A Homesteader’s Insurance Policy

Peaceful Forest Homestead

Peaceful Forest Homestead

Do you have a homesteader’s insurance policy in place? Almost every time I get disgusted with this life because it is hard or so different from everyone else I know, something happens to reinforce that this lifestyle is the only way to survive. Especially in the times we are living in. News of terrorists attacking people in nightclubs, schools, movie theaters, churches, etc. What that tells me is that for some reason, something inside of me told me to live this lifestyle. To live on our homestead and work from home. To start doing most of our shopping online. I don’t even drive a car anymore, though I plan on getting one in the future. I do not go to crowded places very often. Sometimes I will go with my husband to a nearby city to do some shopping, but usually I go to stores in our area that is more country than city.

Wind Power Today

Wind Power Today


For sixteen years now, we have been building our homestead to be more technical than most homesteaders do. My husband loves new technology. He has always said, “Our homestead is not old fashioned, but the way of the future.” I like that sentiment. Using solar and wind, working online, shopping online, growing our own food, etc. it is all part of the modern technology that enables us to live the way we do. Some of the old technology that many mistakenly think is old fashioned, is just a better way. For instance, our pitcher pump. It was thought of as modern technology at one time. Still working after all this time. Now this year I added a solar oven to our modern technology list of items we use. Not only does it do the cooking, but it can be used to dehydrate food. Instead of using our system to power an electric dehydrator, I can use the sun. All of these tools or methods we use, old fashioned or high technology, are a part of our homesteader’s insurance policy.  

Canning Closet

Canning Closet in Kitchen

An interesting thought we have had is that many things that we did because of moving to an off-the-grid house, that others thought was silly, stupid or too hard to do, have turned out to be the way the general population is going now. Instead of paying an electric, fuel and water bill, we were purchasing more solar panels, more components for this system, a wind turbine to keep power coming in during storms and at night and being able to buy the most energy efficient refrigerator that is built presently. We have been gardening since 1996 and canning our harvests. Now canning has been making a comeback. I am glad to see that. When I purchased my first canning jars from an elderly woman who’s husband had died and she felt she had no need for so many jars, I was excited and looking forward to canning a lot of food. Which I did. I saw the price of the jars go up.  The huge amount of jars that I bought for thirty bucks is unheard of now. Now everyone wants to prepare. To have home canned food in their root cellars, pantries and cupboards. That IS the homesteader’s insurance policy! 

Garden

Food Supply


If you are wondering what exactly is the homesteader’s insurance policy anyway? Well, that is what I am telling you right now. It is when you no longer worry about having food and supplies in your house. It is when you do not have to run out to shop if a storm or other disaster is on the way. It is when you have ways to heat your house, cook your food, store your cold foods, take a shower, wash your clothes, etc. It is when you can be isolated at your home for days, weeks or months at a time and live comfortably and happily. It is when you can go pick up other family members and bring them to your home and it not be a hardship to feed them too. I do not have to read articles or books about prepping, because when I do, I usually know more than they do. We live it every day. If you consider yourself a prepper, start living this way every day, instead of just when there is an emergency. Start using your food supply and replenishing it as you use it. Start up that generator now, so you know how to use it. Cook on that solar oven you bought two years ago and never took out of the box, now. Learn to cook on it this summer by cooking on it daily, so that when you really do need it, you will know how to use it. Good food helps in an emergency!  

Planting a garden

Plant a garden!

Start working on your own homesteader’s insurance policy today! How? Basic needs first:

Water – Store some in food grade containers. Find a way to have a water source in case of an emergency and no power.

Heat – A wood stove will serve three purposes: heating, hot water and cooking.

Food – Plant a garden. Buy food locally in a farmer’s market or at a farm. Learn to can and get started building a pantry of food. Food in a freezer does not count as you can easily lose that in a power outage or a faulty freezer. Besides in an emergency canned food is easier to cook. Get to work on it today!

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Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole


Outhouse Is History Now

Old Outhouse

Old Outhouse

The old outhouse had become an eye sore. It had been falling down for a few years now. I think we were a bit sentimental about the thing. We had never really used it ourselves. At one time, I kept a pet goat in it for his house. It didn’t contain him very well, as he got out often. When we moved here in 1999, we brought with us a SunMar composting toilet. Walking outside at night in total darkness when nobody was home, but Nikita, our dog and me, was not something I had planned on doing. Before we moved in, I had located a composting toilet and we bought it and brought it home to wait for our moving day. So the old outhouse had become a storage shed after a short time of us living here.

