21 Useful Backyard Build Projects For Your Homestead

On This Episode of The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Harold and Rachel Talk About 21 Useful Backyard Build Projects For Your Homestead.

The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Episode 184 – January 19, 2023

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21 Useful Backyard Build Projects for Your Homestead


Welcome to the Modern Homesteading Podcast with hosts Harold Thornbro and Rachel Jamison. In this episode, we dive into 21 practical and enjoyable build projects for homesteaders. Whether you’re an urban dweller with limited space or have acres to experiment with, these projects cater to a diverse range of homesteading aspirations.

Essential Homestead Builds

Solar Dehydrator

A must-have for preserving your garden’s bounty, a solar dehydrator is an energy-efficient way to dry fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Garden Vegetable Wash Station

An outdoor wash station is perfect for cleaning garden produce. It helps keep the mess outside and reduces kitchen clutter.

Trellises and Vertical Gardens

Maximize your growing space and add aesthetic appeal with various trellis designs, ideal for climbing plants like beans, peas, and decorative vines.

Outdoor Kitchen

Create a functional and enjoyable outdoor cooking space. Options range from simple grill setups to elaborate kitchens with stoves and countertops.

Compost Sifter

Facilitate your composting process with a homemade sifter, helping you separate fine compost from larger, undecomposed materials.

Greenhouse and Mini Tunnels

Extend your growing season and protect your plants with a DIY greenhouse or mini tunnels. They’re great for seedlings and sensitive plants.

Outdoor Shower and Foot Washing Station

Ideal for rinsing off after gardening or a day at the beach, these stations are both practical and refreshing.

Solar Water Heater

Harness the power of the sun to heat water, reducing energy bills and providing an eco-friendly solution for your homesteading needs.

Bird, Bat, and Bee Houses

Encourage beneficial wildlife on your property with houses for birds, bats, and bees. They aid in pollination and insect control.

Rain Barrels and Water Catchment Systems

Collect and store rainwater for garden irrigation, an essential practice for sustainable homesteading, especially in areas with water scarcity.

Wicking Beds

Efficient and water-saving, wicking beds are perfect for arid climates or gardeners seeking to reduce their watering chores.

Potting Bench

A dedicated space for potting plants, starting seeds, and organizing gardening tools, making your gardening tasks more organized and enjoyable.

Fire Pit

Create a cozy gathering spot with a fire pit, perfect for socializing, cooking, or simply enjoying a peaceful evening outdoors.

Aquaponics System

Combine fish farming with hydroponics in an aquaponics system, a sustainable and innovative way to grow food.

Backyard Pond

A serene addition to any homestead, a pond can be a habitat for wildlife, a source of water, and a beautiful focal point for your garden.

Rain Chain

An aesthetic alternative to downspouts, rain chains guide rainwater from gutters in a visually pleasing manner while reducing soil erosion.

Homestead Enhancements

Outdoor Fireplace

Enhance your outdoor living space with a fireplace, perfect for cooking, warmth, and ambiance.

Solar Oven

Cook your food using the sun’s energy with a solar oven, an eco-friendly and fun way to prepare meals outdoors.

Compost Bin

Build a compost bin to turn kitchen scraps and yard waste into nutrient-rich compost for your garden.

Concrete Fire Pits

Add a touch of elegance with a concrete fire pit, offering a durable and stylish way to enjoy outdoor fires.

Bat Houses

Encourage natural pest control by providing a home for bats, nature’s insect control experts.


These 21 backyard build projects are more than just functional; they enhance the quality of life on your homestead. By implementing these ideas, you can create a more productive, sustainable, and enjoyable living space. Remember, homesteading is not just about self-sufficiency; it’s about creating a lifestyle that brings joy and fulfillment.

