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I want a Corten Cutter!

21 May Corten Cutter

We all know that ISBUs (Shipping Container) spend most of their lives on the High Seas.

When I lived in Costa Rica, we used to convert them into floating guest cabins so that visiting families could spend some quality time with their loved ones.

Over 20 years later… some of those little “houseboats” are still operating, to this day.

Apparently, Steve White took a page out of our playbook and built his own little Corten Cutter…

Corten Cutter
“It’s much more house than boat,” White said.

Corten Cutter KitchenWhite decided to build a houseboat after selling a second home. He was looking for a way to be on the waterfront, but land was too expensive.  Early last year, he read an article about container homes. The idea of reusing shipping containers for a houseboat appealed to him because it was a frugal and green option.

Corten Cutter Pilot House

Read more about it, HERE.

Odd boxes make warm bedfellows!

14 Feb

We’re working on a project using 30′ High Cube ISBUs.

Yes. I said 30′ ISBUs. It wasn’t a “typo”.

We just found a pair of re-manufactured 30′ High Cube ISBUs “locally”.

(Okay, they’re located close enough to us in Montana that we can send a flatbed for them.)

Now, you can’t just go out and purchase a 30′ box. As we all know, shipping containers coming out of China are generally 20′ and 40′ boxes. Typically, they come in two flavors; Standard and High Cube. The only difference between them is that the Standard boxes are 8’6″ tall, while the High Cube boxes are a foot taller, measuring 9’6″. They come in other lengths like 10′, 45′, 48′ and 53′, and these last two boxes are also a little bit wider.

That said, there ARE vendors who will “shorten” a box to suit the specialized requirements of a buyer. It does happen. Those boxes won’t get a new ID plate, but they’ll still be ISBUs in the traditional sense.

Apparently, a local mine had a vendor rework a pair of 40′ High Cube Containers to be used for some industrial/mining purpose. We can tell by the drilled holes and stains in the flooring that they’d attached some kind of heavy machinery in the boxes. There are also “duct holes” that imply that some kind of manifold was fed by whatever was housed in the containers.

No matter, we can easily patch the holes and the flooring is coming out anyway. ISBU flooring is toxic. It’s built with lamination after lamination of pesticide saturated wood, to insure that pests and vermin don’t harm the contents during shipping. You cannot leave that flooring in your boxes. It can harm your health. So, we’ll replace it with lightweight concrete (with PEX embedded in it) before we install hardwood flooring.

Can you say “Radiant In-Floor Heat?”

Under normal circumstances, I’d NEVER “Radiant” a footprint this small. But after experiencing back to back prolonged blizzards, I have to insure that IF the family chooses to visit their cabin during Winter, they’ll be toasty warm. For example, it’s sub-zero here, as I type this. And it’s been like this for weeks.

We know that in lieu of a woodstove, we’re going to use a wood gasifier located close to the cabin in another 20′ ISBU. This wood gasifier will operate on cordwood (in lieu of wood chips, pellets or even “traditional” firewood) and supply efficient and economical heat and domestic hot water, but some wood gasifiers can also produce power via steam production. Our “arrangement”, which will also contain the inverters for the photovoltaic panels,  is called a “power shed”.

Note also that the “old wood” gets hauled off after removal to the landfill (they have a special place for it) to prevent someone from taking it and then using it for some project. Poison is poison.

Okay, that said;

We have a “localish” family that only uses their vacation property during 3 seasons. A single mom and her two young sons (ages 9 and 11) fish, hunt and hang out for a week or two at a time until the first snowfalls… and then they hightail it back to sunny Southern California to ride out the winter. They’ve been doing this since the kids were babies (hence the “localish” part). They usually pull up a travel trailer or rent a big RV (bus), but after making the trip several times, they’ve decided that they want “something more permanent that looks like it belongs there.”

After seeing a few of our existing ISBU cabins, she signed on. The only problem was that the spot where they want to park the house is tiny. I’m talking “zero navigation room” for a larger format footprint using 40′ High Cubes. We’d started talking about using 20′ boxes because they’d be easier to transport, position and drop, but then…

This guy calls us out of the blue and says that he bought a gold mine and he wants all the old crap hauled out. You see, he’s not really interested in running a mining operation, he wants to turn the whole property into a “scenic RV park” with a “gold mining theme”. Kind of a “Wild West Ghost Mine.” He knew that we loved to recycle and repurpose stuff, so he sent us a list of stuff he wanted to part with and a bunch of photos. The “crap” included a mechanical shed that had been constructed by shortening a pair of shipping containers.

