recycling wineboxes

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Free Resources for My Micro-Homestead

The journey to achieving a sustainable, self-sufficient, cost-effective homesteading lifestyle is not always cheap. The Hubs and I are pretty much starting our journey from scratch, but we do everything we can to keep project costs low. Over the years, we discovered a few “free resources” that can be easily acquired from local businesses. All you gotta to is ask. Nicely~ 

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Winecrates & Bottles: We’re chummy with our local bartenders and liquor shops! Every now and then, we are able to bring home wineboxes to use as furniture or mini-gardening boxes. The bottles, we use as containers for food, herbs, and spices.

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Used Coffee Grinds and Tea Leaves: In the past two years, I must have recycled at least 200 pounds worth of these beverage waste product as garden compost or a growing medium for oyster mushrooms. Coffee establishments are generally pretty nice about leaving grinds for you to pick up, but try to call ahead.

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Animal Fats: Historically regarded as a precious resource across cultures for much of human history, today a lot of “fat trimming” is thrown away from meat processing locations. We discovered that at some locations, the folks behind the meat counter would gladly give away fat trimmings. I use fats in my home-ground meats to make burgers and sausages. I’ve also rendered the fats into lard for various uses like making pemmican and soap. And of course, on occasion I feed the fats to as treats to the chickens or to the black soldier fly grubs, which in turn matures into a adult grub treat for the girls.

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Woodshavings & Wood Waste: We are very fortunate to live close to a woodworkers shop. Every couple of months we drop by to collect big bags of woodshavings and wood waste for free. We mainly use the shavings as bedding for the chicken coop, which eventually makes it into the compost bin to breakdown into compost for our garden.

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How about y'all other seasoned homesteaders? Any tips to get free resources for homesteading projects?