“During World War II many consumer goods were rationed for civilians in order to supply more goods for both American and Allied troops. Among the items rationed were sugar, red meat, gas, oil, coffee, and rubber. In October 1942 fuel oil was rationed. During the especially cold winter of 1942-43 this brought numerous protests from citizens. A temperature of 65 degrees was set as the standard for homes, by the federal government.”
For us Southern Californians, winter is winter only in the sense of the word. Compared with other parts of the state we typically have what many consider mild winters. No blizzards or snow just chilly temperatures and sometimes damp days. Nothing that would require us to spend weeks prepping for (no snow shovel, laying in of firewood, buying heating oil) Actually I would consider us rather lackadaisical about the change of season. Or rather Angelinos like to be moan our missed weekends if they are rain out or like comedian Sindbad says “when temperatures drop below 60 – it’s close the schools and save the children!” Yeah, we Angelinos are pretty pathetic when we have to deal with any REAL weather. Heaven forbid we have a none sunny day.
Here on the urban homestead given that our winters are relatively mild the winterization of our home isn’t much to speak of. We do what we have done for the past twenty years (and we are hearty and stronger for it) living in the city.
Our winter preparations include (off the top of my head and it’s still morning so, here it goes)
1. Use heat only when necessary – we try holding off using any source of heat until we really, really have to. I would take a guess that out of 365 days in the year we only use our very efficient wood stove less than 30 of those days.
2, Bundle up – out come the (hand) knitted caps, socks, scarfs, jackets, sweaters and more jackets (purchased primarily from thrift stores). Though we may look like we’ve lost our way and should be in Siberia, wearing all those layers does do the trick.
3. Chores – moving those muscles and heating up our inner thermos. With garden, animal and other urban homestead chores it keeps the blood going and body warm.
4, Bread baking. Now is the time to do a bit more baking in the kitchen. Nothing heats up the house and your stomach like a warm piece of bread with homemade jam.
5, Soups da jour. Warm & hearty meals warm the soul.
6. Blankets, blankets and more blankets. Given that we don’t have central heat and the bedrooms could be on many a winters day a meat locker we pile on blankets on the bed to give us a bit of extra protection from the cold.
How are you winterizing your home?
What sort of low impact solutions have you come up with to keep warm?
If you are new to low impact living, in history there’s really good examples of how the greatest generation conserved resources for a good cause (PBS 1940 House). Today more than ever we need to reduce our extraneous use of resources and perhaps these nifty old time propaganda posters will rally your family into action for the winter.
Here’s an interesting article
“New arrivals went to the village office and picked up hand tools, wood, wire netting and fibro to clear their blocks, put up fences and grow vegetables, or run … poultry. It was all about self-sufficiency, getting back to basics,”
At the same time, Dr Jensen questioned the ability of 21st-century Australians – accustomed to abundance, softened by material comforts, isolated by selfish pursuits – to cope, and to help others cope, with coming hardships.
“We’re experiencing a significant economic downturn, with possible increases in unemployment, poverty, homelessness, even hunger.” Where now, he wondered, were the qualities of “mateship, good neighbourliness and lending a hand to those in need”.
:: Field Hand Appreciation :: GM $20 donation. Thank you.