Zero Waste Homesteading

Hello friends!

It’s been quite a while since I last published an article! The main reason is that I have been working on getting the last bit of my crops planted on my diy cold frame!! For those of you that are unfamiliar with the term “cold frame” it is essentially a mini greenhouse with slightly less insulation and lays flat on the ground! 

Currently, I live in an apartment complex that does not allow for planting in ground (I’m working on a petition to change this or at least get a community garden going), but I didn’t want to just go out and now buy a pre-made raised bed garden and waste more money on something packaged and very much non-zero waste- so I set out to build my own! 

There is so much going on at my little homestead that I will have to break this into it’s own category, where you can choose to search just within the level of homesteading zero waste and vegan. 

A little background on cold frames and why I chose them:

  1. They are simple to build and functional. 
  2. In my zone 6b climate area (find your personal farming zone by typing your zip code in and adding “climate zone”) I would like to extend my growing season into fall and potentially winter! 
  3. It’s beautiful and rustic
  4. You meet really neat people when going about collecting materials!

So what does mine look like and how do you build yours? Well, I’ve got some pictures to explain!! 

*note: I do keep a zero Waste gardening journal to gather my thoughts 

**here I list where you could buy STRAW bales (not hay! Straw offers insulation whereas hay does not), however I personally took a drive to a farm nearby (found on Craigslist) and bought my straw bales for around $3.50 a bale. I was very disappointed that Walmart, Home Depot, hardware stores etc. chose to wrap their bales in plastic so I went out to a farm, met a cool man with a cute dog and happily toted my 6 bales home. 

The antique windows are sturdy and will withstand snow. I found mine at a local thrift store for next to nothing! 


Above, I show you a step by step guide as to how to build your own! A great reference that I used was the book “Your Urban Farm in the City”. It is chock full of amazing how-to guides. Here’s a link to buy it! (And no, I wasn’t sponsored, I just LOVE THIS book) 

Your Farm in the City: An Urban Dweller’s Guide to Growing Food and Raising Animals

So what does mine look like now? 

Well, I don’t have the windows on yet and it is only now planted with seeds (nothing has germinated yet- so nothing much to see) but here’s a quick pic! 

The burlap is just covering the straw while I sat and worked the garden. Thanks to a few local coffee shops I was able to gather enough to plant potatoes in this coming weekend! Tip: call around to local coffee shops to see if they have extra (free) burlap for gardening! In St. Louis, Blue Print Coffee and Shaw’s Cofee were both kind enough to help out!

Stay Humble! 


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