Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Friday, April 29, 2011


Since completing the composting/recycling course a few weeks ago, I have made some great changes in the house and the yard.
I have set up a Recycling Station with many smaller sub-stations around the house.....Yep that's what I will call them...the Recycling Station & Sub-Stations.....

Now since I don't have a lot of space, because I haven't de-cluttered since I became sick with my hip....I have had to put the main Station in the hallway for now. Because the new procedures are New.....and we are still getting used to it ....it's actually handy having it in the hallway.

First of all........Just a bit of info I have learnt since the course...Here goes

If I am going to be working in the garden I shred papers and cardboard the night before, so I have it ready to add to the compost bin. I am learning how to manage my compost bins really well now....

Two parts CARBON to one part NITROGEN......Carbon from the brown and dry materials and Nitrogen from the green moist materials.

Examples of Carbon to add to your compost bin are raked up dried leaves, dried or dead twigs and branches cut up into smaller manageable sizes, shredded paper and cardboard etc...

Examples of Nitrogen to add to your compost bin are Fresh Lawn Clippings, Freshly pulled plants that are finished, fresh veg scraps, Bokashi Bin waste, etc.....

I remember them both now by saying in my head: 
"Nitrogen has a G in it, G for Green Waste, 
and Carbon has Car...in it...
Car for Cardboard....
which is dry...
so the dry stuff is Carbon".

And I used to think it was all very complicated.


The top shelf is just for the purpose of this photo....

  • On the top of the shelving, I have added some jars that still need to be put through the dishwasher before being boxed up into their sizes.....
  • Next to that are some Fowlers Vacola jars I received off freecycle, but that is another post coming soon...as I want to show you how I store my empty jars......
  • The green-circled box belongs in the kitchen and holds recycled papers from anything I buy at the deli...like cold meats, ham hocks etc...I use this paper now instead of Paper Towel....It soaks up oils just fine, and its free. 
  • The bucket belongs in the kitchen and is for ALL my food waste..including cooked leftovers, meat, fish, chicken bones, fish bones, food scraps and peelings...stale bread....Once the kitchen bucket is full, it gets transferred to the Bokashi Bucket on the back verandah. 
  • Absolutely all my food waste goes into my Bokashi Bucket. 
I even put all my prawn shells in there over Easter...and just yesterday, I put in 5 chicken carcasses from making a Chicken Stock,. You can even put in your wilted flowers, cheese, coffee grinds, tea bags, tissues, cooked and uncooked meats and small bones from chicken, lamb and pork chops
This Bokashi thing is truly amazing!! 
And next weekend I am doing a Bokashi course 
where we learn to make the Bokashi powder....
Even Better!!!

  • Beside the shelving is my Paper Shredder tub, which I store papers ready to shred...It's really full at the moment because I sorted out One draw of my filing cabinet...OMG , just one!!

The next shelf shows the following:

  • Empty egg cartons and shredded paper for the bokashi bucket or compost bin......
  • Trash bags I received at the course for rubbish in your car (made from recycled papers), I have also handed many of these out to friends.
  • Fridge magnet memo boards also from the course...displaying "Slim your bin", and "Compost your kitchen scraps at home"....I have one on my fridge and one on mums fridge...I have also handed them out to friends.
  • A tub for empty pill bottles, I use these for storing seeds I have collected from the garden, Once my gathered seeds are fully dried, I use these medication containers...some of the lids even have a built in gel thingy to absorb any moisture.
  • Clear plastic tubs from bought foods like cheese and strawberries..
  • A box for dead batteries....which when full can be taken to Battery World to be disposed of properly.
  • A box for corks...which I am yet to use, and may change as we don't drink bought wine.

The next shelf shows the following:
  • Heavy cardboard from packaging, I may break this down and make paper seed tape....
  • A tub for small cardboard boxes including medication boxes, biscuit boxes, foods that are packaged in small boxes.....
  • Margarine containers, meat trays
  • Ice-cream tubs, small plastic tubs....
  • Mail bags sent to me. I recycle these and use them to send on parcels in the mail...I collect all sizes but the smaller ones I keep here now...I just turned the box on its side so you could see them better.
The bottom shelf shows the following:
  • An empty box, I haven't found a use for yet, but it fits....
  • A box for things to donate to the local Pre-School like yoghurt tubs, kitchen wrap rolls, any of the tubs above,  and the cardboard rolls from dishcloth cottons....(I am using left-over cottons, so I am gathering a lot of empty rolls.)
  • A box for Shopping Bags..I used to have these stuffed everywhere in nooks n crannys...now when the box is jammed full, I take them to the recycle bin at Coles to be recycled.
  • Newspapers, we get two free local newspapers every fortnight, and I also order Saturdays's newspaper. These are stored ready to shred either for the worms, the compost bin...I also wrap soft drink bottles of ice...if going on a trip...It makes them stay cold a lot longer. Newspapers are good for wrapping sanitary napkins at that time of the month too...and wrapping broken glass before being put in your normal bin.
Broken Glass has just reminded me to add my sharps bin to this area. My mum is an Insulin Dependant Diabetic, so we have a Sharps Bin in place too.

