DIY Greenhouse Built from Recycled Windows

DIY Greenhouse Built from Recycled Windows

Greenhouse Goals!!

I was lucky enough to have recently been home to New Zealand to visit my parents and this new DIY greenhouse addition was so impressive! Mum built this DIY Greenhouse and She Shed from scratch using Recycled Timber Windows!!! Learning how to use tools along the way she made her dreams a reality!! Iโ€™m so proud of my mum and I canโ€™t wait to show you this greenhouse tour! The perfect space for potting up seeds and cuttings or having a baileys in the evening.

Watch the Full Tour

Click the Image below.

Creating Sanctuary

Mum wanted to create a space to display her family heirlooms and treasured items. A quiet place for reflection when the world around gets too busy. It is rustic and cosy with a warm inviting feel. The plants in the Ladies Lounge spill down from teacups and climb the ladder to help integrate between the outside and the greenhouse, making the whole place feel as if it was always there. The greenhouse also offers a more controlled environment to grow all year round. Being able to open and close the windows can keep the heat in or let air flow through.

diy greenhouse from recycled windows
recycled timber studio

From the Ground up

First up another vegetable patch was started in a new location to allow a seamless transition and continuous supply of homegrown veggies. Then the foundations were started and went up around the old veggie patch. The windows were still being sourced and collected along the way then secured in to place. Shiplapped timber walls were constructed using the neighbours discarded timber fence and has created beautiful rustic feature walls.

Recycled and Vintage Treasures

The Greenhouse floors are made from pavers donated from neighbours and the ladies lounge slate flooring was gifted from a friend and had been lovely kept in her family for many years. Then came the exciting part of decorating the rooms with all the special items and decor.

Follow your Dreams

“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself”. – Edmund Lee

Inspiration is often found on the glossy pages of magazines or hoarded away in boards on Pinterest but the key to following your dreams is in the action of doing. You CAN do it. Mum shared her dreams and ideas with friends and family and they came together to offer supplies and words of encouragement. This became her driving force and she was off on a mission to bring her dreams to life. She learnt new skills, got stuck in and didn’t wait for someone to come along and do it for her. So don’t spend too much time searching for inspiration, share your ideas and just get started.

diy greenhouse from recycled windows
tea and pikelets

A big thank you to all her friends and family for donating special items and supporting her with this DIY greenhouse project. It sure is an inspiring space to visit!

Holly ๐ŸŒฑ

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!

2021 My Journey to Sustainable Living

2021 My Journey to Sustainable Living

Hi everyone, I thought I would do a bit of an intro and fill you in on my journey to sustainable living so far and where I am heading. This will be a great way to capture where I am and look back on it someday! I hope this inspires you to dream big and continue working towards your goals.

So grab yourself a tea or coffee as I have a lot of things to talk about, so let’s start from the beginning!

Dreams, Goals, Visions

My name is Holly and I was born and raised on a farm in New Zealand. I have been growing my own food in some capacity my entire life. I have also been working towards the same vision and goal for as long as I can remember. That is to own a chunk of land and build a sustainable eco-home that is more garden than it is house. This vision has become more elaborate over time with small eco-cabins, waterfalls, dams and food forests. But in essence, it has always been the same, a piece of land that I can rewild and transform into an edible self-sufficient haven. The land will help provide both food and income and I can feed my ducks, eat straight from the organic gardens, create art and talk to the bees all day.

Slow intentional living

Nowโ€ฆ. that is not exactly where I am right now. But I want to touch on where I’m heading and how I intend to get there. Small achievable steps to create a life by design and not default.

Start where you are and use what you have

5 years ago my partner and I along with our dog Tama bought and moved into a suburban house in Perth, Australia. Since that day I have been converting the gardens into edible wonderlands using permaculture principles. I try to use as much recycled or second-hand things as I can with very little waste.

After living in our house for a year I realised that the best light and space for growing was down the side of the house which was actually a paved driveway. Not great for growing veggiesโ€ฆ.but this house is a stepping stone and not the end goal. It will potentially be an investment property or we will sell it to launch towards the next step. So ripping up concrete and pavers to plant veggies was not really on the cards. But, I wasn’t going to let that stop me, so I came up with an idea to grow a whole lot of food with space and resources I had available. 

Start small but start now

The pallet planters on wheels were born! These worked out so much better than I could have imagined because they not only gave me control over the soil I was growing in but also allowed me to control the growing conditions by wheeling them in and out of the sun/rain. Perth climate can be so harsh it goes from one extreme to the other with summer and winter so these have been so good! 