Back of the Outhouse

Looking at the back of the outhouse

During the winters, I’d worry that the snow would cause the outhouse to collapse. We would have to remove the snow if it had accumulated too much on the roof. It turned into a good spot to store gasoline cans though. Since we weren’t using it, it had become quite neglected and it showed. This year my husband went to work on cleaning it out. Moving items he wanted to the barn and his work shed. He took a few loads of trash to the landfill. Saved parts of old motors and other items that he decided he did not need or want to keep. He could have sold those loads for scrap metal, but didn’t want to mess with it. Just get rid of it and do it quickly.  

Outhouse Pushed Over

Outhouse Pushed Over

Since the outhouse was built on a rock foundation, he was trying to push it over after he had emptied it out. It was a little too much for him alone. I contributed my strength to the effort and we did it. I was a little sad to see it go, but the time had come and gone for it. Every year we would have a huge amount of bees between the outhouse and the work shed. I’d run past them at times. Snakes lived underneath the outhouse. When you walked out past it, they would be in the grass and would surprise you. Not that snakes worry me. I am not afraid of them. It is just anything surprising you in the grass makes you jump. I am sure I surprised them too!

Outhouse is Down

Outhouse is Down

The stump next to the outhouse is another story. It has an iron bar, like from a bed frame, in it. The tree had grown around the bar. So it can’t be cut with a chainsaw like a normal stump. It is rotting. If I know my husband, he will figure out a way to get it down and out of there. I have been tracing the history of our house and believe it was a hunting camp from at least the thirties, maybe longer. So this outhouse may not have belonged to the original builder of our house, Daniel Loomis. I mean there was not even a hole dug under it. The hunters who used this property as a hunting camp were mostly city people and used hunting as an excuse to get away and party. They littered the whole property terrible with beer bottles and cans and liquor bottles. We have been cleaning it up ever since we moved here.

Cleared and Cleaned

Cleared and Cleaned

At first I did not want to take the old outhouse down because it gives us that ability to “grandfather in” having an outhouse. But does that really matter? It is just the two of us here and we do not have much company. If ever. So what did we really need an outhouse for? In the future, we may put a small outhouse building up and keep a sawdust toilet in it for convenience. Other than that, getting rid of the original outhouse was the right thing for us to do.

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Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole


Cooking With My New Sun Oven

All American Sun Oven

All American Sun Oven


Cooking with my new sun oven is a whole new experience for me. I had never seen one before I bought it. I have been experimenting with some different dishes to see what I can cook and what we really like cooked in it. I do not care for the way it cooks hamburgers, but it may be the cook’s error.  We will stick with cooking them on the stove in my cast iron griddle for the time being. The sun oven is great for most meats though, since I can put them in early and they cook really fast if the sun is out all day. The first food I cooked was hamburgers and they came out like little rocks, because I thought they could not be done that quickly. Indeed, they were. My poor husband, being a good sport ate them all. 

Better Browning Granite Ware

Better Browning Granite Ware

I highly recommend using the granite ware pans for cooking in it. Especially the new Better Browning variety. I ordered two of them and they are my favorite now, aside from my extensive collection of cast iron. Cast iron unfortunately is too big for the sun oven. My little frying skillets fit, but they are the only ones. Besides it is kind of tricky for me getting a pan out without spilling the grease. It has a moving rack inside, so that you can move the oven with the sun and not worry about dumping it inside while moving it. These new Granite Ware pans are so easy to wash! I loved them right after my first use. Not expensive either. I plan on getting a few more of them. They offer a set that includes pie and loaf pans also. So you might want to check them out, even if you are not cooking with a sun oven.

Breakfast In A Sun Oven

Breakfast In A Sun Oven

My plan is to try to use the sun oven as much as possible in the summer so I can cut down our use of the propane. The sun oven is the only way I can see of doing that. The nice thing about it is that I can put a piece of meat in early and we can have supper with hardly any fuss. The most I have to do is keep moving it with the sun. I have it right outside the front door on my porch so it is not a big problem. I am usually right here anyway. In the summer, of course, I am outside working in my garden most days. My favorite meal so far cooked in the sun oven was pork spare ribs. They were outstanding! 

