It may be 50 degree outside in mid-January, but winter is still here in the Northeast, and will be for months to come. While I can hardly wait to get out there and start putting things in the ground and caring for the new little chicks coming our way, there is a quiet peace to the winter homestead that is unlike any other time of the year.
Check out a details list of homestead tasks here.
While winter is a time of dormancy and hibernation for many, for us humans there is always work to be done: there are tools to be repaired, seeds to order, homeskills to learn, and perhaps a bit of planning and soul searching as we move into a new year. While so much of the winter focus is on prepping and looking forward, it is easy to forget the beauty and joy to be found on your homestead in the winter. Here are a few thoughts on enjoying your space this cold season.
For many of us, the best part of homesteading happens out of doors. In the winter we are often cooped up in our homes with only the briefest visits out to care for the animals. Take time each day to bundle up and get outside for at least a few minutes no matter what the weather is like. Visit those spots on your homestead you love in the summer: dream, plan, prune, have a bonfire, spend time with your animals, and simply notice the cold beauty of the season.
Take Time to Learn a New Skill
When the weather is chilly, take the opportunity to learn a new skill that you don’t have time for once you’re busy out of doors: learn to knit, get caught up on your sewing, make soap, bake your own bread, or pick up woodworking. There are wonderful books, blogs, and classes you can take to help you get started learning these skills.
Reassess Your Goals for the Year and Plan
Every year I look forward to those winter nights when we sit down to order seeds, plan our garden, and decide what to add on to our homestead for the coming year. While there can be an element of stress to making these decisions, it is usually a fun night (or series of nights). If it isn’t something you usually enjoy, make it special: order take out, open some wine, make decaf coffee, go out, dress up, or do whatever you do to make it fun.
Read and Research
Winter is the perfect time to sit down with a book or your computer and research your projects for the coming year. Choose books that will move you forward, and if you are looking to be re-inspired, choose books that share other peoples journeys towards self-sufficiency. You can find some of my favorite book here at the store, but also look for copies at the library or local book store.
How do you get the most out of your homestead experience in the winter months?