Can Rabbits Contribute to a Homestead?

Can Rabbits Contribute to a Homestead?

Not just for pets, including rabbits on a homestead can be a great way to contribute to your food supplies, both as a food source and a natural fertilizer for your garden.  If you’re into fiber arts or want some extra money, angora rabbits give an additional benefit just by growing their fur. Rabbits for Manure A single rabbit can produce approximately a pound of dry manure each week.  That’s roughly 50 pounds a year. This high-quality soil conditioner is usually low in weed seeds thanks to the prepared foods typically used to feed them.  It also contains an excellent […]

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DIY Animal Shelter

DIY Animal Shelter

Many structures you see on larger farms will often rival a designer house in style and amenities. However, if design awards are not what you are looking for but only to keep your friends protected from the elements, this basic structure will do.  A simplified shelter with basic material will satisfy all of these requirements. What You’ll Need 3 Posts = Eight-Foot (8’) Long Pressure Treated Four-Inch by Four-Inch (4”X4”) 3 Posts = Ten-Foot (10’) Long Pressure Treated Four-Inch by Four-Inch (4”X4”) 6 Roof Boards = Eight-Foot (8’) Long Pressure-Treated Two-inch by Six-inch (2”X6”) 17 Roof Joists = Ten-Foot (10’) […]

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3 Keys to Choosing the Perfect Livestock

3 Keys to Choosing the Perfect Livestock

A farm or homestead without livestock seems unusual, to say the least.  Whether you see yourself with a flock of cheerful chickens, a herd of graceful goats or a few calming cows, livestock are a valuable food source that should be planned for carefully, then cared for consistently. Are You Ready to Be Available Every Minute of Every Day? Are you prepared to be “on-call” for your animals 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year? When you enter the world of livestock, a few things to be aware of are: Newborns usually come in the […]

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3 Creative Ways to Fish Without a Pole

3 Creative Ways to Fish Without a Pole

Fishing can be many things, from a food source to recreation, a type of meditation for some but to others a popular competitive sport.  Often a rite of passage full of tradition that is passed down from generation to generation.  Most of us are at least familiar with the concept of fishing, usually with a rod and reel, or if out on the high seas, with a really big net! But, are there other ways to get the job done, especially if you are looking to feed your family inexpensively?  You bet! Here are 3 ways to catch fish in […]

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Tapping a Maple Tree

Tapping a Maple Tree

Maple Syrup is a classic staple of the American breakfast menu. But, like so many food items, I just love seeing how it’s sourced. This video shows a Yukon man tapping a maple tree for sap, and it looks pretty simple and rewarding. If you’ve got maple trees on your property or nearby you, why not give it a try this summer? There’s a separate process for boiling the sap to make the syrup, so I’ll have to find a video on that later this month perhaps. In the meantime, enjoy! Alaskans are some of the most hard-core homesteaders there […]

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How to Make a Fly Trap

How to Make a Fly Trap

Not only are flies annoying, but they are disgusting too.  They can spread diseases just by landing on your food, without your even noticing.  They can ruin the time you spend outside trying to relax, and they can sneak inside every time you open the door.  And while raising animals and having a compost pile may increase their numbers, even if you have no animals and a near sterile yard, they can fly on over from your neighbor’s.  What can you do about it?  Trap them with a few things you probably already have laying around the house, and here’s […]

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How to Build a Fire Pit (Infographic)

How to Build a Fire Pit (Infographic)

Fire pits are great for summer or fall nights when you want to be outside but want or need some extra warmth. It’s a great thing to have on a homestead not just for outdoor evenings, however, but also for burning small bits of waste or even cooking (with the right set-up, but that’s another article for another day). This handy fire pit infographic from fix.com breaks down the process of building a firepit and makes it easy-to-understand and manageable. To start, it’s important to think about what you’d like to use your fire pit for, and where to place […]

