Category Archives: Frugal

DIY goat milker around $100

Recently we were on several facebook groups and a multitude of people asked about our DIY milker. It is easier to write it up and have one central place to point people vs reposting it each time.

Let me start off by saying this is our 2nd year of milking goats. Last year we hand milked just one. So we are fairly new to this. Right, wrong, or indifferent, this is how we are doing it on OUR farm, and not saying you should as well. Just sharing our experience. We do not sell our milk it is for our personal use only.  We now are milking 3 goats a day, and potential for 5 later this year and 8 next year. So we may be moving to version 4.0 as we are currently on 3.0 design of the system.  Some parts we had already, tubing (for maple syrup collecting), fittings (parts cabinet), and T splitters. We have a large supply of jars and lids. If you have to buy everything new or use different parts, your costs may vary.

Version 1.0 was a single food saver rechargeable hand pump, 30 CC syringe, and small oxygen tubing. This may be an option for one goat, but battery life would diminish by goat number two. We milked directly into jars as well, and different fittings. We added a second hand pump to milk longer but just wasn’t efficient.  When we started milking 3 goats we needed an upgrade. Version 2.0 used a more powerful pump, larger lines, but no pulsator. Version 3.0 added the pulsator and the reinforced lure locks on the “teat cups”

This is Version 3.0 of our milker.

We milk directly into large mouth mason jars. This setup allows milking into pint, quart, or 1/2 gallon jars. You can also use pints. We have both configurations to give more options if needed for available clean jars. We milk once a day in the morning, letting the does back with the kids during the day. We do not pasteurize, but straight from milking to a refrigerator. We get about 2 weeks in the refrigerator before needing to give to pigs, dogs, or chickens. We use the milk to drink, make ice cream, cheese, cook etc. We clean the cups, and lines immediately after each use, wash the jars after empty and reuse lids to seal. Only the lids for milking have holes, we use regular jar lids for storage. We also date each jar after milking, using oldest 1st.

Parts

Vacuum pump – Amazon – Pump

Pulsator – Amazon – Must have to not put too much strain on teats, and is more soothing to goat. straight suction without relief can injure them Pulsator

Tubing – Amazon – Tubing

Fittings –  While we didn’t get these from Amazon they are available.  We also had various fittings laying around we scavenged to put it together
Jar fittings

Connectors

Lure lock inserts   We had left over parts from rabbit watering system. The plastic T fittings.

30 CC lure lock syringes (important lure lock) – Amazon – Syringe

Foot switch (V4.0 addition, allows pump to be further from goat/stand and remote operation) – Amazon – Switch

Filters – Amazon -When we do need to filter for hair/etc. Filter

 

Once you remove the plungers from the syringe it fits over most teats. At least on our goats. Some had larger teats, some were so small we have to rest the “teat cup” on the udder vs seal around the teat. We carry everythign out in the tote to keep contained and clean from the house to the barn. There are also spare parts, extra lids, tubing as to not to have to come back to the house once in the barn.

Close up of Jar

Version 2.0 we drilled the canning lids (used ones, because that would be a waste for unused ones) and just screwed the fittings in, with banding rubber bands for a seal. That didn’t give a good seal. Next we took electrical nuts and screwed them down to give a seal with the bands. It worked but started to rust. So, we used kitchen silicone to seal holes and nuts. which sealed and protected the metal. Canning lids will rust once you disturb the coating. Version 4.0 will have a better put together system for the jar lids.

Up close syringe

Version 2.0 the tubing fits over the lure lock and held in place by the clamp. That worked for a month or so but then constant moving and bending of the tubes makes the lure lock fitting soft and tubes keep slipping off. We cut one end of the T barn fitting, pushed into the lure lock and reattached clamp and tubing. This gives the end of the syringe more strength and stability. I leave the plungers in the syringes until just prior to use to keep them clean before milking.

The Farm Boss aka the wife wanted something to hold the teat cups while setting up, or changing out goats that keeps them off the ground and clean. I stumbled upon these broom holders in a pack of 6. This is also nice to hold tubes and cups upright after cleaning so they can drain. This is mounted on the cabinet next to our sink.

We use a shearing stand I modified for milking. The side rails are nice and have a place to mount the teat cup holders.  Ignore all the junk in the background. Pump is not usually on the stand.