Needless to say, after a quick inspection, we jumped on the boxes. There wasn’t anything wrong with them that some sand-blasting and material removal wouldn’t cure.

We got the ISBUs for the cost of hauling them away. If that’s not “recycling, reusing and repurposing”… well then I don’t know what is.

After a quick “re-pre-design skirmish”…

… we’re thinking about doing something like THIS:

30ft ISBU Cabin-webGranted, this is “quick and dirty” and subject to change. We will probably use pocket doors (because they take “less space” to operate) in the bath and bedroom. We’ll also probably do a tracked “barn door” over tempered insulated sliding glass doors in the main space to shutter the cabin against weather in the winter. Again, by eliminating door swing, you gain more space. The front deck will host a container garden and some lounging furniture. That deck could later be enclosed to form a sun-room if desired. It’s easy to picture an additional  shed roof coming off that clerestory roof to close that deck in.

The ladder accessed loft will contain a pair of twin storage pedestal beds and cabinetry will be built to take advantage of the cavities created by the roof pitches. We’re big believers in leaving no storage space untapped.

Another “space saver” would be to eliminate the “pull out” dining room table built into the media wall cabinetry and simply build a “riser” based living room table that would “pop up” and then fold out to form a dining room table. Pull it up to use it, push it back down to use the living room as a relaxation area. This would also eliminate the need for folding chairs that had to be stored away when they weren’t being used.

“Mom” told us over and over again; “If I want to entertain, I’ll do it in California. This is about family time. It’s okay to eat while you’re watching a movie on the DVD player.”

And let’s not overlook that the really nice thing about using smaller ISBUs is that you can build them out “someplace else”. Because of their size, these boxes can be converted in a factory setting and then hauled to site, already partially pre-assembled. This means that aside from preparing your site and setting your foundation (in this case it will be pilings cast on site using sonotubes and concrete/rebar), and then putting your roof (in this case clerestory) and photovoltaic panels in place after the boxes are set,  your ISBU cabin is ready to occupy in almost no time.

We’ve had families living in small ISBU homes and cabins in a few weeks after the first trucks arrived carrying the boxes to the homesite. In more than one case, we’ve had families “move in” as soon as the roof was on – less that 4 days later – with full services available to them.


We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about shipping ISBUs AFTER they have been modified. You should know that using “modified” ISBUs (like these “shortened ones”) to ship products or materials via Container Ship might be difficult, due to the change in footprint. This usually happens when families by “pre-modified” boxes and then stuff them with the materials required to turn them into a home, someplace distant, like the Virgin Islands. Families do this in order to take advantage of the lower prices found here in the US for building materials. It makes sense, until you calculate in the cost of actually loading those modified boxes onto a Container Ship. Most shippers will require the containers to be inspected to certify that it could be insured.

Additionally, any modification that alters or changes the design or structural strength of a container (for example by adding doors and windows) makes moving it by ship difficult. And, that “enhanced” insurance premium is going to hurt.

Your best bet in these circumstances is to move the boxes by flatbed trailer or via semi truck/trailer, or use “conventionally sized boxes” for your  build.

Trust me. We’ve shipped hundreds of boxes to places you can’t even imagine. Work with the system, or prepare yourself for headaches.

See you next time,

RR Avatar

Got Industrial Park? Check. Got ISBUs? Check. Hey! Make-over time! :)

10 Feb

We get a lot of email from people who try to pigeonhole ISBU housing as something that only “really rich or really poor people” find appeal in.


ISBUs are just metal modules, people.  They are Corten Steel boxes. In their raw form, they’re about as “vanilla” as you can get. I can’t think of a better high-speed format to build homes and buildings out of. If you can imagine it, you can do it. It’s the “big boys” version of building with Legos.

One area where ISBUs really shine is in the “high–speed remodel department” for manufacturers and industrial applications.

Due to the economy and market conditions, many businesses are moving away from building or purchasing “landmark” or “signature” buildings and taking advantage of all the commercial space that is available for lease (at bargain prices, no less), nation-wide. The economy and other “conditions”  are creating a train-wreck for small businesses and it’s a condition that is nationwide…

… it’s devastated businesses all across America.

gymkhana_02This is the state of “Mom and Pop” business in America. It’s carnage…

We’ve talked about this concept before, as businesses adapt their products and practices to industrial parks and warehouses all across America.

