Moving to your dream place has actually happened, and you couldn't be more thrilled by the prospects of homesteading happiness. It doesn't take long before you're thinking of ways to change and improve your land and your home.
From Hank's passion for creating knives as art pieces to small projects for your homeplace, and from medium to larger and more difficult projects, you can find whatever you need in GRIT's Guide to Homestead DIY Projects. The latest special issue from GRIT holds a wealth of information and building plans that you'll keep on hand for years to come.
You'll find plans and directions for building a chicken feeder and a hay feeder for smaller animals, ways to improve your gardening efforts like a recycled tomato cage, a no space potato barrel and raised beds, or extend the growing season with a small greenhouse or a locally sourced greenhouse. Discover the perfect bench for your favorite lookout, create a porch swing that your grandchildren will love, and construct works of art using wood pallets.
The special issue contains small, medium and large projects that you can use or adapt to your specific needs. Some of them require little to no handywoman/handyman skills while others will test even the most experienced builder. Whatever you dream of adding to your homeplace, GRITs Guide to Homestead DIY Projects is the place to start.
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Using scrap wood, create an inexpensive and easy-to-make chicken feeder that will help feed your flock without encouraging mold or supporting the local mouse and starling population. The feeder, with its unique treadle opener, allows the birds to lift the cover whenever they need to, and it helps lessen the amount of feed scattered about. It will take your chickens a few days to adapt – after the lid comes crashing down on their heads, they quickly learn the trick of opening the lid and keeping it open.
Jeff Nickols provides directions and detailed drawings on How to Build a Chicken Feeder.
Are you tired of wire tomato cages that make it impossible to water your beautiful tomato plants? Of dealing with cages that aren't strong enough to hold the growing plants? Of the difficulty of storing those almost-worthless wire cages? Lengths of PVC pipe and electrical conduit come together in an easy-to-build, easy-to-store, easy-to-water tomato cage that will least season after season. The set-up also allows you to water and fertilize almost directly to the roots of your plants.
Use Doug Thalacker's easy directions to build A Homemade Recycled Tomato Cage before next season's record crop of tomatoes.
Carve out gardening space with a number of raised beds, and easily increase your gardening efforts. Reclaimed lumber helps lower the cost, so you can add as many as you want, in whatever size and shape you want, to your gardening space. Use the raised beds as design elements and helping to separate zones in your landscape. It is also easier to add compost and other amendments to a raised bed, thus giving your plants better soil to grow in than what may be available in any given location. You can also build the raised beds to any height and garden in comfort.
Chris Gleason has more reasons for utilizing these Easy-to-Build Raised Beds as well as directions for building your own.
Be the talk of the town when you construct a beautiful and functional home from a simple metal cylinder. Many people have found that a grain bin house provides an affordable, efficient and versatile place to dwell. Grain bins or grain silos may not seem like ideal building materials, but they are durable, inexpensive and require little maintenance after construction. Read about the experiences of builders and owners in Utah, Kansas and Iowa for more on how you can turn a grain bin into the perfect home or office space.
Troy Griepentrog offers a look into How to Build a Grain Bin House, and he interviews an architect who is working on a new technique to use the bins for strong, energy-efficient homes.
Take a new concrete septic tank, make a few adjustments, and you have a root cellar for food storage. All you need to do is find the right tank, pick the best site, install a door and vents, finish the roof, and then backfill. The cool, moist and dark compartment will be perfect for storing fruits and vegetables from your garden, keeping them fresh and crisp for week or months. After the site is backfilled, build shelves and bins inside the cellar and load 'em up with healthy, homegrown produce.
A winter's worth of good eating is an excellent reason to build a root cellar, and Steve Maxwell provides the construction details to Build a Root Cellar on your homeplace.