Designing a Wild Home

Farm Tree-Felling Safety Tips for Fall

Megan WildTrees are one of the oldest utilized resources in the history of man. Even before we developed the ability to cut through the trunks of trees or shape wood with tools, we would use their leaves and branches as shelter and building materials.

Since those days of shivering through the night and the rain, our abilities in construction have advanced dramatically past woodworking and into stone masonry, concrete, glass and even steel. For those who aim to live off-grid, though, wood remains a vital and multipurpose resource.

As a homesteader, the more self-reliant you become, the greater chance you will eventually begin harvesting your own wood. Some of the basic areas you should prepare for when tree harvesting include planning, felling, extraction, transport, the replacement of resources and, of course, safety. While this particular article focuses on the last of these areas, make sure you educate yourself in everything at some point. Experienced landowners, farmers and ranchers see timber as a marketable crop, like produce or vegetable crops.

Here are a few tips and ideas to consider for protecting yourself, your family and your tools while felling and transporting trees.

Conduct Basic Prep

Initial preparation for the work ahead should include the basic safety gear checklist: head, ear and eye protection, gloves, and leg and foot protective wear. This includes helmets, safety pants and chaps, which can be worn over your work pants, safety goggles, and glasses or a face screen. A first-aid kit should be kept nearby in order to address emergencies with immediacy.

Also, prior to using any equipment, you should observe any and all external dangers. Elements of severe cold or strong winds, moisture or dry heat can negatively impact the harvesting operation and personal safety. Make sure you inspect the ground for stability and the area for power and electrical lines. Any and all hazardous materials should be labeled and stored properly. This includes oils, fuel and lubricants for your tools and equipment.

Clear the Way

Before you collect the trees you will use for your building and crafting purposes, you will first need to cut down anything dangerous in your work area. Dead, dried out and rotting trees should be identified and either felled or marked to avoid. Adding these trees to your pile can result in any number of accidents or incidents to your person or team, including collapses and sudden fires.

Make sure you map out a proper landing area and skid trail for your cutting, skidding and piling needs. The area should factor in wind direction and the natural lean of the terrain, so when you cut down and collect your felled trees, they do not roll off or fall in a dangerous direction.

Use the Proper Equipment

While homesteading does not require you to gather as much lumber as a professional logging operation, you are not simply gathering a few logs of firewood. As a homesteader, you will have acres of land to work through, requiring something a bit larger than an ax or chainsaw. The machine you end up using will depend on the method of harvesting and cut you intend, so you will want to make sure you identify your needs and overall goals for your resources.

Whether you intend to use the cut-to-length or the full-tree-length method, you will require heavy machinery to get the job done. Harvesters handle the felling, delimbing and bucking of the trees. Felling heads grip trees for safe removal, forwarders transport logs from the stump to a roadside landing, and skidders pull cut trees out of the forest and transport them to your designated landing site. These machines require proper training and supervision for your own safety and the safety of your work team or employees.

There are multiple harvesting systems, and none are the wrong choice to make. As long as you ensure operational standards, legal prescriptions and management policies have been observed, your operation will yield great results. Tree harvesting will also promote increased growth within your woodland area, stimulate regeneration and prevent natural wildfires from sparking during the summer.

When you start tree harvesting, make sure there are beneficial gains for yourself. Stacking logs for no other use can waste your time and energy, something no homesteader wants to lose.

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Best Beginner Tools for the Burgeoning Homesteader

Megan Wild

When you and your family decide to move to the country from the big city or a suburb, you want to be as prepared as possible. Living off-grid saves a lot of money and reduces your carbon footprint in the long term, but the initial investment you make on your land and supplies must be significant enough to reach self-sustainability.

What to Look For In a Homestead Location

When going for the full off-the-grid lifestyle, the first thing to consider will be location, location, location! If you're reading this article, then you've probably already checked out the property you intend to use for your off-the-grid life. But just in case, here's a reminder of the things to check and consider regarding your property:

  • Real Estate: You need enough land for two crucial elements — arable land and grazing pasture.
  • Access: You do not necessarily need to be completely cut off from the outside world, but you'll want a certain amount of privacy from potential poachers and thieves.
  • Water: Whether it's above or below ground, you want to make sure you have a reliable water source available at all times.
  • Soil: Rich soil is essential for the best crop production. Make sure yours is dark and crumbles in your hands.
  • Timber: A depth of woodland has many uses. From a source of building material to a natural boundary for your land, you want to keep a source of natural timber around and growing continually.

