Six Ways to Enjoy Your New Land
If you've moved to the country, it's likely you now have more land than you've ever had before. What should you do with all of those wide, open spaces? Here are a few fun ideas to get you started. You might even be able to make extra money with some of them as an added bonus.
Plant a huge garden. People will tell you this is their favorite part of rural living! You can now grow your own Cobb salad! And more. Don't worry if you've never gardened before. There are plenty of books and articles on gardening for newbies, including our guide for novice gardeners. In it, you'll find resources for the best way to grow vegetables by type, which is handy. Also check out our blog, "Canning 101" [[link when live]] for the 411 on how to preserve all of those vegetables.
Cut trails through your woods. If you've got wooded land, you can have your very own trails, just like in a national park. In the spring, summer and fall, you can use them for hiking. In the winter, groom them for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. There's no wrong way to do it, and the point is to get outside and use the land for fun and exercise.
DIY your own outdoor movie theater. Have you seen how some parks in the city create a theater on summer nights with blow-up, portable screens? This is the same concept. Building your own outdoor theater is much easier than you think, according to the New York Times.[ii] All you need is a projector, a screen (hint: the side of your barn or house will do just fine), a media player and speakers. Extension cords will come in very handy, as will some lawn chairs and bug spray. Then sit back, grab some popcorn and enjoy making memories.
Keep bees (and sell the honey). Beekeeping is having a moment right now, with people everywhere from the cities, burbs and country alike raising bees. They're good for the environment, and local honey is beneficial for you.[iii] You'll need the proper clothing and gear, some hives and a tutorial on how to collect honey. It might be best, as you're starting, to check around the area to see if there are any experienced beekeepers who can show you the ropes. Some companies, like Bare Honey[iv] in Minneapolis and Capital Bee Supply near Madison, Wisconsin, offer beekeeping mentorships for newbies.
Raise goats (and sell the cheese). You see where we're going with this. You could have "Happy Farmer Honey" and "Happy Farmer Goat Cheese" (or whatever you call your property) and pretty soon you've built a brand of locally sourced, farm-to-table items.
Create your own 100-Acre Wood for your kids. Now, just like Christopher Robin in the beloved “Winnie the Pooh” books, your kids can explore their own magical world. Build a treehouse, a fairy house, a hidden den by a stream, anything your land can lend itself to and your creativity inspires, and let your kids' imaginations come to life.
Whatever you do with your newfound property, it's about getting outside and enjoying your land.
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