Stackable Granite Ware

Stackable Granite Ware


Now my friend, Susie, (who is responsible for me buying this sun oven, after she kept posting pictures of the food she was cooking in her sun oven on Face Book!) likes the stackable pans. These pans came with the oven when I bought it. I tried them yesterday with the hamburgers, but will try something else to really test them. I think I need to do a casserole to really test this sun oven. We do not eat baked goods, so that is out. I am anxious to try some chicken recipes in it. As soon as I get some good recipes for the sun oven, I will post them here.

 

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Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole

I write this blog based on my experience living an off-the-grid life as a modern homesteader. Some of the links you may click or products I recommend may or may not compensate me for including them in my post. Be sure to read my disclosure page if you are concerned about that.


No Content Writers No SEO Wanted

Cat in the forest

Hobo in the forest.


No Spammers! No SEO writers! No content writers needed! To all the people trying to get me to pay them to write content for this blog……….FORGET IT! I am not interested. This is a personal blog and I may not write new posts as often as I should. That is because I live this life and it takes work. As you can see my blog is not being written to make money. It is my hope to connect with other people who are into homesteading, modern homesteading, living on off-the-grid homesteads or just want to prepare for the uncertain future ahead. I really doubt the people contacting me to write content have the experience I have living this way. There is more to it than writing a post full of spam advertisements and promoting products that you have never used yourself. I only promote products that I buy myself and use them in my home. I do not care about or would even consider paying for SEO content written by someone I do not know for my blog. It is, as I said, my personal blog! 

My life is very busy and sometimes I just do not have the time to write a blog post. I must admit, I have been disillusioned with writing my blogs lately. You may know my other blog, Solar Baby, disappeared one day. The whole thing. I know, it should have been backed up. I could never do that. Every time I tried to, it would say it failed. I have been attempting to rewrite it, but it will never be the same. I was writing it since 2008. On Solar Baby now, I am using different software than WordPress and I don’t really like it. But I never liked WordPress either. And I still don’t. Now my blog on blogger is my favorite. Never a problem with it. The only thing is that it is not self-hosted and is free to use. So somehow that makes it unstable. I guess because blogger can remove your blog on a whim. The best thing to do is to build your own site, which I have done with Solar Baby and this one, but you are still stuck with the software issue. Still I do not want any content writers for my blogs. They are my voice only and are going to stay that way.

I hope my regular blog readers will understand and I think they do, since most of the them are into this self-sufficient lifestyle and know it is hard work. Please all you spammers, content writers and SEO writers, go find someone who is interested in your work because I am not. Leaving a lame comment on this blog will never be seen, as I delete them all.

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Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole

I write this blog based on my experience living an off-the-grid life as a modern homesteader. Some of the links you may click or products I recommend may or may not compensate me for including them in my post. Be sure to read my disclosure page if you are concerned about that.


Taking Down A Big Tree

Big Cherry Tree

Our big cherry tree

Taking down a big tree near a house is a very critical job. I do not recommend doing it yourself unless you are experienced in cutting trees down. A tree can go down in any direction, even the opposite direction of where you want it to fall. Our big cherry tree was very close to our house. The roots were growing underneath our house for many years now. We had already done work on the foundation of the house, which was a lot of hard work for my husband. He decided that it would be best to get the tree out of there, before it caused more trouble for our house and maybe even our well. So after our apple tree had fallen down, he started on this tree as well. I was nervous about it, since it right near the house and because it was so heavy. I am always afraid of a big tree falling on him as he falls the trees. 

Thick Tree Trunks

Thick trunks!

I know many people will wonder about us taking a big tree like this down because of the shade it would give us in the summer. To tell you the truth, as big as it was, it did not provide much shade. When we sat outside, we usually sat under the old apple tree for shade. With that being gone already, we didn’t even consider this tree a source of shade. This made us think about how taking this tree and some others down would improve our garden. So we went outside to put this plan into action. My husband studied this tree and the area around it. To see what it might hit or if he could direct it in a particular direction. He is very careful when doing this type of work.  

 

Notched tree

Notched the tree

He made a notch on the tree that is essential in the way a big tree will go down. Then he worked from there. It took a long time to cut through this thick tree. I was off in the distance with my camera and our cat. I kept her distracted so she wouldn’t run in the area of the tree falling. 

First Half of Tree

First Half of Tree Down!

Standing off in the distance, I heard the familiar crack – then the tree falls over in slow motion. Then crash! It was down. Of course this was just half of this big tree. We decided to wait till this half is cut up and out of the way before doing the other half of it. 

Tree Down!

Tree Down!