Now with the location and natural resources sorted out, we can consider the things you'll need on a daily basis for your self-sustainable lifestyle.

You are going to need tools. This is a given, but there's a difference between a well-established farm and an up-and-coming homestead. Sometimes the simplest tools are the best, while other times an industrial tool can save time and money.

Tools for Your Off-Grid Homestead

Self-sustainability means just that. You cannot go off-grid and then call a repair company anytime things break down. You may not be a professional carpenter or electrician, but if you're going to live off the land, you better learn how to make repairs and manipulate the resources around you.

Without the right tools for the right jobs, your new homesteading life will be a great deal rougher than you may like.

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Basic Hand Tools

No matter how large or widespread your operation grows, basic repairs, carpentry and woodworking will always be necessary. Whether your brand of choice is Milwaukee, Dewalt, Ridgid, or another brand, make sure to invest in the latest tools. This will pay off down the road in terms of safety, quality, and longevity of your tools.

If you're creating a pen or stable for animals or making repairs to your home and food storage sheds, your hand tools will become some of the most valuable items for you and your family’s well-being.

  • Claw and sledgehammers: Two of the most essential tools used by agriculturalists, the importance of claw and sledgehammers in repairs, demolition and woodworking operations could not be more evident. Sledgehammers typically cost between $25 and $150, while claw hammers range from $10 to $50.
  • Machetes: These tools are excellent for harvesting crops and chopping compost. Machetes are also perfect for managing vegetation, including snedding – a term for removing branches from the central trunk of trees.
  • Shovels: You need sturdy shovels for digging, lifting and moving bulk materials and soil. They're ideal for quick jobs in the field and save you money on gasoline or electricity.
  • Hoe: The hoe is one of the oldest and most versatile agricultural and horticultural hand tools used in the world. You can use it for shaping and clearing soil, removing weeds and harvesting root crops.
  • Post Hole Diggers: A single person can operate a post hole digger, a tool perfect for single-use jobs or delicate locations in your garden. Unlike with a tractor drill, there's no need for gasoline.
  • Wheelbarrows: A wheelbarrow can help you to transport your supplies, tools, building materials, and debris easier and with less strain on your body.

Basic Industrial Tools

For the harder work needs of your farm or ranch, you'll need more "horsepower" to handle the work. Thankfully an off-the-grid life does not mean using only medieval-style tools. Machines and heavy equipment are available options:

  • Chainsaws: When it comes to winter wood collection, swift landscaping, and clearing fallen trees or timber after a storm, chainsaws are the perfect tools.
  • Table Saw: You'll want a good table saw for woodworking, including those larger building projects and repairs that crop up from time to time.
  • Tractors: Anyone who understands farming knows how vital tractors are. These machines have become synonymous with agriculture and work perfectly for pulling or pushing agricultural machinery or trailers. They also work well for plowing, tilling, disking, harrowing, and planting.
  • Utility Trailer: Also known as a farm trailer, utility trailers are perfect for transporting large items and livestock around the farm. After all, you cannot fit everything into your wheelbarrow.
  • ATV or UTV: Essentially taking the place of a horse, keeping an off-road vehicle such as an ATV or UTV can help with daily mobility around your property. Also, with the proper attachment, these vehicles can clear roadways and trails as well as handle small-scale tractor needs.

Protection & Firearms

It may not have occurred to you initially, but retreating from civilized society means facing danger in a new way.

Citizens of the countryside will quickly realize the necessity of owning and operating a firearm. For new gun owners, it's important to understand that it's a tool like any other. While I won't provide a specific list of firearms here, there’s plenty of information out there on the subject.

More important than the type of gun you choose will be the mindset in which you use it. Once you've decided on owning a gun, remember its purpose – to protect crops and livestock, protect your family and people, and to put food on your table.

Ultimately the tools you keep on hand will determine your homestead's overall productivity and longevity. Make sure you anticipate the needs of your property, crops, and livestock because self-sustainability connects all of these elements directly to the welfare of you and your family.

Farm Safety: How to Make Sure Your Seat Belt is Safe

Megan WildFarming may not seem like a particularly dangerous practice at first glance, but agriculture ranks as one of the more hazardous industries in the world.

The small farm of crops and plants in your backyard may not pose a significant threat to your physical person, but larger-scale operations are a different matter. The bigger the farm or ranch, the higher the risk of injury and illness is for workers and their families. These risks include pesticide exposure, pulmonary disease, industrial equipment incidents, hearing loss, and various stress factors.