We admit that this isn’t without some “additional tasking”, as they seek to then define those new spaces in a manner that is economic and non-permanent.

We feel that ISBUs are perfect for this  purpose. They fit through truck doors. The slabs that these buildings usually sit on are reinforced and more than capable of carrying the weight of a High Cube  Container.  The boxes are easily configured. The boxes are easily positioned, allowing literally any configuration that you can imagine, from offices, to records storage, warehousing of small parts, employee lounges, you name it.

As we begin our own expansion into larger spaces, you can bet that we’re going to do exactly this. We’ll get affordable build space without a mortgage (and it’s commensurate down payment).  And we’ll gain the ability to “grow” space as we need it. As the business expands, we can remodel, simply by redeploying the existing ISBU modules and adding new ones in new configurations.

This new “style” of building repurposing is becoming very popular, especially in the “hip cool factor” business audience…

gymkhana_05If you’re stunt driver Ken Block and you’re located in a large warehouse style building in Park City Utah…

Ken lives “large”. Ken wasn’t going to settle for “vanilla” digs. He and his team used 17 ISBUs to create a 12,000 square foot facility that is divided into two distinct zones. One is an office/administration complex capable of housing 25 employees and the other is a manufacturing center for the company’s “bread and butter”… his team’s race vehicles.

 Note that because of high ceilings, he was able to stack the boxes to gain even more space. Note also that because the ISBUs are located inside an insulated envelope, there isn’t any demand for expensive insulation practices to be employed. These are “Rock Star” digs, folks. Can you imagine how his investors and business partners react when they see this? Kaching!

And what happens  when Ken gets “Super Mega-Famous” and his team requires bigger digs?

They just pick up the boxes and move on to a bigger building. It reminds me of a documentary I recently saw on Nat Geo… about Hermit Crabs.

It’s hard to think about Spring surrounded by feet of this white stuff, but Spring is about “rebirth”. It’s about nurturing  and letting new shoots pop up! Something similar is happening this Spring (2014) as we begin to “grow” into our new facility. Stay tuned because you’re not going to want to miss it.

  • Are you interested in growing your business by planting some boxes?
  • Do you operate your business out of a warehouse, an industrial park complex or even an Aircraft Hangar?
  • Have you run out of space for your administration, employees or parts inventories?
  • Can you imagine a sales operation working from this motivational configuration?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, contact us. You’ll be surprised at just how easy and how affordable this “remodel” is to accomplish.

Until next time,

RR Avatar Image Credits:

Youtube Credits; DC SHOES


They just keep on coming…

5 Feb

Anyone with a pulse knows that we here at RR, we love ISBUs.

These big metal boxes come to America carrying goods that support our nation (one way or the other…) and then…

… they stack them up in piles that reach the sky.

Ever see them arriving? It’s just staggering how large the ships that bring them in, actually are.

Take a look;

RR Avatar Now consider how many vessels at any given time are transporting ISBUs all over the planet. The list is just mind boggling. And because of the trade deficits, so are those stacks, in the ports they arrive in, as they are off-loaded.

Cold has a name – LEON. America, are you ready?

28 Jan

Winter Storm Leon:

Here we go again.

Despite the extreme blizzard conditions that battered the Northern US in the last few week, experts are saying that this new storm, LEON,  is unlike any that we’ve seen in a long time in the US.

The National Weather Service has issued winter storm watches, warnings and advisories from central and southeast Texas eastward along the Gulf Coast, into Georgia, most of South Carolina, central and eastern North Carolina and far southeast Virginia.

In some area of the Deep South, the entire atmosphere will be below freezing and vulnerable to snow.

In areas closer to the Gulf Coast, layers of above-freezing air above the ground, setting the stage for sleet and/or freezing rain is likely

Temperatures will remain in the 20s. Wind chills will be in the single digits.

It’s time to get ready. It’s time to stay HOME.

Here are a few considerations when prepping for extreme cold weather:

You need water – At least a 7 day supply at one gallon per person per day.

You’ll need food, too – At least a 7 day supply of non-perishable, easily prepared food (and a can opener!)

Flashlight and Batteries
Extra Batteries
First Aid Kit

Are you taking medications? – You’ll need at least a 7 day supply along with any necessary medical implements or items (hearing aids with extra batteries, glasses, contacts, syringes, etc.)

Tools. You’ll need tools. Secure a small toolset. Basic handtools.

