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Updated: Dec 13, 2022

Are you ready for winter on the homestead? Today in this episode we are going to go through different parts of your homestead: your home, your garden, the areas that care for your animals and we are going to prepare them for winter. Let's get growing!

I certainly know that I drag my feet when it comes to preparing for winter. I don’t know if I am just trying to prolong fall and not accept that winter is just around the corner, but as a grower we prepare all summer for our winter storage needs. I know that is my goal as a grower to grow as much of my own food all spring, summer, and fall long so that I can go into the winter months not dependent on the grocery store.

But there is more to preparing for winter than just gathering food. Well, I am going to talk about that a little bit today but mostly it is about getting our homes, animals, garden, and our mindset ready to endure 4 months of being cooped up and cold. And how we can make chores easier, prepare for weather emergencies and more!

Different Parts of the Homestead

Before we get knee deep, I want to quickly say that I am going to split all of this information by the different parts of your homestead. If you are just starting out and don’t have a garden or animals then I encourage you to just focus on the home part of this blog post. But if you have everything and would like more clarity on each part of your homestead, then I want you to break this huge project down into pieces. Breaking down a huge project can take the overwhelm out of the whole project and put it into easy accomplishable portions.


The first place we should start preparing for winter is the heart of the homestead. The kitchen may be the heart of the home. But our home is the center and nucleus of our homestead. Every day starts and ends in our home. Our home is where we come to feel safe and secure. When we prepare our home for winter, our focus is going to be on making a comfortable and safe place so that we can have a refuge from the cold and a place for us to center our mindset on our family and the Lord!

Clean Up

I don’t know about you but the quickest way that I can give myself breathing room or better yet help reset my mindset, after time with the Lord of course, is to walk into a clean kitchen. A clean kitchen helps me start my day with the confidence I need to accomplish my long list of things I need to get done. I spend a lot of time in my kitchen and when it is messy or disorganized it makes every task I need to accomplish stressful.

The same can be said for our homes. During the winter we are going to spend more time in our homes than we ever do in the growing season. So now is the time to clean up our home and make a welcoming environment that is free of dust and healthy to be in.

The Lord gives us different seasons for a reason, and the reason for winter is so that we can focus on the home. We can have a more concentrated time focusing on our kids, our husbands, and the state of our homes. I am going to tell you right now that I have struggled with focusing on creating a clean, healthy home for my family for years and if it was not for the Lord's guidance I would not be able to say this. I am not a person who enjoys cleaning let alone being inside. I want to be out with my animals or accomplishing goals and projects outside. I have for years just done the minimum when it came to the inside work. But then Lord showed me that my job as a grower is to not only grow but to also create a healthy place for my family, to grow, thrive, and even eat the healthy food that I worked so hard to grow.

Winter is when we as humans come into the home and when our home is full of dust and dirt the very air we breathe can be unhealthy. Air heavy with dust particles let alone mold can cause asthma, breathing problems, and even cause allergies to flare.

So just spend a little more time when you are cleaning this month to clean those little extra places and I promise you will start to see a world of difference in how you feel every day.

Prepare for Emergencies

Winter can be full of different emergencies especially when we take winter storms into account. Just this week here on the homestead we were under a winter storm warning for three days. It was expected to snow 8 inches. It is currently still snowing, only God knows how much snow we will get. But the point is you need to be ready.

Speaking of not being ready, when I was at the grocery store I saw many a frazzled mom trying to grab all she could just in case. You don’t want to be that person. You want to be able to take every storm in stride because you already have everything your family needs at home.

Here are just a few things that you need to prepare now so that you are ready for whatever happens this winter.

Be sure that you are stocked up in your pantry on the necessary items you will need to still continue to cook from scratch or better yet have items on your shelves that will not need to be cooked just in case the electricity goes out.

I like to have a few cans of meat and already cooked beans. In fact if you are wondering what you should stock up your pantry with I have a podcast episode that can walk you through everything. Be sure to look over the show notes too.

The next is to be sure that you stock up your car. The road may become impassable and you can get stuck in town or worse on the side of the road. Be sure to have some extra cash for staying in a motel and shelf stable food and water in your car.


The second place that we should prepare for winter on the homestead is the garden. Our gardens are a source of large amounts of food for our family so you need to be sure that you care for it through the winter too.

Soil to Bed

In my book, Dirt: Finding the Solution to Building Soil Health I have a whole chapter about the importance of covering your garden soil especially during the winter. Many growers get through the growing season exhausted, I know I do, and still need to get all of their delicious produce preserved, so it is easy to forget about our garden and put the soil to bed. The soil of your garden is a living breathing part of your growing journey. If you don’t care for it, it will stop living and producing its normal bountiful harvest. Here are a few steps you can take to prepare your soil for winter but if you would like more information be sure to check a podcast episode from Season 7, A Fall Garden Can Be For Building Your Soil Too or blog post, 7 Reason Soil Health Is So Important.

