Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Preparing the Homestead Property for Winter

Ah yes--preparing for winter.  The animals have to be taken care of. But, so does the property.   This is an area where I'm not quite as on top of things.  I'm still learning a lot about winterizing.  And so hopefully this post will help me remember next year what I should do in the early fall--before freezing temperatures and snow cover the farm!

1.  Take care of the garden. 


This was a big FAIL for me this year.  I didn't really do anything to prepare the ground for spring planting.  Except open the gate to let the chickens and deer in.  They ate a lot.  But there are still plants on the ground.
I spread some rabbit manure/straw mixture around and the chickens kind of scratched it in.  But I didn't till, completely remove any foliage, or do anything else proactive for next year.

I'm not really a gardener (yet) and don't know what to do.  Can someone help me?  Otherwise, I'll be spending lots of time on Google this winter, trying to figure out what can be done once the ground thaws.

Our garden plot--definitely doesn't look like this anymore! 


2. Wrap up hoses


Yeah--this one got done!  We picked up all of the hoses and drained them, and got them stored.  I have one hose left out that I use daily for watering the cows.  It's hanging in a heated room in the barn.  And will hopefully stay thawed out all winter because a hose is WAY easier than hauling buckets of water.

3.  Put a heater in the barn and pump house. 


We have plumbing that carries water from the barn to the house.  And of course...that pipe is above ground inside the barn.  So it needs to get a space heater turned down on low.  The pump house gets the same treatment, except my parents bought a cool propane heater for down there (the pump supplies both houses...).

Here was another check--done and done!

 4.  Have chimney inspected/cleaned

Our chimney was being cleaned, so it was all taken apart.  

We actually take care of this one each spring, at the end of the burning season so we don't wind up without a stove for a day during the cold, but this one is an important one so I'll include it here.  We had a small chimney fire once, and don't ever want to experience that again.  Take care of your chimney so you can enjoy the heat from your stove in safety! 

5.  Gather firewood

My husband takes care of this one, thankfully!  We do all help load the truck and unload it, but Bryan does the cutting and splitting.  With the long hours he's been putting in at work, a bunch of it still needs split.  But, praise the Lord, the wood is all under the barn roof so he can stay dry while working.  

We also left a standing dead tree or two that can be accessed in winter.  Our emergency fire wood!  Hopefully we don't need it, but if we do, it'll be easy to get to in snow. 

6.  Pick up the outdoor toys/tools

Bikes are now parked under cover, toys have been gathered and stored.  We took the rake and shovel out of the garden and put them back where they belong.  And we found the sleds and got them ready for use once there is enough snow.  

Jeffrey's tools and wood from the backyard were picked up and stored for more building come spring.  We took a quick walk through the yards and picked up and put away everything that was out.  

Anything left out in the yard will be covered in snow this winter, and could be destroyed by the tractor plowing or the truck moving wood closer to the house from the barn. We got this job done as the first snow was falling, but it's now done!   

What else do you do to prepare for property for winter? As I said, I'm still learning, and want to get a good list together! 

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