WINTERIZING THE URBAN HOMESTEAD

With the recent dip in temperatures and heavy downpours, we realize that we can’t hold onto to summer anymore and that it’s high time we gear up to winterize the Urban Homestead.     Justin has been putting the hives to bed, making sure the bees are snug as a bug.   Jordanne has been unpacking the cotton canvas to prevent the winds and rains from soaking the animal compound (Blackberry and Fairlight are much obliged).  Dad has  been unpacking the row covers and putting them over most of the raised beds as temps have been getting rather nippy.

The last open window in the house was closed and the wood stove cleaned.    I know, pretty pathetic “winterizing” compared to those of you who are East of us where winter is a more serious threat to man and beast.

This year, there are plans to winterize the Front Porch Farm Stand to keep our customers a bit warmer when the weather’s cold & rainy.   I looked into clear plastic (sorry, I hate that word) coverings that restaurants use to winterize their outdoor dining.  Boy, those things are pricey!  Opting for cheaper way, going to use clear shower curtains, so will see how that goes.   At least, that will keep the wind and rain out while letting natural light in.

How are you getting ready for winter?

Stock up on winter supplies from our homestead to yours….

supplements for poultry
fall selection of seeds
and more!

Comments(15)

  1. Nebraska Dave says:

    Anais, winter is setting in here in Nebraska as well. The temperatures are routinely dropping below freezing. The Mesclun salad mix is still hanging in there without protection and the carrots are still surviving the low temperatures. I pulled out a carrot yesterday just to see if that will make it to maturity. They are about as big as my little finger and still look very healthy. I dug around in the potato bed to see if I could find a few potatoes but it looks as though they didn’t do very well as they were small and not too many under the couple plants that I harvested. It’s been less a than successful garden year.

    All of the hoses and timers have been put away until next spring. The rain barrels have been drained and cleaned. All that remains is the big rain collection storage tank needs to be inverted so the snow won’t accumulate in the tank. I would let the snow fill the tank and harvest the water melt but the freezing and melting of the course of the winter would split the seams of the tank before spring. After all the patching I had to do to get it to hold water, I would not like to have to go through that again.

    Have a great winter preparation day.

  2. You Can Call Me Jane says:

    The plexiglass lids are on our cold frames where lettuce and spinach are still going strong. The garden is otherwise covered in oat grass and leaves. Storm windows cover our remaining four old windows (the rest have been replaced). The chickens have their winter house light with timer up giving them an hour or two more at the beginning and end of each day (otherwise they stop laying completely). We have plans to burn wood by next year and are very excited about this! We won’t miss that heating oil truck and it’s bills in the least:-).

    I love the summer, but there’s something about hunkering down for the winter that is very nice, too.

  3. Ginger says:

    Thanks for posting. Reading about your world gives me hope and encouragement that someday I’ll reach my goal of growing all my own food from seeds I saved myself watered with captured rainwater and greywater.

    When we drove back into town after spending some time in the Pacific NW at our daughter’s wedding, we were greeted with 6 inches of snow and 12F temps. We were glad we put our bees to bed, as you say, a few weeks ago. We also added 8 inches of mulch to our garden beds to compost over the winter 2 weeks ago. I started soaking seeds and beans for indoor micro greens and sprouts after I unpacked the car. I planted my first trays this morning. I should have sprouts by tomorrow or the next day and greens in about 6 days. Started a pot of pinto beans slow cooking yesterday. Will cook a pot of Fagioli all’Uccelletto in the sun oven today. I will sew up some new winter skirts from denim and wool this afternoon. After being in sunny Gig Harbor, I was a little let down with the snow but have been able to turn my attitude to good with some good hard work and lots of wool blankets on the bed.

  4. Jennifer says:

    We begin each spring collecting wood from trimmers we know, then have are very soar weekend splitting, and stacking it all. This year we are installing new insulation in the rafters. The difference is amazing! Been making candles here and there for fun mostly but it is nice when something you do for fun helps the family in the long run. Guess it’s time to break out the quilting supplies and build a new quilt between that and a new German Shepard puppy life should be good. Oh and making Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls 😉 Yummy!!!!!

  5. TechChik says:

    I’m in Ottawa, Canada. Our first major killing frost was the weekend before halloween, but I managed to get everything picked in time. It’s been warmer than usual, so the nights are close to or just above freezing, but it’s just a matter of time before the snow hits. The seeds I’ve saved are dried and stored, and they always make me happy when I see them.

