Tag Archives: Environment

GO GREEN – Compostable Utensils & Wooden Plates!

by Tammy Taylor~

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Did y’all know there’s such a thing as ‘Plastic-Free July’? Me neither! But you know I hate plastic so I’m loving anything that has to do with eliminating more of it.  And it’s perfect timing since recent buying decisions had me looking for disposable utensils.

Wait a minute, WHAT Tammy??!  I thought you hated disposable things!

Yes, you’re correct… But we were hosting an outdoor family reunion I didn’t want my good flatware going outside & being lost or thrown away accidentally.  And you KNOW I’m not gonna use anything plastic!  So I went online searching for options.  I was intrigued to find compostable forks, knives and spoons.  There are many manufacturers out there but PerfectWare utensils by Perfect Stix were actually WAXED.  I knew right then & there that I’d be buying those!

Compostable Waxed Flatware? YES! These waxed utensils are inexpensive and fully compostable. Used for backyard BBQ's & weddings! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Repurposing Coffee Canisters – Removing The Print

by Tammy Taylor~

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I’ve written before about repurposing those handy empty coffee canisters to a new life.  They’ve been used in my garden to simplify chores, and I’ve painted them & planted in them for my patio.  And those painted canisters make a cute presentation when I want to share plants with friends too.  But recently I had a foodsy-type repurpose I wanted to do with them.

Since I would be using them for storing food I didn’t want to paint the canister.  I dunno, it’s probably fine, but I worried about whether with repeated use the paint might fleck off or even get mixed in with our food.  For whatever reason, I wanted to leave the canister unpainted.  But removing the print proved to be more difficult than I thought.  Scrubbing the canister, using nail polish remover, paint thinner – even a straight-edge blade wouldn’t remove that print!  Hummmm…  this is going to take a little more investigation…

Removing The Print On An Empty Coffee Canister.  I like to repurpose those coffee canisters, but how do you remove the print? It was more complicated than I thought.  #TaylorMadeHomestead

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How To Harvest Mammoth Sunflower Seeds

by Tammy Taylor~

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I love sunflowers!  As a matter of fact they may be my absolute favorite flower.  I mean, what’s not to love?  They’re super easy to grow, they bloom prolifically and I’ve always said “Yellow is a HAPPY color!”  I plant a row of Mammoth Sunflowers at the edge of my garden every year.  I love the look of the cheery yellow blossoms.  And my mom always comments about how beautiful they are when she visits.

This year I planted the sunflowers along the chicken fence side of the garden.  Those huge sunflower plants offer shade during the heat of the day for my chickens.  Oh, and our bees love them too. That’s a lot of bang for my package-of-seeds buck! But now it’s time to harvest those sunflower seeds.  Come see what I did.

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The Amazing Traveling Basket: Shopping

by Tammy Taylor~

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Recently RancherMan & I enjoyed a vacation with my siblings in New Braunfuls, Texas.  It was a great time filled with family, sight seeing, shopping & some pretty fancy restaurants.  We all even got to enjoy a concert at the famous Gruene Hall.  And as luck would have it, we were visiting during Market Days weekend too.

Market Days is an outside market filled with vendors of many different kinds.  Craftsmen were selling anything from hair clips made from vintage silverware to hand-made leather pistol holsters.   Then I spied a vendor who was selling baskets, and  I’ve wanted a basket for years.  To me they’re beautiful and very functional pieces of art.   On this day I picked out a gorgeous, roomy hand-made basket with leather handles.  It even had strips of bright pink woven in.  Since becoming a breast cancer survivor I enjoy having splashes of pink around me.  This basket is beautiful, I love it!

I bought a handmade basket and look forward to using it in many various ways. Today I share the main way I use my basket: shopping! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Using Natural Materials: Straw In The Garden

by Tammy Taylor~

Y’all know we live in Texas.  You also know it’s typically hot and dry during our summertime months.  So I’m careful to mulch our garden heavily.  Mulching helps the plants in many ways.  It not only conserves that precious moisture, but it also moderates soil temps.  I like to mulch with natural materials whenever possible.  A typical gardening year will see me mulching with grass clippings, leaves or spent hay.

But I have a section of my garden that holds my Concord Grapevine.  I’ve trained it to grow along the fence.  It’s LOADED with grapes!  But I’ve also vowed to keep the Bermuda grass from creeping into my garden.  So all the walkways in the garden plus a wide perimeter swath is mulched with wood chips.  But the grapevine is right at the lifeline.  So to keep bermuda from creeping in around the grapevine I surrounded it with 3 bales of wheat straw.  The purpose was just to deny sneaky Bermuda the sunlight as it attempts to grow beneath the bales to get into my garden.  Permission:  DENIED!

But those straw bales are several years old now.  They’re just spent and starting to deteriorate.  I need to replace them.