Every day at least 100 agricultural operators suffer a work injury. In 2014 alone, 12,000 youth sustained injuries on farms, and 4,000 of said injuries were due to farm work. Some of the best preventive measures against incident and injury on your farm are relatively basic ideas and suggestions.

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Source: Pexels

How to Encourage Farm Safety

Keep any and all areas of foot traffic in good repair and free of obstruction hazards. Handrails should be available for all stairways, and you should check all your ladders and equipment regularly and keep it in good condition. Your livestock areas must be clearly labeled and bordered.

You should provide your workers and family members with regular training on basic safety around equipment and animals. Only those with official training and certification related to how to use equipment should be allowed to work with it. Potential obstacles in the landscape should be removed or marked to prevent malfunctions or on-the-job damage. Your machinery, specifically your tractors, should offer overhead protection and measures to protect against injury during dismount or falls.

Tractors are so useful on large-scale farms that they are nearly synonymous with the image of farm life in the public consciousness. As a primary machine for farm use, tractors are also responsible for a majority of fatalities and severe injuries.

Operating and maintaining this equipment requires safe work practices, which include being physically and mentally fit during operation. Stress, fatigue, or operating your tractor under the influence of medication, alcohol, or drugs can result in death or injury.

Make sure you pay attention to your tractor's safety information and warning decals. Always inspect your tractor for any and all hazards before and after use, make sure anyone operating the tractor is trained and capable in those checks as well. Never leave your tractor running unattended or dismount before turning off the engine.

Make sure the area is clear of all bystanders and never allow passengers, especially children, on a moving tractor. This last practice is essential as tractors do not typically come with two sets of seat belts or harnesses, and you should always wear these devices during tractor use. To ensure that your seat belts will work properly, inspect the belt for cuts and make sure the seat belt hardware has no corrosion or cracks.

Emphasizing Tractor Safety

There's an entire week dedicated to the ideas discussed in this article. National Farm Safety and Health Week takes place September 17-23 in 2017. The event emphasizes topics including tractor safety, especially the importance of seat belt use.

Because there are many uncontrollable aspects of farming, including off-season weather changes and environmental factors, it's important to pay attention to the areas of your farm that you can control.

These safety practices help reduce worker fatalities, injuries and illnesses as well as medical expense, workers' compensation payouts, and insurance hikes. Following these safety tips creates a safe and healthy work environment and allows your farm to operate more efficiently.

How to Remove Mold in Your Barn

Megan WildMold can get into your barn either as part of the aftermath of heavy rains or a flood or because of chronic moisture conditions. If it does, it could endanger your health, plus the health of your family, any other people who work in or near the barn, and your livestock.

Why? Well, some molds contain mycotoxins and infectious airborne spores that are toxic. Other varieties can cause allergic reactions.

While mold is sometimes visible, bear in mind that sometimes you can't see mold until it reaches a certain size. It is just as dangerous invisible as it is visible.

While danger is one negative aspect of mold, there are others, too. Left unchecked, it can cause severe damage to equipment and eventually compromise the structural integrity of your barn.

Mold needs certain moisture conditions to grow. That's why you should be especially vigilant about mold after a flood or rain. Moisture conditions in your barn act as a breeding ground for mold. Any leaks in the plumbing or the roof, condensation from an air conditioner, or even high humidity inside the barn can create an environment where mold will thrive.

Even conditions of limited moisture can cause problems if the area doesn't have sufficient air to dry out.

If you have mold in your barn, there are several steps to take to remove it.

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Prevention

1. Examine your barn for moisture. Where is the source? If you don't fix the source of moisture, mold conditions will form all over again.

2. As the second line of prevention, you might want to call a mold remediation service. They have experience eliminating toxic mold and can test to see if you have invisible mold spores in the air. They will kill mold spores and stop them from reproducing.

3. Do not let your family or any workers inside the barn until all mold has been found and eliminated. Do not let them take any items from the barn either. Even grabbing a hammer for use in the garage can contaminate your garage and home as well. Mold grabs hold and breeds wherever it can. Moving items is essentially giving it a new home.

4. Never paint over mold. Don't paint if you suspect you have mold not visible to the naked eye. Some paints advertise that they use a mildewcide, but they are not sufficient for eliminating mold. It will simply eat up the paint.

Detection

1. Find all the mold infestations you have. Making a map can be helpful. Look for the visible ones first. Then test for invisible mold.

