Whether you own two acres or ten, your land is ripe with possibilities. Homesteading gives you the unique opportunity to get in touch with your roots, reconnect with nature and live a healthier, more self-sufficient lifestyle. Get a jump on your homesteading journey with these five projects that are perfect for budding homesteaders.
If you count down the days to deer or turkey season each year, a food plot is one of the best additions for your property. Food plots are an extremely effective way to attract wild game – primarily deer or turkey – and keep them coming back each year. Food plots range in size, so it’s important to make sure you have the tools and equipment you need to tackle such a project. A compact tractor paired with a front-end loader is perfect for knocking down overgrown brush, tearing up loose debris and creating a fresh slate for planting. And connect a tiller implement to the 3-point hitch on your compact tractor to prep the earth before planting your seed combination.
Say hello to your doorway of the homesteading community – chickens. Keeping your own chickens is a great way to get your feet wet in the world of homesteading and gain easy access to fresh eggs. But before you bring home that bundle of baby chicks, it’s important to make sure they have a functional coop to keep them safe healthy and producing plenty of eggs.
There are many different ways to build a chicken coop. You can go big or small, but make sure you add a chicken coop run with a predator apron. A chicken coop run is an enclosed outdoor area attached to the coop that gives your chickens a little more room to roam safely. If you decide to build a chicken run, a predator apron is essential for keeping your chickens safe from predators who can dig beneath the walls of your structure. It’s important to hide the apron under a large amount of soil so predators can’t burrow beneath it. To eliminate hauling multiple wheelbarrows of heavy soil across your property, try using a compact tractor with a front-end loader attachment. Not only does this save your back, but it also saves time so you can get your chickens into their new home that much faster.
If you have animals on your homestead, proper fencing is a necessity. Coyotes, stray dogs and other predators can pose a real threat to your pigs, chickens, goats and calves. So if your property needs new fences, make sure you’re building them horse high, hog tight and bull strong. This keeps your animals in and, more importantly, predators out. Building a new fence doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. With the right equipment and attachments, you can make light work of an otherwise backbreaking process. A compact tractor paired with an auger implement can help you quickly and efficiently dig the post holes and install new fencing all from the comfort of your tractor.
Love your land but not the soil quality? Raised garden beds are a great solution for green-thumb homesteaders with rocky or infertile soil. Growing your own herbs and produce is an easy way to improve your sustainability and provide fresh food for yourself and your family. Even if you have the perfect soil for traditional gardening, raised beds have multiple benefits: the soil is never walked on or compacted, your soil warms faster in the spring, and raised beds can grow a variety of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. Raised garden beds also control the spread of weeds and other annoying pests, if you use a weed-free soil mix. After you build your garden bed, load up your compact tractor’s front-end loader with your preferred soil combination and easily transfer it into the new structure. By cutting out the clunky wheelbarrow, you’ll be ready for planting before you know it.
When self-sufficient living is the name of the game, sometimes you just want to go big. If you own a larger acreage with great soil conditions, building a larger garden is the perfect opportunity to save some green at the grocery store, and a compact tractor is the perfect farmhand to help. If you’re managing multiple acres and lots of garden space, compact tractors in the 25- to 40-horsepower ranges – like the Bobcat CT2025, CT2035, CT2040, CT2535 or the CT2540 – are the best option for you. You can pair any of these options with a tiller implement to quickly cultivate and aerate your soil to create the perfect garden bed.