Farms can quickly collect heaps of trash or junk, but when you look a little further into the heaps and piles of assorted randomness, the frugal farmer can quickly see a plethora of goodies. The next time you find yourself ready to load up a trailer full of crap to drop at the dump, make sure you really look through it all to see what you’ve really got on your hands.
Twine. Bailing twine seems to be in endless supply on most homesteads. I know I can’t walk very far on our farm without coming stumbling across a piece or two. Instead of tucking it into the trash, consider some of it’s seemingly endless repurposed possibilities. It can be used to tie a barn door shut that might otherwise blow open in the wind or even saved up and braided to use for hanging an animal at butchering time. And if you’re running short on other ways to give that trash-like twine a new lease on life, be sure to check out My Favorite Ways to Repurpose Bailing Twine for even more ideas.
Building materials. Raise your hand if you’ve got miscellaneous leftover building materials laying around your property. My hand it raised… and it’s raised high! Be it leftover this and that from projects we’ve completed or bits and pieces of outbuildings that have lost their use and come undone, we’ve got lots of it! Instead of writing it off as destined for the dump, consider building some new life into it. Some of our best animal housings have come from scraps that might have easily been discarded and forgotten. Consider this animal shelter that we made for our pigs from nearly all free “trash” found laying around.
Old freezers. Many of us have a freezer or two to help store preserved produce and meats from the farm. When they’ve lived their life and are no longer useful for foods, that doesn’t mean it’s time to load them up on a trailer and drop them at the dump. Instead, consider using them as storage space. Chest freezers make an especially great place to store animal feed and do a great job of keeping pests out to boot. Even stand up freezers (or fridges!) can make a great storage space. We have one here that I use to store our reusables in. I stack empty egg cartons and plastic produce containers on shelves. The door makes an excellent place to store empty bottles for easy access to grab and refill. The drawers are simple space to stock up on items like bags for later reuse. Need a low-cost root cellar? Dig a hole and bury your old freezer or fridge.
Feed bags. Feed bags are another item that seem to overrun the farm. They are fantastic to have laying around for project materials or quick fix-me-uppers. Got a missing, blown out or drafty window on your barn? It takes no time at all to staple one up and seal off the draft. We’ve got an old, beat up barn that’s dressed up in feed bags to help keep out the breezes this winter. They’re also great for carrying a few pieces of firewood indoors or storing your kindling. Not sure what else to use them for? Be sure to read my post on Ways to Repurpose Feed Sacks.
Tires. Extra tires and farms seem to go hand-in-hand. Instead of giving them the boot, try finding an alternate use for them. The first thing that comes to my mind is a kid-loved classic; a tire swing! If you don’t have kids or have all the tire swings your heart could possibly desire, then think beyond playtime. Tires are a thrifty way to make raise bed gardens. They’ll also make a great jungle gym for your goats. Goats love to climb, so give them something they are actually allowed to climb on.
What kind of trash do you turn into treasures on your farm?