Coop Refresher: All Natural & Organic

Coop Refresher: All Natural & Organic

Yes, it’s true. You can make your own organic, all natural coop refresher, and it won’t even cost you a million dollars.

 

While I love the commercial coop refresher products you can buy, there came a day on the farm when we NEEDED something to squelch the stench in the rabbit coop and the chicken coop.

 

And by squelch, I mean eliminate completely. We needed a coop refresher and we needed it NOW.

 

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It was one of those hot fall days when you never know what to expect – it can be 80 degrees during the day (yeah!) and a kit-and-chick-killing 42 degrees at night. (Here’s how to prepare your chicken coop for winter).

 

We keep the coop very clean, but at those temperature swings, it doesn’t take much to make me worry.

 

After we cleaned out all the straw, I wasn’t satisfied – something was needed to make the coop extra clean.

 

Now, here’s the thing. We live 45 minutes from ANY sort of store that might sell a commercial chicken coop refresher.

 

And it was Sunday evening. Running to town in order to buy something like a chicken coop refresher just wasn’t going to happen.

 

But something needed to happen – fast.

 

So, I improvised. And it worked so well, that we now ONLY use my favorite organic all-natural coop refresher recipe on the farm.

 

And the best part?

 

It costs less than a few dollars, and last a good long time. And your chickens will be happier and healthier for it.

 

herbs for backyard chickens

Organic all-natural coop refresher is easy to make at home. If you need a quick chicken coop refresher spray recipe, this is perfect for backyard chicken beginners!

Making Your Own All-Natural Coop Refresher

So, the purpose of a chicken coop refresher is to soak up any animal waste and neutralize the odors so your chicken flock doesn’t breathe in ammonia or other fumes that can harm them.

 

Now, I don’t have anything against commercial chicken coop refresher products.

 

But I don’t think they’re always necessary. I think – no, I KNOW – you can achieve the same results for a coop refresher with basic ingredients you probably have in your home right now.

 

That day that one fall evening when I was in a panic, it dawned on me that two simple ingredients – flour and baking soda – could produce the same effect we might spend a lot of money to solve.

 

Think about it – flour is extremely absorbent. We all know that from making bread.

 

If you use organic flour to make your own coop refresher…well, you’ve got an organic solution to your smelly chicken coop.

 

(Want more chicken keeping goodness? Grab The Backyard Chicken Bundle (TM) – it’s 3 full-length e-books, plus checklists and recipe books. All for the price of one. Yes, a 90% discount. You can’t beat that. Get it here while it’s on sale.)

 

Baking soda is the gold standard for neutralizing odors – that’s why we’ve kept it in our refrigerator since our childhood.

 

Why couldn’t it also be used in a homemade coop refresher to neutralize odors from chicken waste?

 

Well, it can. And it costs less than $1.

 

SHAZAM.

 

Particularly if you’re worried about using diatomaceous earth or something like lime, this combination can be a good solution while not sacrificing a clean chicken coop.

 

While the flour and baking soda particulates won’t hurt your flock, it’s still a good idea to allow the dust from your all natural coop refresher to settle (so to speak) before allowing your hens back into the coop.

 

herbs for backyard chickens

 

The ratio of flour to baking soda in your chicken coop refresher

Now, I’m kind of making a production out of this all-natural coop refresher idea, but the truth is the ratio of baking soda to flour is not as precise as, say, the ratio if you were baking.

 

Typically, I go for a 5-pound bag of flour and mix in 1 small box of baking soda in a 5-gallon or painter’s bucket.

 

Brands don’t matter, just make sure it’s fairly high quality and not the bottom shelf who-the-hell-knows-what’s-in-it brand (I’m looking at you, Dollar General Clover Valley brand of flour. You can literally smell all the chemicals in that “flour.”)

 

Mixing baking soda with flour, I found, makes it easier to sprinkle the chicken coop and sweep out than if it were either ingredient alone. (Check out these awesome FREE chicken coop plans!)

 

Once you’ve put both ingredients into the bucket, thoroughly mix (I use a feed scoop, you can use a big spoon if you don’t have a scoop), and get to sprinkling.