Investing in knowledge is investing in your future

I dove deep into experimenting with recipes and trying to build and expand my knowledge in growing, cooking and preserving my harvests. Buying vegetables I intended to grow in the future. Learning new ways to use and preserve them means I will be ready to hit the ground running when I do grow an oversupply.

Sustainable Income

The next part of my journey is sustainable income. Because how can I spend my days talking to the bees when I am bound to a corporate office job. This has been my career since leaving uni and it has never sat well with me. I have always been one to question and dislike the rat race. 

Last year I was made redundant from my job and I took that as a sign and ran with it. 

Since then I have built my website, Instagram, taken on ambassadorships, written paid blog posts and sponsored content. I have also written ebooks and gardening worksheets (CLICK HERE) if you want to learn how to grow your own thriving edible gardens. I have also been busy working away on my membership site and I will be launching that very soon! So make sure you hit sign up to my website to get notified when it opens. I will be opening it at a discount rate for founding members. The membership site will be all about how to grow, cook, preserve and start living more sustainably no matter whether you have a garden or not! 

My goal is to build a community of like-minded people to share knowledge, learning to grow real food, save seeds, propagate & swap and trade those for other plants. I hope you join me on this adventure. I’m so excited for what is to come!

sustainable living

Sustainable Living Goals

So to finish off this post my goals for 2021 are to continue forging my own path and inspiring others along the way.

  • Learning to cook outside over the fire or harnessing the sun’s energy.
  • Preserving more jams and chutneys.
  • Experiment and learn from other cultures and cuisines to expand my knowledge of flavours and techniques.
  • Dive deeper into growing from cuttings, grafting as this will be a valuable skill for building my future food forest.
  • Make more time to do art and stay creatively inspired
  • Learn more handcrafting techniques such as weaving or woodwork.

Slow intentional living. We have become so used to instant gratification, being in a rush and always needing more. To start with it can be overwhelming but each time you learn a new skill or recipe it will become easier. Adapting to doing things and seeing things differently. Find the joy in growing and preparing wholesome food, learn how to make milk from nuts, buy second hand, fix and reuse broken items and stop spending all your money on things you don’t really need.

Holly ๐ŸŒฑ

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!

18 ways to become more self-sufficient

18 ways to become more self-sufficient

I wrote this post before the current restrictions of lockdown were in place for many people but hopefully, you can still find useful information and inspiration to get you started on your journey to a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

There is no better time to start growing your own food than NOW. Creating your own food security and using your time to help create a greener world is win-win. I have always had the dream of growing my own food and living a more sustainable lifestyle and it is something that I have been continually building and working towards for years. I don’t want to be 100% self-sufficient because there are just some things I either won’t be able to grow or choose not to grow. But there are plenty of ways to supplement my homegrown food supply such as trading, swapping, and local farmers markets. I have put together (in no particular order) 18 simple ways you can start living a more self-sufficient lifestyle today.

1. Start a Herb Garden

No matter whether you have a big garden or live in a tiny apartment, growing herbs can be easy and takes up very little space. Grow in small pots, recycled containers, hanging planter or windowsill planters. If you like to use herbs it is a great first step towards self-sufficiency. And no, that does not mean buying those packed herb pots from the supermarket…. they are often grown hydroponically and then placed in the soil so they rarely survive long and don’t handle being planted out into real life. Get a packet of seeds and try growing your own ๐Ÿ™‚

2. Start a Vegetable Patch

The best way to learn how to grow vegetables is to simply start trying! Start small with either a planter box or convert one small patch of your garden or even driveway into an edible vegetable patch. You can also start by simply integrating edibles amongst your established garden. Once you start growing some things you can start expanding bit by bit. Goodbye grass ๐Ÿ™‚

3. Plant Fruit Trees

I love fruit trees because although they take a while to get going, once they do, they are abundant and don’t require as much care as vegetables. You can plant them in either a large pot or directly into the garden. I would recommend going to a local specialist fruit tree nursery so they can help you choose the best fruit tree for your location. Also, make sure you get something with fruit you actually enjoy! With the abundant produce you can then preserve, swap and trade with others!

4. Grow Base Crops

I couldn’t think what else to call them but growing crops that will feed you for longer and create a good base to fill your pantry. Crops such a Pumpkins, Potatoes, Onions, Garlic and Sweet potatoes will provide decent amounts of food that you can store and use throughout the year! A great base vegetable to feed a family.

