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What are people most looking forward to about winter homesteading?  RSS feed

 
steward
Posts: 3937
Location: Zone 9b
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In a lot of places (in the northern hemisphere) the temperatures are already starting to drop. I am curious what everyone gets excited about doing during the winter on their homesteads? Or do you just sadly wait for spring for a few months?
 
pollinator
Posts: 545
Location: SW Missouri, Zone 7a
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Cassie Langstraat wrote:In a lot of places (in the northern hemisphere) the temperatures are already starting to drop. I am curious what everyone gets excited about doing during the winter on their homesteads? Or do you just sadly wait for spring for a few months?



I am one of the "sad" types. I really hate winter--primarily because I have SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and the low light levels really get to me. I am also one of those so-called Grinches who really can't abide the whole holiday thing (from about October through December). It is partly because I am already depressed (and a usually thin pocketbook doesn't help matters) but also because what use to be a seasonal holiday is now nothing more than a 3 month excuse to BUY, BUY, BUY--whether you can afford it (or need anything) or not.

However, I do force myself to be as productive as possible. I harvest everything I can for a last minute fall canning/preserving session, of course, before frost hits. (And try to cover and prolong as much of the garden as possible until about mid-December when it pretty much gives up the ghost except for the fall brassicas.) Indoors, I bake and work on stuff--like catching up my sewing--that I don't seem to get time for during the busy outdoor months. I like to make things I can sell on Etsy while it is so dark and gloomy outside because I know I won't feel like being indoors when spring arrives. And on nice days, there is always some sort of garden/yard clean-up or tool maintenance to do. And since we use wood year round (for heat and cooking), there is the never-ending task of keeping enough wood cut and split. Having animals that don't come into the house (goats and chickens) means constant checking on water troughs, feed, straw bedding, etc. so rain, snow or shine, we are out in it for at least a good portion of every day.

What it comes down to is not so much "sadly waiting" as persevering, trying to stay busy so I don't brood too much, watching the skies and hoping--for about 4 long months! I'm really thinking a tropical climate like in Belize or Costa Rica might be more my style! Anybody down there want to trade a nice jungle plot for 75 acres adjoining a national forest in SW Missouri? PLEASE!
 
Cassie Langstraat
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Yeah I have had some problems with the consumerism at christmas the past few years but I try to combat it with trying to make my gifts meaningful and special.

I'm sorry you struggle with seasonal depression.. I know quite a few who deal with that as well. It's crazy how the light and weather can affect us so much but it really can.

So there is really nothing you look forward to? Do you enjoy the baking and art making or just do it more to pass the time?
 
Posts: 272
Location: Nauvoo, AL
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Well for myself. No more sweating just standing outside ( or inside for that matter.) Not as many skeeters, ticks, or as much poison ivy.
Tending the rocket mass heater will be nice.
Eating the deer meat, squirrel meat, crappie, muscadines, and greens.
 
Posts: 1950
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
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Deb - I too have SAD, although I am much better now than I was ten years ago. Different work circumstances (i now see daylight in winter!), more exercise walking my boy to nursery each day etc...

When I was really really bad with it my parents organised an intervention. They took me skiing for a week. Exercise, bright sunshine, family around... it wasn't an instant fix but it started me on an upwards path. I now try and plan a winter break into each year when I can. Hard finding skiing holidays with a 2 year old. Next year
 
Posts: 130
Location: Northern California
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Looking forward to planting some fruit trees, and hopefully some grape vines. It didn't rain at all last December or January (about 10 inches for the total year), so I didn't bother to plant any trees. Hoping for a wet winter that makes planting easier.
 
Posts: 1983
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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I love living with four distinct seasons. The summer is so hectic with planting, growing, weeding, harvesting, selling, managing wwoofers, swimming, building sandcastles and doing the swimming and building sand castles laundry. And there are the ticks and fleas and ants and mosquitos in the summer! I love summer and by the end I'm glad to see it go.

In winter I love baking and making soup. There is more time for social life. I love hiking through the woods in winter and walking on the ponds and streams. I love the snow, playing in it, seeing tracks in it. I love snuggling up with a hot cup of tea and a good book.

As far as outdoor tasks are concerned, when it's not too freezy I love pulling the roots of invasive vines out of the ground. After a few years with prolonged winter thaws I'm happy to say that the asian bittersweet that so plagues farms and gardens and woods around here is mostly eradicated from my property. Many rosa multiflora are gone too, and I'm making a dent in the asian honeysuckle.

When it's super freezing, time to get out the pruning shears and loppers!
 
Posts: 81
Location: Ontario, Canada
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NO BUGS! NO mosquitoes, NO wasps/hornets, NO house flies, NO horse flies, NO bot flies, NO deer flies!
 
Posts: 78
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Chop wood, carry water.
 
Posts: 86
Location: SW Georgia, zone 8b
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Looking forward to being able to work in the garden again. Summer is TOUGH!
 
Posts: 233
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
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I too suffer from SAD but I am still looking forward to winter time. I'm hoping to get my zone 0 in order. The Permaculture Kitchen thread has really inspired me to get all within the house in order to better enjoy the following spring madness of planting. I also enjoy the planning process for the spring planting. This year we are having some logging done so I anticipate planning what I would like to see planted in the resulting clearings. Then there's cozy fires and cuddling up with books!
 
Cassie Langstraat
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I am loving all of your responses. I just think it's fun to hear what everyone will be doing and what they are most excited for. I grew up in Montana where the winters are very harsh and temps are already dropping in september.. However, I moved to California this past spring so it is going to be very weird for me not to have 4 seasons. I feel like I am subconsciously expecting it to get chilly any day now and I need to realize that is not going to happen! Ha! I was trying to think of a response to this question for myself and I am thinking well I can't bake a frickin pumpkin roll when it's 80 degrees outside, that just seems wrong. Ha! So I am adjusting and having some laughs at myself along the way.
 
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