2. Unfortunately, airborne mold can make its way into heating and cooling ducts. If you find you have an infestation of mold, it's a good idea to replace your units. You can also run a mold fogging machine and use a fungicide approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Clean

1. Dry the area with dehumidifiers. Don't use fans. The blowing from fans can spread mold spores through the barn and into any heating and cooling system if it isn't already there.

2. Use a fan, however, to blow air outside the barn continuously. Using an industrial HEPA filter with a flexible hose to vent outside is a good idea.

3. Purchase protective gear. A full-face respirator mask is a must. It is also advisable to purchase biohazard suits. If you can't do this, be sure to wear clothes that cover your body including long sleeve shirts, long pants, and gloves.

4. Purchase a mold fungicide registered with the EPA. Spray or fog it twice. No one but the person doing the spraying or fogging should ever be inside the barn while it is taking place.

5. Scrub off as much visible mold as you can from every surface and area. Use either Borax laundry detergent in warm water or trisodium phosphate (TSP).

6. Bleach is often recommended as a mold killer or disinfectant. However, it will not kill toxic mold or impede its growth. If you aren’t sure whether you have toxic mold or not, use the materials above. If you’re sure it isn’t toxic, you can scrub with a solution of one cup of bleach to one gallon of water.

7. If mold has infected your wood, scrub it off using Borax or TSP. Any beams, timbers, shelf surfaces, trusses, joists or other wood will need to be planed and sanded to remove the first layer, to make sure all the invisible mold is gone.

8. All cleaned areas need to be resprayed with the fungicide twice more. Mold growth and mold spores may remain after just one cleaning.

9. Once you have cleaned, planed and sanded everything, spray all wood with a fungicidal protective coating.

After the Cleaning

1. You'll need to take out and throw away all materials that mold has contaminated. Double bag them in trash bags with a thickness of at least 6 millimeters.

2. After the wood surfaces have dried completely, cover them with a clear plastic coat of sealant. This will protect them from wetness and humidity going forward.

And there you have it! Cleansing your barn of mold is not fun, but it can be done. Follow these steps to remove mold that's already formed. In the future, thoroughly inspect your barn for leaks and humid conditions to prevent mold from growing in the first place.

How to Efficiently Clear Your Land

Megan Wild

Clearing overgrown vegetation doesn’t have to be difficult.

Neglected land doesn’t waste time reverting to a mess of weeds and other vegetation. Clearing it can seem like a daunting task. How long it takes for you to clear that acreage depends on how many and what types of plants have overtaken the area. It also depends on what you want to do with the land.

With the right tools and a little time, clearing that tangle of plants can be easy and stress-free. Below are five things to consider when clearing your land of unwanted vegetation:

1. Plan Your Project

The first step in clearing your land is knowing what you’re going to do with it. Planning helps you determine how much time the project could take and what tools you’ll need. If you have a wooded area with lots of trees but only plan on putting a hiking trail through it, that will take a lot less time compared to chopping down all the trees to create cropland.

If you have lots of trees on your acreage that you plan on cutting down, you’ll need equipment to help ease wood removal. One of these machines may include a hydraulic thumb, which helps lift felled trees and other heavy materials. Check with local businesses to see if someone can install your hydraulic thumb to make your job that much easier.

Should your task involve the removal of trees, consider contacting a landscaper, greenhouse, or someone from an agriculture extension office to see if any of those trees have value. You might be able to make some extra money selling the trees to a company that uses them.

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2. Calculate the Costs

Once you’ve created your land plan, then you can figure out what equipment you’ll need for your project. If you own some of the equipment, your expenses will be lower. If you must rent equipment or purchase it, your budget could see a substantial increase. Costs associated with clearing land vary from project to project.

At this point, you might consider accepting bids from companies to do the work for you — it could save you both time and money, especially if you’re selling wood from your property or working on other projects across your homestead.

However, there’s nothing wrong with doing the job yourself, either. If you’re passionate about doing this do-it-yourself (DIY) project, keep in mind that you may experience unexpected setbacks, like equipment failures and repair costs, as well as longer removal times.

3. Begin With the Big Stuff

No matter what you’re doing with your land, whether it’s a complete clear-out or just creating a path for hikers, beginning with the big stuff will give your project a smooth start. Remove any large trees or stumps first, so that the smaller vegetation is easier to access with your equipment.

If you’ve decided to sell your trees and stumps, you’ll have to get them ready for transport. Or, if you’re handling the wood yourself, you can either put the trees through a chipper or chop it for firewood.