5. Grow Soil

Composting is not only great for the fertility of your soil and the secret to AMAZING vegetables but also stops waste going to landfill. There are a whole bunch of ways to do this depending on your living situation. You can make your own compost bin out of recycled wood, find a second-hand tumbler online or purchase one. You can also simply dig a hole in the garden and bury it (be careful of attracting pests though). There are also some new ways for people with no land to connect with others that do and give them your compost scraps. Either community gardens, local Facebook groups or now in Australia there is even an app! Sharewaste

6. Save Seeds

This is just as important as growing food and will be a huge step towards your self-sufficient journey. Saving seeds helps you maintain food security knowing that you have more healthy seeds to grow next year. Save seeds from your healthiest plants that thrive in your garden. Keep them in a dry dark place.

7. Grow Community

Get your friends involved! Take them over a basket of homegrown food or preserves. Once they see your delicious fresh food they may also get inspired! Help them out with seeds, cuttings and surround yourself with like-minded people. Community gardens can be a great place to learn, get involved and even seed/ produce swap. It can be an amazing network of knowledge, especially in relation to your local climate and growing conditions. There are also some great social media forums and groups that are great for finding answers to your questions and local knowledge.

8. Shop Local

Explore your local farmer’s markets! Grab a friend and go have a browse! They are usually on a Saturday or Sunday morning and I look forward to it every week. Although I love my local farmers market (Kalamunda) every few months I like to check out other farmers markets to mix things up and find new and interesting produce. Bulk food stores have been making a come back and I am sold! Lucky for me there is a fantastic Bulk Store ( Replenish Kalamunda) right by my local farmer’s markets. So I head there straight after I have picked up some fresh veggies. They may seem daunting at first but there are always plenty of signs explaining how to do it. I also love how each product clearly states where they have come from as I try to only choose Australian products.

9. Learn to Cook from Scratch

This is a big one! Learning to cook a wide range of meals from scratch using simple ingredients is key! I mean we can all make a butter chicken right…you just get the sauce and pour it in… Ditch the sauces from the supermarket and learn to make your own. I am constantly experimenting and expanding my knowledge so I can make a wide selection of meals from the produce I grow. Try to buy vegetables that are in season and fruits and vegetables that you are planning to grow. That way you can practice and become a pro at recipes for YOUR future harvests!

10. Grow Food From Scraps

Ok, this is one of my favourites! It is so quick and easy and a lot of fun! Plus you are getting the most out of your food. Buy one get multiple free!! Cut off the ends of your farmers market vegetables such as Spring Onion, Leek, Pineapple, Sweet Potato and regrow!

11. Forage and Trade

Keep an eye out on your walks and day trips for wild or excess food. So often there are olive trees, fruit, nuts or wild apple trees going to waste. Do your research and learn how to identify plants. That way you will know what you are looking at. It is also important to be careful if things have been sprayed by the council. I would be always cautious of things such as blackberries. You may even notice a neighbours tree loaded with fruit that is going to waste on the ground. Politely ask if you can have some in exchange for some preserves or baking you make with it. They will probably be happy for it to be used!

12. Repair and Upcycle

Get the most out of your things by fixing or updating them! Even if you don’t know how, you may be able to pay someone a fraction of the cost to fix it rather than buying brand new. We often are so quick to throw out and buy new, we don’t even stop to consider if it can be fixed or repurposed. My hair straighteners and been fixed multiple times by electrician friends over the past 12 years and are still working amazingly! Recovering cushions, couches, DIY, get creative and even find a local seamstress if you don’t have access to a sewing machine.

13. Shop Second Hand

I try my best to not buy new and it is something I am continuing to work on. Most items you want can be found on Facebook market place, Gumtree (Trademe, Craigslist, etc). You can usually pick up a bargain and keep things in the loop rather than consuming more new things. You can even post in your local community groups and borrow or buy. Especially with things like appliances as many people often have them sitting in the cupboard collecting dust…Pasta maker, I’m talking about you ๐Ÿ™‚

14. Backyard Chickens

Chickens make an excellent addition to sustainable living. They provide eggs, eat leftover scraps, produce manure for fertilising your garden and can they also be incorporated into an integrated pest management system to help you keep your slugs and snails at bay. Many councils will allow backyard chickens in suburbia. Although I do not have chickens …yet (Pictured above is mums ‘Chick Inn’) my council – City of Kalamunda allows x6 backyard chickens on properties 600sqm -2000sqm.