I use organic matter for mulch in my garden - often grass clippings or spent hay. But come see how a bale of straw does double duty! #TaylorMadeHomestead

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How To Make A Rustic Cedar Log Solar Light

by Tammy Taylor~

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Right next to the house lies our barn paddock.  It is a small paddock that features our amazing 1880’s barn as well as a small fenced area.  This paddock is used often to wean calves, work the herd or separate specific cows for whatever reason.  In this paddock was a huge, very old cedar tree.  I loved that thing, it was massive!  But last year it died and RancherMan had to pull it down.  Broke my heart, y’all!  He took one of the huge limbs and made me a laundry pole, I love that.  And he used several of the straight branches to make beautiful walking sticks too.  Then the rest of this tree was hauled to our burn pile.

But with our annual RanchFest family reunion coming up I panicked.  In a few days that bonfire will be lit & it’ll be gone forever!  So I asked RancherMan to go to the burn pile & cut off about 5 ft of that huge tree.  Puzzled, he placated me…

I made a cute rustic 3-tier cedar log solar light feature for my home's front walk. I love the way it turned out and it was inexpensive #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Another Great Use For Repurposed Coffee Canisters

by Tammy Taylor~

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So y’all know RancherMan & I are coffee drinkers.  You know, like in “Stay away until I’ve had my coffee” kinda coffee drinkers.  Having a ‘Skip Coffee Day’ is never an option, so don’t even ask.  But we don’t want sweetsy, foamy flavored, overly-sugared drinks.  We want coffee.  Strong, black, delicious.  We prefer Folders coffee in the Taylor Household.  That plastic canister it’s sold in comes in handy for many uses when it’s empty.  We store chicken feed and dog food in them.  And RancherMan uses them in the shop to gather bolts & hardware together.  And I’ve even spray painted them and used them for sharing plants from my garden with friends.  But I still need to put them to use.  Our coffee consumption goes on, ya know??  So here’s another simple way those empty canisters still help me out.

Repurposing Coffee Canisters In The Garden. Those plastic coffee canisters. You love 'em, but how many can you use? I'm sharing another way I'm able to repurpose them. #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Cooking With The Sun – SW Chicken w/Seasoned Brown Rice

by Tammy Taylor~

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Our homestead is located in the hot & humid south.  Here in NE Texas I do all I can to keep that  heat outside where it belongs when the temps (and the humidity) start to go up.  I have many ways of doing this.  For instance, our tea is usually brewed in a repurposed hourglass-shaped jar on the picnic table, courtesy of the sun.  And our clean laundry is almost always dried outside on our *Retractable Clothesline, even in the colder winter months.  But one of my favorite ways to keep heat outside is by using my *Solar Oven to cook our food.  My solar oven came with an enameled cooking set so I typically use those items when I’m cooking with the sun.  One of the included vessels is a double-stack black enamelware covered pan.  That will be perfect for today’s dish: Southwest Chicken served on a bed of seasoned brown rice.  Quick & easy, mix it & forget it.  The whole meal cooks at the same time!

Cooking With The Sun! Here in NE Texas I want to keep cooking heat & humidity outside. So I cooked my SW Chicken with seasoned brown rice in my solar oven! #TaylorMadeHomestead*

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How To Get FREE Veggie Plants For Your Garden

by Tammy Taylor~

So I recently shared an update on my veggie garden progress.  If you’ve read it you know my peppers and tomatoes were pretty much a bust this year due to our weird spring.  You see, I planted seeds in my indoor greenhouse and placed that greenhouse at a south-facing window in my home like I always do.  But the constant cloudy weather this spring hampered a good germination.  The few plants that did germinate were hardened off & placed in the garden.  But you know peppers and tomatoes like a little more sun, a little more heat.  All those seeds were just a big, fat bust. I’m disappointed since RancherMan had requested a Pico-De-Gallo garden this year.  Garlic?  Check.  Onions?  Check.  Cilantro?  Check.  Tomatoes?  Hummm… But I was recently able to replenish some of the vacant areas in my garden.  It cost me ZILCH.  “How can you get free veggie plants for your garden?” you might wonder.  I’m so glad you asked!

Free Volunteer Plants. Tomato planting was a bust in the garden this year, will I do w/o tomatoes? See how I've outfitted my veggie garden with FREE plants #TaylorMadeHomestead

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Need A Cute Gift Quick? Inexpensive Pink Himalayan Mineral Soak!

by Tammy Taylor~

RancherMan & I enjoy a fun tradition with a small group of our friends.  Every month we all gather to celebrate whomever is having a birthday that month.  The honoree gets to choose their preferred restaurant location and we all meet to offer birthday cheer to them.  We always sing “Happy Birthday” to them, family style(That means purposely horribly off-tune and out of sync with each other)  LOL!  Way too much fun!  Although gifts/cards are not expected,  cards are often brought & sometimes small gifts are brought as well.  But a cute, thoughtful gift doesn’t have to break the bank.

Pink Himalayan Mineral Soak. A cute, thoughtful gift doesn't have to break the bank. See how I made up several cute, inexpensive Himalayan Pink Bath Salt gifts. #TaylorMadeHomestead

 

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