Monday, June 18, 2012


Arthur and Miss Maple eat from a reused sheep mineral tub while baby Gunnar looks on

If you keep sheep, goats, or any other kind of livestock on your farm, you need Freecycle. According to its website, Freecycle is "a network made up of 5,040 groups with 8,949,161 members around the world. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers. Membership is free."

We belong to Freecycle and we love it. Over the three months we've given away 11 paper feed sacks stuffed with Classic Cheviot fleece; my two old but very usable Mac computers to use as word processors; innumerable bags of llama poop; and a Mantis garden tiller for parts. Freecyclers have in turn given us 10 large cattle mineral tubs; a short stack of used sheep panels; and a huge wooden dog house for our goat kids

To find a Freecycle group near you, visit the Freecycle website and type your state in the search box. Let's say you live down the road from us in northern Arkansas, where there are 58 groups including groups in Fulton and Sharp Counties. Click on the one that says Fulton County. This brings you to a page outlining Freecycle's goals and an email hyperlink to Send an email to that address to touch base with the volunteer who moderates that group. He or she will outline the local group's rules and help you sign in.

Basically, Freecycle exists to give away unwanted but useful stuff. It isn't a place to constantly ask for things. However, if you have a reasonable need, ask. We reuse our own sheep and goat mineral tubs as water tubs for our small animals and feeders for all of our stock but needed bigger mineral tubs to water our llama, horses, donkey and steers. Ranchers are eager to get rid of these tubs. Freecycle put us in touch with those ranchers. At Freecycle, everybody wins.
Please visit my Sue Weaver – Ozark Writer and Goat Tips & Tricks blogs, as well as my Facebook writer's page

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