Grit Blogs >

The Drifter Collective


7 Tips for Keeping Bugs out of Your Pantry Once and for All

Kacey BradleyYou’re lucky if you’ve never had a run-in with pantry pests, bugs and critters like beetles, ants and moths. They can crawl into your cabinets and hide between shelves. Or they might stow away in your store-bought goods, gaining entry to your pantries before you detect them. Luckily, these pests don’t pose any serious hazard to your or your family’s health. Plus, there are plenty of steps you can take to get rid of bugs and prevent them from coming back.

rsz_ehud-neuhaus-1272089-unsplash_1

1. Use Proper Storage

Use airtight containers to store food in your pantry, with popular options including glass, plastic and metal storage. Instead of storing cereal or rolled oats in an open box, transfer the contents to a sealed plastic container with a convenient pouring lid. Some insects are small enough to can squeeze in through tiny spaces. Your best defense is a storage solution that features an airtight seal. Mason jars are a popular alternative to traditional plastic containers because they are durable, don’t absorb odors and infinitely reusable.

2. Clean Up Crumbs

Everyone feels lazy once in a while. But a little laziness now can lead to a big pest problem later. Wipe up crumbs and spills in your home right away, including in the pantry, on the floor and on countertops. The longer the food or drink stays out, the more chance it will attract unwelcome critters like ants, cockroaches and mice. Keep a sponge by your kitchen sink to quickly clean up spills and crumbs. And use soap or a nontoxic cleaner to disinfect areas you use to prepare food.

3. Avoid Damaged Goods

Regularly cleaning your home may not be enough to keep pests at bay. Some pests come directly into your home through store-bought products. Always examine packages of dried goods for any tears or broken seals before purchasing. Even a pinhole is enough to let in an annoying pest. Look for packaged foods with no signs of damage. If you already have damaged or open items in your pantry, be sure to check for signs of infestation.

4. Check the Dates

The food you store in your pantry will likely be a mixture of both perishable and nonperishable items. Check perishables regularly, including onions and potatoes, to ensure they’re still good. When food begins to spoil, it’s more likely to attract pests into your pantry. Inspect all self-canned jars to be sure the lids remain sealed. And while non-perishables won’t rot, insects can still make their way inside and cause an infestation.

5. Set Out Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are a tasty spice that can complement any tomato-based dish. But they’re also a pest deterrent you should have in your pantry. When you place dried bay leaves on your shelves, they can ward off bugs like ants, fleas, cockroaches and moths. Bay leaves even have a leg up over commercially sold pest repellents in that they contain no harmful chemicals or toxins and are safe if children or pets accidentally ingest them.

6. Clean Up Regularly

If you find a bug in your pantry, the first step is to toss the item immediately. Be sure to take the trash outside as soon as you throw out all the infested items. Remove the rest of the food from the pantry and store it in a clean space. Sweep and vacuum all the spots around the infested area before replacing the food. Even without an infestation, you should clean your pantry every three to six months. Check expiration dates toss away old food items and wipe down shelves with soap and water.

7. Sprinkle Some Cinnamon

The scent of cinnamon will repel common household pests like ants. Sprinkle a line of cinnamon across the entry of your pantry or along your spice cabinet, and ants won’t cross it. Place a small bowl with ground cinnamon on a shelf if you don’t want to make a mess with loose spices. Or lay out cinnamon sticks along with your perishable and nonperishable items. If you don’t have real cinnamon, place a dab of cinnamon oil on a cotton ball and set in your pantry.

Follow the tips above to rid pests from your pantry and keep them out. If you find an insect or critter in your kitchen, get it outside as soon as possible and clean the affected area. Use natural deterrents like cinnamon or bay leaves to keep out ants, moths and fleas. And always clean up crumbs, spills and rotting foods, which will begin to attract bugs.

If you find you have a repeat pest problem, it’s best to call a reputable pest control professional in your area. They will know how to solve the problem over the long term, while also minimizing any possible damage.

6 Reasons Every Homestead Needs Bamboo

Kacey BradleyAre you interested in growing bamboo? While you might be wary due to tales of the plant’s tendency to take over, bamboo has many practical uses, making it essential for any homestead. Even better, it’s incredibly durable, able to grow in almost anywhere climate around the world and stays green all year.

rsz_ammiel-jr-1326972-unsplash

Take advantage of everything bamboo has to offer with the six homestead uses below.

