With winter just around the corner, you might be wondering what to do with the homestead available besides your home.
In this article, I will share what keeps me busy in my homestead during winter and how you guys can do the same.
You will have fewer grocery trips if you have an amazing homestead outside your door. During winter, we might think of the homestead less than we do during summer, mainly because of the weather. Worry not, as I will tell you everything you can do with your homestead when winter goes down!
Looking After Livestock
I always love looking after the livestock during the winters at my homestead.
The fact that I am a big fan of organic food and run a huge homestead made me think it might be useful to make something out of it. So, let me share how various livestock at my homestead keeps me busy during winter.
Right now, at this moment, I have a couple of cattle and a bull at my homestead. Even though I will be harvesting the bull this winter, I still have a herd of cattle to look after.
The grass in my area grows during the winter months but does so at a very slow pace.
I will have the cattle continue to rotate graze over the winter to spread out the dung load and rest the paddocks for the delayed winter grass. My present routine is every four days, but I’ll likely increase the number of paddocks and decrease the number of grazing days per paddock.
My homestead has two of my pigs for breeding. Apart from this, I also have several feeder pigs in my homestead, which I will be harvesting through the winter. My breeders demand their recommended daily intake of food and clean water.
They aren’t given free reign over their food because overweight breeders perform worse. I also replenish their landfill with nut shells when it rains. This takes much longer than the chicken run since they plow the shells into the ground and have a much bigger area.
In addition to working for their deep litter and turning it into compost, my homestead hens lay fewer eggs during the winter. In their enclosure, I also placed compost containers so they could scratch the waste to speed up the decomposition process by gathering the necessary bacteria.
My poultry chores in the winter take far too little time each day, thanks to my automatic feeder and enormous soaker hoses. I don’t have much to do except grab the eggs, see what they need, and leave.
But one time I have to work harder with them is right after a storm when I have to add more nut shells to their run to absorb moisture from the manure.
You can try your hand at beekeeping if you don’t want to raise cattle on your homestead.
If building hives and learning how to care for them once they come on the homestead is a part of your plan, the winter is the best time to do it. Find a local beekeeping community, join it immediately, and learn from knowledgeable community members.
I did this, and even though I’ve read books on them, the best place to learn and get information is from community groups. You can look further online for tips and tricks to have these bees survive at your homestead.
I didn’t mention my horse in my homestead as livestock because it is more of a pet for me. And she plays an important role in delivering the necessary nutrients for my gardening chores. She is one of the key producers of manure that is rich with essential nutrients and can be used as garden compost.
Looking after the horse isn’t much of a task for me because it is low maintenance. I only have to feed her daily, and there are automatic waterers all over the homestead for the water part. For feed purposes, there are a number of horse pellets around her hay.
I routinely gather manure to put in the compost bins in the chicken run since rain causes nutrients in manure to be lost faster than in dry weather. All in all, bringing her food takes a few minutes of my day, so it’s not a big deal.
All of you know how much I love organic food.
As a child, I always dreamed of having a garden on my homestead with organic vegetables, fruits, and nuts that I could pick daily. For this reason, I have planted some organic food at my homestead. In addition to making my lawn look beautiful, it also provides healthy food for me.
Dormant bare-root fruit and nut trees grow best in the winter. To get trees that are known to grow in your region, you should dig some holes and make a trip to the nursery. I plan to plant at least one new tree on my homestead every winter.
Sadly, gardening activities are not very popular during the winter. To prepare ahead and remain ahead, sorting out your gardening chores is the ideal wintertime homesteading hobby.
I advise striving to improve whatever garden operation the majority of you already have in place. Consider what went well and poorly for your homestead during the past year and act accordingly to the results.
Other Homestead Side-Projects
The projects I’ve shared up to now are some of the major ones that keep me busy in my homestead during the winter. However, if you don’t like to do much and want to start some small projects in your homestead during the cold, check out the following activities:
- Trimming trees
- Tossing piles of compost
- Harvesting protein worms
- Preserving crops
- Seeding meadows
Winter is the best time to start a homestead if you’ve been thinking about it for a while.
In this article, I have shared several activities that keep me busy in my homestead during winter. You can also make the most out of your time this cold season by trying out these activities.
Best of luck!
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