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Preparing yourself for the long winter months takes time on the homestead, so we are doing it now before we get colder weather. Here are some tips for preparing the homestead.

Winter comes often quickly and with a fight in it ready to stay for a long period of time. The Farmer's Almanac says two different things if you talk to more than one farmer. Were either going to have a cold winter with lots of snow or a warm winter with no snow. So I can't go by the Farmer's Almanac.

So I begin to prepare now with the belief that winter will be harsh, cold and lots of snow. That way were well prepared.

- Have lots of lights, be it oil lamps, flash lights, camping lights. You never know when the electricity will go out. Have matches where you can get them in a moments notice.

- pick up extra quilts/sleep bags when they go on sale. We always have extras and I made quilts so each of the kids have 2 quilts. All I need now is to make an extra quilt for us rather than giving them away.

- look at your windows and doors. Are they air tight so has not to let the drafts in. We just got our new windows and doors so were okay there, but will need to look at our basement and see where the drafts are. Make sure you've taken care of that before the winter comes!! If you have to, cover your windows with plastic. It helps cut down the heat bill.

- begin now to climatize yourself for the colder weather. We wait until the very last moment to turn on our furnace. We start adding extra clothes now and get use to having a cooler house. Also since we've cut back on our thermostat, everyone of us has been without colds throughout the winter months. Were far healthier than we were when we had our heat at 72 degrees or higher.

- put out your Christmas lights if you plan on using them. There is nothing worse than putting them out when its cold and windy.

- finish your garden up. Look at plants in your flower beds that need care for the winter months. I always protect my roses with leaves and I've never lost one yet. Pull out old plants that have died or been hit by frost. Cover up annuals that might need protecting.

- rotill or dig up the garden, putting the compost you've made over the summer months on it and then til it all up. Makes for a more lush garden in the spring.

- If you use weed and feed, do it now. I don't because we don't use any chemicals, but if you do then plan on doing it soon.

- empty the rain barrels. We just did that this morning so that if we get a early and hard frost, the water doesn't freeze and crack the barrels. Store them until next spring.

- look at your strawberry plants. Will they need covering. Here they do so I'll cover them with leaves. Also look at raspberry plants and see if any old ones need to be cut back. Check your fruit trees, are they healthy. If not, trim them or get rid of them before they spread the disease to other fruit trees.

- begin preparing your winter clothing. I always wash everything fresh and hang out on the line. I wash all our blankets and hang out also so that they are fresh for the fall/winter months. Do you have your hats, mitts, scarves and winter boots that you'll need. Its a disaster if you wait too long and go to get them and can't find the size you need. Ask me how I know this one.

- make sure you have a good supply of emergency items, band aids, aspirin, rubbing alcohol and the likes. You never know when you'll need them in an emergency and you might not be able to get out, weather permitting.

- also make sure your pantry is stocked at least for a couple of weeks. We were snowed in once in the city we lived in for 4 days. We couldn't get out until the roads were plowed. We had lots of groceries so were fine and helped the neighbours also.

- if you have a snow blower, make sure its been checked and ready to go. Have a supply of gas on hand for it.

Hope this helps prepare the homestead. I'll probably think of more later and add. If you have any suggestions, add them here.
 

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VERY good post, cj.
Thanks for the reminders. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Here are some more:

- is your car ready. Do you have the proper mix of anti-freeze for the long winter months. Have you checked your windshield washing fluid. Make sure it isn't the bug washer but the proper washing fluid for cold weather. Check your tires also. Do you have an emergency kit in your car (should at all times anyways) but especially in the winter.

- check all your gardening tools. Make sure they are clean, oiled and hung up.

- if you have a window a/c, now is the time to take it out and put away. Check out the back to make sure there are no bugs, etc from being on the outside. If you have central air, do you need to cover your a/c up.

Will probably remember more later!!
 

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How about any medication that you may need--prescriptions and such. Thanks for the information :) :)
 

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Thanks CJ for this great list! I have been thinking of everything that I may need, if we get our homestead! My stockpile is pretty good, but I do need to get more things ready.
 

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Im stuck in the city at the moment .But we hope to move in January. So I am prepairing  here.I grew up in the country so it was common sense for me. My dh is a city boy so he gets shocks sometimes. lol A friends sons brought me a deer last year and I dressed it out myself.  My hubby was stunned lol I think he rescepts me more now after seeing me skin the deer lol lol

We had a store go out of business close by. So everything was 70 % off. I really stocked up. My freezer is filled to the top. i need to find another one.I have about 100 pounds of flour,sugar,corn meal,and baking powder in the freezer. I got 100 pounds of potatoes hanging from the rafters in the basement.

I have collected 25 oil lamps And more candles than I can count. We are "practicing " now. Every night at 10 Light out here. If you want light you must use a lamp or candle.

I have been getting all the winter things washed and mended. I had a bunch of thin blankets  so I sew two of them together to make a thincker one. So that will be good for winter.

oops just looked up went on and on again. sorry

 
 

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I never lived where we had a lot of snow, but I remember making preparations for winter. I lived in a very old, drafty trailer, so I had to put up plastic on all the windows, make sure I had lots of jugs to store water ready in case of a freeze where the pump would be frozen, get the kerosene heater cleaned and in shape, get a couple of cords of wood for the fireplace, and all that other stuff that goes with living in the country. I miss the country, but not all that cold weather.

Down here, winter is our growing season, and we grow our veggies, then store them in case of hurricanes. I can't wait to start planting. Some people have already started. I need to get my ducks in a row and get my garden plot treated for ants, and dug up.
 

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:bump:
:thud:WINTER!!!!
oh heavens I haven't gotten over the shock of the grocery price hikes.
Geez...WINTER?

Ok well I am working on another quilt.

Dh has brought down from the ridge a good amount of wood but probably not enough. Next week when ds is here from Philly we'll put him to work on thqt project..

Do need to bleach out our 55 gal drums and refill them. Stockpile is fine and have about 5 months of prescriptions.

Dh is getting a roll of plastic this week for the windows.

Winter clothes are always put away darned and quilts need to be pulled out and freshened.

Candles, oil lamps, battery operated and wind up radios, falshlights and tv are ready to go. matches and lighters are plentiful. Dh even has a flint and steel...Watched him use that one day showing me how to make a fire. RIGHT...That;s another story in itself.

Emergency kit is always in the truck. Including blanket and water.

We do need to get insulation for the pipes under the house in the crawl space.

A case of oil is in the truck. Diesel is ready for the tractor in case we have to dig out. The welder is full of gas in case we need it or the truck.
 
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