I’ve go a project/anecdote for you! My friend Tammy showed me how to make a drying rack for clothes from an old bike wheel and it is amazing.
All you need is:
an old bike wheel (try freecycle or just ask around)
three zip ties (optional but helpful)
a carabiner clip or similar (see the anecdote below)
Spray and scrub down the old bike wheel. It doesn’t have to be spotless, but anything dirt on the wheel may end up on your drying items!
Attach the three zip ties equidistant around the wheel, loosely (larger zip ties are best)!
Use three same-size lengths of rope to the zip ties and together (for this, I deconstructed a topsy-turvy tomato grower and used some of the metal hanging wires).
Optional – attach three lengths to the carabiner rather than tie together
Tie more rope to the three lengths/carabiner; use enough to be able to hang from a tree or whatever you can find.
Finally, attach the clothespins and you have your drying contraption!
This works GREAT for small kitchens cloths but especially for cloth tissues, like the ones I showed you in a previous email. This is something you can easily make and use in a small backyard and even inside if you have the space!
And now for the anecdote… Tuesday I did a bunch of laundry without paying attention to the weather (note to self: that wasn’t smart). When the sky darkened I ran out and carried in my drying racks and took down the clothes from the lines but it was already sprinkling and I didn’t want to take each individual tissue and cloth off of the bike wheel rack, so I did the next best thing… I covered the whole thing in a poncho! It worked! Two hours later I returned and everything was no more damp than it had been before the rain! Now I think I should install a clip so I can remove this drying rack before this happens again but in case I don’t get to it, at least I know the poncho trick works!
Sometimes breaking our reliance on single-use products can be difficult. Here is one easy way to start! For years, we have been using our own tissues at home rather than buying a box after box of paper tissues from the store. Cloth tissues are easy to make and care for. To make your own cloth tissues, you simply need a piece of flannel cloth. I like to use ripped sheets, but if I don’t have any I will run to a thrift store and look for a flannel sheet to buy. If you want to start small, a pillowcase will make quite a few!
Cut your flannel sheet into squares. I like mine to be about 8 inches square but have them in many different sizes because I didn’t want any leftover fabric. After cutting, you’re done if you want! Fold your tissues and store in a container around the house. You can also choose to bind the edges by surging or folding over and sewing. I don’t do that anymore; it takes more time and my kids prefer quantity over quality when they’ve got colds. Eventually the flannel unravels, but that’s generally about the time they’re getting stained or holey and they end up in the compost pile. To care for your tissues; simply throw into the wash with your other laundry!
I want to share with you a recipe I use ALL the time here on the farm, and at home. Here we call it CEEG, for Cayenne, Echinacea, Eleuthero, Garlic. It’s an immune-boosting tincture that I use on both animals and humans at the first sign of illness. While the recipe suggests using it in the winter, we use it year-round. I make mine with ever clear and apple cider vinegar and the dilute it before use. It is HOT! My kids do not like it at all. However, the animals don’t seem to mind it. We add it to water for a general immune boost and administer it orally as often as possible for more acute situations. It’s not a cure-all but it does seem to help the animals and people fight illness and is our first line of defense.
I get most of the herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs. While I can’t sell tinctures because of the alcohol content, I’m happy to create a tincture kit if you’re interested (I provide the herbs; you provide the fresh garlic and alcohol)!
Note: due to the garlic content, we don’t use it for our cats or our dog.