Winter on the homestead is a little more complex than winter in the city. We aren’t just caring for ourselves and our homes, but we have another whole section of life to manage.
From the livestock, to the barn, to the garden… everything has to be prepped to survive the cold or we lose time, money, and possibly lives. There are some winter homestead essentials that I find very important to cold-weather survival and I would like to share them with you.
Preparing for Winter on the Homestead
If you are an off-grid homesteader, you have some extra chores in addition to what this grid-loving homesteader has to complete. I love reading about brave people, like Jim Beaty, who abandon the grid for a truly back-to-our-roots lifestyle, but I haven’t taken that leap just yet.
Winter Homestead Essentials
**Each homestead is different and, therefore, will require different supplies/equipment for the winter.
Food Preservation & Preparation
Bountiful Spring and Summer gardens often produce more food than can be eaten in a seasons-time.
There are some basic tools to keep on your homestead that will allow you to preserve, store, and prepare your fruits, veggies, and meat throughout the winter.
- Water-Bath Canner– a water bath canner can be used to preserve high acidity (low pH) foods like tomatoes.
- Pressure Cooker Canner– a pressure canner should be used to preserve lower acidity (high pH) foods like green beans.
- Food Dehydrator– Use a dehydrator to preserve meat, powder, milk, make fruit leather, and more!
- Solar Oven– A solar oven can be used to cook & dehydrate food as well as boil & purify water even on the coldest days as long as there is sunlight.
- Root Cellar or Pantry– You will want to have extra food stored in a cellar or pantry for use during winter emergencies.
- Heat Source– You need a heat source for cooking and for heating your home. If you don’t have electricity or gas, this probably means that you need to stock up on firewood. It is a good idea to have some firewood on hand for emergencies even if you use electric or gas heat.
Winter Homestead Livestock Essentials
- Winterize Beehives
- Warming Livestock Treats:
- Fodder System– Growing fodder is a great way to keep feeding your animals fresh greens throughout the winter. Grab some fodder trays and seeds to get started!
- Tank Heater– A submergible stock tank heater works great to keep your livestock waterers from freezings which, in turn, keeps you from needing to bust ice each day.
Winter Homestead Garden Essentials
- Prep Back to Eden Garden– Make sure that you are caring for your garden area through the winter so that you will be ready to plant in the spring.
- Frost Cover– Use a frost cover/shade cloth/row cover to protect your cold weather garden from the elements.
Winter Homestead Emergency Supplies
- Vet First Aid Kit– If you live 30+ minutes from the nearest town/vet, then you NEED an emergency kit. You should really have one on hand even if you live next door to your vet. It is much better to have wound spray and medications in the barn than to have to make a trip to the store every time your animals are wounded or sick.
- Waterproof Flashlights– don’t forget the batteries!
- Emergency Candles– Buy several candles to keep on hand in case your power goes out. In a pinch, you can even burn a stick of butter, a crayon, an orange peel, or vaseline!
- Water Filtration System
- Generator– If your homestead is like mine and does use electricity, you will want to have a generator on handing case of a power outage.
Personal Winter Homestead Essentials
- Insulated Bib Overalls– I love these Carhartt insulated overalls! They keep me warm and help keep my jeans (or pj pants) clean while I’m doing winter farm chorses.
- Heavy Duty Coat
- Insulated Chore Boots
- Insulated & Waterproof Gloves
- Supplements– I COULD NOT keep up with all of my responsibilities as a mom, a business owner, and a homesteader if I still felt like I did last year. I highly recommend finding supplements that work for you to keep you on top of your game. I currently use a mix of probiotics, magnesium, and homemade elderberry syrup.
>More Homesteading Resources<<
- 70+ Homesteading Essentials for Self-Sufficiency
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- The Homestead Management Binder