Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Fall Barn Cleaning

We had our annual fall barn party for family and horse freinds last weekend; this of course, spawned a frenzy of cleaning activity beforehand . . .

Cleaning the barn prior to winter is a great opportunity to set yourself up for a more "green" winter. On of the biggest tasks was sweeping down cobwebs. It's amazing how much cleaner the barn feels without them and how much more light comes into the stalls.

In addition to sweeping the cobwebs I organzied the tack/feed room. Emptying out used supplement containers and finding reuses for most of them from storage for cat food, to horse treats, and grain carriers for horse shows.

My biggest challenge is throwing anything out. I was raised on a farm and my parents were Depression babies. I grew up hearing "waste not, want not". For me, to throw anything out is like a sin. It's also not very "green". I try my best to reuse everything at least once - from my used grain bags (for garbage bags) to empty fly spray/coat conditioner bottles, which I use for my homeade fly spray (marigold and lavender).

Some things should go, as a cluttered barn is not very efficient and therfore not very green.

Tack that is unrepairable or hasn't been used should either be salvaged for what can still be used (like the reins or bit on a broken bridle), or sold or donated to a 4-H group etc. for an upcoming tack sale. Wood, broken fence post and insulators should also be recycled instead of stored in the barn and probably never used for anything.

As much as I hate to discard baler twine, keeping more than a handfull for uses like tying grain bags and tarps down, is pointless. In my upcoming Green Horsekeeping Guide (for 2011) I will have some sources for recycling twine and rfor eusing it to even make things like hay bags.

So for right now, our barn feels pretty clean, and hopefully "green".

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