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Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole

I write this blog based on my experience living an off-the-grid life as a modern homesteader. Some of the links you may click or products I recommend may or may not compensate me for including them in my post. Be sure to read my disclosure page if you are concerned about that.


Gasoline Powered Motors

Truck Loaded with Hay

Truck Needed on Homestead


Gasoline powered motors are on their way out on our homestead. We do not really want to use them. Just forced to at the present time. Not too long ago on a homesteading forum I belong to, when I mentioned hating gasoline powered vehicles, I had another member say to me that with proper maintenance those vehicles will work perfectly. Well, I know plenty about gasoline powered motors and vehicles. My father was an automobile mechanic and he loved to work on gasoline motors. Always fixing. Other people would give him their old motors that they had to replace and my father would of course, fix them up and use them. But it was an ongoing thing. Always fixing them. Our vehicles are properly maintained. Very well so, I might add! Always trouble with them no matter how well you take care of them.

2011 Nissan Titan

Our truck is needed!


Our 2011 Nissan Titan pick up truck is a perfect example. With only 36,000 miles it is a big sour lemon! Nissan doesn’t back up their warranties and makes sure they have an out on whatever goes wrong with it. Seems to me that if Nissan really built their vehicles well, they would gladly fix the ones that had issues without worrying about the details in the warranties. Just fix the hunk of junk! We can’t wait to get rid of this one. Even though it is a pretty truck, never will I consider a Nissan vehicle again. For the present time though, we are stuck with gasoline vehicles, I just hope that in the future, we will be driving and charging our own electric vehicles.

Driveway

Our Driveway


Winter time isn’t usually thought of as a really productive time of the year. After all, you are doing those winter chores that most people dread. Snow shoveling being one of them. Plowing a driveway is another one. We do not have a plow on our truck or any other type of equipment that would have a plow. Our driveway is hand shoveled by my husband. With all the winter time work he has to do, he wanted to make the snow removal easier. Why not buy a snowblower? Fuel. We have been challenging ourselves to eliminate fuels as much as possible. Not meaning to leave out the fact that gasoline powered motors of any kind, vehicles, lawnmowers. chainsaws, generators, rototillers and snowblowers, are well known for not starting or being broke down when you need to use them. That is why they are always being replaced and so many end up in the local junkyard. Another important fact that makes us not want to use gasoline powered machines and equipment is the fumes and smell. Why put yourself through the agony of breathing in those toxic fumes if you don’t have to? 

Snow Wolf

Clearing Snow!

In order to make the snow removal job easier this year, we purchased a new type of snow shovel called the Snow Wolf. It out performs snowblowers without the fumes or repairs that are always part of owning and using gasoline powered motors. My husband had to assemble it as it comes in a box. He used it on our driveway and on the paths we have to various areas of our homestead. It worked great and he likes it so far. Easier for him then regular snow shoveling, plus no fumes to breathe, fuel or parts to buy, as with a snowblower. We are very happy with it. It is easier on his back and maybe will not tire him out so bad as shoveling does. I believe it used to be called the “Wovel” and it has a new name and possibly the design might be different. I do not know if it was the exact same snow shovel or not. It has 447 reviews on Amazon and for the most part, it seems like everyone loves it. Time will tell. 

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Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole

I write this blog based on my experience living an off-the-grid life as a modern homesteader. Some of the links you may click or products I recommend may or may not compensate me for including them in my post. Be sure to read my disclosure page if you are concerned about that.


Increasing Your Food Supply


Growing Food

Growing Food

Increasing your food supply is not impossible. The very first thing to do is to make a list of the foods your family eats regularly. These are foods you will begin with. Since I grow a lot of vegetables, that is where I start. I grow only what we like to eat. If I try something new, I only grow one plant to see if we like it and if we eat it. Then the next year, I grow more. I like to eat many vegetables that my husband will not touch. It doesn’t seem fair to me that I can’t eat them because he won’t. So I grow enough for me. If I have enough stored the next year, I can skip growing them that year. 

Alternative Energy System

Our Alternative Energy System


Living with our own alternative energy system means I do not freeze foods. Right now we do not have a freezer But even when we do have one, I will not be doing that. I want to use it for certain foods that do not can well, like berries, steaks, roasts, ice cream, etc. We do not raise any animals for food. We have found that animals increase your expenses and work load. For us, this is the best choice. As I always says, “there are no rules to modern homesteading.” You can do as you please, whatever works for you. Increasing your food supply simply means you should have enough stored for the future, regardless of how you do it. Instead of freezing foods, I can them. I buy produce that I do not grow or that did not do well in my garden that year. I buy it locally and bring it home to can it immediately. As I have gotten older, I only buy enough to fill two pressure canners. It has become too much work for me to do more than that in one day. When I was younger, I canned nonstop, staying up quite late at night. Not now.