 

You’ll notice the smell start to neutralize fairly quickly, assuming you’ve done a good job cleaning your coop as thoroughly as possible. Learn how to clean your chicken coop like a pro!

 

(If you have puddles of urine everywhere, then you might need just a tad more coop refresher. Or a few bucketfuls.) And if you’re having problems with flies in the chicken coop, click here to read how to keep flies out of the coop.

 

Sweep out, resprinkle the coop refresher, and sweep out as necessary. I personally resprinkle a final layer of my homemade coop refresher and put straw on top. You can do whatever you feel is best for your flock.

 

It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s cheap. I guess for once, you really can have all three. Happy sprinkling!

 

herbs for backyard chickens

More Chicken Raising Resources:

 

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Included in the bundle are:

  • 5 individual ebooks with over 40 gorgeous full color photographs, charts, and recipes for all-natural coop cleaners, layer feeds, herbal first aid salves, and more.
  • 34 page Herbal Encyclopedia to growing 30 different herbs for your hens right in your own backyard
    E-books naturally complement each other so you have information at your fingertips.
  • 3 downloadable checklists to save your flock from bad weather & predators, and to keep them healthy while molting.
  • 1 Apple Cider Vinegar for Backyard Chickens video that shows you step-by-step how to make organic apple cider vinegar in your own kitchen.
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Backyard Chicken Bundle

 

5 Pro Tips To Use Coffee Grounds In Your Garden!

5 Pro Tips To Use Coffee Grounds In Your Garden!

Coffee grounds are one of those hidden treasures that can transform your garden.

 

If you make a cup of coffee every day, then you have an amazing source of organic matter at your fingertips that can help you grow a healthy harvest of fresh vegetables.

 

Coffee grounds are full of nitrogen, which as you know, is the difference between a garden that’s lackluster and a harvest that can support your family through the winter.

 

So how much nitrogen is actually in coffee? Well, according to science, coffee grounds are approximately 1.45% pure nitrogen – ideal for your backyard garden.

 

But nitrogen aside, coffee grounds are also awesome sources of magnesium, potassium, calcium and other types of trace minerals which help your organic garden grow healthy.

 

Not sure how to use coffee grounds in your garden? Here’s 5 pro tips to get you started!

 

Pour spent coffee grounds into your compost bin.

 

There are organic gardeners I know who regularly go to local stores to collect their spent coffee grounds (so if you don’t make coffee yourself, you can try this in your local area – a lot of places are happy to recycle as long as you provide a container.)

 

As you probably know, when it comes to compost, there’s “green” matter and “brown matter.” Green matter is full of nitrogen, while brown matter has carbon, and is a natural accompaniment to the nitrogen. Especially if you hot compost, you will want your ratio of carbon to nitrogen to be correct.

 

Although this seems unbelievable, especially due to the fact that coffee grounds are brown, they’re a “green” in compost rubbish, meaning that they’re highly rich in nitrogen.

 

Simply toss your coffee grounds on your compost pile, making sure the ratio of carbon to nitrogen is correct.

 

Add coffee grounds directly to the soil in your garden

 

This can be done in a wide variety of ways; you can choose to scratch it into a couple of inches of soil at the topmost layer, or just sprinkle the spent coffee grounds into the top layer of the soil and leave it alone.

 

Coffee grounds are comprised of some useful mineral materials, and these can help in adding to the fertility of the soil, especially if your plants are lacking nutrients or if you just want to be proactive.

 

They can be used to create a barrier for slugs and snails.

 

Coffee grounds are abrasive and acidic, and a barrier made of them will fend off slugs and snails that otherwise might snack on your harvest.

 

To create these barriers, lace grounds around plants that are highly susceptible to slug infestations. To preserve their soft bodies, slugs will find another plant to eat.

 

Make coffee ground “tea”

 

To make this, all you have to do is add 2 cups filled with used coffee grounds to a 5-gallon bucket of water.

 

Leave the “tea” to mix and steep for a few hours.

 

The concoction you’ll wake up to in the morning can be used as a liquid fertilizer for both garden and container plants.

