Mouse hunt, plants and the 1st wall built for the new compost pile

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In the last couple of weeks of our mouse hunt we have caught over 40 mice in the chicken house and in the house.  For traps we are using box traps and sticky traps because we have critters and pets.  Snap traps will injure any animal and while sticky traps can get the dogs the traps can bet cut away with some scissors.   I’m trying out a rodent repellent in the basement that smells of balsam fir oil.  I added 6 bags of this “repellent” in hope that it will start driving the mice out of the basement.  Next week I will purchase the wood and start building shelving units in the basement.  My plan is to clean up all the mouse droppings,  Bleach and sanitize the walls to stop the mouse trails and make it safe from those mouse carried diseases and have all food items stored in long term containers that are vermin proof.  The last requirement of the shelving is it will accommodate traps or spraying for bugs long term.   While I may have slacked off  the last 6 months on storage.  My long-term food supply is very safe in 55 gallon metal drums.

Plants for the garden.

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As you can see I have a flat of Marigolds and several starer plants for the garden.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As you can see the pepper plants between the cages took quite a beating and look a bit sad.   I have starts to replace the peppers and my deep 4 ft.x 4ft raised bed is for any  plants that have no planned spot.  You can see the Black garden fence.  Well it has not worked for stopping the small digger dogs.  What has worked is those fold flat tomato cages hooked to the chain linked fence and  covers the small beds.

First wall of the new compost pile wall is built.   My carpentry skills are rudimentary at best, but as I build stuff I learn more about carpentry and how to make what I want in my mind happen in reality.  This the first wall of my compost pile and I can hide my screw ups against the chicken area. I learned a lot just putting together this first wall.  Overall I think this new compost bin idea will work long term and I’m also learning about how to work with different types of lumber and how to use those product around the yard.


The image on the left is the new wall of the compost pile.  The image on right is the my pathetic attempt of making a compost bin out of pallets that was less than successful.  There is nothing wrong with screwing up by the numbers if it does not cost you.  I learned the wrong way to use pallets to make a cheap compost pile.  Trust me I went very cheap and I did not know how to make anything plus I lacked the proper tools to make pallets work.   There is nothing wrong with using pallets to build a compost pile.  I just gave a pic of my screwed up compost pile to show that without knowledge and skills, half-assing stuff will probably end up costing you more money time and energy is the likely outcome.  I don’t have a lot of “extra” money to invest in stuff.  I really don’t have a lot of personal energy/strength to invest in screwing up.  So getting  stuff right or at least learning how to get stuff built right is critical.

I’m still not sure on how the compost pile will turn out,  though I have enough lumber to build a 2 bin system.  At this time the built wall will be on left side as well. I will have a divider section and a pressure treated built back wall.  I’m spending some dollars to build “my” compost system. Can you do a compost system cheaper?  Of course you can build one of those.  I’m no longer worried about cheap I’m worried about a working system for me.  I can afford to look beyond cheap and look at making stuff easy.