I don’t know about you, but I’ve been noticing that our food prices are starting to go ​up at the grocery store.

I am Sam ​Groff ​of Beyond TP and Milk. I’m ready to chat with you about some of the serious things about why Ellie and I created ​​Beyond TP and MIlk.​ ​So our original venture was the idea that during the pandemic, a lot of people were confused about what was going on and started buying up all the TP​ and milk and panicking.

There’s a lot of other ways to be prepared. And you know, one of mine is in my fluffy butts ​(chickens). ​They’re so much fun. Yes, they are cute and cuddly and fun and amazing. And some people would ​view them as pets.
I view them as a resource. They are a sustainable food source for myself and my family. Each chicken for multiple years will give me​ eggs​, and they’re amazing layers.​ ​I’ve got a bunch of different breeds that are here on our little property. And we have ones that are really, really good with our kids.
So they have a coop, which is the big green thing. And then they have a massive run. Now, again, chickens aren’t for everybody, not everybody has a whole lot of space, but for us, that was a sustainable easy way for us to be able to take care of things.
Now, am I the best chicken farmer? Probably not. There’s so much more​ ​I’m still learning. Like in the last year I pulled all of my old CDs that we weren’t using anymore and I put them out thinking that would be ​a fun playtoy ​for them.​ ​​We always hear that chickens need to be entertained​.
​B​ut ​an added bonus was by putting these up ​has actually help​ed us keep predators away​. The flash in the nighttime and during ​the day ​from the sun distracts the predators and keeps them away.
So that’s the beauty of the simplicity of sustainability and utilizing the resources that you have on hand and finding out how to make the best out of them.
So ​with Beyond TP and Milk, and with chickens, one of the simple tasks that we’ve done is try to make our yard sustainable for our chickens.​ ​Now, mind you, when we moved here, this backyard was entirely full of trees. ​That means our whole backyard is super​ lumpy. We’re missing chunks of ground because of roots riding out from the bottom and under the ground.​ ​But that means that our ground is super duper fertile. ​We have a lot of extra nutrients and things available to us in our soil, but it doesn’t look the prettiest for most people.
So that’s why we’ve mulched around the chicken coop and around the shed. But that mulch​,​ remember​,​ it was free.​ I told you about that.

​The second thing is ​it’s ​adding a layer of soil and nutrients as it decomposes into our backyard, into our landscape.​ ​Now, the neat part about what we did with this mulch is that it’s not just the mulch. ​We have straw in here.

​In the wintertime, what we do ​is around the base of our chicken coop, we have it open so that the girls can get in and out underneath there. ​They have extra living quarters where like, you know, their chickens. We want them to have as much freedom and free reign as possible. But with that ​it’s also ventilated all summer. So it helps keep the coop cooler. But in the winter ​when ​it gets cold​, we completely surround the base of our coop with straw bales.

Now that’s a two-fold exercise. What it does is it’s a windbreak, but in the springtime, what we use it for is to create a layer of ​soil for ourselves.​ ​So weput the straw underneath the wood chips and the girls then start mixing it all up because the​y’re chickens​.​ ​They ​love to scratch​.​​ That scratching, that mixing brings us a new layer of nutrients ​to the soil. It gives the chickens entertainment. It adds to the healthy ecosystem and sustainability of our yard. And it gives us an easy babysitter for the chickens when they’re out and about in the yard, because we do like to let them free reign when we’re out here working​.​
hand holding fresh eggs with chickens grazing in the yard in the background​S​o sustainability and worrying about the food chain is only going to get you so far until you actually start putting it in action.My husband and I started doing this and putting these things in action slowly, not everything’s going to happen overnight. That’s the biggest thing I can stress to you​.​ ​Try one small thing at a time​. ​We tried the straw bales underneath the chicken coop two years ago.​ ​It worked amazing.
We did it again this year​. ​The year that we did it the first time​,​ we put the straw directly into our garden beds and we made lasagna gardening. It was on your beds, whatever you want to call them. And that was effective. So now it’s every year, how do we sustain that sort of stuff to bring it about so that our land, our property is helping us continue to maintain our stuff. Well, everybody​,​ have a good one.
Again, th​is is Sam ​Groff ​signing off for ​Beyond TP and Milk. ​E​njoy one small step in sustainability because I’m telling you right now, we are on the verge of seeing things that we haven’t seen in a long time ​in this country with pricing. We gotta be starting to really come full circle and take care of it in our own homes. All right. 
Have a good one, everybody. Bye.
Between us, we have over 100-years of experience and Sam’s only 39! If you enjoy our life hacks and simple common sense approaches to sustainability and everyday life, please spread the word.
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