What can you get for 3 hours and $274 at Menards? About half the things you need for your new urban homesteading projects!
Not shown here are the big purchases that stayed in the garage – some lumber, roofing shingles, and four rolls (!) of hardware cloth. We have not yet purchased the majority of the lumber needed for the coop; that will definitely be another several hundred dollars and at least one more big trip.
A Quick Note on Hardware Cloth
For newbies like me, hardware cloth is nothing like it sounds. It’s a kind of wire fencing with small, strong square holes in it. Despite the name, ‘chicken wire’ is not safe for your chickens! Larger animals can tear it down easily, and smaller animals can chew or squeeze right through it. 1/4″ or 1/2″ hardware cloth is essential for your run and windows. (The chicken run is the area that allows them to be out of the coop, on the ground. Sometimes this is a separate moveable structure, often called a ‘chicken tractor’, but more often it is referring to the area attached to your actual coop.)
Urban Homesteading Projects
So let’s talk about what I’m doing with all of this! I have about half a dozen “urban homestead” projects that I would like to complete this year, and hopefully help you get started on as well. Maybe with the exception of the chicken coop, these are all fairly easy projects for beginners, and well-suited for people without acres of land available to them. I highly recommend the book The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency for anyone looking to get started in their backyard. It’s a great all-in-one reference for many of these projects, breaking them down into simple steps so you can complete one at a time. My project goals include:
– Raising chicks (we plan to get them mid-April)
– Growing and hopefully canning some home-grown vegetables