1. Feed Your Animals

Just like humans, animals need essential vitamins and nutrients to survive. These nutrients — including proteins, carbohydrates, fats and more — are vital to healthy growth and a high-quality product, such as milk or eggs. Research has found the protein of bamboo leaves averaged nearly 13%, with a slight variation across species, making them a great forage option for your homestead livestock. Cut down a handful of bamboo poles each day to provide animals like goats, sheep and cows a constant source of healthy vegetation.

2. Feed Your Family

Bamboo isn’t just for the cows. You can peel and cook fresh bamboo shoots to make a tasty side dish for your next dinner. After cutting down enough bamboo, you will boil the pieces in rice bran, which removes the hydrocyanic acid in fresh bamboo. After, you can peel the pieces, revealing a tender interior like a raw potato or apple. Once peeled, you can keep raw bamboo shoots refrigerated in water for up to a week.

3. Use in Construction

For centuries, people across the world have used bamboo to build houses, construct roads and craft other long-lasting projects. Bamboo is lightweight, meaning you don’t need heavy tools or machinery to transport it. And it's formidable, able to endure wear similar to wood, plastic, metal and other construction materials. Start with a small project, like creating a lattice for your garden or replacing plywood. Then try something more complex, like a tiki hut or a palapa.

4. Craft New Furniture

Bamboo shoots offer convenient-sized poles to use in making furniture like bed frames, chairs and tables. One example is a bamboo coffee table, which you can make with a combination of materials found on your homestead. To start, you'll need one long shoot of bamboo — this is what you'll cut to make the frame. You'll connect the bamboo pieces by drilling holes in the legs and gluing the pieces in place, meaning no nails are required. To finish it off, find a piece of glass large enough to sit on top.

5. Ash Your Garden

It may seem like a waste to grow bamboo only to burn it. But burning bamboo for the ash can help increase the potassium, phosphorus and other minerals in your garden, providing essential elements plants need to thrive. When using bamboo ash, lightly scatter it across your garden along with the rest of your compost. This ash is also useful is keeping away bothersome pests like snails and slugs when you sprinkle it around the base of plants.

6. Warm Your Home

Bamboo grows in abundance. To keep the spread under control, you'll need to use as much new growth as possible. When you run out of projects to make, burn split bamboo in a wood stove to heat your home. Remember to split your bamboo before burning, as whole pieces of bamboo can trap in hot air and pop. Add a couple of pieces to your stove or fireplace at a time to ensure you maintain a controllable burn.

The Best Uses for Bamboo

If you don’t grow bamboo on your homestead, now is the time to start. It’s incredibly hardy and durable, used to build houses and roads. Or you can use it to make something simple, like a table or chair. When you can’t think up any more projects, burn the bamboo in your wood stove to heat the house and collect the ash to spread on your garden.

8 Natural Homemade Cleaners to Remove Pet Stains

Kacey BradleyPets are part of the family, which means they'll hang out when you're having fun and sometimes make a mess or two on your carpet that requires a bit of cleanup.

If you'd prefer not to have a chemical-based stain remover in your home, there are all-natural alternatives you can use. You'll find the right one for your pet's mess and never have to use chemicals again.

rsz_daiga-ellaby-699140-unsplash_2

1. Vinegar and Baking Soda Spray

You've probably seen people leave an open container of baking soda in their fridge. It erases any unpleasant odors, and it'll do the same for your carpet.

Baking soda alone won't be able to remove stains, though. It'll just take away the smell. That's where vinegar comes in. Vinegar is mostly used for stain removal in clothes, but it works just as well on carpets too.

The acetic acid in vinegar lifts stains from any material, and the baking soda will take care of what you can't see. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with one cup of white distilled vinegar and spray this mixture on stains.

2. Citrus Cleaner Solution

A good way to remove stains without vinegar is to use lemon or orange peels. Mixed with water and brown sugar, they'll cleanse and purify your carpet.

Citrus works so well with stains that professional carpet cleaners use it every day. It helps them reach the padding and sub-floor that get ruined when pet messes are left on the carpet for too long.

3. Hydrogen-Peroxide and Baking Soda Mix

When urine dries, it forms solid crystals that are too small for the average eye to see. They cling to carpet fibers and keep the look and smell of the stain around.

Hydrogen-peroxide may be what you need for longstanding stains. It'll break down those crystals and remove them from carpet fibers, so you can vacuum or dab them up with a wet paper towel.

Mix a half cup of hydrogen peroxide with a cup of baking soda for your first round of stain remover. Repeat as needed until the stain and smell are gone.

