What Should I Do?

Soil Sample

Testing Your Soil for a Pond Site

Understanding your soil before you build
Friday, September 19, 2014, 3:57 PM

If you are planning to build a compacted pond without a liner, it is a good idea to test the soil to determine the clay content. The clay content will tell you whether or not the existing soil can be compacted. If you have clay content of 30% or higher, you can be pretty confident that with proper compaction, your pond will seal. » Read more

What Should I Do?

Shutterstock: Country Pond

Pond Planning

Steps for constructing a pond
Tuesday, July 22, 2014, 11:47 AM

There is a lot to consider when planning for your pond installation. It is a good idea to thoroughly plan you pond installation prior to the machines arriving. I personally like to measure, get the levels, and paint the site to see for myself what the pond will look like. Often times a design on paper doesn’t survive this process. You will often find that the pond will be different in real life than you were thinking it would be on paper. » Read more

Daily Prep

Cordwood Sheds and Cabins

Inspiration for building differently
Monday, June 17, 2013, 5:04 PM

A great set of examples of simple coodwood construction and how you can use a natural resource to build a well insulated structure.

What Should I Do?

Building a Cattle Panel Pallet Greenhouse

9' x 12.5' DIY greenhouse for under $300
Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 5:43 PM

As any experienced gardener will tell you, having a greenhouse can be an invaluable tool in the food-growing toolbox.  Having a greenhouse at one's disposal opens up many different growing possibilities and can be a huge season extender in areas where the number of good growing days is limited.  Greenhouses make it easier to get new seedlings started and help to protect plants from spring and fall frosts.  They are a wonderful addition to any resilient garden space. But they can be expensive to put in, and there are many things to consider before getting one set up. Check out the WSID articles on Selecting a Greenhouse and Winter Gardening to get a better idea of the styles and options available.

We put a lot of thought and planning into the design and construction of our DIY greenhouse.  With cost being one of the number-one constraints for this project, we did a lot of web surfing and idea gathering. Our research gave us inspiration for materials, styles, and what the end result should be.  We found projects that people had built for under $50.  At that price, we could build three or four and still be under budget.  But we didn't think they would last more that one season or that we would find our greenhouse plastic in the next county after a spring storm.  Then there were far fancier and much more well-built ones, but our experiences with major construction and the added cost kept us from these higher-end designs.  So we used what we had on hand... » Read more

Daily Prep

How to tell if a pallet is safe to re-use

Understanding pallet construction and materials for DIY proj
Thursday, April 11, 2013, 5:18 PM

When working with used pallets, it is important to determine how they were manufactured and built to avoid the toxins used in chemically treating the wood of the pallet.  Here is a great summary of some of the things to look for when picking up free pallets for your next DIY project.

Daily Prep

Youtube Screen Capture:

Pond Construction Video

Tilt-shift time-lapse shows construction of a man-made pond
Monday, April 8, 2013, 12:30 PM

An amazing video clip that illustrates the amount of energy and effort it takes to build a man-made pond.  As Joel Salatin mentions in our previous podcast with him, the building of ponds are one solution to mitigating drought conditions and hydrating the landscape of sustainable family farms.

Daily Prep

Alone in the Wilderness

An inspirational movie of resilience and living with less
Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 10:07 PM

I had the pleasure of watching Alone in the Wilderness this weekend and thought it would be a good addition to the DailyPrep section.  I think the words "Awesome" and "Wonderful" were used many times amongst the family while watching.  Here is a short clip from youtube to bring a smile to you face.

Get Alone in the Wilderness on Amazon. Learn more about Dick Proenneke here.