5 Winter Homesteading Goals

>> Thursday, November 20, 2014

Now that winter is almost here, my homesteading projects have slowed considerably. I used to spend quite a bit of time outdoors gathering up our garden’s tomatoes. I’d also spend hours in the kitchen on the weekend making recipes to fill our freezer with or otherwise preserving our CSA foods for the season ahead.

With the cold, we’ve retreated. But that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped my progress toward my goals. Instead, they have shifted to stuff I can do indoors. I’m sure I’ll have more to add to this list, but for right now, I’m trying to keep the focus simple and plain. If you have experience with any of these items, I’d love to hear from you! Sharing knowledge and skills is one of the greatest (and FREE!) gifts we can give one another.

1. Research Chickens

This may be premature, as I haven’t yet checked with our town for local ordinances, but I’d like to consider raising a few backyard chickens. We eat so many eggs each week, though I have read that the price and upkeep of the chickens doesn’t necessarily save lots of money on eggs. I also think the experience would be worth it. There are a lot of pros and cons, so this winter I’d like to do the initial research to see if chickens might be a good fit for our family and our goals. Friends who have chickens (and I know quite a few!), I’ll likely be pecking at your brain for ideas!

2. Make Soap

Along with the DIY Lotion Cubes, Natural Vapor Balm, Homemade Deodorant, Green Cleaning Supplies, and other things I’ve been mixing in the kitchen, I’d like to try my hand at making soap. And after I get the hang of basic soap, I’d love to expand the idea to make my own shampoo bars!

3. Make Cheese

I had everything ready and set to start making cheese in the fall, and the weekend I planned to do it got swallowed up in a house full of sickness. There are few ingredients needed, it’s mostly the time and attention that I need. With so many months indoors, I’m sure I’ll finally get my chance. Here’s the recipe for homemade mozzarella I planned to start with.

4. Plan Garden

We have a small raised bed garden in our new backyard. This year, the previous owners had planed the thing full of mostly cherry tomatoes. We enjoyed them, but next year I’d like to expand and diversify. Several of you have recommended the book Square Foot Gardening, so I’ll be picking up a copy to aid in my education on the matter. I think we’ll still keep the operation somewhat small this year, but hopefully grow as we learn more. Of all veggies, I’m most interested in sprouting up some dinosaur kale!

5. Knitting, Etc.

If you follow my other blog, you know I recently picked up the Martha Stewart Loom and Weaving Kit. Of course, most of my occupation with the thing is just a hobby. But I’d love to learn how to create more than basic scarves and hats. I found this cool mitten tutorial on YouTube, and I even have aspirations of stitching together a sweater someday. Wool is my favorite fiber, and I’d love to create a homemade stock of woolen items for all these chilly months we experience every year. Plus, it’s relaxing!

And don’t miss . . .

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Powerful DIY Laundry Detergent
5 Green Cleaners That Work
5-Minute Homemade Deodorant
8 Ways We've Eliminated Plastics
Cleaning Produce The Natural Way
Chemical-Free Clean With Castile Soap

* Here’s the image source for the 1800s garden above.

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