15. Back to Basics

Bread/milk/butter/pizza dough. The age-old skill of baking your own bread is a fantastic skill to have! How amazing to just whip up a fresh loaf of bread or make your own pizza bread without the preservatives or plastic packaging. Milk is super easy and you can make delicious plastic, preservative-free milk whenever you want! Whether that’s oat, rice or almond milk.

16. Learn to Preserve Harvests

I am not really at a point yet where I have an abundance of produce to preserve but I have planted a lot of fruit trees…so I am starting to learn different ways to preserve things so that when I am flooded with produce (yay!) I will be able to make the most of it! Get some produce from the farmer’s markets and give it a go! Jams, chutneys, sauces, pickles, nasturtium capers and all those delicious things. They also make great gifts and can be used to swap for other produce with your friends and family and community.

17. Make your Own

Ditch the toxic chemicals and pesticides and start making your own natural cleaning and garden products. You can get a few ingredients from your local bulk stores such as white vinegar and bicarb soda and make a huge range of cleaning products. Check out my Citrus cleaner here. I also used crushed eggshells to keep slugs and snails at bay. Natural pest management

18. Learn, Read, Practice

I can’t stress how important this is! Knowledge is power. Join your local library and get a book on jam making or search YouTube for “how to prune a lemon tree”. Educating yourself and giving things a go will get you a long way on your journey to living a more self-sufficient lifestyle. Take things one a time and really try and master it before moving on. It can be overwhelming if you try to do it all at once and may lead to failure and giving up.

Small and slow solutions!

Holly ๐ŸŒฑ

ย 

MY GARDENING ESSENTIALS //
Fertiliser spray gun: https://bit.ly/366nL1t
Retractable Hose: https://bit.ly/2TSC0Bo
More gardening tools: https://bit.ly/32IQmbD

DISCLAIMER: Links included in this description might be affiliate links. If you purchase a product or service with the links that I provide I may receive a small commission. There is no additional charge to you! Thank you for supporting my page so I can continue to provide you with free content!

New year, fresh goals

New year, fresh goals

New year, fresh goals! I love taking time to reflect, set new goals and revisit/ refocus on ongoing ones.

So here are my rambling thoughts inspired by Brooke McAlary’s book “SLOW” and some of the steps I am taking towards setting goals and making the next year of my life filled with much more of the things I love!

If you were to think about what are the top most important things in your life (no order). Write them down!

โ€ข Family

โ€ข Friends

โ€ข Pets

โ€ข Nature

โ€ข Adventures

And then think about where the majority of your time and thoughts are spent each day…

Working? Thinking about going to work? Thinking about all the work you need to do? How long do you spend on your phone a day? How long do you spend scrolling Instagram? How long do you spend thinking about things you canโ€™t control? How long do you spend cleaning your house or washing or even just thinking about doing it in my case ๐Ÿ˜‚ How long do you spend watching tv?

Evaluate, does how you spend your time and what occupies the MOST time/space in your thoughts add up and reflect what you love the most?

Mine definitely doesnโ€™t… So Iโ€™m making some changes and Fresh Goals. Small changes towards spending more time and thoughts on the things I love ๐Ÿ’•

1. So that doesnโ€™t mean no washing (sadly) but I can have fewer things to wash (I recycled and threw out about 25 non-matching, scratchy towels and purchased 4 quality dreamy ones (which is still probably in excess).

2. I waste a lot of time procrastinating and therefore washing and chores occupy so much more time in my thoughts than just doing it!

3. Cups is another thing..well most items in the kitchen actually. There is usually only one to two people in our house at any one time, so why do I have 50 cups to wash, 4 spatulas and 10 frypans that donโ€™t even work on our new induction stove??? Cyaaaa

4. Break the habit. Sitting on the couch after dinner watching tv but actually just scrolling Instagram for hours…now to walk the dog, tend to the garden until dark and I allocate one episode of tv, then read a book.

5. Randomly call your friends and family just to see how they are. My brother called me for an hour recently and it was the best! He does this more regularly these days because a year ago if he called me I would have had a panic attack thinking something was wrong. If your family and friends are one of the most loved things in your life they should take up more time than one text here and there.

This is a constant work in progress for me and I always need a reminder to get back on track (luckily I have Halen to nag me about clutter) but… โ€œgreat things are done by a series of small things brought togetherโ€ โœจ