4. Dish-Washing Liquid Hot Water Bowl

Have you ever seen the dish-washing liquid commercials that feature animals covered in oil that are easily cleaned with the product? That same magic will happen with stains in your carpet if you mix dish-washing liquid with hot water. Blot the mix on the stain and then dab with a soaked rag. Continue until the stain has been removed.

However, dish liquid might stain your light carpet. Test on a patch behind or under furniture before using in high-traffic areas.

5. Vinegar and Water Blend

Fresh stains from bathroom accidents may not need any major mixes at all. Distilled white vinegar could be the answer to your problems.

While the stain is fresh, mix the vinegar with warm water. Dab as much of the stain as you can with a dry towel, then blot with the vinegar and water mix.

The vinegar will quickly separate the stain from the carpet before it ever has a chance to settle. If there's leftover smell remaining, you can always break out the baking powder and let it sit in your carpet for 15 minutes before vacuuming.

6. Washing Soda and Dish Soap Combo

You probably already have washing soda in your home that you trust to clean your clothes. It can also be used on your carpet, along with dish soap.

Mix 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of washing soda and 1 teaspoon of dish soap to create this stain fighting combo. Dampen the stain with it and scrub with a brush to work it in.

Dry with a clean towel and vacuum the area. If the stain comes back within the next 24 hours, repeat as needed. That will mean the stain soaked into the bottom layers of the carpet and requires extra attention.

7. Diluted Ammonia Solution

Ammonia may seem like a chemical solution to avoid, but it's actually a naturally occurring element that dissolves easily in water to form a liquid solution.

It's used in many commercial carpet cleaners, but you can skip all the extra chemicals and get straight to the point with diluted ammonia at home.

One cup of ammonia mixed with a half-gallon of warm water will fight any stain as well as what people typically buy at the store. Make sure to ventilate where you clean by leaving a door or window open.

8. Cornstarch Sprinkling Mix

Cornstarch is usually used to thicken foods like gravies and soups, but it could also save your carpet. Mix it with milk to form a paste and work it into the stained area. Leave it alone until it dries, then vacuum.

The cornstarch will attach to any stain crystals that are stuck to your carpet fibers, so they're easily removed with your vacuum. Don't forget to let the mixture dry completely, or you won't get the full effect.

Try Them Out

Your first attempt at removing stains with a DIY mix might not be what gets it out. Many factors affect how to fight a stain, like how long it's been drying or the acidity of it.

If nothing works, call a professional. They'll find a way to remove the stain without using the chemicals you're trying to avoid.

8 Sustainable Countertops for Your Homestead Kitchen

Kacey BradleyPersonalizing your homestead is one of the joys of having your own place. You can make every detail exactly how you want it, right down to your kitchen countertops.

Renovating your countertops doesn't have to clash with your eco-friendly homesteader life. There are several sustainable options you can easily install in your kitchen.

rsz_1charles-453897-unsplash

1. Purchase Recycled Glass

You've probably seen recycled glass countertops before and not even realized it. They can be both subtle and eye-catching, depending on how they're designed.

The recycled glass is ground down into fine pieces to mimic the look of a traditional countertop. You can also choose to have the glass pieces arranged and even opt for colored glass.

One of the best things about recycled glass countertops is how easily personalized they can be. Check out businesses that offer this kind of countertop near you to get a better idea of what your options are.

2. Research Paper-stone Counters

Although many countertops are made of stone, that doesn't have to be the case for your kitchen. Sometimes to live a more sustainable lifestyle, consumers have to start thinking outside the box.

That kind of thinking is what brought paper-stone into existence. It's a material made from 100% recycled post-consumer paper. It's compressed under high pressure and intense heat, making it a long-lasting countertop that's nonporous.

3. Invest in Granite

Granite is another fantastic sustainable option for your kitchen, especially if you live in an area near a quarry where your purchase will support local businesses.

It's a highly durable material that resists heat and repels bacteria. After a quick clean with a soapy washcloth, your counters will look good as new every time. Granite also has a classic look that will appeal to any homesteader's interior design.

4. Buy Polyester Countertops

Any countertop you find that has a polyester base will be naturally sustainable. Polyester is made out of post-industrial scrap waste, so it'll all be recycled materials.

Recycling these materials leaves little carbon footprint, so it balances out the CO2 emissions that will come from shipping it to your homestead. The only option similar to polyester is plastic laminate, which is a commercial material that isn't sustainable.

5. Trust in Natural Stone

Natural stone slabs are the perfect way to bring modern, chic design into your homestead kitchen. The grain, colors and even the mineralization of the stone you get won't look the same as any other countertop.

