Ideas to make homestead and ranch life easier
Outfitting a modern ranch or homestead is all about a more sustainable and self-sufficient lifestyle. Organic practices are used on the landscape and in the gardens. Homemade compost is an integral part of the family’s vegetable garden. Energy efficiency is part of the design of buildings, and appliances are selected based on their efficient use of resources.
The ranch and homestead state of mind can also include raising chickens for a steady supply of fresh eggs. (This is true for large acreage properties and even in some suburban homes.) On larger ranch and homesteads, becoming more self-sufficient means drilling wells and installing backup water pumps.
Here are some great products that make the ranch, homestead and self-sufficient lifestyle easier.
A deep water hand pumps keeps the water flowing during a disaster
Many homesteads and ranches depend upon wells for access to water. That’s why a deep well hand pump can be one of the most important pieces of equipment you can own. Quite simply, a hand-powered pump can provide life-saving access to water in the event of a power blackout, generator failure, or a natural disaster.
A Standard Deep Well hand pump from Bison Pumps is the perfect backup to an electric pump. It provides access to well water when the electric power goes out. A hand pump from Bison Pumps can be installed alongside or in-line with an electric submersible pump. The high-quality pump is hand-crafted in the USA for years of dependable service. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
The pump’s stainless steel lift rod is FDA approved for potable water, and the tensile strength of the stainless steel is vastly superior to fiberglass. The entire pump is constructed of stainless steel. The pump is TIG-welded and hand-polished to a mirror finish.
Bison Pumps makes a wide variety of hand-operated well pumps, including the Bison Shallow Well Hand Pump (Model 1900) that is perfect for pressurizing a water tank. Bison also sells all the accessories needed for proper pump installations. For more information about pumps and accessories including pricing, technical support and finding the nearest dealer, visit BisonPumps.com.
Use Mother Nature’s solution to mosquito control
Large properties and even suburban backyards can become mosquito breeding grounds in the hot summer months. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much standing water for mosquitoes to breed. In fact, many species of mosquitoes can lay eggs in as little as a botttlecap full of water!
The first step in mosquito control is to remove as much standing water from your property as possible. Drain birdbaths, children’s wading pools, saucers under container plants, and other standing water at least weekly. Throw away old tires and plastic containers that can hold rainwater.
Wherever water remains or can collect after a rainfall, use Mother Nature’s way to control mosquito populations. It’s called Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis — BTI for short. BTI is a bacterium that occurs naturally in nature, and it attacks only mosquito larvae. BTI is deadly to mosquito larvae but harmless to other living things. That means the bacterium kills mosquitoes before they can grow up to be adults that bite people and spread deadly diseases.
BTI is the active ingredient in Mosquito Dunks®, the top-selling biological mosquito control in the world. Just float a chemical-free Mosquito Dunk in ponds, birdbaths, outdoor tubs, water gardens or wherever water collects and remains for periods of time.
When you use Mosquito Dunks to control mosquitoes, you won’t need to use harmful pesticides to get the job done. Mosquito Dunks are organic, and they are approved for use in fish habitats and animal watering troughs. Each biodegradable Mosquito Dunk treats 100 square feet of surface water, and it remains active for 30 days or more. Mosquito Dunks® are available at home centers, hardware stores, garden centers and at www.summitresponsiblesolutions.com.
Keep your backyard flock cozy and warm
It’s important to keep animals warm during cold weather. Let’s face it, putting doggie-style sweaters isn’t a practical solution for most homestead and ranch animals and poultry. The Cozy Coop Flat Panel Heater is a better choice.
The Cozy Coop Flat Panel is small enough to fit anywhere it’s needed. The sleek design looks great, too. This powerful heater combines both radiant and convection heat to protect birds and poultry from the cold. The Cozy Coop heater is safe to use around animals. And it uses just 200 watts—about 13% the electricity of a standard 1,500 watt space heater.
The Cozy Coop is an ETL certified radiant heater for chicken coops. (An ETL certified Zero-Clearance product can be placed near combustible surfaces without causing a fire hazard.) The heater has a built-in thermostat and an in-cord on/off switch for fingertip control. It silently keeps chickens comfortable and warm. The Cozy Coop Flat Panel Heater is available from CozyProducts.com.
Lehman’s rotary cultivator gets rid of weeds
If you live on a ranch, homestead or acreage property, you probably know about Lehman’s. The Lehman’s store in Kidron, Ohio, proudly sells simple products for a simpler life. So does the Lehman’s website. Since 1955, the company has served a clientele that appreciates old-fashioned technology that still works in a modern world.
Lehman’s worked with local Amish craftsmen to redesign a human-powered garden cultivator. The result is Lehman’s Own Rotary Cultivator, which makes it easy to rid a garden of weeds.
Just push the rotary cultivator in between garden rows. The five angled tines break up clods and level the dirt in planting beds. Flip the cultivator over and the slicing bar cuts off weeds just below the surface. (The tilling and weeding width is 11 inches). The 37-inch-long oak handle is full height adjustable. That makes tilling comfortable no matter how short or tall you are. This cultivator is proudly made in the USA.
Got Fruit Trees?
Planting fruit trees is another great way to get the most from your ranch or homestead property. Read our story about the Top Five Fruit Trees for more great advice.