When the growing season is over, how do you pass the time? Do you plan for the spring/summer/fall grows? What does that look like? What sorts of fun things do you do when you're trapped in the house and it's cold and snowy and you just want to be out in the wild getting your hands dirty?
Why of course that is when we have time to be on Permies. Or reading good books , binging on Netflix … Oh and going out and playing in the snow! You know dig your car out and get it unstuck. Knock all the snow off your roofs before they cave in … Fun stuff !
That is my very tongue in cheek response.
Others may give you a more realistic response. Like planning all your spring projects, starting seeds indoors, working on garden fences as soon as the snow leaves. Normal stuff... I like binging on Netflix's myself!
Walk, hike, or go cross-country skiing. When outdoors, watch winter birds & identify them.
Go over our garden & fruit- or nut-tree notes from past years, make plans for spring. Toward spring, start seedlings.
Play music (guitar for me, keyboard or wind instrument for other people I know). Listen to free music from the internet. Watch classic movies available free on Youtube. Read books (ones I have, or borrowed from the public library), read articles. Try out new recipes in the kitchen.
Make something, or repair things. Maybe design a making/building project.
Invite friends or neighbours over for a visit — or get out of our four walls here and visit friends or neighbors.
Do contributive work with a local community group.
We have home offices, so we go through old paper files, reference materials, etc — weed outdated stuff out & take to the recycling bins. Feels good!
My online educational sites:
Lol. Asparagus us coming up. I planted potatos last week. In many ways, winter is the busy time of year. Its that july/august when we hunker indoors to get out of the heat. We have harvested everything and start planning the fall garden at that point.
We do a bunch of fixing and experimenting. The farm chores take longer. We just boiled down our first crop of maple syrup. The trees haven't run in 4 days, but the day before that they gave up 25 gallons of sap. My son gets made fun of for being out in late January setting up all his infrastructure for sugaring. His cousins just can't understand why someone would want do be out side in the nasty weather when he could be playing video games or watching tv like them. I remind him that they don't run their own business yet and he does. I think he is doing really good for a 14 year old. We will be planting his tomatoes and peppers in the sun room next week. Actually the only time we slow down is in august. Here is a picture of last weekends first half pint of maple syrup and his farmers market from last year. We work all year to produce the best products we can for his stand.
The best place to pray for a good crop is at the end of a hoe!
Winter time is my stir-crazy time. Where I live (Southern Illinois), we don't get a true winter season. It is more like an extended fall/early spring season. Lately we have had a lot of rain which has produced a lot of mud that prevents me from really getting to some of the projects I would like to get to. As a result, "winter" is the time that I concoct hair-brained ideas for the upcoming spring and look for advice on Permies. At the moment, I am Thinking about converting all of my garden beds to raised wood-chip beds (I have plenty of wood chips, so chip supply is no issue for me). From that point, my thoughts drift on how to get these chips to break down faster. That lead me to wine-cap mushrooms to do the decomposition for me. From there, I have entertained just about all things fungal.
Please understand, I have actually don very little garden-wise since late fall, but winter is my time to dream up new ideas, plan my next year's garden and runs some/most of these ideas past others here on Permies.
I don't know if this helps, but this is my typical winter time activity.
I take the kids for walks and visit with neighbors. If it's snowy, I pull them on the sled down the road--they love it! If it's too rainy/slushy to be outside most of the day, I create. I needle-felt, knit, learn to woodwork, cook more elaborate meals and treats, and clean/organize (my house is a lot cleaner because I'm actually inside!). I also read to my kids a ton of books (you know, reading for 2 hours a day vs 30 minutes), and do more crafts/teaching with them.
Adding extra light really helps with my mood during the darkest months. I've got a bunch of white Christmas lights still strung up inside that I can plug in for more light on those dark, cloudy/rainy days in December.
I tend to spend a lot of time on the internet, researching trees and perennial plants, and ordering more of them than we really know what to do with. We also read quite a bit, on- and off-line, build obstacle courses in the house to keep the kids entertained, do the big indoor organizational tasks (like sorting through the kids' clothing and toys), and start little businesses (I think we're up to 4 or 5 now) on Etsy or similar platforms with no real expectation of them being super-successful. I draw and create pretty patterns in Photoshop. This year, I got back to blogging after several years away. I have a day job, which fills a lot of my time. My husband clears our long rural driveway with just a shovel, which takes up a lot of his time. We also sleep a bit extra (on purpose) during the darkest days of winter.
Right now, the days have suddenly gotten a lot longer, and we are sitting down with my (lengthy) list of impulse fruit tree purchases, trying to figure out where the heck we're going to put them all. We're looking forward to when the snow melts, and making lots of plans.
My reply above was pretty much about the common run of things in winter here, besides what's directly involved in homestead chores and cash income.
Thought I'd mention something that popped up last week. A woman friend of ours — lives on a few acres with vegetable garden & horses — happens to have a life passion for making fine pottery. She had a website that she got tired of and took down. She's working with a web designer to put up a new site and has all the photography & the graphic aspects worked out, and had drafted some text. She asked me to help her with the that... feedback and line-editing. So I put some time into that. I didn't quote a price, thought I'd do it for free. I know at some point she'll very probably offer us some free horse manure.