With the arrival of spring comes an opportunity to do some new projects around your homestead. Countless things need to be done, but there is always room for new DIY projects, especially ones that are ideally done during the springtime. Here are seven prepper projects you can make this season. (h/t to AskAPrepper.com)
Build up your garden
If you already have a garden, it’s time to start working on it again. If you topped off your garden beds with compost last fall, they should be ready for planting now and the worms will have been working on that compost all winter long.
Be mindful of what vegetables you start the year with. It is early spring, and you need to focus on sowing seeds that grow great in this kind of weather. This means holding off on the tropical vegetables and focusing on greens like lettuce, kale and spinach, and root crops like radishes, carrots, and beets.
Along with a garden, you need a reliable source of animal protein. If you’re starting your prepper projects in town instead of on your own ranch, your options are limited. Fortunately, many local governments allow you to raise poultry under certain conditions. Check your local ordinances, and if the laws allow you to raise chickens consider purchasing several immediately.
Hens need to grow for at least six months before they can start laying eggs, so this spring is the perfect time to start the flock. But before you buy the chicks and raise the chickens, you need a place for them to stay.
Building a chicken coop is not that difficult. Once constructed, this will provide your flock with a place to live and roost at night. It can also serve as a place for them to lay eggs.
Build a rainwater harvesting system
Gardening and raising chickens can use up a lot of water. To avoid getting a steep water bill, consider building a rainwater collection system. Not only will this help your garden and chickens, but it can also provide you with water during emergencies.
There are dozens of options for rainwater capture systems, but the basics are the same for all of them. You need to funnel the rain from your roof, you need to capture the rain in a container and you need a way to get the captured water out of the container and to your garden, your chickens or into your own home. (Related: 5 machines to have in your homestead to make your life a little bit easier.)
Construct a fish pond
If you want a different source of animal protein, consider constructing a fish pond in your backyard. Spring is the perfect time for this, as it gives your fish several months to grow. Once winter arrives, you will either have to harvest the fish or move them into a tank indoors where they can be protected from the freezing weather.
Consider raising carp or Blue Nile tilapia, as it only takes them between four to seven months to reach the size of one pound.
Install solar panels
With the spring and summer months comes lots of sunshine. This makes it a great time to install solar panels. Having your own source of energy affords you a degree of self-sufficiency and boosts your electricity independence. This allows you to go off-the-grid.
Set up your solar panels now and purchase some large batteries for them so you can store more power for the coming winter months when the amount of sunlight your panels receive greatly diminishes.
Build a solar cooker
If you want to utilize the power of the sun in other ways, consider building your own solar cooker. There are a number of different types of solar cookers you can build. There are even small ones that you and your kids can make together using nothing more than a cardboard pizza box, some aluminum foil and a few other materials you can find at home.
Other, larger types of solar cookers you can build include parabolic cookers – pots and pans placed in the middle of a dish that strongly reflects sunlight – or those that use a Fresnel lens.
Start gathering firewood
Wintertime is generally seen as a good time to cut firewood. There aren’t any crops to attend to, and the sap is down in the tree’s roots. But cutting up firewood in the spring also makes sense, as it gives the firewood as much time to dry as possible before it becomes needed during the cold months.
Be sure to store your firewood in a dry area, and to keep the freshly cut wood in separate piles from the older and more seasoned wood.
These projects will provide you with a degree of self-sufficiency, as it gives you food, a means to cook your food, emergency water and a source of electricity. If you start on them now, you will be better prepared for the next winter.
Learn more about the other projects you can start working on in your homestead by reading the latest articles at Homesteading.news.