Tips to Homesteading

Here are some Homesteading “must haves”

If you are Homesteading you may want to consider these must-haves. When you make the decision to go off the grid and build a family property that allows you to be self sufficient and safe in the event of a crisis or disaster, you need to make sure it meets several requirements in addition to food and water. A good piece of property is first and foremost on the checklist. It should be away from city, but not too far that it becomes an inconvenience to access whenever you need to replenish your supplies. Get a Free PREPARE Subscription here […]

Simple Guide to Store Your Produce To Make It Last

Harvesting and storing our crops is one of the main areas we focus on our homestead.  Obviously, it helps with our self-reliance and sustainability.  Preserving our produce is vital for the ongoing life of our homestead.  I’ve put together some simple tips and suggestions on how to store produce to make it last. Yes, you can preserve your produce by freezing it, canning it, cooking it, pickling it, or even dehydrating it. But sometimes, you just want to keep it around to use up for a few days, weeks, or even months. Let’s talk about what you should store where […]

Some Easy Suggestions to Get Started with Canning

The winter season is upon us so much of the harvest preservation has likely concluded.  But, it’s never too late (or early) to begin planning for the next crop.  Let’s discuss one of the best options for preserving your vegetables, fruits, and even meats. Canning at first glance sounds like one of the most-difficult ways to preserve your harvest food. With freezing, you simply toss food in freezer bags and then store it in your deep freezer.  With dehydrating, you justt place your food in a machine that slowly dries it out.  Both ways have their advantages and disadvantages.  With […]

Building an Easy Hydroponics System

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Here are some simple strategies to Building an Easy Hydroponics System

Hydroponics, simply put, is a method of growing terrestrial plants in water without soil. Terrestrial plants are plants that grow on or in land/soil. Soil traps water so the roots of a plant can absorb the nutrients from the water, such as dissolved oxygen and any plant nutrients placed in the water. Soil also acts as a stabilizer for the plants. You cannot simply throw a seed in a pail of water and expect it to grow; it does need a medium, but that medium does not have to be soil. Plants can be grown anywhere there is light, either artificial or real sunlight.

The Basics

easy Hydroponics


The above-depicted illustration shows the basic concept. You can use a plastic storage container, fish tank, bucket or any container that can hold water. If you are using a plastic storage container the lid can act as a grow tray by cutting holes in the lid that allow plants in a cup, for example, to be suspended above the water where the roots can dangle in the water.

easy hydroponics



The plant tube can also be large diameter PVC piping. It has to be large enough so you can cut holes in the tubing to place the plant holders.

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easy hydroponics




The nutrient pump is simply a small water pump similar to those used in backyard water features; it is a very small pump. An air stone can be used to aerate the water to ensure there is plenty of dissolved oxygen in the water. You can find air stones in any pet store that sells aquariums or you can use just a small water pump to keep the water agitated.

Water bubbles form when water is aerated and those bubbles rise to the surface and collect dissolved oxygen from the air and then deposit that oxygen in the water. Plants absorb water, nutrients and oxygen through their root system.

The pump pushes the water up to the grow tray and then allows it to drain back into the container. If you just use a lid with the plants suspended then the pump would be placed in a separate bucket/container to push water into the container and then have an overflow that allows water to drain back into the bucket to circulate once again through the container.

Easy Hydroponics



As you can see, you are only limited by your imagination when it comes to hydroponics. All you have to ensure is that there is a system for supporting the plants, as well as a steady flow of water across the roots.

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To get started you can purchase seedling cups at any home and garden store or use plastic cups you have around the home. The cups must have ample holes in and around the bottom and at least half way up the sides to allow the roots to grow through to reach the water.


The depicted plant holder is one designed for aquatic plants but is ideal for a hydroponics system. It is not recommended that you use Styrofoam for seedlings or seeds; you can use foam after the plant has developed a substantial root system, to hold the plant in place. Place a hole in the middle of the foam section and then make a slit from the hole to the edge so you can open the foam piece up and slide a plant into the foam‘s center. The foam will support the plant as it grows.

easy hydroponics


Fill the plant holder with expandable clay, perlite, and vermiculite or coconut fiber. Perlite and vermiculite are typically mixed together and used as a growing medium.

easy hydroponic system

From left top across, expandable clay, coconut fiber, left from bottom is perlite and vermiculite






Fill the plant holder with the growing medium and place a seed or seedling in the medium and water immediately. Until the plant’s roots can reach the water, the medium must be kept damp. The above growing mediums retain moisture well, and are available in any home and garden store.

Some people have had luck using fine pea gravel or small river gravel as a growing medium. Sand and other fine materials would slip through the holes in the plant containers. This is not to say that sand cannot be a growing medium but you would have to ensure the sand is somehow contained in the plant container.  Cantaloupe (muskmelon in some parts of the world) and watermelon in some areas of the country and world are routinely grown in fine gravel.

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Lighting and Location

It is recommended that you build your hydroponics system outside if possible. This allows tomato plants to be properly hardened off and allows all of your plants to absorb natural sunlight. However, you may very well want to make your own easy hydroponics system because you cannot grow outside or simply want to grow year around. You can, of course, build your system anywhere such as a basement, garage, sunroom or even a spare bedroom.

Starting an Orchard on your Homestead

We’ve shared often about the benefits and joy of planting fruit trees on your homestead.  Let’s take it a step further and share some thoughts about Starting an Orchard on your Homestead If you have a large amount of land that you have not put to use, you may consider planting an orchard. If you’ve had previous experiences with planting and maintaining trees, that is an added reason why you would be perfect for maintaining an orchard. It might seem like an overwhelming thing to undertake, but it is actually fairly simple. All it takes is some commitment. If you’ve […]
advantages of composting

Major Advantages of Composting

The Dirt Paybacks: Advantages of Composting Composting may literally be viewed as a dirty job. Depending on the type of composting process that you undergo, you may find yourself immersed with dirt and other external elements that other people normally wouldn’t want to get involved with. However, the dirt has its own paybacks, and here are just some of the advantages of composting that you may want to tell your friends if you are to convince them that composting is worth their time as well as yours. It agrees with nature. The very first advantage of composting is that it […]

Tips for Homestead Hydroponics Gardens

In this article, we want to look at some new approaches that homesteaders might want to consider in growing crops.  We want to consider good natural solutions for increasing yields.  Let’s look at some Tips for Homestead Hydroponics Gardens The requirements for plants are the same whether you are growing a garden traditionally or with a hydroponics method.  In hydroponics, the nutrients the plant would get from the soil are replaced by a growing medium that can be purchased at gardening supply stores.   The need for water and light is still just as important though.  Light can come from a […]