If you have any questions use the contact us page or hit us up on Facebook for a quicker response.

Rabbit keeping evolution

Sr. Farm Boss has been commenting on rabbits and kept asking for pictures and examples to share to the group (Women in Ag so, I am not a member). I thought it may be a good post to show the evolution of our rabbit keeping, why we chose the methods, why we abandoned them, pictures and videos.

We started out as most do, with raised cages. when doing our research this seemed like what most people do. Keeps from having to regularly clean cages, away from predators, and easy to harvest manure for gardens.

The construction phase

We live in central Indiana and have freezing temps in winter. Having several rabbit cages and having to deal with freezing water bottles daily, frozen crocks, or broken water dishes due to ice was a pain.  Jr. Farm Boss had a difficult time reaching dishes at 4/5 yo and putting cages lower made it difficult for adults to reach in. Here is a writeup of a solution with materials, to the freezing water issue I came up with. This is when we lived in suburban Indianapolis. We toyed with tractors at this point but it was more get them out during the day, in a small enclosure on the ground. Not a permanent solution, just fresh grass.

Freezing water solution

or just a link to the video

This solution was nice when it worked. If your power went out, the lines froze and it it was difficult to thaw the lines. If your water level got too low no water would circulate and lines freeze. If a rabbit could get to the tubing it would eat holes. All of these could have been managed, but also meant in any of these situations, none of the rabbits got water. When we moved we didn’t have power at the new rabbit home, so circulating water and heat was not an option.

Rabbit feed was another issue so we tried the rabbits on tractor system. I wanted two goals met. No mowing, and no feed for rabbits. The tractor met this goal, but had a negative of we kept losing rabbits despite having ample cover almost every time we have a med-heavy rain. another Negative is Jr. Farm Boss couldn’t move the tractors as they were too heavy. A solution could have been wheels but I wasn’t really happy with the tractor after a year of use.

Read more on the rabbit tractor here. 

Once we moved, and the number of rabbits increased we found that it was taking way too much time to manage all the rabbits.  Especially if using tractors. Too many cages, too many waterers, feeders, and over 1/2 of chore time (we have over 200 animals) was spent on rabbits. Plus it took 2 people (Jr farm boss did water/food and I did moving them) or one adult. One of our end goals is her to be able to manage and take care of ALL the animals without us. We needed a new solution.We looked into central watering, wheels on tractor, but then still feed, freezing temps, and moving them was an issue.  After some researching I found a woman’s setup I liked in the form of a colony. It solved most if not all of our problems.

Link to her video. Credit where credit is due.

We didn’t quite have the same available space/materials in our situation, but I took her idea and adapted to our own.

Here is our version 2.0 of colony. We have since moved to V 3.1.

V 1.0 just had the “home” area and they ate that in no time. I was having to bring in brush, yard clippings, more often than I liked. But it was fencing we had on hand and didn’t cost much at all to make. Most of our solutions take cost into consideration, or what materials do we have on hand that can be repurposed.

V 2.0 added the running tubes and roundabout with portable dog fencing to get more exposure to fresh grass. Again, my goal of never having to mow, and not buy rabbit food. The video was in the middle of winter. Our feed purchased went from one 40lb bag every two weeks to one bag  every two months. We give pellets as a reserve or backup (rainy days, lazy rabbits, mamas) . They also get hay which we get for free. The don’t dig much and any deep holes we fill.  We believe because we give them hiding spots using the drain pipes, and existing nesting boxes their needs are being met and no need to dig. With one tub for water, it is easier to fill, or change.

V 3.0 expanded the home area to the width of this particular grass area available.  100x what they had in V 2.0. We broke down and bought specific fencing for this project. We did use locust poles for fence posts as they were free and we harvested them. We also moved the water tub under the roofline so it is filled and flushed with each rain. We started getting babies once the temps warmed up. This led to another issue. Our barn cats who keep mice population down, now were able to get into and eat/kill new babies. Hence V3.1. Once a mama kids we take mama and her litter in the box to a contained and protected area.