Basic Sanitation and Hygiene products – Toilet paper, moist towelettes, and disposal methods are imperative.

If you have babies in your household –  Baby Supplies – Bottles, formula, extra water, baby food, diapers, etc. It cannot be stressed enough to keep extra formula and baby food on hand.

Warm clothes and extra protection – Blankets/Gloves/Hats/Scarves

You have to stay warm. You need alternative heat – Kerosene, wood-burning stove, and an ample supply of fuel. This heating method should be capable of running if all utilities are unavailable.

Prepare for hardship. Stay Home, Stay Warm. Help those you can.

RR Avatar

Some Great ISBU Memories

20 Jan

As we begin the New Year, I thought it might be fun to look back at some of the ISBU highlights of the last few years.

I’d thought to kick this series off in the last week of January (as I’ll be traveling extensively and it’d be a great time to do it)  but one of my pals sent me an email reminding me of this home. So, in honor of Ryan, we’ll run this one first.

Without further adieu, I give you the first ISBU – shipping container – home built in New York City.

Now, there have been some “demonstrator units” hauled in and dropped in parking lots and parks for exhibition (I know this to be true as I have personally participated in this process), but to my knowledge, this was the very first permanent, permitted ISBU home in NYC proper.

Built in Brooklyn by Cornell graduate Michele Bertomen (an architect) and David Boyle (a building  contractor),  I do remember  all the hardships the builders faced as they tried to navigate the perils of stupidity in NYC as Code Enforcement tried to make their lives miserable.  The home was finally completed in 2012. I personally interacted with Michele at NYIT  (New York Institute of Technology) where she was a Professor of Architecture and I was saddened to learn that Michele has since passed away, but I remind readers and students that she leaves a Corten legacy behind to inspire others.

You can read more about Michele and David and the incredible home they built together, HERE.

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It’s in the bag… er… um… BOX, man!

4 Jan

It just looked like a box in an empty room!

But, looks can be deceiving… so make sure to never underestimate somebody else’s creativity.

Take this box for example. It seems like it’s just a normal chest, albeit a cool one, right?

What it really is will leave your jaw on the floor. You won’t see this one coming. I didn’t.

It’s an entire room in a box! Yep, that’s apparently possible.

If I could find a way to stuff an entire apartment in a box, I’d be set. Any interior designer magicians out there?

Got a kid headed to college?

BUY this BOX!:)

Corten plus Concrete equals CAVE? :)

26 Nov

Greetings Corten Campers!

As you know, we’re working our proverbial butts  off doing EMO (emergency relief operation) management in the Philippines.  Right now, it’s pretty much 24/7. First it was the Oct 15th Earthquake. Then, Typhoon Haiyan tried to tear the rest of country into pieces. Typhoon Haiyan did a pretty good job. This is Haiti times ten. We’re going to be there for years – helping families rebuild their lives and  cleaning up all the damage and rebuilding.

Between that and several projects that we’re working on (including some really exciting luthier work – building and reworking guitars  as gifts for American soldiers – in time  for the holidays) and trying  to weld every container together that we can, to form the world’s largest Corten Castle…

(Okay, I’m kidding about building a massive Corten Construct… or am I?)

We have a family in Arizona that wants to build a multi-family compound using ISBUs (shipping Containers).  They live in the Sedona area and they do NOT want their structures to intrude on the natural beauty of the property.  It’s “rocky, craggy beautiful.”

What would happen if you mixed Chris Angel (that zany Las Vegas Magician), some concrete and  a stack of Corten Shipping Containers together?

(Yeah, yeah… we’ve all heard the “rumors” about mob  guys in cement shoes who got “incorporated” into Casino foundations. That’s NOT what I’m talking about. I’m talking about “Corten Concrete Magic”… LOL!)

I’m talking REAL MAGIC! You might get some thing that looked like THIS:

Corten Cave Cabin ConceptThese AREN’T ISBUs (shipping containers) but they sure could be…

You can do amazing things with concrete and pigments these days. You can build rocks that look so real that they are indistinguishable from “real” rocks sitting right next to them. We’ve actually built hidden entrance/exits this way, many times.

What if you gave that technique a shot of steroids and did it to the entire home/site structure? Interconnect the residences using something like DOT Culvert pipe, give them the same treatment and you’d have a concrete reinforced Corten Community.