The key to buying natural stone countertops is to research the companies you're thinking of purchasing from. They should have a dedicated eco-friendly mission statement and clearly describe their process for removing and chiseling the stone.

When you have stone countertops installed in your kitchen, you'll find that it's the perfect material if you deal with lots of spills. Stone won't absorb any liquids or retain moisture from heated foods, decreasing the bacteria in your kitchen.

6. Check Out Quartz-Stone

Torn between how quartz and stone would look in your kitchen? Combine them with the equally environmentally friendly quartz-stone. It's a minimal-maintenance option that has the nonporous benefits of both quartz and stone.

This material is typically made with the stone waste that's crushed and leftover in quarries after mining. You'll be helping the Earth and your own kitchen by using quartz-stone for your countertops.

7. Think About Bamboo

Wood countertops aren't usually the greenest option to consider, but bamboo isn't wood. It's actually a grass that has similar properties, so it can be used in many of the same ways.

Bamboo countertops are quickly pressed and worked into the right countertop size for your kitchen. Talk with a contractor about having the grain patterns made to your preference, as it can be adjusted with each order.

8. Go With Locally-Sourced Materials

Anything locally sourced will always be more of an eco-friendly choice than having materials shipped from far away. If you have a tight budget, getting something close to home is a great option. You'll support local businesses and keep your environmental impact to a minimum.

No matter where you look for countertops, you should be able to find sustainable materials easily. Talk with each company you speak with about their greener products, and they'll help you decide which ones are right for your homestead.

5 Tips for Upgrading Your Homestead's Kitchen

Kacey BradleyAs a homesteader, you already know how important your kitchen is to you and your lifestyle. It's not only the heart of the home, but where you preserve foods for seasons ahead and prepare meals with the literal fruits of your labor.

With so much time and energy spent in your kitchen, you want to make it better and more functional than it is now. But upgrading a homestead kitchen isn't quite the same as sprucing up the same room in a more traditional abode. So, to make the process simpler, here are five tips for renovating your space.

59tjsvzekcq-gustaf-lindqvist

1. Think About Flow

A major kitchen upgrade will probably have you changing the layout of the room. In general, most designers stick to the triangle rule — the sink, refrigerator and stove should be placed so that they create a triangle. This allows you to easily access your chilled storage, clean and peel at the sink, and cook on or in the stove. To make it work, you can't have any obstructions between the appliances. For example, your refrigerator shouldn't be on the other side of a kitchen island, or else grabbing ingredients for cooking or preserving will take that much longer.

To that end, homesteaders have to consider kitchen access to outdoor spaces. You'll want a door or, at least, a window through which you can pass the harvest from your gardens. Once you pinpoint the location of your entryway, map out a place where you'll store all of your fresh produce until you eat it or otherwise preserve it.

2. Select the Right Sink

Once you've figured out your layout, you need to make lots of material and design decisions. One of the most important for homesteaders will be the sink — as a harvester of fresh fruits and veggies, you'll need a big, durable sink to aid you in all your scrubbing and washing. So, make an extra-large basin part of your design. Many homesteaders swear by farmhouse sinks that reach from the front of the counter all the way to the wall, thus preventing any water from leaking between the sink and the wall and causing damage to the home.

3. Pick a Powerful Stove

When it comes to stoves, everyone has a favorite style — some prefer electric, while others swear by gas. The latter tends to suit homesteaders better, as it can still turn on and off when the power goes out. Plus, it makes a better base for canning, which you likely use to preserve the fruits and vegetables you don't eat while they're fresh.

Once you find the right appliance for you, make sure you know how to maintain it to ensure it lasts long — as a homesteader, you already make the most of your resources and boost their longevity as best as you can. So, know how to clean your stove and do so regularly so that it lives out its projected lifespan. Something as simple as using an abrasive cleaner can cause irreparable damage to your glass stove top.

4. Harness Natural Light

Another must-do in a homesteader's kitchen — harness the power of natural light. The sun's rays provide a multitude of health benefits, from boosted moods to better sleep. In your kitchen, you can rely on the same glow to illuminate your work space without using any additional resources. Make the best use of your home's natural light by positioning obstructive cabinets or appliances far from the windows. If you can, add one over your sink or in other places where the sun's glow would be beneficial to your prep work and cooking.

Of course, you'll need artificial lighting so that your kitchen is functional at night and on gloomy days. Other homesteaders suggest adding grow lights by the sink or underneath cabinets. Not only do they shed extra-bright light into the room, but you can actually use the glow to cultivate fresh herbs and other plants.

