Tag: Natural Pond

10 Ways Homesteaders Are Saving the Planet

Homesteading is all about creating a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It starts with something as simple as a garden to feed your family, chickens to provide eggs, and it can go as far as growing herbs for medicine, raising cows & other animals and finding ways to do things for yourself and your family without the need for much else. Homesteading can also involve creating and making things based on what you have to provide a source of income for your family. All in all, creating a more self-sufficient lifestyle is rewarding and provides many benefits, including helping the planet! How? Well, I’m happy to explain.

Here are 10 ways homesteading can help save the planet:

1. By promoting biodiversity

Ponds, plants, animals, fish, it’s all part of the homesteading lifestyle.

2. By providing pollinator habitat

Bees and butterflies, as small as they are, do a very big job of pollinating our crops so that people all over the world can eat. By us homesteaders providing them with flowers to feast on, we’re helping keep them alive so they can keep us alive.

3. By cleaning your air

Many plants are air filtering. Did you know that? Clean air = less asthma hospitalizations for you and me.

4. By regenerating the soil

Natural fertilizer from backyard farm animals enriches the soil and won’t contaminate local drinking water like chemical fertilizers. Using the land productively helps prevent soil erosion so the land can continue to be used.

5. By shrinking the local carbon footprint

Locally grown food has the lowest carbon emissions, so whether it’s farm eggs or hydroponic basil, it’s got a lower carbon footprint compared to store-bought eggs and produce. Collecting eggs from your own back yard or from your neighbors is a heck of a lot better for the environment than a car trip to the store for eggs.

6. By saving the oceans

The more food you grow at home, the less plastic packaging. Recyclable or not, plastic can’t be recycled over and over again like metals, so eventually they’ll end up in the environment. Another win for backyard farming!

Here are a few more ways homesteading really helps:

7. By helping you stay cool

The extra foliage in our backyards help soak up the sun’s heat, preventing what scientists call heat island effect. The less green, the hotter it is. That’s why cities tend to be a few degrees hotter than suburbs and countryside. So uh, you’re welcome! Without us expect your electric bill to be a bit higher for A/C.

8. By lowering your grocery bill

Whether we’re bartering with our neighbors or eating what we grow, the overall effect is people are finding more of what they need outside of the grocery store. This keeps local grocery stores from hiking up their prices and may even lead to more discounted “manager specials” because people aren’t buying stuff fast enough.

9. By creating community

In an antisocial world, homesteads are a place where you can reconnect with nature and humanity.

10. By raising rooted children

Raising children on a homestead teaches certain lessons and instills certain values you can’t get from YouTube. Like that the outdoors has just as much to offer, if not more, than a screen. That good things take time, like the mango tree we planted in and fruited later. Raising children in to adults who understand these important lessons will make the world a better place.

DIY Natural Duck Pond (no chemicals, pumps) with progress photos

Swipe for gradual pond progression. It's only been a few weeks... I never thought having a pond would be so peaceful. I've asked my husband to write a little post about it for those interested in doing the same. Stay tuned.

First we got chickens, and the chickens needed a coop. So we turned our shed into a coop. When we got ducks though, what they really needed was a nice and natural pond.

After doing a little research, I learned there are many types of ponds that you can build yourself, much easier than I had imagined also. Somewhere in the search for inspiration, I decided that making the pond as natural as possible would fit our homestead lifestyle much better than installing pumps and waterfalls and using artificial chemicals to keep the water clean.

A natural pond not only spoke to our lifestyle but also kept in line with our low maintenance creed.

If you’re thinking about a pond, it’s as simple as starting to dig, and that’s exactly what I did. I picked out the spot, roughed in the shape and started to dig. I took out some rocks, and a few roots but mainly just started to dig. I wanted to go down a little bit further than the maximum depth I wanted to make up for the liner and under-liner material, and I wanted some areas deeper than others, so keep that all in mind as you dig.

Once I got the shape and depth, I dropped in some old carpet pieces to protect the liner from any roots that might try to puncture it, then followed that with the liner. I tried the best I could to make the liner smooth to the kidney shape we dug. The liner overlapped some on the soil and I kept it in place with some rocks around the border.

After this, I filled it up with water, and that was the last time other than topping off here and there I’ve had to add water. It’s mostly now filled by rainwater.

As far as a “natural pond” goes, plants are your filter so choose them carefully. There are plenty of plants that help, but I think looking at actual natural ponds helps to give you an idea what plants grow in your area and which ones help sustain a natural aquatic biome. If you’re lucky you can forage some for yourself and cut the costs.

Another concern was mosquitos, this easily was addressed by adding guppies, mosquito fish, and goldfish. They kept the water moving a bit and actually eat the mosquito larvae.

Simple additions like little solar fountains or sprinklers can help keep the water moving to discourage mosquitos also and help oxygenate the water some.

Lastly, make it your own! Plant around the edges, add solar lights, enjoy larger fish like koi, or just enjoy the natural aquatic pondscape you’ve made and the local plants you’ve foraged.

Here are some progression photos:

It can be as simple or as difficult as you like, but with my creed of simple being better, a natural pond is a fun, creative way to make the most out of your backyard or property and yes, the ducks love it!