It’s the end of November here in western Pennsylvania. That means it’s time to really buckle down and get the homestead ready for winter. I want to share with y’all what we do to winterize our homestead. I’ve even added a Winter Homesteader Checklist below that you can print!
Winter Homestead Checklist
Because we never know when winter will really set in, we always try to begin our winter preparations outside. Let’s dive into my Winter Homestead Checklist!
- Cull Animals/Butcher/Process– If we have any animals (meat chickens, old laying hens, turkeys, ducks, pigs, cows, etc.) that are needing slaughtered, then this is the time to do so. Read more on raising chickens here and butchering chickens here.
- Animal Food Stock– We make sure to have 2-3 months worth of food for every animal we winter. I guess that’s the prepper in me… I want plenty of food to get us through in case it’s really cold or nasty out. It’s important to store that food in a rodent proof container.
- Animal Shelter & Heat-
- Animal Water- try to find waters that are going to function long term. We actually use heated dog water bowls from Tractor Supply all year round for our grown chickens.
- Clean Up Flower Beds- Cut off dead plants at the bases and compost the waste. Make sure to get as many leaves cleaned up as possible (less you have to do come spring). And plant any bulbs now. Try to plant perennials only so you don’t have to plant year after year after year.
- Clean Up Garden- Similar to the flower beds, cut off or pull up dead plants and compost the waste. Plant garlic bulbs now. Harvest any herbs for drying or using fresh before the frost. Add any ready compost to the garden.
- Check/Prune Orchard & Berries- We have 5 fruit trees, about 20 blueberry bushes, 8 grape vines, and some wild elderberry bushes. I make sure to do any pruning of established trees, vines, and bushes and planting of new trees, vines, or bushes now.
- Winterize Equipment:
- Wash Equipment- Thoroughly wash all equipment: lawn mowers, weed eaters, etc.
- Grease Equipment- Thoroughly grease all equipment: lawn mowers, weed eaters, etc.
- Maintenance Equipment- Thoroughly maintain all equipment: lawn mowers, weed eaters, etc. Change oil, do any repairs, etc.
- Put Away Equipment- Pretty self explanatory… put your stuff away where it belongs for the winter! (I always tell my kids… everything you own has a HOME! put it there!)
- Get Plows & Shovels Ready- Winter’s coming! We make sure to have a broom and a shovel near the porch and that the plows are in good running repair, somewhere easily accessible.
Let’s head inside now for some more winter homestead prep!
- Heating Fuel- We heat our home with propane, so we must make sure our propane tank is filled before winter sets in.
- Clean Heater, Chimney & Filters- Make sure to properly clean and maintain your furnace, chimney, wood/coal/pellet stove, etc. If you are not sure how, look up a reputable HVAC company in your area.
- Back Up Heat Source- We also installed a blue flame heated in our living room and we have another for in our basement- had we lose power for extended periods of time, we have those two heaters that work without electricity and can provide some kind of warmth in our home.
- Extra Insulation- If your home needs extra insulation to hold your home’s heat in, then now is the time to add it!
- Winterize Windows- Our windows could be better, so I hung thick curtains on most of the windows. These curtains act as a barrier for the colds coming off the glass.
- Deep Clean House- Most people believe in spring cleaning. I definitely do, too. But I also believe in fall cleaning. Yep. I deep clean and organic spring and fall. This means I do jobs that I don’t do on my normal cleaning days: clean windows, wash curtains, scrub walls, change smoke alarm batteries, clean vents, etc.
- Prep for Power Outage- Finally, make sure you have things handy in case power does go out and you are without heat or water.
- Have several gallons of water on hand PER PERSON.
- Have several lanterns and flashlights and extra batteries.
- Get solar if you can that will also charge phones.
- Also, have lots of blankets on hand.
- Keep games, crosswords, word searches, puzzles, coloring book, crayons, crochet items, books, etc. on hand to pass the time.
- And make sure to have stuff to eat that you can open and actually cook! Your frozen pizzas won’t help you if you can’t use your oven!!!!
There we have it!
Did you enjoy my Winter Homestead Checklist? Is there anything you’d add or do differently on your homestead? Tell me in the comments!
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Happy Homesteading! (:
P.S. have any thoughts or questions? Tell me all the things in the comments! Also, you can contact me if you’d love to collab!