Substations around the home:

Here is the new area for my compost bins, I still have the soil bins down the back yard, but this is for the good stuff. I am going to build another garden bed here mainly for a Passion Fruit vine....
The green bin is the one I received for free from the course..and the black one is from the tip for $2 with a 4 inch split in one side....So What!!.....I still have to move all the bricks and the huge slab of cement...but I think this will be a good use of this area.

I have posted this photo before, but when we bought the house the back yard was bear, besides this concrete  wall in the middle of the back yard...so I came up with the idea of putting a sink in (from the tip for $5, and its a double sink)...This is where we clean all the fish we catch...Where I rinse out seedling pots...etc...

  • I store cut soft drink bottles for protecting young plants. 
  • The black bucket is used for my SeaWeed fertiliser which I wrote a tutorial on....
  • The dishdrainer is from the tip...and its heavily plastic coated so it will never rust unless it gets cut....
  • Seedling trays are gathered from freecycle friends
  • The shelf is from the tip....
  • The lattice work behind, is from the tip.....Nothing a coat of paint can't fix....
  • I even get buckets from the tip.....

  • If you have been following my blog, you will know that this is where I bury the Bokashi Waste....but may put it in the compost bins now, to feed the Passion Fruit vine....Oh it will be so happy in all that good soil I am planning and preparing.........

  • Here is  a view into my Bokashi bucket at the moment, In it is prawn shells from Easter, leftovers, all my food waste since I completed the course......When you start putting meats and fish and bones in your Bokashi Bucket, you will find you need more of the powder to help break it down...but I recently added the Chicken Carcasses and it still smells fine....Truly Amazing this Bokashi thing!!

  •  On the back veranda which separates my house with my mum's granny flat, is where I now store the Bokashi Bucket and my new Worm Farm......I don't need to go down stairs to the shed when I want to fill the Bokashi, and I am not going to COOK my worms, like I did last summer...It seems everywhere in my back yard is a potential killing area for worms....but under the veranda its nice and cool... 

Please, if you like what I am doing, or can share some ideas on how to improve this....I would love to hear from you. 

If you have set up your own Recycling Station, take a photo and put it on your blog, leave a comment linking it back to your blog....so we can all share our ideas.....

If I have inspired you to set up something similar in your home, I would also love to hear about it.


  1. I am a total recycling buff myself. I should set up a similar station. I am lucky enough to live near a recycling center that does everything but tires. Paint to glass, chemicals to tins. I fill my van up at least twice a week. Sometimes only once. I also recycle ink cartridges from printers. They pay you to recycle them at office supply stores here. You may look into that there. The bakshi bucket is something I would love to get started. I need to do that!!! I love that you can take classes for all these great ideas. I have not found any thing like that in Texas. Thanks for the pictures. Melissa

  2. I am inspired and looking forward to be a better reccyler and not so much a hoarder.

  3. Melissa, I had a tub for ink cartridges but used it for something else, wish they would pay us to recycle ink cartridges here........or even a discount for old for new would be good too.....Our local council runs the classes I have been attending.

    Hey Cathy, yes it looks more like recycling now than hoarding, and hubby doesn't mind so much either because its all in one area and not scattered about the house.

  4. Great post Narelle. I try to recycle as much as I can but you've got me thinking there is more I should be doing.

  5. Two things that I got out of this post that I would not have thought of are the paper from the deli and container for dead batteries.
    Some great ideas there Narelle. Thanks.

  6. Thanks ladies, I love to share my ideas...I am so glad you can take some of them for yourself.....I just love sharing.

  7. I don't know how close you live near an Ikea but I know the one near me also recycle light globes along with batteries. If you want to stop your compost worms from cooking in summer just freeze some 600ml plastic soft drink bottles full of water over night and place on the top of the worm farm. Replace when it has defrosted.

  8. Iduna: thanks for commenting on my blog, I didn't know about the light globes being recycled by Ikea...thanks for sharing that tip...unfortunately my local Ikea is almost two hours away....But you have me wondering now, who I could find locally to recycle the light-globes....thanks, another one that doesn't need to go in the bin.

  9. some plant nurseries in the Netherlands have bins for unwanted plantpots, the black and brickcolour ones you buy them in. Clients are allowed to take out for free whatever they need for their seedlings and plants, they are emptied to be recycled by shredding, it would be to costly to totally bug- and diseaseproof them for commercial use, when full. For all your readers: it is wise to check the temperature in all your plantingpots, wormnurseries etc. they get very high (above 50 C) in the sun, just an old floorrug at the sunside will reduce the heat. Some people put plants in those foodoildrums of about 8 litres from Asian restaurants, these heat up even more, so insulate these very well or make some wooden crate around them.

  10. thanks Anonymous...It would be lovely if you leave a first name with your comment though...so I could thank you with your name....all good hints there too.

  11. Hi Nellymary, love your recycling setup.
    I have been using egg cartons for growing seedlings in
    as you can break up the egg cartons when planting out and the seedlings are disturbed less and the cartons just break down in the soil. Always good to get ideas, enjoyed hearing yours :)


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