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Tips for Repelling Ticks

Tips for Repelling Ticks

If you have to live in the woods, you’re probably very familiar with ticks. They are not a fun creature deal with, and they can cause Lyme disease. Whether you’re trying to protect yourself, your children, or pets, you need to have some tips for making sure you can keep ticks at bay. Garlic is said to work quite well at repelling ticks. However, you probably don’t want rub garlic all over yourself. Eating garlic or garlic pills can provide the same results though. Something to remember is that garlic is not good for pets such as dogs and cats. […]

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Homemade Bird Feeders

Homemade Bird Feeders

During the fall and winter, as trees die and snow eventually covers the ground, many birds have a harder time finding their food than during the spring and summer months. But unlike their hibernating woodland counterparts, birds still look for sustenance in the coldest months! A very nice way to help them out a bit, and attract beautiful birds into your yard is to make your own bird feeder. It’s very easy to make and doesn’t require much at all. This is a great indoor, snow day craft for little ones. You can make the bird feeders with them, then […]

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Tips for Keeping Chickens Warm This Winter

Tips for Keeping Chickens Warm This Winter

We recently covered how to care for chickens in hot weather, but as fall seems to be whizzing around the corner, we thought it would be a good idea to cover how to care for them in cold weather, because it’s important to plan ahead. It’s simpler than you think really-chickens can, with the right conditions, keep themselves warm surprisingly well. 1. Let them breathe It seems like you’d want to make their coop completely insulated and airtight to protect them from harsh winter weather right? Wrong. While insulation is very important, and you should start fixing leaks in the roof and […]

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5 Easy Plants for Kids to Grow

5 Easy Plants for Kids to Grow

Teaching children to garden is one of the best lessons they could possibly learn. And the younger, the better! There are so many benefits to getting them out in the garden with you: sunshine, fresh air, exercise, bonding time away from distracting devices and the basic essential skill of growing one’s own food. To guarantee a young child’s interest in gardening, it’s good to plan on some crops that will be sure to grow and be productive. Below is a list of some of the easiest and best plants for kids to grow to initiate them into the wide and wonderful world of gardening: Sunflowers: Most […]

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4 Natural Ways to Keep Bugs at Bay

4 Natural Ways to Keep Bugs at Bay

A lot of people think that living the homesteader lifestyle means giving up on modern amenities, like mosquito repellent. While you might not be buying chemical-heavy sprays like others, though, you don’t actually have to just sit back and let mosquitoes and other bugs take over your life. In fact, there are a lot of highly effective natural ways to keep those bugs away from you, your home, and your garden. Make Your Own Bug Spray Grab a spray bottle and fill it halfway with distilled water. Fill it the rest of the way with witch hazel, and then add […]

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Camp More Comfortably

Camp More Comfortably

Whether you just want to make your weekend camping trip a little more comfortable, or you want to prepare for a homey camping experience in case of a disaster situation, there are many ways that you can make camping feel more like home. These methods don’t involve spending thousands of dollars on luxury camping items, or carrying far too much weight as you pack everything and the kitchen sink. But just a few simple touches around your campsite can make a huge difference. When you can, and when it doesn’t add too much weight to your gear, try to incorporate […]

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Get Lost In This Weapon Build…

Get Lost In This Weapon Build…

The Mesmerizing Build Of A Long Bow… I love watching people build things. I get lost watching people use techniques that have been refined over generations. Watch this master of his craft create a weapon that has been used to conquer and defend millions of people for centuries… If you are looking for something a little more practical and DIY, I would suggest checking out the PVC builds of long bows. For a relatively small cost you can build your own accurate and effective long bow (but it won’t be as beautiful as the one this film)… If you liked […]

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Campsite Chores for Kids

Campsite Chores for Kids

Running your home efficiently takes effort from everyone. In the same way, a campsite is set up and maintained much easier if everyone pitches in. But when you are only camping a few times a year, it can be hard to know exactly what chores you can assign to children, and which you should handle yourself. This list will help you find duties that your children can do based on their age or relative ability level: Younger children can help remove rocks, twigs, and leaves from the campsite area. Be sure that they focus on the fire pit, getting any […]

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