The photo above is actually a “Cave Hotel” located in the Cederberg Mountains of  South Africa unless I’m mistaken. It’s built using “conventional construction”, but you can see what it is… it’s structure clad in concrete and stone… just like we’re suggesting. The difference is that we’ll use lightweight concrete “sprayed” into reinforced forms built on site to duplicate existing “rocks”.

This isn’t an inexpensive proposition – but with some time and some creativity, you could have You could build something that looks like the photo you see above.  IMHO – you’d have the best of both worlds and then some;

  • Solid Corten Steel construction
  • Concrete reinforced structures and
  • a level of “High Desert life” tranquility never before achieved.

Would you live in a home built like this?

We would, in a heartbeat…

RR Avatar

Do you have a yearning for a “Corten Cottage”?

23 Oct

I’m a HUGE fan of LITTLE houses…

We work with families all the time that want to build them affordably and efficiently.

A pal of mine just sent me a notice that an 8×20 Tiny House was for sale in Mississippi, just outside Jackson, the state’s capital.

8x20-MartinAfter Katrina, a bunch of these sprang up from the rubble to house families while they either rebuilt or relocated. We personally participated in the building of several of these “Katrina Cottages” using 20′ High Cube Shipping Containers for local families on the Gulf Coast.

Anyway, the reason I’m posting this is that many families are now looking at these little cabins as vacation and holiday homes, or even fishing and hunting camps.

The notice I received states that the wood framed Tiny House offered for sale was purchased for $37,000. NEW. Are you doing math? That means they paid over $230 a square foot for it.

$230.00 per square foot.

You realize you can build a “regular” sized house for that kind of cash, right?

Now, many years later, they’ve put it up for sale. It’s a bit worn, it needs some TLC and it’s needing an “update” to make it more modern and efficient. They’re asking $10,000.00 cash. That’s just over $60 a square foot.

Okay, it IS a cool little house.

8x20-Martin3And I’m seeing this same scenario happen over and over again.

Frankly, I’m a bit amazed by this.

We help families build 8×20 Corten Cabins that can be trailered from scratch. Yes, we use recycled materials when we can. Yes, we use volunteer labor when it’s available. Yes, we repurpose like MacGiver on Acid…

And in the end, at project completion, these little Corten Cuties cost approximately $9,500 – $10,000.00 brand new.

So, while I hope this family gets their tiny house to a good place, making a great home for someone else… I wonder if there are other’s out there who’d rather spend the same kind of cash and begin the Tiny House trek… with a NEW home, instead of being tasked with repairing an older one.

Since this story broke, I’m getting email after email asking us if WE can build a small Corten Cabin for under $230 a square foot. The answer is yes. If you bring us $230 a square foot for a project like this, we could probably build… two of them and have money left over.

8x20-Martin4University Architectural programs are asking us about Alternative Building Practices. We’re actually helping write the curriculum. We’re actually helping sponsor class projects, to demonstrate just how much potential these little boxes hold.

People have been asking us about this for years, so here goes;

If we can find enough people in a given area to support it, we’ll take steps to start a training process that will teach families HOW tho build smart, safe and affordably…

Let us know if you are interested.

Want to see “Smiles for Miles”? Help us feed America!

20 Oct

I recently watched a show on TV (I’m sick in bed as I type this and the TV is providing “white noise” in the background) and I heard someone question a waitress about where “his other half sandwich went” when he ordered a meal.

It made me think about where our food goes and how it gets there, especially in times where we ‘re wondering where our next meal will come from. MANY families wonder about this.

Did you know that 1 in 6 people in America are unsure about where their next meal will come from? Folks, people are hungry all year-round, all across America.

As a part of our “Sustainability Practices”, we teach families to stockpile foods in extended pantries. The reason for this is simple; Hard times don’t generally telegraph their arrival. Hard times usually just show up on your front porch, if you’re lucky enough to have a porch in the first place.


With the early onset of the cold season here in the Northwest, we’re seeing a LOT of families going without as they try to navigate unemployment, inflation and hardship. For example, companies here in Montana, already fighting for survival due to the economy are already laying off workers as they prepare for the cold kiss of Obamacare and it’s increased operating costs.

This isn’t going to be an “Obamacare bashing post”, fear not. We’ve written plenty of those already. We honestly don’t feel that ACA is good for America. Our fears about ACA are being confirmed daily.  This post is going to be dedicated to how you can most effectively help those in need, regardless as to WHY they find themselves in need.

