Homesteading Tips to Prepare for Winter
When you hear the word “homesteading” you might picture a scene from Little House on the Prairie, but homesteading can actually be very modern. Homesteading is simply a self-sufficient lifestyle – it means living independently instead of being reliant on others for things like food, clothing, and resources. Being a homesteader comes with many benefits but it is a challenging life to maintain – especially during the winter. Keep reading to receive some practical winter preparation tips for homesteaders.
Garden Preparation Tips for Winter
When the weather starts to turn cold and the days get shorter, it means the end of the harvest season. Rather than just letting your garden go to weeds, you should do a little bit of clean-up work to prepare your garden for spring.
Taking the time to remove weeds now will mean less work in the spring. If you have perennials that you want to preserve, cut them back to allow for new growth in the spring and give them a little fertilizer to keep them going over the winter. Rake up the fallen leaves and either add them to your compost pile or use them as mulch to cover your garden for winter.
Winterizing Tips for the Home
As a homesteader, you probably make every effort to minimize your energy usage. In the winter, you also need to worry about your energy loss – you don’t want your precious heat to go to waste! Remove and replace dried out caulking around your windows and doors then cover your window with plastic film as an extra layer of protection against the cold.
Give your heaters a good cleaning and a tune-up, if needed, to make sure that they will last all winter long. If you have a wood-burning stove or a pellet stove, make sure you have plenty of wood and pellets on hand. You may also want to have someone come out and check your roof to make sure it will hold up against another snowy winter.
Winter Preparation Tips for Livestock
If you raise livestock, you will have to prepare them for winter as well. For chickens, give the coop a good cleaning and make sure that it is sealed against drafts – you also need to make sure that there are no holes in the fencing where a hungry predator could get in.
If you keep cows, goats, or other livestock you want to make sure that they are vaccinated and dewormed so they are in the best health possible for the impending winter weather. Make sure that you have plenty of hay and feed on hand and that it is stored properly to keep it fresh over the winter. If you keep your livestock outdoors or in a barn, you may need to invest in a water trough heater to keep the water from freezing.
Homesteading is a very rewarding lifestyle but it can also be very challenging. If you want to remain self-sufficient over the winter you will need to make some preparations to keep your livestock, your home, and your family warm and well over the winter months.