Here is a video of V 3.1

With V3.1 we have had no losses due to rain. We have had no losses to to predator cats. We do have 3 livestock guardian dogs that keep other predators out. It is open top, and we have not lost any to birds of prey. Our feed is down to about one 40 lb bag every 4 months for 20ish rabbits. We do not have to mow any of this hillside. We supplement with weeds, cuttings from the garden, and around orchards. We went from 30+ minutes of rabbit management, to 1 min (checking on grass, food, water) to maybe 10 at most (move mobile area, clean/fill water, tend to mamas in protected area, move new mamas).  Jr. Farm Boss (now 6yo) can do all of this on her own without assistance. The rabbits seem to be healthier and happier.

We have plans to evolve again to V 3.2 where the internal area in the shop/barn is larger, has climbing/jumping area, large door for easier cleaning, and floor to ceiling wire protection.

 

 

Mow your lawn? you can have pigs.

We recently added American Guinea Hogs to our list of animals. Until we can build them an enclosure in one of the pastures, they are happy hanging out in one of the barn stalls.  They love grass. Because of their diet there is almost no smell to them. Not what you typically experience with confined pigs. They drop, almost nuggets like horses, cows, and the goats. Not the soupy mess I have experienced from other operations. They talk to us each time we are around, and for the most part very easy going. Back to my point, about lawns. We have a push mower, and bagger. 1-2 strips on the lawn is enough for morning feeding, about 1/2 bag-3/4 loosely packed. Do it again in the evening, and they are good to go. But, but, but my lawn will be uneven….Um, who cares? By the time you NEED to mow again you will be back to your original spot. It is FREE food for pigs, who love it. Granted, not all areas allow pigs. But a 14’x30′ space in the barn is perfect if you don’t have room outside. They get treats, in the form of our universal feed mix, but really prefer the grass to anything else.

DIY Rabbit tracor

To give our buns more open air time, exposure to fresh greens, we decided to make a rabbit tractor. So far, they have all spent time in it and loved being out in the open. This will eventually be used to house the grow outs until freezer camp day. I took several designs I saw and combined what I liked, and used materials I had available. If you click on the images you can enlarge them for more details.

I had a small section of chain-link fence left over from another project. This looked like a good base, and size for the tractor.

We had some extra tubs laying around. This looked good to make a hiding hole, shade for them.

Using a jigsaw I cut a small opening into one side.

Left over 1×3 lumber from the demo of the office (the inside of our tiny house). I chose an A frame to minimize materials needed, and weight. And I only had 2 rolls of wire and didn’t want to go to store. The frame is screwed together with deck screw we had from another project. The base is made of treated 2x4x8. Left over from building the greenhouse attached to the building.  I happen to have 10 feet of chain link fence, and the 2×4 was 8 feet long. Bonus, no cutting.

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2 rolls of left over 1/2″x1″ welded wire. This was going to be a grow out pen in the coop, but we liked the tractor idea better. The wire is stapled to the frame.

Because I was working alone, and needed to stretch the chain-link tipping the tractor on edge was the easiest thing to do.

This is metal fastening tape, found in the plumbing section.  I use this stuff all over the place. Works great. It is woven between the chain-links and secured to the bottom of the tractor frame. This way I can move rabbits and everythign without ever having to get them out. It also prevents them from digging holes, and protection from predators.

I hinged the whole side of the tractor. This allows easier access to the rabbits inside. If I opened from one end, someone (not me) would have to crawl in there to get rabbits.

The door is kept closed with bungee cords connected to the bottom chain links and the wire mesh on the sides. It is tight enough that the rabbits or predators cannot open it. The pet litter box is actually a waterer.  I drilled the bottom and made a shelf for it to sit on.

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The hole in the bottom is connected to rabbit nipples (tubing, connectors, and nipples available though Amazon)

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I had all the materials on hand, and made do with what was available. If I had to make it again and buying materials it would probably cost around $60-80 and that is a high estimate. You can scrounge materials from various places or buy used materials.

 

Lumber can be from used pallets = free

Cubbie can be made from Rubbermaid containers from goodwill  <$3 Goodwill. You can also find hinges at goodwill, Habitat for Humanity Restore. or asset Recycling.

Instead of watering nipples you can use watering dishes/bowls/tupperware/etc. = free

Wire may need to be purchased, but if not overnighting rabbits can use chicken wire. Check craigslist.

Many places like Habitat, and Asset Recycling will have sections of chain-link. you really don’t need it, but we will be overnighting the rabbits in it, and ease of moving them.

