Winter on the homestead is a little more complex than winter in the city. We aren’t just caring for ourselves and our homes, but we have a whole other section of life to manage. From the livestock, to the barn, to the garden… everything has to be prepped to survive the cold or we lose time, money, and possibly lives. There are some winter homestead essentials that I find very important to cold-weather survival.
Winter Homestead Essentials
**Obviously, if you are an off-grid homesteader, you have some extra chores in addition to what this grid-loving homesteader has to complete. I love reading about brave people, like Jim Beaty, who abandon the grid for a truly back-to-our-roots lifestyle, but I haven’t taken that leap just yet.
Food Preservation & Preparation
Bountiful Spring & Summer gardens often produce more food than can be eaten in a seasons-time. There are some basic tools to keep on your homestead that will allow you to preserve, store, and prepare your fruits, veggies, and meat throughout the winter.
- Water-Bath Canner
- Pressure Cooker Canner
- Food Dehydrator
- Solar Oven– A solar oven can be used to cook & dehydrate food as well as boil & purify water even on the coldest days as long as there is sunlight.
- Root Cellar or Pantry
- Heat Source– You need a heat source for cooking and for heating your home. If you don’t have electricity or gas, this probably means that you need to stock up on firewood. It is a good idea to have some firewood on hand for emergencies even if you use electric or gas heat.
- Winterize Beehives
- Tank Heater– Breaking water is the pits… We use a stock tank heater like this now to avoid having to bust water every.single.day.
- Fodder System– Fodder provides an excellent fresh feed source for livestock in the winter.
- Cold Frame– Build a cold frame to continue growing food throughout the cold months.
- Prep Back to Eden Garden– Make sure that you are caring for your garden area through the winter so that you will be ready to plant in the spring.
- Vet First Aid Kit– If you live 30+ minutes from the nearest town/vet, then you NEED an emergency kit. You should really have one on hand even if you live next door to your vet. It is much better to have wound spray and medications in the barn than to have to make a trip to the store every time your animals are wounded or sick.
- Waterproof Flashlights
- Emergency Candles
- Water Filtration System
- Insulated Overalls or Coveralls
- Heavy Duty Coat
- Insulated Chore Boots
- Insulated & Waterproof Gloves
- Supplements– I COULD NOT keep up with all of my responsibilities as a mom, a business owner, and a homesteader if I still felt like I did last year. I highly recommend finding supplements that work for you to keep you on top of your game.