 

It is also an awesome source of foliar feed, especially for plants like peppers, which need SOME nitrogen, but are liable to grow only leafy green leaves instead of fruit if they get too much.

 

Add some coffee grounds to your worm bin

Although you might not be aware of this, worms are actually suckers for some good coffee grounds. The worms will consume them, leaving healthy castings you can use as plant food.

 

However, you should be very careful to add too much; you don’t want the acidity to harm or repel your red worms.

 

Just add one cup every week to your worm bin, and that should be enough to do the trick perfectly.

 

I’d like to hear from you!

Will you try adding coffee grounds to your garden? Leave a comment below!

55+ July 4th (All-Natural & Organic) Red, White, & Blue Recipes

55+ July 4th (All-Natural & Organic) Red, White, & Blue Recipes

4th Of July is almost here…and you’re probably looking for all-natural, organic solutions to cookout staples!

 

It’s really easy to slip during this patriotic holiday, but this article will keep you on track. This is a collection of over 50 recipes for desserts, fruit salads, appetizers, and snacks that you can alter with all-natural, organic ingredients.

 

Particularly with the 4th of July, we want our food to be red, white, and blue….which means dying our food with potentially questionable dyes.

 

So, before we get started, here’s Where You Can Buy All Natural Vegetable-Based Red & Blue Food Dyes on Amazon.

 

If you order them now, they will be at your home before you get busy preparing food for a star-spangled cookout.

 

Where appropriate, I’ve also provided links where you can buy all-natural, organic, and non-GMO ingredients.

50+ Recipes For the 4th of July

Cheesecakes

Red White Blue Cheesecake Salad 

 

Red White Blue Cheesecake Salad 

 

Red White Blue Cheesecake Bites 

 

Red White Blue Cheesecake 

 

Cheesecake Topped Flag Cake

 

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

 

No Bake Red White Blue Cheesecake 

 

Red White Blue Cheesecake Strawberries 

 

 

Popsicles

Red White Blue Frozen Banana Pops 

 

Red White Blueberry Popsicles 

 

Paleo Firecracker Pops 

 

4th Of July Coconut Water Berry Pops 

Where To Buy Organic Coconut Water

All-Natural Organic July 4th Red, White, & Blue Patriotic Recipes

 

 

Desserts

Red white blue trifle

 

Red White Blue Angel Food

 

Red White Blue Cupcakes

 

Red White Blue Meringues 

 

Patriotic Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

 

American Flag Marshmallow Pops

 

White Chocolate Strawberry Trifle

 

Red White Blue Bark

 

Red White Blue Cookie Dough Dip

 

Star Spangled Slab Pie

 

Red White Blue White Chocolate Covered Strawberries

 

Firecracker Cakes

 

Red White Blue Berry Pie Bars

 

Red White Blue No Churn Ice Cream


Cookies

Where To Buy Organic Flour

Red White Blue Pinwheel Icebox Cookies

 

Fireworks Red White Blue Cookies

 

Red White Blue Cookies

 

Star Spangled Cookies

 

Patriotic Cookie Cakes

 

July 4th Sprinkle Cookies

Where To Buy All Natural Sprinkles

Where to Buy Organic Cake Mix

 

Red White Blue Chocolate Cookies

 

Firework Pudding Cookies

 

Red White Blue Bars

 

 

Salads

Red White Blue Pasta Salad 

Where To Buy Organic Pasta

 

Red White Blue Deviled Eggs

 

Red White Blue Patriotic Salad

 

4th Of July Fruit Salad With Honey Lime Glaze

Where To Buy Organic Honey

 

Blueberry, Strawberry, & Jicama Salad

 

Watermelon Feta Blueberry Salad 

 

Appetizers

Patriotic Taco Dip

 

Watermelon Blueberry Fruit Sparklers

 

Red White Blue Potato Skewers

 

Red White Blue Spaghetti

 

Pizza

Red White Blue Fruit Pizza

 

4th Of July Berry Pizza

 

Red White Blue Bacon Pizza

 

Snacks

Where To Buy Non-GMO Gluten-Free Pretzels

 

Patriotic Pretzels

 

Patriotic Pretzel Rods

 

Red White Blue Pretzel Bites

 

Red White Blue Patriotic Popcorn

 

Red White Blue Patriotic Popcorn

 

Get Rid Of Wasps Naturally and Practically For Free!

