Whoa Nellie!!! It’s Cold Outside!!!!!!

Burrrrrr!!!!

Teeth chattering!!!!

Frost bite warning!!!!!

It’s been dangerously cold here this past week.  We also got snow.  Not a lot.  Only 3-4 inches, but enough that I needed to shovel the driveway, especially the end of the driveway where the snow plow pushed all the snow off the road.

When I shovel, I have time to think about things.  It’s something that terrifies my husband – me thinking, not me shoveling.  This time, I was thinking about the bitter cold and whether or not I’m prepared to deal with it on our farm one day.  Do I have the attire necessary for working in these types of conditions?

No!  I’ll need to make some purchases.  Like this . . . . .

 

And this . . . .

 

These look like a good addition to the wardrobe . . . .

A warm cap that adds some color . . . .

Warm socks are a must . . . .


And work gloves.  Nice warm work gloves . . . .

But it’s not just preparing my attire for winter on the farm, but being prepared to take care of the animals in winter.  I know what I need to keep myself safe and warm from the elements, but am I as prepared to keep my animals safe and warm from the elements?

Each season requires something a little different for the animals, but for me, winter feels as if it may be a bit more challenging.

Trekking thru the snow toward the barn as the wind tosses snow and ice crystals into my face.  That reminds me . . . I need to add a scarf or face mask to my winter farm attire.


Maybe a hat like this for those extra cold and windy days . . . .

It’s not as easy as throwing layers of clothing on the animals.
They need to always have fresh water to drink. Water freezes quickly in these conditions.
There are differences in food needs in the winter. They don’t have fresh green grass, weeds, bugs, etc. to graze/peck on this time of the year and since I want my animals to be feed good quality, chemical free, non-GMO foods, I need to be prepared for that.
They need adequate shelter from the conditions and good bedding to keep them warm.
What else do they need different in the winter than other times of the year?

There is so much to learn!

Both hubby and I have read books, magazines, blogs, forums, etc.  We are learning from those with experience, but it doesn’t erase the fact that so much of the knowledge we gain will be a result of our own experiences on our little farm.

So I prepare as best I can now and then wait for the experience that teaches us so much, at times more than what we learn from books.

We are new to the whole farming gig. There is a learning curve and while we certainly need the book knowledge and/or knowledge of those with experience, we will still have to learn things for ourselves.

Until then,  it’s time to break out the reading material I have put away. Time to arm myself with some of the knowledge necessary to farming in the winter as well as other times of the year.

If you have a favorite homesteading/farming book, please leave me a comment.  If you have knowledge you wish to share, please do.  I need all the power I can get for my future adventures on the farm.

Homesteading Practice

Based on the gifts I received this year, it seems Santa felt I needed some things for the homestead and surprised me with some unexpected gifts.

One gift I really needed was a yoga DVD. Getting in better physical shape is a must for the homestead. Not that having a homestead won’t help get me in better physical shape, but doing that now should make the transition much easier.

I also received a cast iron Dutch oven and small square skillet. I’m absolutely convinced that no homestead is complete without cast iron and am sure it’s written as a law in the homesteading manual somewhere 🙂 Of course lifting my cast iron skillets and Dutch oven several times a day would also go a long way in helping me get in better physical shape.

The two surprise gifts I received were a yogurt makers and a mozzarella cheese making kit.

I tried making yogurt before and while it tasted fine, it was pretty runny. Hopefully this will put me on the road to making some good yogurt.

Apparently, Santa was listening to me talk about all my plans for making my own cheese one day. I haven’t done a lot of research, simply because I’m not living in the country with my own goats or a cow for milk. Now that I have the kit, I have to at least try making some cheese.

What I really need to research now, is where I can get fresh raw pasture fed cow milk for yogurt and cheese making.

Santa also brought me some books on homesteading, raising goats and chickens. I also received some magazines on hobby farming and sustainable living. Educating myself is one of the best things I can do to prepare for our homesteading lifestyle, so I’m appreciative of these books and magazines.

The future holds some wonderful possibilities for us and continuing to prepare is vital to our success.  Thank you Santa for sharing my homesteading vision and bringing me such wonderful gifts!