Little Free Library

Little Free Library

My husband and I were headed home from a morning of curb shopping, when he spotted a Little Free Library a block from our house! Do you know about these?

Little Free Library Sign

Basically it’s a little weather-proof box filled with books that are free for the taking. You can borrow books, and bring them back, or you can even keep them. They just ask that you add books to the box. “Take a book, return a book” is their motto.

Inside of Little Free Library Box

When I looked inside the box, there were nine books and one DVD.

Free Books

I took two home with me …

Donated Books

and I took five back. They didn’t have any kids’ books yet, so I figured I’d get their collection going.

I absolutely love the Little Free Library concept, and had been thinking about adding one to our yard. When my husband worked outside the home, we set up a free box at his office, with a “take what you need; leave what you don’t” motto, and it was a big hit with his co-workers.

I checked the LittleFreeLibrary website, and there aren’t any libraries listed in our town, so I’m thinking we’ve found the perfect project for my oldest daughter’s Girl Scout Silver Award. She loves books and recycling as much as I do.

If you’re interested in building a Little Free Library, or just want to see if there are any in your area, check out

How to Get Free Firewood

How to Get Free Firewood

We’ll be heating our weekend homestead with two wood stoves, and that means we’re going to need plenty of firewood. We plan to harvest fallen trees from the property, but we’ll also be getting firewood from our favorite store: Curb Mart

Since our town has large trash pick up, people don’t haul trees off when they cut them down; they just pile them up at the curb, and wait for the trash truck to get them. That’s great news, if you’re a curb shopper with a wood stove and a way to haul firewood.

Spring is the best time to “shop” for firewood, since people tend to be focused on cleaning up their yards, but really you can find free firewood anytime of the year.

Living in a suburban town as we do, people frequently cut the wood into fireplace-size logs before putting it at the curb. Maybe they think it looks neater that way? Perhaps it’s so it’ll be easier to carry? I don’t know, but if they want to take care of that chore for me, I’m all for it. Heck, if you’d like to split the wood too, that’s fine by me. Just leaves me more time for curb shopping.

Wood Pallets

If you’re going to get your firewood at Curb Mart, I also recommend picking up wood pallets. They’re usually made out of hardwood to stand up to the weight of the items being shipped on them, so they burn beautifully. Just cut them up, and toss them in the fire. There’s no need to season them first.

Pallets Cut Up for Firewood

Just be sure to look for the “HT” marking on pallets; it’s an indication that they’ve been heat-treated (aka kiln-dried). You don’t want to burn any that have been pressure-treated. They’ll have an MB on them, which stands for Methyl Bromide.

Do you have other sources for free firewood? I’d love to hear about them.

Free Plants – You Dig

I was going over the garage sale listings this morning, when this classified ad caught my eye:

Calling all gardeners! I am a Master Gardener and am giving away (FREE) all the plants in my entire backyard, hundreds of plants. You must dig.

Needless to say my yard sale plans went out the window. I called the number in the ad, and made plans to go right over.

True to the ad, she had hundreds – if not thousands – of plants. She explained that she’d had spinal surgery in December, and wasn’t able to garden any more. So, she was passing her plants on to people who would enjoy them.

She walked us through her garden, and pointed out all sorts of things for us to dig up, including many antique and rare plants.

Free Plants

These pictures don’t even begin to do justice to what we brought home.

Free Plant Divisions

I tried to keep up with the names of everything, but it got hard after a while. So, one of our friends who has a masters degree in horticulture is going to come by tomorrow to help us identify everything.

Free Perennials

Here are some of the things that I know we got:

  • Corydalis
  • Perennial Begonia
  • Feverfew
  • Bee Balm (three different colors)
  • Japanese Aster
  • Obedient
  • Aster
  • Purple Loosestrife
  • Campanula
  • Arum, Tropical
  • Perennial Ageratum
  • Irises (white)
  • Peppermint

I planted a few of the things that I was familiar with, and I’ll plant the rest tomorrow after I have a firm handle on what I have and where best to plant it.

Pretty amazing haul, don’t you think? And, if you can believe it, she asked us to come back for more another day. I think we’ll have to put together a basket of goodies for her as a thank you.