Winter Homesteading Activities

Winter Homesteading Activities – What Homesteaders Do During the Colder Months

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We all know that homesteading during the spring, summer, and fall months is busy! There are gardens to plant and harvest, new animals to care for, property to maintain, food to preserve, and so much more. But what happens when the chilly winter winds begin to blow and everything slows down? Here are 15 winter homesteading activities to keep you busy and productive during the colder months.

Winter homesteading activities

1. Plan the garden

Sit down at the table and take some time to plan out your garden for the next season. Consider what worked well last year and what didn’t. What plants do you want more of, and what should you leave out this year?

Look through seed catalogs, do any research or learning you’d like to, and think through any updates that your garden may need. Do you need new infrastructure to keep deer out? Is there anything you can change in order to implement better weed control?

The slower, winter months are a great time to sit down and think. Then, make lists for what you need to purchase and what tasks need to be done in the garden (add dates if you really want to feel organized!).

2. Start seeds

Once you have your garden planned and seeds bought, you can start planting any seeds that need to be started indoors. Just make sure that you don’t get too excited and start them too early. Most seeds should be started approximately 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost.

Check out this helpful, free tool to find the approximate frost dates in your area.

3. Hone in on your cooking skills

So much of homesteading happens in the kitchen. Yet, in the summer, there’s so much to cook and preserve that kitchen work often gets simplified.

When life is slower in the winter, it’s the perfect time to learn new recipes and find new kitchen hacks that will ultimately make your life easier during the busy months.

4. Learn about/make natural remedies

Most homesteaders value a more holistic lifestyle, which can affect everything from food to education to medicine.

If you prefer to avoid conventional medications, taking time to make your own natural remedies and learn how to use them can be incredibly beneficial. You can even use your own homegrown herbs to make teas, tonics, syrups, juices, and more.

5. Create: sew, crochet, knit, or weave

Creating with yarn and fabric is certainly one of the coziest winter homesteading activities. There’s nothing like curling up by a roaring fire on a winter night with a cup of tea and a project. Spend the dark evenings snuggled up making projects that will benefit your family and make your home a more welcoming place to be.

From rugs to dresses to washcloths to blankets and so much more, there’s no end to the practical pieces that you can make (or repair) with your own two hands and a few basic tools.

6. Make candles

Candles are another practical and beautiful craft that’s perfect for productively passing time in the winter. When you make your own candles, you can not only choose your favorite scents, but also control what products you’ll be burning in your home. All you need is wax, a wick, and a container.

(If you have your own bees, try making beeswax candles!)

7. Clean and purge the house

When spring arrives, you won’t want to be stuck inside cleaning the house. Since you’re spending more time indoors during the winter anyway, use the time wisely to deep clean your house. Go through your clothes, kids’ toys, kitchen tools, basement, and closets and get rid of anything that you don’t use regularly.

During the busy times on the homestead, life operates much more smoothly when the home is clean and organized.

8. Chop firewood for next year

Winter is a great time to chop firewood. Not only will you keep warm while burning the wood, but you’ll also get warm while cutting it.

After a winter storm, it’s a great time to drive around the block and look for any trees that have fallen and might be good for burning. Don’t be afraid to knock on a neighbor’s door and ask if they’d like you to clear a tree for them. They’ll probably say yes, and you’ll get some free firewood.

9. Make soap and other homemade cleaning products

If you’re trying to lower the amount of toxins in your home, making your own homemade cleaning products is a great place to start. It’s easy to make your own laundry soap, stain remover, surface cleaner, and even toilet bowl cleaner.

Or, try your hand at soap making!

10. Stock up on freezer meals

While you’re improving your kitchen skills, make some extras and stock your freezer. Lasagnas, soups, and casseroles are all good options for freezing for later.

On busy days, you’ll thank yourself when you can simply pull a meal out of the freezer and heat it up.

11. Learn

Remember all of those ideas you had in the summer that you wish you knew more about? Sit down and make a list. Then, find some good podcasts, videos, or books and increase your knowledge! The winter months are an excellent time to learn so that you can implement new strategies and ideas when the time is right.

12. Administrative business tasks

If you run a small business through your homestead, catch up on anything you can during the colder months. Revamp your website, create online content, organize your receipts, re-work your pricing sheets, and plan dates for next year’s events. Whatever tasks your business requires, see what you can get ahead on during the winter months.

You’ll be glad when you can jump into getting your hands dirty next spring and spend less time at a desk.

13. Regular tasks

Of course, there are plenty of regular tasks that continue all year long. No matter how cold it is, animals still need to be fed and cared for, meals still need to be cooked, and the home and kids still need to be tended. No matter the time of year, the work never really stops on the homestead.

14. Set goals

Take some time to reflect on your year. What went well? Where could you improve? What do you hope to accomplish next year? In 5 years? In 10 years?

Sit down and make a list of your goals and when you hope they’ll be achieved. Then, list the steps that are necessary in order to get there. If applicable, do this exercise with your spouse or even your entire family.

15. Rest and enjoy the slower months!

Lastly, sit back and relax! Savor the seasons. We all benefit from having a rhythm, and this includes times in life that are busier and times that are slower. Take time in the winter to enjoy the beauty around you, relax with your family, create, and maybe even get some extra sleep.

Enjoy the winter homesteading activities, but enjoy some rest, too!

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