 

End of season garage sale Aquatic Designs

Our friends at Aquitic Designs are having a end of season garage sale. If you missed the open house party here is another chance to get some deals. Summer fish food, plants, and fish are on sale now and then the clean our the garage of parts, lights, pumps, fittings etc is another opportunity to save for the DIY systems.

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Home remedies

Here are some remedies we have tried at home. Each recipe has been proven for different applications. Disclaimer we are not doctors or medical practitioners and you should consult your own doctor before using. We can only say we have used these recipes and have worked for us as a family.

 

Skin care – This recipe has been used for a variety of applications such as diaper rash, heat rash, minor burns, cuts, scrapes, abrasions, applied to kids lips who have a habit of licking or sucking top lips.  We used this for raw noses during cold season.

Ingredients

Petroleum jelly

Lavender essential oils

Warm jelly to liquid state about ½ cup jelly

Add lavender essential oil  about 20 drops mix well, place in small containers with tight lid (small Tupperware) and allow to cool. Apply mixture as needed. Do not use on deep wounds or severe burns.

 

Poison Ivy treatment  – Both my wife and I are susceptible to poison ivy. Once afflicted with the rash 1-2 treatments or 2-3 days should clear it right up.

In a pint jar add apple cider vinegar, Lavender oil, tea tree (20 drops each), Shake well, store tight jar away from light, apply with cotton ball or Q-tip 1-2 times a day.

Migraines

Equal parts by wt feverfew, lemon balm, peppermint herbs in pint jar (we filled the jar loosely)

Cover with 100 proof vodka, shake every day for 2 weeks, strain and place in jar away from light

¼ teaspoon in liquid every ½ hr until gone, not exceed 2 teaspoons in one setting, may be habit forming in that if used regularly for long enough, once you stop using it, you may develop a migraine.

Looking for local markets, stores, and restaurants

I manage several different sites and pages and am in the process of creating a local database of farmers markets, pick your own sites, restaurants who use local produce and meats, and related locations that either produce locally or retail locally produced items. I need your help. I could spend weeks searching online and still would never get as many listed if I were to enlist your help. Many of you have local spots you personally know of, support, run, or owned by you. Some have websites, some have facebook pages, and some have no online presence.

My goal is to have a calendar of all the markets in the area. Believe it or not there is a market running every day of the week, usually multiple. This hopefully will allow more people access to more local food if they know where they are and when they run.

Support local businesses to buy from local producers. I would ideally like to have several categories, restaurants, food retail, nursery and plant stock, and other retail (soaps, wool works, crafts, etc.)

What I need from you. If you could e-mail me wolfbeachfarms @ gmail.com (please remove the spaces). or use the contact us page and send me links, or names, or dates/times/locations of the above places. The links and calendars will be updated as I get the information. Here is the start for market pages and an interactive calendar.

Thanks in advance!

Rick

Seed, seedling and plant exchange-sale

A friend had an idea about how every year he always starts way more seeds than he needs. Just as a precaution to make sure all his vegetable beds are filled. Well, what to do with all the seeds that germinate that you won’t need? Not enough to sell at a farmers market, IF you can get in to sell. no time to sit at home waiting on people to show up to pick up or buy. Hate to throw a way, or compost. What to do?

A plant and seed exchange and sale.  This is the 1st of hopefully an annual event. Idally we would like to have spots set up on the North, South, East, West and Downtown sides of Indy and outlying areas too. If you want to host an event like this contact us.  I thought it would be nice to have one every weekend from mid April to end of May each weekend at a different part of  the area. If you don’t sell out in week one, move to spot two on the opposite side of town.

I will have a “booth” there and talk permaculture, maybe a few plants we have for sale. Stop by and say hi.

More information at the link here.

Here are the details.

Do you start more seeds than you need? Do you hate to just get rid of them? Don’t. Sell them, trade the, exchange them. Are you wanting to market unique plants and seeds but no place to sell them? Do you need to thin your plants, and hate to compost or trash them? Sell them. Do you have a side business selling plants, plant starts, or even seeds? Come out and sell your stock. It is not too late to start seeds for this event. Some people cannot start seeds, some don’t have the space, and some don’t have the materials. Whatever the reason, we are looking for vendors. Only plants, roots, seeds, etc. at this time. No animals or animal products (except maybe manure/compost). Worms, worm casting, and Black Soldier Fly approved for sale.