FD6Where we live, more than half of those in need are children and the elderly. We’re pretty sure that this is the case in YOUR neighborhoods as well. It’s these groups of people who are the most affected by a compromised or limited diet. We all know that nutrition matters and caring enough to help others in need means that we’re committed to providing the most beneficial foods possible. We believe that fighting hunger by helping to END it requires a focus on what we eat.

One of the best ways to help those in need, especially in the cold… is to insure they have consumed enough calories to stay warm. This means concentrated food distribution. The most common way is by using a food bank as a common point.

FD2As we watch things spinning out of control, many of us want to help, but we’re unsure HOW to do it. We suggest that canned goods are a really good place to start. All of us have a few cans of “this or that” in our pantries that we can put into a grocery bag or a box in order to help others. The hardest part is deciding what to include.

So, here are our thoughts on HOW you can help families in need, simply by looking into your cabinets and pantries;

Most food banks  can use any nonperishable food and they accept monetary donations.

If you prefer to donate food, it’s been suggested (quite often) that you should select shelf-stable food with the lowest saturated fats and refined carbohydrates (sugar, white flour). We buy grains, legumes, rice and flours in bulk and then repackage it… so when WE collect foods for distribution, we usually ask people to donate “other” items.

Here are some suggestions:

General food items:

Whole grain pastas
Brown rice
Tomato products
Canned vegetables
Canned fruit, especially those with low sugar (but not artificial sweeteners)
Canned fish or meat
Shelf-stable milk
Beef stew, chili and similar meals with low sugar and saturated fats
Breakfast Cereals

Infant and baby foods:

Baby formula
Canned milk
Infant cereal
Jars of baby food
Powdered or canned milk
We also accept baby diapers

In addition – we collect a lot of canned soups and pasta meals (like ravioli, spaghetti and such). The salt content is a little bit higher, but the meals are well received and easily prepared. It should be noted that our favorite soups are those that you don’t add water or milk to.


Image Credit: Chris Sandys

A lot of the food banks here in Montana also accept fresh fruits and vegetables. Our families grow gardens in their backyards as a part of their “sustainability practices”. This gives us opportunities to give fresh produce to families who need it, as part of our food gifts.

Many of us also raise chickens and collect eggs. This is another opportunity to help with food contribution. Our egg counts frequently exceed our family’s needs.  Fresh eggs are usually “gratefully received”. Check with your local food bank or “soup kitchen” to determine if this is acceptable.

If you have large gardens or orchards, please resist the urge to put an ad on Craigslist telling people to just come pick what they want. This NEVER works. The end result will be trampled gardens and damaged trees.

What we HAVE done successfully is to contact local volunteer groups (mostly comprised of retirees and others around here – youth groups to help in the trees, for example) to pick the produce and then pile it onto tables, where families can retrieve it.

We often combine “food ops” with a big “all you can eat” hot meal served up to locals who are hungry. Soups, stews, fresh baked breads and a fresh apple pie or two go a long way to making hungry people really happy. Check around, because many times a local church will volunteer the use of their meeting hall to host these events.

One of our local farmers planted 20 extra acres of sweet corn for distribution to those in need. In the first year, we harvested 30 TONS of corn with the help of our volunteers. The next generation of this “farm fresh goodness” added acres of squash, beans and tomatoes. End result – we harvested more than 200,000 pounds of food destined to feed families throughout Montana and Idaho.

In the matter of hours, that produce goes from the field directly into the hands of people in need. It’s like MAGIC!

One local enterprising FFA member helped establish a “food raising” kind of operation as a project that not only harvested foods, but then saw to it that families in need received them. It was efficient, effective and didn’t cause unnecessary damage to farm or field.  Helpful family members even used the harvested fruits and vegetables to prepare breads, pies and pastries for distribution.

As an addition; In my “backyard garden” we have many, many different types of herbs. Our meals at home usually start with a quick prowl in the backyard looking for cool herbs to incorporate. Not only does this add tasty goodness to the meals, it gives us the chance to teach our young son to identify these herbs in the yard. A few years from now, we’ll be able to point him into the garden with scissors, knowing he’ll bring back “oregano” and not “crabgrass”…

This “herb gathering” grants us an opportunity to harvest them for distribution as well. The herbs, packed fresh or dried, are a welcome addition to many meals prepared with food bank goods.

If you have thoughts about sharing with those in need, please post your comments below. Remember that every family, every person we help…  helps to heal America.

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Image Credits: To protect the privacy of those less fortunate, we’ve used images from Bing Images, unless otherwise noted.


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