Get Rid Of Wasps Naturally and Practically For Free!

If your organic garden has been invaded by wasps, chances are you’re probably wondering how to get rid of wasps naturally.

 

While they make great pollinators, unfortunately, if wasps have decided you’re invading their territory, you might be getting stung – which can put a damper on any fun garden activities very quickly.

 

Similarly, wasp nests are no fun – and they can creep up in the smallest places we wouldn’t expect (we’ve found them in chicken coops – no fun for you OR your chickens, believe me!).

 

(This article is based off my #1 Amazon Bestselling book, Organic By Choice: The (Secret) Rebel’s Guide To Backyard Gardening. Get your copy here).

Get rid of wasps naturally with these organic tips!

 

You CAN go for the stuff you buy at your local big box store – but we personally try to avoid those products, and have gotten rid of them in our house. They’re full of chemicals that neither our children or our animals need to inhale (in fact, for chickens, with the delicate upper respiratory systems, commercial insecticides can cause a lot of damage or even death in your flock).

 

To preserve the effort you’ve put out keeping your backyard organic and your family healthy, you’ll want to get rid of wasps naturally and ALSO stop wasps from coming back so you can enjoy your backyard once again.

 

Luckily, these organic options also happen to be pretty cheap, and you can create an effective natural insecticide for just pennies.

 

Create a wasp trap…naturally

 

If you’re like us, you probably have some soda bottles hanging around your house. To create a trap that’ll get rid of wasps naturally, cut the top 1/3rd of the soda bottle (also be sure to remove any wrap – if the bottle is reflecting light, it’s less attractive to wasps).

 

Leaving the screw cap off, turn the cut piece upside down and place it back inside the remainder of the bottle.

 

Pour apple juice into 1/2 the bottle – wasps will be attracted to the juice and enter the trap, but won’t be able to leave. Eventually, they will get caught in the juice and die.

 

You’ll want to place the trap away from areas of the garden you visit frequently to reduce your chances of crossing paths with a bunch of angry wasps (or worse – you might tip it over, and find yourself surrounded by a swarm with your name on it).

 

Empty the bottle when it’s full of dead wasps, or sooner if it starts to smell (if you’re pregnant and sensitive to smells, this is a “must do” and I suggest having your spouse or partner do it for you).

 

How To Get Rid Of Wasps Nests Naturally

 

If picking off wasps one by one isn’t for you, then you’ll want to turn to getting rid of the entire nest. Chances are you WON’T get all the wasps quickly with the soda bottle trick – but you CAN get rid of wasps in your backyard by knocking out the entire nest.

 

For this all natural solution, you’ll need pure liquid castile soap (I like this brand) and a hose-end sprayer like this one. Pour the soap into the sprayer until it’s ½ full, and attach to your favorite garden hose.

 

Turn the water on, and wait until you see suds. Spray the wasps nest thoroughly for a couple minutes, depending on the size of the nest.

 

Check to see if any wasps are still flying around – if they are, then keep spraying. Rinse and repeat the following day if some, but not all, are dead.

 

It’s better to use this spray in the early evening as the sun is going down – wasps will be back in their nests and will be subdued by the lack of light. They will then be less likely to sting.

 

Preventing Wasps Naturally

 

While nothing is 100 percent effective to prevent wasps, there are something you can do, and it’s easier than trying to get rid of wasps later on.

 

Wasps are attracted by sweet smells and rotting garbage – so try to keep your trash closed and on lockdown. Don’t just dump it outside and out in the open (this will also cut down on other pests like raccoons, opossums, dogs, etc).

 

If you have an orchard, be sure to pick up any rotting fruit from the ground.

 

Want to get rid of wasps naturally? Here's how to do it organically!

Plants that Deter Wasps Naturally

 

If you have room in your garden, you can plant some wasp-repelling plants. Just be aware that these plants might also deter bees, which is no good for an organic garden, since we depend on bees for pollination.