This is the 1st, but hopefully not the last, Seed, seedling, and plant sale-exchange.  We are meeting in the church parking lot, and there is additional parking at Perry Park (adjacent to the church), and across the street at Douglas MacArthur elementary school. 

Vendors or sellers will pay $20 for a parking lot size space, and if not muddy a lawn space behind the space. All money generated from space sales will go to Cub Scout Pack 120. There will be no power, Wi-Fi, or utilities available. There is a limit of 20 vendors. Contact Rick at wolfbeachfarms@gmail.com 317-997-5554 to get a spot (Paypal, CC, Cash, accepted for spot payment, all payments minus mandatory electronic transaction fees will go to the Pack).

Buyers are Free

Vendors or sellers may charge, collect, trade, exchange, as they see fit for their plants, seeds, trees etc. Some may be able to take Credit and debit cards with their smart devices, some may only take cash. So plan accordingly. 

Sale 10-2pm; setup 9-10am; take-down 2-3pm, so you can setup then go park the car and have more available space. Or, sell out of your trunk.

The Boy Scouts will also be selling food and drinks. Cash only please. 

If you RSVP your are RSVPing as a buyer. Use the email listed to secure your spot as a vendor.

Come on out, support the Scouts, and get your garden going. Buy local.  

The Church and the Pack are not affiliated with any vendor, and are not responsible for any transactions, accidents, or disputes that arise from the plant/seed sale. 

Rabbit watering system for freezing climates

This is our first year with rabbits over winter and we were not sure how to handle the freezing temps and water. We did a little research and most people either used heater bottles, or changed the crocks our 2 times a day. We were not going to spend the money for heated bottles (around $40 each) and the reviews of them were questionable. We were doing the crocks 2 times a day but that meant we HAD to be home and could not travel to our small house project on weekends. I needed something to fit my needs. I stumbled upon a video of a guy who had a similar issue on YouTube. I would love to give the guy credit but after 2 days of searching I cannot find the original video that gave me the idea. If someone else comes across it please let me know in the comments so I can give him credit for the inspiration. He did slightly different setup, but this design came from his concept.

I took the original idea of what he had, and modified it to what I had available as to spend little to no money out of pocket. I had submersible pumps from aquaponics builds. If you do not have one you can get them for under 20 bucks, especially at local stores in fall when they go on clearance. (Aquatic Design and Supplies here locally has this exact one) The tank is an old kitty litter box. The tubing and nipples I got from Amazon. They were pretty cheap as well. The nice thing about the nipples and tubing is they came in a pack of 50 and I have enough tubing to make another complete setup at the new location (V2.0). The heat lamp we had for the chickens in winter so no extra cost there. If you do not have one, you can pick them up lamp and fixture for under $20.

Version 2.0 this was the first design to fix a need at the moment. I am designing some improvements into version 2.0 and some improvements are listed below.

  • I will be using a 55 gal drum for the tank for the reservoir
  • The tank will be filled by rainwater from the roof of the rabbit/chicken barn area (filtered before entering tank with homemade sand/charcoal filter)
  • There will be a heater in the tank. Probably a submersible fish heater unless I find a better alternative before then. I want the water to stay above freezing. The water moving helps keep it from freezing.
  • I will add nipples for the chickens as well. Different type of nipples than the rabbits. Rabbits needed all metal nipples at they can damage the plastic housing of chicken nipples.
  • Version 3.0 may switch over to off grid power and use a solar panel. It may be in V2.0 but time, money, and other projects may prevent that.

Some things I learned. The tubing did not fit tightly enough on some nipples. I added zip ties to make a more snug fit. You may want to go with a slightly smaller ID tube, or just use ties like I did. Not all the nipples leaked where the tubing fit.

If your hose comes out from the circulator, you lose circulation (power out, low water), the tubes, and nipples will freeze solid (if temps are below freezing) and the only way to thaw is wait until the entire thing is above freezing temps. adding warm/hot water MAY work if you have a shorter run of tubing. we had about 30 ft, and not enough pressure to melt the ice in the lines.

Before leaving for any period of time, figure how long it takes your rabbits to drain the tank, and take an average. Some days they drink more than others. Plan accordingly.

You may need to leave both watering systems in place for a few days until they figure it out. Alternatively, letting the old source dry up, and showing water is available through the nipple by pushing the tip, can help train them.

