It is Autumn… what needs to happen to prepare for Winter. Yes, it is early Autumn, but you need to be ready in case Winter hits early like it did last year. The picture above is from another year, but the leaves are already starting to turn much earlier than normal. When you live on a farm or a homestead there are things you need to do in preparation for the season to come. Here are some things we do around here in the Autumn.
Our main heat source is a wood burning cookstove. We do have to use a couple of electric heaters in the corners of the house where the heat does not reach. Last year we saw temperatures (without the wind chill) in the mid -20s. I have never been in that kind of cold before. We used a LOT of wood. We had to bring in several loads as winter started early, was cold and continued on. If you are going to burn wood, get your firewood read to go. Along with this, we clean the chimney and make sure it is ready for the first fire.
Outbuildings and Barns
We need to make sure our outbuildings and barns are ready for the winter. We have water sources that tend to freeze, so we put a heat lamp under a big upside down plastic bin. We need to make sure our heat lamps are working and that the cords are out there. We also need to make sure our trough heater is working. This keeps the animals water from freezing over. If there are doors you can close or places you can block off to give the animals a draft free area to go to in the really cold temperatures.
It is time to make sure we have plenty of Super Tonic on hand. It is good for what ails you. I use it often in my cooking, but when we start to get sick, we take spoonfuls of this stuff. You can go here to see how it is made. I make a gallon jar full.
I know that not everyone will do this, but we use a lot of chili beans in the cold months. I make my own recipe Calico Beans. Now is the best time of year to make them because the peppers and onions are coming in out of the garden. You can make them with kidney beans or pinto beans, but we have a 17 bean mix I like to make them out of. You can use them in chili, or fill a burrito with them, or add them to a soup. They are so good. You can find the recipe here.
I make sure that all of the blankets are down and in reach as we need them. Sometimes they need airing out a bit. Some people like flannel sheets, but we do not use them.
Finish the Harvest
It is time to bring in the rest of the items in your garden and preserve them. Some things are dehydrated, frozen or canned. Others are stored in a cool place like pumpkins and winter squash. Put your garden to bed.
Garlic Gets Planted
It is time to plant your garlic so you will have a harvest next Summer.