Technically, this is a post I could write every year. There is always something to do to prepare for winter on an acreage.
Now, we don’t have any acreage animals or crops or even a garden. So this year, the process was pretty straight forward.
I already shared with you that Tyler installed electricity to the outside of the shed for the tractor. That was the biggest winter prep step done this year.
But after that, Tyler also spent time (every so often) chopping wood. This year, he moved some of that wood to the shed and covered it to protect it for the elements. (In case you didn’t recall, the shed is heated by a wood burning stove).
Some is covered by the tarp and then other little excess bits are put in this plastic drum. Tyler splits wood by hand, so there are knots and swirling grains that make splitting it difficult. So he actually cuts out these problem areas for light burning when the weather is nice or he is out working in the shed only briefly. He moves the drum with the tractor to the wood pile and fills it back up.
What did I do to prepare for winter? Well, I moved the cube freezer inside from the garage.
After we were first married, my parents bought us a deep freezer-a big white cube looking thing to store a lot of frozen goods. I’ve realize now that this isn’t a common practice outside of the Midwest or other locations that deal with severe weather. But it’s helpful to have extra food frozen for when the weather turns bad, or when you are gifted a 1/4 hog, or to store the vegetables you grew that you don’t want to turn into soggy canned vegetables.
Tyler wasn’t thrilled with it initially. But, in his defense, the first couple years of our marriage he wasn’t thrilled with obtaining any items of any kind until we had our final acreage and dream home. He’s since realized that putting off owning some things that make your life better isn’t always a terrible idea….sometimes. 🥴
The freezer sat in our storage shed after we bought the homestead, while we lived with friends for a year and a half and then the eleven months we lived in a duplex after that.
But we didn’t bring it in the house once we moved in. A couple years ago, Tyler was gifted a lot of hog. And our tiny fridge freezer couldn’t hold it all. So he plugged in the cube freezer in the garage.
I mostly didn’t think about the freezer at all. At least, not until covid hit and the shortages at the grocery stores began happening. While we don’t live very far from grocery stores and can always get out with a tractor (worst case scenario) during inclement weather, I hadn’t ever considered food shortages or being quarantined and unable to leave the house.
Getting to the cube freezer in the garage was frustrating. There was always wood laying up against the freezer. It was covered in saw dust. There aren’t lights in the garage with a switch that we can turn on. It’s also very cold or very hot, depending on the season. So using it during quarantine while it was in the garage was beginning to become a pain. And with the weather cooling down and the sun setting earlier-who wants to crawl over a garage for a wood with your iPhone flashlight to pull out a frozen pizza while wearing a huge parka?
So, I decided that it would be beneficial to move the cube freezer inside the house. And, since we don’t have a main floor bathroom, that seemed like the perfect place to stash it near to the kitchen, but not in the way.
It was…heavy. I removed everything that was inside it. And wiped all the sawdust and dirt off of it. Then I had to move it around the band saw and stacks of wood. I leaned it onto my thighs to get it up the steps into the house. And then I shimmied it back and forth along the floor to get it into the main floor bathroom.
It’s super nice to have it so close by. And I loaded up on cheese, butter, frozen pizzas, and meat.
And, bonus, I can start to keep more at hand for the winter snowstorms and future pandemics.