If one rabbit gets it, soon others see and catch on.

Rabbit Nipples

Tubing

Here are some other recommendations of products.

 

Can a suburban lot be profitable as a farm? Pt 2

Can a suburban lot be profitable as a farm? Pt 2

In the last post I wrote about if it is profitable to run a suburban homestead farm. The answer was it depends. There are so many variables to consider. We touched on rabbits, and fruit trees. Today we are going to cover a few more items that in combination with reduction in spending and layering could make a suburban homestead profitable.

We touched on fruit trees and on using the fruit trees for home-made products such as jams and jellies. If you are to expand the fruit tree aspect to also include home based jams, jellies and baked goods you are adding additional function to your income stream without having to add to your space needs. Most if not all of the preserves will be prepared indoors without the need of additional growing area. Each area is different on the regulations required. Some states, cities, and counties will allow an individual to prepare and sell preserves on the farm without any additional requirements. Some areas require that a commercial kitchen be used, while others will allow it to be prepared on farm, sold off farm, if the kitchen is inspected. Do your research, and there are not only the preparation requirements, but also labeling requirements, on a federal, state, and sometimes local level. Do not be discouraged by the regulations, as many are not too over burdensome. If you are going to make preserves, there will always be waste in the forms of peels, seeds, core of the fruit (as with apples or pears), pulp etc. This is not a waste product. This could also be turned into income, in the form of compost, worms, compost tea, or bartered for other useful products. One local farm will barter fresh meat, in exchange for these types of waste, providing that it is chemical free (no pesticides, herbicide, fungicides etc.). The farm will take your waste and feed it to their pigs, and chickens. This can offset meat and egg purchases. If you are raising your own animals, this could offset any feed costs you may have. While you could also include baked goods, pies, cakes etc. in the same operation relatively easy, and would probably need the same level of inspection or regulations, you would be dependent on outside grains for flour, milk, and possible eggs for such an operation. This is not to say it isn’t profitable, especially if you buy flour in bulk, or have a niche market only using organic flour, or gluten-free products.

Composting can take a waste and turn it into a profit center. Composting isn’t hard, and it can be done indoors or outdoors, small-scale or large. It all depends on your climate and location. Some areas will have regulations on compost, but this is usually on a commercial-scale. We have a varied size of compost activities from an indoor box in a recycled cat litter container, to the 3 bin pallet composting, and each one has different purposes, and contents. The indoor system will use some household composting materials and shredded junk mail, cardboard, and fiber board (cereal boxes). There is no smell, and the worms do all the work. We use only non-glossy paper in these systems. These worms do not process large volumes of materials, and is mainly a use for compost tea, keep worms through the winter, and indoor soil amendments. The outdoor system has yard wastes, leaf litter, grass clippings, left over’s from the vegetable gardens, rabbit manure, and bedding from the chicken coup. People who are just getting started are on the lookout for worms to start their own composting system, or maybe something happened and killed off their worms. This is why it is good to have redundant system and only add questionable materials to one system, or rotate what gets the new materials. You always have a back up worm supply. Some people sell them by the pound, some count out the worms. You can also sell the worm casting, or compost tea. The casting can be added to plants indoor and out, gardens, lawns, around fruit and berry bushes. It is a fertilizer that will not burn, there are no chemical additives, and can be applied at any time. The tea is taken from the castings and made into a liquid fertilizer. Some people sell the tea in 1 gal jugs, others sell the dried castings and instructions on how to make your own tea. Like the castings, the compost tea can be put around any plants, indoors or out. The added benefits of the liquid are that it is readily absorbed by the plant during the application, and when sprayed onto the plant leaves acts a bio-barrier against pests and disease. The compost tea promotes a beneficial biological layer that will detour pests, but also aids in preventing many harmful molds, viruses, and bacteria from colonizing on the leaf surface. Will you be profitable from compost tea alone? Not on a suburban lot. But this is a way to take a waste product and turn it into something beneficial, both for your own farm or homestead and possibly turn a profit.  If you want more info on composting with worms check out Castaway Compost.

In part 3 we will talk chickens. We have hit on them a little here and there, but more details to come. So a recap of what we covered thus far in the series, is Fruits, Rabbits, Compost and worms, and preserves and baking. All of these can be managed at the same time on a suburban lot in conjunction with each other.