The first step is to clean up your garden. I know more cleaning, but when you leave old plants standing in your soil you give pests and diseases a place to hide.

Second, cover your soil. You can do this with a simple tarp or with cover crops. To learn more about cover crops grab my book I mentioned above!


Speaking of my eBook, education is the next thing that you can do this winter. When your garden is nicely tucked in for the winter, now is the time to study up on a few things that can help you next year. Not sure what you need to know to make next year’s growing season better then I suggest that you conduct your own Growing Audit!


A growing audit in its simplest form is where you grab all of your notes and plans, your growing results and see what exactly happens. By looking at your growing season as a whole you will be able to 1) see if you did what you said you were going to do 2) you completed the goals you hoped to and 3) can make a plan for next year based on your actual results not guesses. Step three is where you find out what you need to improve or what you can learn to improve next year.

Know if this seems overwhelming, don’t worry I have you covered. I struggled with this step too. That is why I developed an amazing system to help you walk through each step in a guide I developed. This guide will not only walk you through the steps but also has a checklist for all the types of paperwork you would need to complete your audit. Here is where you can grab your own copy, I can’t wait for you to dive in and make next year your best growing season yet.


Now for the third place on the homestead that you should be getting reading for winter and that is your animals and their shelters.

Feed Stock Up

Just like above in your kitchen you need to stock up the feed your animals can’t live without. Yes, of course you might be thinking of hay, that is a given but what about the other feeds your animals may need. Here is an example. I give my dairy goats a specific grain ration through the winter to help them produce milk even when it is cold. This mix is made for me by a feed producer over the mountain from us. So it is not easy for me to run over to grab another bag whenever I need it. I need to stock up. I calculated that my goat girls will need 5 bags of this grain to last us through the winter. So before the snow began to fly I stored up those bags in my barn.

I do want to add here that if you are going to store extra grain you are going to need to store it in a rodent proof container. I use 50 gallon metal drums with tight metal lids.

Clean Up Barns

Here is just a little bit more cleaning you are going to need to do. I know personally I would rather clean my barn instead of my house. If you are like me and struggle with doing certain chores, I have a great podcast episode for you.

Now back to more cleaning, having a clean barn for your animals is going to benefit your animals just as a clean house benefits you. Plus it is going to help you take care of them too.

Routine Care

Speaking of care, another way to help you animals through the winter is to give them their scheduled routine care. Here is another example. Winter is a big season for my dairy girls because it is the breeding season so I need to make sure that they are ready for it even in the coldest of temperatures. I make sure that they are eating the right ration and I trim their feet. With all the activity that happens when they dance with the buck, having their feet trimmed gives them the stability they need. I also test for worms before winter so that if they need treatment I can be sure they are treated before breeding season starts.

Oh, I forgot the other material that you need to stock up for your animals is bedding. Bedding is an important part of keeping your animals' area clean and warm.

Deep Bedding System

I personally love to use the deep bedding system in my barn and chicken coops. This is where instead of cleaning your barn out during the winter you actually add more material to cover up your animal’s messes. This has many benefits. My favorite is that it is a great way to create compost for my garden even in the winter.

When the bedding begins to pile up the bottom will begin to decompose and ferment. Which creates compost as well as heat. And this heat can directly benefit your animals.

Now this may cause a huge clean up in the spring but I think the benefit outweighs this single con.

I want to thank you for joining me. Preparing for winter is going to take time and planning but when the wind starts blowing you will be sitting warm and cozy ready for whatever it brings.

For those of you that would like to learn more about being ready for winter then I do suggest that you listen to the Time to Stock Up your Winter Pantry podcast episode, next.

Second, if you would like to learn more about preserving your own food and producing a purposeful home then go back to Season 4 of the Pray, Just Plant Podcast.

And lastly if you would like to learn more about creating a more purposeful life be sure to sign up for the Red Ridge Farmstead Fellowship of Growers Newsletter!

Don’t Let the World Hold You Back,

Pray, Just Plant!

Quick Links

Show Notes

Luke 1:5-45

Time Stamps


Different Parts of the Homestead

Home- Clean Up, Prepare for Emergencies

Tip and Trick

Garden- Soil to Bed, Education, Audit

Growing with God

Animals- Feed Stock Up, Clean Up Barns, Routine Care

Deep Bedding System


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