5. Choose the Right Time to Do It

Finally, as a homesteader, you need to make sure you take on your kitchen renovation at a time that is convenient for you, your family and your farming. For most homesteaders, this means taking the project on in the middle of winter, when farming stalls and preserving is finished. Others have found it worked well to take on small projects over a longer period of time instead of one big renovation. That way, the kitchen is never completely out of order, and you can continue your cooking as you update.

Make Your Kitchen Homestead-Ready

Ultimately, the perfect homestead kitchen is the one that works best for you and your family. Design a space that's both functional and beautiful, and you'll be well on your way to the perfect kitchen. These five tips will help you in that quest — all there's left to do is start brainstorming and building out your dream space.

5 DIY Homestead Projects You Can Take on Yourself

Kacey BradleyA homestead lifestyle often allows for more freedom in life. Many look forward to the self-sufficiency lifestyle that ensues, but projects around your property can often take on a life of their own. Some may need professional intervention, but there are many homestead projects you can handle on your own.

Your land holds limitless possibilities, but don't allow the dreaming scare you out of diving into them.

aleksei-i-1163187-unsplash

Allow the following five DIY homestead projects to inspire your next to-do list. You'll have the satisfaction of playing a big role in creating the homestead of your dreams. Who knows, your first project may inspire more to follow.

1. Build a Wooden Planter Box

No homestead is complete without veggie gardens ready for the warmer months. Plus, there's a natural appeal that comes from gorgeous landscaping, but what about smaller garden elements, like herbs, that would be better suited for deck or outside patio?

With a few materials, you can build your own planter box. The needed materials will depend on how large of a planter you want. Measure out the space you want it to fill, then pick your planks accordingly.

After gathering your supplies, and an hour of drilling everything together, you'll have a nice self-built planter ready to go. Line it with tarp for easy cleaning and drill a few holes for adequate drainage.

2. Construct a Chicken Coop

Taking care of a homestead often means tending to the animals on your property. If farm-fresh morning eggs are on the menu, construct a chicken coup to help house your chickens. Having chickens on your homestead also offers another revenue stream if you plan to sell the eggs for a small profit.

Depending on the number of chickens you have or plan to have, you want to start by figuring out their size so you can determine the coop size to build. Six to eight hens will need at least a 5 x 20-foot coop. These are the basic materials every size coop will need:

  • 2 x 4-foot planks, for the frame
  • Plywood sheets, for the floor and ceiling
  • Sheet metal or shingles, to cover the roof

Accessorize your finished chicken coop with food and water troughs, plus a six-inch deep layer of wood shavings or hay for nesting. After everything has been assembled, your chickens will have a very happy home waiting for them.

3. Make a Cheery Sign

Many homesteaders choose to identify their property via a farm name, or they might like the look of homemade signs throughout their gardens. You can create a unique sign for your homestead with the help of a few materials.

The materials and instructions for your sign will differ depending on what kind of sign you want to make. Your base should start by nailing a few small pieces of plywood together and covering with weatherproof paint for an outdoor sign. You can indicate which plants grow in which planters, or make one for each row of your garden.

Consider painting sealant over a welcome sign for your front porch. Include your children by having them write the word "welcome" on the sign, to preserve their handwriting forever. A layer of sealant will protect it from the sun and weather, so it'll last as long as you'll live in your home.

Whatever you decide to do, have a purpose or message in mind to guide the project along. Whether they welcome people to your home or guide them around your garden, constructing a cheery sign could make your homestead feel more like home.

4. Put Together a Greenhouse

Gardening is a fun summer activity, but often necessary all-year round for homesteaders. Greenhouses help keep your gardens thriving even throughout the winter months. Investing in a professionally made greenhouse may be something way outside your budget, but it can easily be built at home.

The secret to building a greenhouse is to use hardware wire mesh. Drape the mesh over the top and down the sides of a 2 x 4 wooden frame. Secure a plastic cover over the sides to protect plants in the winter, and remove the plastic in the summer so you can grow vine plants alongside the mesh. You'll have more opportunity to grow different types of plants in a greenhouse, whether you garden to grow food or beautiful plants.

5. Create a Shed

If you're thinking about building your own shed, it may take longer than a single weekend to accomplish, but when you're done, you'll have a useful structure for years to come.

Start by laying a concrete foundation. Once it's laid, you'll have to spend a few days misting it with water so it sets completely. Taking your time with this part is crucial, or you'll end up with a cracked foundation.