4. Break Out the Equipment

After clearing the thick, heavy undergrowth, you can work on getting rid of smaller vegetation. This step is where mowers, trimmers, and other equipment comes in handy. The size and height of the remaining ground cover will decide which machine is best for their removal, but having the right equipment ensures the job is effective and efficient.

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5. Prepare the Area

Once you’ve cleared the remaining vegetation, then you’re ready to setup your land. If you’ve decided the acreage is ideal for crops, you’ll need to rototill the area, so it gets infused with nitrogen and other nutrients for a prosperous, first-year yield. After the land’s prepared, you can plant at your convenience.

If you’ve just cleared a path for hikers, you may consider smoothing the area and removing any tripping hazards, such as plants or leftover roots that are growing over the walkway, so it’s easy to hike on. For any other plans for the area, like a shop for your equipment, prepare the land to best suit your needs.

It doesn’t take long for an area to become overgrown. Being able to use all your land for whatever purposes you have in mind requires a little bit of planning and work, but the results are well worth the time, sweat, and money.

Choosing the Best Truck for Your Homestead

Megan Wild 

In the last 20 years, we've watched the pickup truck evolve from a vehicle built for doing work to a high-riding commuter car. These days, it's hard to find a full-sized truck that doesn't come leather-lined with a 16-speaker stereo; and while luxury features are nice to have, some of us still need our trucks to do work.

As a homesteader, you learn better than most the value of a truck that can both get the job done and function as a commuter. When you’re running a small farm, every piece of equipment must be able to more than pay for itself, so choosing the right truck is important.

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Source: Pexels

Know What You Want

The beauty of a pickup truck is its versatility. The truck's ability to perform a multitude of tasks is what has made these vehicles a standard of homesteads and ranches for decades. That's still true today, but with so many options on the market, which is the right truck for you?

Depending on what you want to spend, you might pursue a new or used truck. From there, it’s time to decide what size truck you’re looking for. A full-sizer will be able to haul a bigger payload and tow heavier equipment, but will require more fuel and maintenance. A midsized truck might not have the power to pull large equipment, but if that's not on your to-do list, a smaller truck may prove the more economical solution.

Fuel type is important, too. Many homesteaders prefer to use diesel trucks because they are known to be reliable and torquey. That makes them ideal for tough jobs, allows them to run longer on a single tank, and reduces maintenance costs.

Utility Trucks and Special Features

If you're looking for a vehicle that will function solely as a homesteading tool and won't spend time on highways, it's a good idea to consider an ATV or utility truck. These purpose-built utility vehicles are often more affordable than a road-going pickup. They are available in gas, diesel, and electric models, and can often be customized for specific tasks.

Those who require the grunt of a full-sized truck should take a moment to check out the features offered by utility vehicles like the Marauder line from Reading. These trucks pack all of the features you might find on something from Ford, Chevy or Dodge into a work-specific package with a few extra tricks up its sleeve.

For example, you can select from many different body styles when you purchase from Reading, including dump trucks, enclosed utility trucks, and platform/landscape bodies. They feature galvanized steel bodies and practical features like a standard backup alarm, so you don't catch a farm hand off-guard while reversing in difficult terrain.

Four vs. Two-Wheel Drive

Truck buyers often seek out four-wheel-drive models that include flashy upgrades like upgraded suspension and big tires. However, you should consider going with a two-wheel-drive truck unless you actually require the added traction.

Farm vehicles don't typically need to grapple with the kind of terrain four-wheel drive is made to overcome during everyday tasks. The added weight of another drive axle and transfer case will translate into higher fuel and maintenance costs, and if you're going to tow, a truck with a lower ride height will perform better.

The additional features that are often standard on four-wheel-drive trucks can drive prices above what you might be willing to pay, and that cost will be carried forward in the maintenance of the four-wheel-drive system. If a simpler two-wheel-drive truck can do the job, it's probably your safest bet.

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Source: Pexels

Favorite Choices

If you're going to stick with the mass-market, it's best to stick with the “big three” for full-sized pickups. Ford's F-150 is extremely capable, but expensive, and No. 2 competitor Chevy Silverado is very similar. Ram trucks compare favorably in cost and are available in many configurations.

Finding diesel power is easy with full-sized trucks. However, if you’re in the used market, it’s important to avoid a potential maintenance nightmare. Many full-sizers are listed at attractive prices, but have high mileage and have suffered hard lives. Avoid the heartache and spend a little more now to save later.