    This year, we’ve put more insulation in the roof, rechecked the basement for air leaks and pulled off the window casings to add more insulation there too. We’ve replaced the weather stripping around the front and back doors, removed the window screens for more light and put up the storm windows.

    To save energy, we’ve set the thermostat to 63F when we’re home (and awake) and I’ve knitted hot water bottle covers for warm toes in the evenings. I’m also finishing a knit patchwork quilt as an extra blanket for the bed. Home cooking and baking does double duty to warm the house, and let’s face it – nothing beats homemade bread. 🙂

  6. Gayle Miller says:

    Im the southeast I just finished harvesting my tomatoes and have pulled up all the old vines. We have enjoyed fresh tomatoes over the last couple of weeks. We are still waiting for our first frost. I know winter is just around the corner and Ill be planning and dreaming of our spring garden.

  7. Laura @ Living Our Way says:

    Winter is settling in here as well. We finally needed to take the foil off of our front windows and we are looking to plant a few last minute winter crops.

  8. Joleen says:

    I found plastic shower curtains at the Dollar Store for yes, $1 each

  9. Tim says:

    Here in our part of North Carolina we’re still waiting for a major frost, but the okra and beans are basically done and the remains fed to the goats. The heat lamp is ready in the goat pen and the light is on in the hen house. We completed our 7th bed-cover hoop house before the first light frost, so we should be harvesting lettuce all winter, even more than last year. We’re raking leaves and putting them in the chicken coop, hoping for deep bedding composting with the help of the birds.

    We’ll harvest some of our first kale and collards for tonight’s soup dinner, and we’re enjoying harvesting fresh lettuces every Monday for the week’s salads. We’re still waiting on the cabbages, broccoli, and cauliflour to head. Hoping for hoop-house covered carrots all winter, too. Looking forward to our third year of fresh collards on Thanksgiving!

    We truly do have so much to be thankful for.

  10. Britt says:

    The talk about bees made me wonder if ya’ll have seen phillips urban bee hive prototype yet. Does farmer d think it will work? I have been slowly working on my little farm in the city, unfourtunatly Im dealing with a lot of thieft lately my neighbor chased a strange man down the alley yesterday who was stealing a hen from the coop. He killed my hen when chased and threw her in the dirt. So I guess my winterizing will be security measures starting with a padlock on the hen house and rabbit hutch. Sorry for the downer comment, at least the weather is great here in tampa for winter garden.

    • Nebraska Dave says:

      Was it just vandalism or was it a sign of times and they were stealing to eat the chicken? I can see where the desperite times will be causing such actions for some to try to survive especially in the city.

      Good luck with securing the chicken coop.

  11. kitsapFG says:

    We have been winterizing our homestead over the course of the last month or so and pretty well have everything buttoned up – other than I am still adding layers of insulating mulch to certain overwintered beds as the leaves come off of the trees and are available for that purpose. The firewood was brought in during the summer and stacked/covered. We do our own chimney sweeping and cleaning and we did that and cleaned the stove thoroughly in September. The winter harvest crops are under long grow tunnel covers and the greenhouse containers have the next generation crops growing in them. Gutters are cleaned and and the rain barrels were drained to allow for a fresh refill over the rainy season.

  12. elaine nieves says:

    We have pretty much winterized our garden by removing most of the tomato plants, the diseased collards. Still have the pepper plants and lettuce producing. The gutters have been cleaned out and the water canals on the backyard hillsides had to be cleaned out also. We have some hubbard squash that we were given that has to be used and will be within the next few days. We hope we are ready for the winter rains and cold.

  13. Sue says:

    Old house here in Oregon, so I put clear plastic (the one you use the blow dryer on) to insulate some of the windows. We set the thermostat to 62 during the day and off at night. The furnace is ancient and oil and just not enough funds to convert yet. I had already cleaned up my little garden, made a big warm bed for the feral cat who seems to have adopted us and we are currently getting our candle-making biz going as well as planning and dreaming of the new year and maybe new fencing and a bigger garden! Yeah!

  14. Dan says:

    We covered our A/C unit to keep out the draft. It’s mounted into the wall so removing it isn’t an option. Will be installing new weather-stripping around the doors and windows this weekend. We have an old towel rolled up and put at the base of our door to keep out draftiness in addition to a new door sweep.
    Other than that, not too much else to do as we live in an in-law suite while we look for a homestead of our own.

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