Homesteading on a porch - Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller
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Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller

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Homesteading on a porch

I always love to hear the trials and triumps of others who have that same pioneering spirit of a homesteader. Many people are overcoming the limits in which they live (financial, spacial, educational,etc) to find ways to improve their lives on a deeper level than monitarialy. That is the homesteader's spirit!

Below is a partial blog/newsletter from a ministry in Isreal that I follow/support. I find this to be one of the most useful recycling ideas for styrofoam. With this plan, anyone can grow veggies on their porch or apartment balcony! Thank you to Jerry Golden for sending this out to his supporters:

This is Joel with two Styrofoam boxes.  For example with this size box you can plant four tomato plants,


Get what is called a pond basket or one you use to hold items in under your sink as long as it fits in the box.  Draw a line to cut at the height of the box.



Cut like so.



It should look like this when you are finished with the cutting.



Make a small notch in the rim to be used as an over flow whole so you can’t over water your plants.



Turn the box (number 2) the top box over and mark around the (A) pond box. And then make a second mark (B) inside that mark to be cut this will give the pond box the chance to add strength to the bottom of the upper box. 





Then cut along the inner line like this.




Take a small drill ¼” or a screw driver and make holes around the hole you cut being sure not to weaken the bottom to much.



Tape the pond box in place just to hold it the weight of the dirt will hold it later on.



Make a hole the same size as the PVC or rubber pipe you are using for a water inlet. I use a 1 ½”.



Fill the top box with organic potting dirt, making sure to fill the pond gasket for that will act as your wick to draw the moisture up to your plants as they need it.  The beauty of this system is you don’t waste water and you can’t over water. 


A picture of our garden, the tomatoes were planted about one month ago, already there are many green tomatoes.  The lettuce has grown so fast that it is hard to believe and taste very good.




I hope this helps, but once again if you don’t feel like shopping and can afford to buy would be much easier for you.


What you will need.

2 boxes the same size.

Pond basket

Tape & pipe

Potting soil

Seeds or plants to plant.


Shalom, jerry golden


It seemed 'share-worthy' a topic to blog about. All credit goes to Jerry Golden and the idea/project would not be complete with out the pictures.


The homesteading mindset is everywhere! Just look outside the norm and stretch!



Anne Cross said:

Thank you so much for posting this! I had seen some self-watering planters described/for sale in catalogs and couldn't figure out how they worked -- this is a great helpful hint for how to make 'em.

I have a tiny little gardening area and I will definitely try this out to increase my produce yield this summer!

January 28, 2009 7:55 AM

cheapChic said:

Another version of mainly container gardening and the watering I use to use plastic garbage bins to put tomatoes or starts of potatoes ,oinions cabbage and the favorite letuce thats the way to move things around easier and the watering blocked off old hose pounch holes in like the sprinkler hose to maje a cheap version of a drip hose then hook it up to the faucet and start watering...


February 2, 2009 12:29 AM

cheapChic said:

home made drip system nice get up...


February 2, 2009 12:33 AM

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About Millers Grain House

Donna Miller is the wife of almost 29+ years to the love of her life Joseph, the mother of three home-school graduates and has one daughter-in-law. She is the hostess of the radio shows Your Preparation Station, Surviving on Shoestrings and Encouragement in the Kitchen . She and her husband are the Organizers of WNC Preparedness Group in Asheville, NC. She is an Adjunct Instructor for Frontier Christian University. She teaches local classes and ladies retreats for people to learn hands-on lost skills. She is a teacher, author, sought-after speaker and trainer. She and her husband are the owners of Millers Grain House and are the founders of PREPARE Magazine .

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