Japan is still king of the midsized truck with the Toyota Tacoma, but their lead is diminishing.  The new third-generation truck gives up some power and luxury features to the Chevy Colorado, and Ford is rumored to be bringing back the Ranger midsizer soon. Of course, if you have the need for a utility truck or ATV, options for you are different.

Few midsized trucks are offered with diesel power. Currently, the Colorado is your only option, but there are whispers that Toyota is bringing a new diesel motor to the Tacoma line soon — that could be a game-changer for the midsized truck market. These trucks are easier to buy used, since many have had lives as strictly commuter vehicles.

Treat It Well, and Your Truck Will Thank You

Whatever you choose, the secret to getting the most from a good truck is preventive maintenance. Modern trucks are built incredibly well, so spend the time and money to put fresh oil in, care for your suspension, and cover the little things, and you're likely to get a lifetime of hard work from a quality pickup.

7 Tips for Preparing Your Farm for Fall Festivals

Megan Wild

Autumn is a lovely time of year and the perfect season to host outdoor festivals to celebrate. Are you considering hosting a fall festival on your farm or homestead but not sure where to start or even what all is involved in the planning process? If so, it’s not as difficult as you may think.

Good planning is the key to hosting a successful festival and keeping your grounds safe. With a few tips, you can make the process simpler.

Consider Your Objectives

Decide what type of festival you are hosting. Will it be just for kids or the entire family? Is it best to charge for each game and activity or a flat fee to enter the festival? You’ll need to know these answers to create a budget and stick to it.

Start gathering volunteers and hold a meeting with leaders to answer these questions. Input from others on the team is a great way to brainstorm to decide on a theme and age-appropriate activities. Meetings also ensure everyone is on the same page so the entire process runs smoothly.

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Source: Pexels

Decide on Time and Place

Once you know what type of festival you want to plan, you’ll have a better idea of how much room you’ll need and the best hours of operation. Whether you host the event on your homestead or another person volunteers, you need to consider how to protect the ground from damage. A good option is to consider installing geotextiles, which can protect your land from the extra stress. Geotextiles are permeable fabrics that provide strength by separating a foundation from the underlying soil.

During a festival, foot traffic alone can take a toll on the ground, as can other aspects of the festival such as food trucks, stages, and other structures for activities. You’ll need to choose a protection that acts as a boundary while providing structural support to heavily used areas of the grounds.

Discuss How Best to Manage the Festival

Hosting a festival involves a lot of planning and details. Choose volunteers and others who have strong skills in project management to assist with food, games, advertising, and donations. It’s often best to have sub-committees to make sure each aspect has its own dedicated group to get the job done.

Choose one person with strong organizational and leadership skills to head each committee. You can decide how many groups and volunteers you’ll need based on the size of your event.

Recruit Volunteers

You’ll need volunteers to help run the various activities and help with food stands, so start recruiting as early as possible. Consider creating an online signup sheet to help you find those interested in offering their time. Students who need to accumulate service hours for graduation often make good volunteers.

Include the various categories that you need volunteers for, such as setting up, clean up, entertainment, and other activities. Look into learning more about recruiting volunteers to make your festival a big success.

Discuss Buying or Making Games

One big question is whether you’ll be making activities from scratch or buying carnival games from a supplier. This can easily be answered if you’re on a tight budget — you’ll need to create your own.

Keep in mind, though, that there are a number of suppliers online where you can find affordable games, prizes, and other supplies for your event if it’s within your budget.

If not, your only limitations to creating fun, homemade festival games are your creativity, resources, and volunteers. You can still create a lot of fun activities, even when funds are limited.

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Source: Pixabay

Plan Your Menu

Food is often overlooked because of the hype over activities, but you need to plan what types of foods you’ll offer and at what price. You’ll have to decide who is in charge of making food or buying supplies.

Will you offer more snack foods and treats, such cotton candy, hot cider, popcorn and candy apples, or do you want to allow vendors to bring in food trucks? The type of foods and supplies depends on what your committee decides is best based on the projected attendance and type of event.

Come Up with Marketing Ideas

Any successful event depends on a good marketing strategy. One good channel for family events is the school system. Sending flyers to local schools is a great way to get the word out to families in your community. Local churches are another great place to place flyers and gain attendees for your event.

If it’s within your budget, place an ad in the local paper as well. The key is to start creating buzz about the event weeks ahead of time, so the news is out there and people are discussing well in advance.

Fall festivals do take a great deal of planning to create a fun and safe event for everyone; but, with good planning and a little effort, you and your volunteers can host a successful event.