After your concrete has solidified, you'll want to build the frame for your shed. The size of your shed will determine what sized planks to get. You also want to pick out a material for the walls and ceiling, as well as for the doors and windows.

Time to Pick Your Next DIY Project

As a homesteader, you can personalize your home with DIY projects that will only boost efficiency around your property, not to mention they'll save you money.

Start looking into the projects that might benefit your homestead, and you'll find that the world of DIY projects has plenty of options for you to choose from.

10 Important Steps to Preparing Your Homestead for Summer

Kacey BradleyWhether you’re a self-sustained homesteader or new to the lifestyle, there are several steps you should take to get your home and your family ready for summer. Now is the best time to get outside and make adjustments for the warmer weather, from checking for roof damage to tuning up your lawnmower.

nathan-anderson-166683-unsplash

1. Look for Damage

Get outside and look at your home. Do you see any noticeable damage from winter? Check your siding to look for any missing or damaged pieces, which can result from heavy winds. Check the state of insulation around your windows and doors, as leaks can cause increased energy bills and allow bugs and mice to enter your home. Preparing your home for summer means assessing the damage and giving yourself ample time to make repairs.

2. Clear the Gutters

While you’re outside, get out a ladder and check your gutters and downspouts. During the winter, gutters can easily get clogged with debris like twigs, pine needles, dead leaves and more. When it begins to rain more in summer, these clogs can lead to water overflowing, allowing water to get into your basement or crawl space and cause damage.

3. Check Your Roof

Like many parts of your house, the roof can show its age after time. Temperature fluctuations cause shingles to expand and contract, which can lead to cracking. Check for flaws that can allow water to enter your home and cause damage. You should also take a careful look at the chimney, which can begin to crumble over time. If you notice a leak in your chimney, inspect the joints where it meets the roof. If you find a crack, you can usually repair it with a patch.

4. Test the Temperature

When you work outside on the homestead, you want a cool place during the summer where you can escape and relax. That’s why it’s important to test the temperature controls in your home. To prepare for summer, examine your air conditioning units to make sure they work. If you’re having an issue with a window or HVAC unit, call a professional who can complete necessary repairs.

5. Clean Your Windows

Before summer, when temperatures are still mild, is the best time to clean your windows. To get crystal-clear glass, spray both sides with a window cleaning solution and use a squeegee or piece of newspaper to wipe it down, leaving it streak-free. While you may be tempted to save time and pressure-wash your windows, remember the force of the spray can easily cause damage.

6. Collect the Rain

Find or purchase a barrel to collect rain during the warmer months. This time of year experiences more rainfall than winter, making it the perfect time to set a barrel outside. The collected water has plenty of uses on a homestead, including watering your garden, washing your car, washing your pets and refilling a pool.

7. Transfer Your Seedlings

If you want to plant any new seedlings, you should start them indoors. But once the weather begins to warm, you should prepare for summer by finding the perfect spot outside for planting. Choose a place that’s not too shady and won’t get inundated with rainfall. As the temperatures rise, your plants will be able to soak in the sun’s rays and grow steadily.

8. Start to Compost

If you haven’t started a compost pile, now is the time to do so. Not only will you cut down on the waste you throw away, but you’ll also have a trusty source of fertilizer which will work great on crops. Food scraps like eggshells, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels and more can all skip the trash can and make their way outside. Items you shouldn't try to compost include meat and dairy products, plastic utensils, grease, plastic wrap and foil.

9. Maintain Lawn Equipment

The key to keeping your homestead looking picturesque is the lawn equipment you regularly use, like lawnmowers, weed whackers, hedge trimmers and more. Check your tools before you need to use them to make sure everything is in proper running order. If you forgot to empty gas from last season, clean out and refresh the equipment. Refill your weed whacker with fresh oil and check to see if you need to replace the string.

10. Look at Irrigation

If you’re a homesteader who relies on an irrigation or outdoor spout system, it’s essential to ensure everything made it through the winter season intact. Remove the freeze caps from faucets and turn on the water. If you only get a trickle, not a full stream, there may be an issue with your pipes, such as a crack causing water to leak. If you’re experiencing issues with an in-ground irrigation system, you might have to call a professional for a tune-up.

How to Prepare Your Homestead for Summer

It’s not hard to prepare your homestead for summer. The trick is to start early, create a list of all the tasks you need to do and set goals for getting them accomplished. Once you’ve finished your projects and are ready for the warm temps, sit in the yard and enjoy the new season's sun.







Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me