Rainwater Reservoir

Northern Missouri had a dry winter and so far, it’s been a dry spring as well. This has made conserving rainwater of foremost importance to us. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money so we began to look around the farm at what we might use. Since we got out of the cattle business a few years ago, we had a plastic grain bin that wasn’t being used. With a few adaptations, it’s perfect to conserve water.



My husband added a gutter to our barn roof and cut a hole in the grain bin.

He added a metal spout for water to drain into the bin.


Lastly, he sealed the bottom of the bin, added a hose, and….

                                                                                                                                      the nozzle!

Now all we need is rain. The vegetables and I can’t wait!



Potato Storage Bins

one hill new potatoes from raised bed 18 potatoes

one hill new potatoes from raised bed 18 potatoes

This is the time we gardeners have been waiting for: harvest! One crop I love to harvest is potatoes. Digging potatoes is like digging for gold—especially if they happen to be Yukon Golds.

Since there are only so many potatoes that can be eaten at once, how can they be stored without rotting? Potatoes need a cool, dry room with air circulating around them. At our home, our pantry is a cool, dry room but we still needed a container to allow air circulation. Here is the solution my husband devised.

potato storage bin

potato storage bin

He cut some leftover wire shelving to fit in milk crates. He also found some metal strips to hold the shelving in place.

leftover shelving

leftover shelving

This allowed us to stack our potatoes and add storage space when needed. It’s worked so well for us, and we didn’t have to purchase anything. I hope this idea will help you and allow to enjoy your vegetables longer.

stored potatoes




Recycled Treasures as Plant Containers

toolbox flowers

Now that Mother’s Day is past and so hopefully is the threat of snow and frost, our thoughts turn to colorful annuals to brighten our landscapes. Who can resist just one more six pack of pink petunias? Ah, but reality bites when you get home and wonder where on earth you’re going to plant these guys.

Coal bucket flowers

Late last winter while dreaming of spring, I decided I needed some additional plant containers, however, I wasn’t too keen on spending a bunch of money. In our barns, we have all kinds of treasures (aka worn out junk) that with a little work, had potential to be just wanted I needed. I found an old coal bucket that had seen better days, an old tool box that fits on an even older tractor, and an actual flower container that once held flowers from a funeral several years ago. After a bit a cleaning and sanding, I gave them new life with a few coats of spray paint that I had found sale at a local hardware store. As you can see, they will serve me well this summer.

flower pot

In addition to my plant containers, I found an old plant stand that I had a billion years ago back when I was single. It also needed a ton of work, but I thought it had real possibilities as a bird feeder/waterer/entertainment center. My husband added metal legs to the bottom of it to secure it in the ground and keep the wind from blowing it over. I’m still looking for some wide-mouth cups or cans or perhaps lids to glue to the metal trays to use for water and bird seed.

unfinished plant stand

Have some fun and look for some unique flower containers you might have around the house or sheds. Old boots make great flower pots…just make sure your husband is truly ready to part with them!

Happy Spring!                                                                         plant stand