Link Resources List For These 21 Useful Backyard Build Projects For Your Homestead

  1. Solar Dehydrator 
    1. https://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/solar-food-dehydrator-plans-zm0z14jjzmar/ 
    2. https://extension.usu.edu/sustainability/research/community-solar-dehydrator-plans 
  2. Drying rack for onion/garlic 
    1. https://pin.it/6OGas9q
    2. http://minibedsonplastic.blogspot.com/2019/07/introducing-rick-longs-garlic-onion.html?m=1
  3. Cold Smoker
    1. https://www.luckybelly.com/diy-cold-smoker/ 
  4. Garden Vegetable Wash Station
    1. https://sowtheland.com/new-products-1/veggie-washing-station-w-sink-plans 
  5. Compost Sifter
    1. How to Make a Soil Sifter 
  6. Trellis
    1. 24 Easy DIY Garden Trellis Ideas & Plant Structures – A Piece of Rainbow
    2. Amazing Vertical Gardening Ideas
    3. Garden Inspiration {Summer, I am ready for you} – Jeanne Oliver
    4. https://redemptionpermaculture.com/how-to-build-a-garden-planter-box-with-a-trellis/
  7. Outdoor Kitchen 
    1. Roundup: 10 DIY Outdoor Kitchen and Cooking Projects – Curbly
  8. Greenhouse, Mini Tunnels, Pyramids
    1. The Deliberate Agrarian Blogazine June 2012
    2. 42 Best DIY Greenhouses ( Great Tutorials & Plans! ) – A Piece of Rainbow
  9. Outdoor Shower
    1. 32 Beautiful & Easy DIY Outdoor Shower Ideas – A Piece of Rainbow,
    2. How to Build a Simple Outdoor Foot Washing Station | Frugal Bon Vivant
  10. Solar Water Heater
    1. DIY “PEX COIL” Solar Water Heater
    2. https://www.thunderbirddisco.com/blog/diy-solar-thermal-water-heater 
  11. Outdoor Fireplace/Cooking 
    1. Portable Outdoor Fireplace – Mother Earth News
    2. How to Build a Brick Rocket Stove (Best DIY Rocket Stove)
    3. How to Build an Earthen Oven– Townsend, YT video
    4. Survival Resources > DIY Solar Oven
    5. How to build an Earthen Oven and Use it the Same Day!
    6. Mud Oven in 24 Hrs – Start to Finish
  12. Compost Bin
    1. Easy Compost bin you can build yourself in one day – The Owner-Builder Network
  13. Planters
    1. $10 Cedar Tiered Flower Planter or Herb Garden | Ana White 
    2. Building a Raised Planter Bed with a Trellis | DIY – Dalla Vita
    3. How to Make a Lettuce Table from Cast Off Furniture | Creative Green Living
  14. Rain Chain
    1. 17 Brilliant Rain Chain Ideas – Garden Lovers Club
  15. Bird, Bat, Bee houses
    1. https://pin.it/4WoIGoZ,  
    2. 37 Free DIY Bat House Plans that Will Attract the Natural Pest Control (and Save Their Lives),   
    3. Build a House for Native Bees – MyGardenLife
  16. Rain Barrels/ Rain Catchment
    1. https://redemptionpermaculture.com/the-why-where-and-how-to-of-rainwater-catchment-systems/ 
  17. Wicking Beds
    1. https://deepgreenpermaculture.com/2016/04/03/wicking-bed-construction-2/ 
  18. Fire Pits
    1. How to Build a Fire Pit,  
    2. Our DIY Fire Pit: The Bases – Houseful of Handmade
    3. Create a Beautiful DIY Concrete Fire Pit for Your Backyard Oasis
  19. Aquaponics System
    1. https://redemptionpermaculture.com/cheap-and-simple-chop-flip-ibc-aquaponics-system/ 
  20. Backyard Pond
    1. https://redemptionpermaculture.com/small-backyard-ponds-advantages-and-dealing-with-potential-problems/ 
  21. Potting Bench
    1. https://ana-white.com/node/73181 

  • Harold’s Pick – Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren

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