It’s that time of year once again. Our busy summer season has come to a close. The garden and greenhouse have been harvested, and the harvest has been preserved for the coming winter. The freezer is full of salmon and farm fresh pork. Food wise, we’re ready. Now it’s time to prepare work on winterizing the homestead.
Most of the leaves have turned orange and red and have fallen already. The trees are looking bare. Soon the snow will be here and everything will be covered in that white blanket. Every home has a different to-do list before winter comes. Around here, it’s a lot of finishing summer chores and getting the property cleaned up.
The garden hoses have been drained and hung. We don’t want any water in them to freeze and cause the hoses to break.
The chicken run has been partially covered with extra metal roofing scraps. The girls will appreciate a snow free area to still enjoy the outdoors this winter. A basic light bulb has been set up in the coop. This will not only encourage laying all winter long, but it also gives off just enough heat to protect the girl from freezing their toes off. If (when) it gets extremely cold this winter, a heat light will replace it.
The girls are ready for snow!
The garden has been cleaned up. The pea vines and left over kale and lettuce have been fed to the chickens to give them something to green to munch on. We weren’t able to get all the lettuce and kale pulled before our first couple frosts, and the chickens seem to appreciate it. The tomato cages and trellises have been pulled up and stored in the greenhouse. Planters and pots that were filled with flowers have been cleaned up from all around the property and stowed away in there too.
The lawn furniture has also been stored in the greenhouse to keep it out of the harsh elements for the next six months. The firepit has been emptied and placed upside down under the porch to keep it from filling with snow and rusting out.
We’re still working on getting all of the firewood split and stacked. A tarp has been placed over the non-split wood as a precaution until we get it all taken care of.
Dog toys have been cleaned up out of the yard and stored under the porch. Granted, this only lasts so long as our pups are just like little kids. Clean up their room and it’s like discovered whole new toys to play with! The old straw will be pulled out of the doghouse and replaced with a couple of nice clean bundles. Not only will this give our pups a nice warm place to curl up when their outside, it makes them smell like fresh hay whenever they come in the house (beats that “wet dog smell” any day!)
Tools from the garden and projects have been gathered up and put away. This is a great time to look over your tools and fix or replace broken or damaged parts and clean up the intact tools. Don’t forget to sharped those tools that need it too! Starting off your next busy season with sharp tools is like doing chores with brand new ones and will make the spring to-do list go by faster. (This is also a good time to return any tools you come across that you borrowed and forgot to return.)
Scrap lumber from our many projects has been gathered and the scrap lumber pile organized just a little better. Since there’s always building projects that need to happen on the homestead, we hang on to every scrap piece of wood we can. We built our firewood shed for free using pieces from our scrap pile! Small pieces of wood that are not treated lumber or haven’t been painted get split into kindling for the woodstove.
Our baby apple trees now have cages over them. We weren’t able to get a fence up before the ground started freezing up, so we’ve got to protect them from the moose this winter somehow. I also took the time to walk our existing fence and be sure to fix any potential problem areas.
Here’s to dreams of future apples!
The snowplow will be getting installed on the four-wheeler soon. This is going to make keeping the driveway cleared so much easier this year! The snow shovels have been pulled out of the back of the shed and hung in our carport for easy access when we have to shovel the deck and walkways.
We’ll be taking a brush to our stovepipe soon. It’s always nice to start off the winter with a clean woodstove and pipe. No chimney fires at our house!
We’ve gone ahead and winterized our car while we were at it. The bald tires (they were really bad) are gone, and nice new winter tires will help us stay on the icy roads. We also keep a small snow shovel, window scraper and brush, and blanket in the car too, just in case. I remember many a times growing up being very grateful for a blanket in the car on those cold morning drives to school! Adding a full emergency kit to your car is always a good idea, no matter what the season is.
Fall on the Knik Glacier
I’m sure I’ve forgotten something. It always seems to happen. Do you have to winterize your home? What are your best tips for winterizing your homestead?
Taken tonight. Snowing on the tops of the mountains at sunset. We’re supposed to get it down here tonight too!