Home Canned Meat

My Canned Meat

Meat is easily bought locally from farmers. In recent years, organic meat has become quite easy to locate. Google “pasture raised organic meat in your city or county.” I still buy meat in the grocery stores if I can get a good deal on it. I can mine cooked, as I find it has a better flavor and texture that way. You can do it either way, raw or cooked. The recipes are in any canning book, I use the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. I pour the leftover juice and fat from the pan it was cooked in, into the water that I am boiling the chunks of meat to can in. It gives it more flavor. After canning the meat, any leftover water that I did not use in the jars of meat, I now can as a rich broth. This broth can be used for gravy or soups. 

Food In Cupboard

Some of my food supply

I realize it sounds expensive to be increasing your food supply, but it really isn’t. I use some of the produce and some of the meat for two nights of meals and can the rest. By doing this weekly or monthly, or however often you can afford, it is a good way to stock up your home canned food. Future meals that are fast to prepare. After I have stocked my shelves with meats, broths, vegetables and fruits, I start canning soups, stews, chili and sauces. Those are easy to do and I make a big double batch and keep out enough for two nights of meals and can the rest. Fast food that is really good! 

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Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole

I write this blog based on my experience living an off-the-grid life as a modern homesteader. Some of the links you may click or products I recommend may or may not compensate me for including them in my post. Be sure to read my disclosure page if you are concerned about that.


Our Old Heirloom Apple Tree

Our Old Heirloom Apple Tree

Our Old Heirloom Apple Tree

Old heirloom apple trees are growing all through the state forest land around us. We were fortunate enough to have a few on our property. They were really old though, and most of them have rotted and fallen over through out the years we have lived here. One was left in our back yard. Originally there were two others right near it. We lost the two of them around 2005 or so. The funny thing is that they were loaded with apples and then one day, apples and all, they are on the ground. Sad to see. 

Apple Tree On Ground

Poor Apple Tree

This tree has given us a lot of apples. Just this year, my husband was gathering apples from this tree and the one along the front of the paddock. That one is not an old one, but came up on its own a few years ago. Last night we had some strong wind. We have it pretty often around here, nothing unusual. This morning when my husband went out to do the chores, he called me and said to look out in the backyard. I thought there was a bear out there. Nope, our little apple tree had fallen over. Not all of it, but the part that still had nice green leaves on it. And apples! Lots of apples! Even on the parts that looked dead and had no leaves, still had apples. We were planning on taking the dead side down soon anyway. But not the whole tree!

Woodpecker in the tree

Woodpecker in the tree

Now we have decided to just take the whole thing down. The trunk was badly rotted inside. The cherry tree next to it will be coming down soon (like within this next month), as the roots are growing underneath our house. We want that area behind the house to add on to the house, so that has to come down anyway. Now the little apple tree will be gone too. It will open up our backyard a lot and there is a lot of things we are planning for it. This will make it much easier. But I will sure miss that tree. As soon as we were out there looking at it, a woodpecker came right close to us onto the tree. He wasn’t too happy about losing it either.

Cat Checking out fallen tree

Hobo checking it out!

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Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole


Fall In Upstate New York


Homesteading on the Internet

Forest Across the Road


Fall is here in upstate New York! It is a beautiful time of year. For some people, me especially, the cooler temperatures are a welcome relief. No matter how much I try, I just don’t care for hot weather. Hard to believe I lived in Florida and loved it back then. Of course, air conditioning was constant the years I lived there as an adult. Now that I am older, I definitely cannot take the heat. There will be no “snowbirding” or retiring to a warmer climate for me! I plan to stay right here in New York state, and quite happily.

wheel_1000
Fall for me usually is a time of gardening and canning. This year the garden didn’t do so well, so not much work to speak of. I didn’t go the local produce market either, which I usually do. Not enough time this year. I have finally built up my eBay store, katlupe’s Shop, to making some money, so can’t take the time off. I will get back to canning, besides I’d rather get some meat to can and that is something I do all year long. Especially during the winter. This year I am planning on making a variety of fast meals in a jar that are low carbs only. No potatoes, rice or pasta! After the potatoes I have in my pantry are gone, I won’t be buying any more. My husband can eat the last of them as I am not touching them.

