Getting the Homestead Ready for the Winter

Days are getting shorter and nights are getting colder. Are you and your homestead ready for the changing season? Here are a few tips on getting ready for the winter so that you don’t get caught out in the cold.

Preparing the Home
The first preparation should be firewood. If you don’t already have a nice big pile of wood cut and dry, then you are going to go buy a cord of wood or have it delivered. Locate gaps and cracks that will cause drafts, fill them with caulk or foam to help insulate your home. If your home is large your fuel demands are going to be high, to help conserve your fuel close off unnecessary rooms to concentrate the heat. Give it a good cleaning and out the mouse traps because your home is about to look much more inviting than it did in the summer.
Preparing the Garden
As your crops finish up, prepare each bed that is done for the winter. Add compost and a thick layer of mulch to insulate the ground and provide food for the organisms that keep your soil healthy. Take some compost and soil inside where it won’t freeze if you plan on doing some indoor early spring planting.
Preparing Animals
Make sure that your animals have a warm place to sleep. If it snows in area, make sure that the structure will stand up to a layer of snow on the roof. If you have pigs, or chickens that are older and unproductive layers, now is a good time to start butchering them since it will save you feed costs and the meat will be easier to process in the cold weather. Make sure they have lots of straw on the ground, and consider leaving in their manure since the decomposition will give off heat.

Winter is inevitable, and it’s not too far off. Prepare now so that you can enjoy it instead of suffering through it.

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