 

Some plants to deter wasps naturally include:

 

  • Wormwood (Artemisia)
  • Mint
  • Eucalyptus
  • Citronella

 

You can also try essential oils for these plants (there isn’t one for wormwood that I know of). Simply sprinkle a couple drops of the oil on a rag and hang in your garden. You can also soak cotton balls in the oils.

 

Photo of wasp: By Richard Bartz, Munich aka Makro Freak – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2576477

I’d like to hear from you!

Have you tried to get rid of wasps naturally? Leave a comment below!

 

Organic Homemade Coffee Scrub Mask – Only 2 Ingredients!

Organic Homemade Coffee Scrub Mask – Only 2 Ingredients!

When it comes to skincare, I like it to be as simple as possible, and I promise you that you’ll love this Organic Homemade Coffee Scrub Mask recipe.

 

Even though we live on a farm in the country (and especially if we’re out in the sun all day!), taking care of our bodies is still important, which is why I love this homemade coffee scrub.

 

It only requires 2 ingredients (although I have included variations with honey and Myrrh essential oil at the end of this article.)

 

(A lot of you ask where I get the oils I personally use. Here’s everything you need to know!)

 

And I (almost) guarantee you have the ingredients in your cupboard (spoiler alert: it’s just coffee & coconut oil!)

 

Organic Homemade Coffee Scrub Mask Recipe With Just 2 Ingredients!

 

Because coffee beans are usually treated with chemicals, you should go for organically grown beans if possible, like these here.

 

I get great results from this super simple homemade coffee scrub mask, and it’s soothing and nourishing for your skin! I know you’ll love it!

 

(Especially now that I’m hitting middle age and I’m starting to get those lines….this homemade coffee scrub mask helps minimize them!)

So why is coffee so great for skin care in the first place?

 

I’m glad you asked!

 

Coffee is a rich source of antioxidants that protects our skin against free radicals that can possibly damage and age our skin. Caffeine found in coffee beans can stimulate the skin and possibly improve blood flow to the face.

 

Organic Homemade Coffee Scrub Mask Recipe With Just 2 Ingredients!

 

Coffee, when used in a homemade coffee scrub mask like this one, can also increase the production of collagen and elastin while minimizing age lines.

 

According to one study like these here, caffeine also might help reverse any damage ultraviolet rays may have caused as you’ve been out and about in your garden.

 

How to make my favorite Organic Homemade Coffee Scrub Mask recipe:

 

Now that we’ve established why coffee and coconut are so great for your skin, here’s how you actually make this Organic Homemade Coffee Scrub Mask!

 

This recipe makes about 3 ounces of scrub – it lasts me about 4-5 weeks if I use it once a week.

 

It’s also shelf stable, so you can put it in a small cosmetic jar and keep it on a cool shelf out of the sun.

 

Ingredients

 

Instructions

 

In a microwave, melt the coconut oil so it’s soft.

 

In a bowl, combine the coconut oil with the coffee by smashing the ingredients together until thoroughly mixed (it helps to totally melt the coconut oil before combining).

 

Organic Homemade Coffee Scrub Mask Made With Just 2 Ingredients!

 

Store in an airtight container in a cool area until ready to use. You can also store it in the fridge, although you will have to melt it slightly before use.

 

Avoid getting the homemade mask in your eyes, nose and mouth.

Organic Homemade Coffee Mask Recipe With Just 2 Ingredients!

 

To use:

Apply to your skin in a circular motion, making sure to hit any dry areas. Rinse off when done.

 

Variations:

 

** If you like, you can add 2 tablespoons of honey. Honey has excellent antibacterial properties making it ideal for acne-prone skin. In addition, it’s nourishing and can give your skin a healthy glow.

 

** Another option is to add 3-4 drops of Myrrh essential oil. Myrrh essential oils is soothing to the skin, and promotes a smooth, youthful-looking complexion. You can add it to this recipe to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

 

(Ready to grab some essential oils so you can get bugs out of your life for good? Here’s everything you need to know!)