Purple flowers

Purple Flowers!


Finding fresh greens outside for a our pet house rabbit, “Rabbit” is almost over with. He has been loving the big variety we find for him every morning and evening. I am hoping to find a source of organic carrot tops for him. They are one of his favorite foods and we had a huge amount growing all summer. He gobbled them up heartily. In the future, we plan to rebuild our deck into a sun room and can hopefully, grow greens all winter for all of us. I will miss the cucumbers too. We do not buy cucumbers in the store very often. We just give them up when the garden is done. This year I didn’t start them inside, which is probably why our garden wasn’t as good as usual. Lesson learned!

Planter

Empty now!


This bed in the picture has our guy wires from the wind turbine inside. These beds were finished early this fall. I have two of these beds and I have written about them in a previous post or two. This one had cucumbers and cilantro growing in it. They did very well. I have considered planting some cold weather greens in these beds and covering them with some heavy plastic. One year we had kale in the garden and left it over the winter. I dug down under the deep snow to harvest some and it was good. Not ruined at all. So I believe I could do that again. If you dig down deep in the snow it is warmer than you think. One year when I was cleaning the outhouse roof off, my feet were deep down in the snow and they were hot. If you walk out into the forest behind us in the cold winter months, you will find little deer beds all over the place. They just scrunch down into the snow and sleep, the mothers with their tiny fawn beds right next to them. Loved seeing that! 

Fall in NY state

Beautiful Fall Days!

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Copyright © 2014 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2014 Kathleen G. Lupole


Preparing For Winter


Peaceful Forest

Peaceful Forest


Preparing for winter is always on a homesteader’s mind. Summer is officially over for me on the Labor Day holiday. It already felt like fall here in upstate New York anyway. The trees surrounding our homestead have been steadily falling and turning color. Fall always means a time to set goals and get to work. Must be my brain associates it with the back to school time period from my youth. Normally, I’d be canning up a storm right now, but our garden didn’t produce as much as it normally does. The weather was the culprit, not I! Does that mean I do not have much food in my pantry this year? No! It doesn’t. Every year, I can as much as I possibly can. The years my garden has produced a lot of vegetables, I did not give them away or throw them out. I canned them. Even when I had summer squash coming out of my ears. I saw it in my sleep……I swear, I did. 

Preparing for Winter

Home Canned Pantry

If you took a look at my cupboard of home canned vegetables, you would see quite a variety. Right now the one thing I am low on is meat and fruit. Soon I will be at my local markets to pick up some to can and that will round out our food supply in no time. Fall is the best time for those delicious NY apples, grapes and pears. Fall is also the best time to purchase local meat from farmers. This is the time they send livestock to market so they don’t have to feed it over the winter. Having a cupboard full of fast food, which is what I call it, makes winter easier, so when preparing for winter, keep that in mind. Especially if you have power outages where you live. I am fortunate not to have any, but that is another story.

Gathering Kindling

Gathering Kindling

My list for preparing for winter this year includes:

  • Firewood – a good size pile to start with. We get more all winter.
  • Kindling – we still have a supply of that, but will get more anyway.
  • Wood Stove – cleaning out the wood stove, if it needs it and the chimney. The chimney my husband cleans all winter long as needed.
  • Gasoline – for our generator and chainsaw. 
  • Fuel Mix & Extra Chains – for chainsaw. 
  • Windows – they are not energy efficient, still have wavy glass. Cover them with clear plastic for extra protection.
  • Wood Cook Stove – take the whole stove apart, piece by piece and thoroughly clean it. The chimney on this stove never needs cleaning.
  • Vehicles – they have been worked on a lot this summer, so should be good to go, unless something else happens to them.
  • Horses – no worry there! Winter is their season………..they live for it!
  • Food & Supplies – always adding more and replenishing what we have used. Lots of home canned foods.
  • Griswold Bolo Oven – Bring it downstairs near the wood stove. We will be baking and roasting in it all winter.
  • Warm Clothing – this is what we need this year. Both of us are lacking in the shoe department. So new boots, shoes, slippers (for me), gloves, jacket and socks and jeans for my husband.

This is about it for us. Preparing for winter gets easier the more years you have done it. It seems to be easier for homesteaders living off the grid. Whatever you do, plan for it and work on it during the summer. Winter will arrive no matter what. In NY, winter is hard so we do what we must.

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Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2015 Kathleen G. Lupole