts will not have marks in the shoulders from the clothes pins. Last year we saved almost $40 a month on our electric bill by drying our clothes outside.  Can’t wait to bring the sunshine in with the laundry!IMG_4022


I have been wanting to make this for over a year.
But, I had alot of questions:
Would it really clean?
Was it safe for HE WASHERS?
Would it save me money?
Could it live up to a dirty homestead lifestyle & a 4 year old?
Was it easy?

I found out! YES! To every question. I really wish I had made this sooner. It cost approx. $20 for everything. And I realized I no longer need to buy fabric softener. My clothes smell amazing, are soft and there is no static cling. So, that saves me money too!

I am quite picky when it comes to cleaning. I have only used liquid detergent for years. I didn’t like the residue feeling from the powders. So, again I was very skeptical to make my own.

The day I made this my four year old spilled a plate size red kool-aid stain on his white sheets. yeah! I sprayed it with Spray ‘n Wash Resolve pre-treat and ran my first white load with my new homemade detergent. I thought, if this wouldn’t test it, nothing will. It all came out! Not even that “oh, i can deal with that barely seen soft pink color that’s left”. My whites have never looked better.

I know this will last me longer than my regular purchases. For a family of 3, this batch has lasted us about 5 months. THAT’S ONLY $4 PER MONTH!!!

Here’s the run down:

20 Mule Team Borax
Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda
Oxi Clean Stain Remover Powder
Purex Crystals Laundry Enhancer
Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap
5 Gallon bucket
Mannual cheese grater

I found all these ingredients at Walmart. Dump first 5 ingredients into a clean dry 5 gallon bucket & stir. Grate Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap into bucket & stir some more. That’s it! I have placed some back into the Oxi Clean bucket, a 4 pint Ball canning jar and the rest stayed in the bucket. It made approx. 3 gallons. I hope you try it too. Let me know what you think.