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Life on a homestead is anything but relaxed. It’s often hectic, frequently busy, and can leave you feeling mentally and physically
exhausted even if you are spiritually and emotionally fulfilled. But the beginning of late winter, starting with the New Year, is one of the few lulls on the homestead. It gives you a chance to catch your breath. You can sit down and dream during these early weeks… all the way into mid-February in many cases.
Creating a New Year’s Homesteading To-Do list is very unique to each and every homestead out there. No two homesteads are alike. Everyone runs their homestead in a unique way. We all bring our own flavor and flair to how we run our homes. But, in general, these are the things you should focus on while creating a new year to-do list for your homestead.
Look Back for Your New Year To-Do List
Take some time to mentally go over the past year. Then spend some time talking things over with your spouse and family. Discuss what worked, what didn’t work, and how things can be improved going forward. Use this discussion to then focus forward – do you want to add livestock? What kind? Do you need to change up what vegetables you grew in the garden? What chores can be streamlined?
Care for your livestock. Take some time to turn over your deep litter for your poultry. Plan out your breeding and butchering schedule. Make sure that your livestock are comfortable, healthy, and will contentedly make it through to the spring.
In the Garden
Check on and feed bees if they need it. Spend some time going over old hives and building some new ones. Prune your fruit trees and apply a dormant oil spray so that early diseases and fungus’ don’t find a way to take root and steal your harvest. You’ll also want to start thinking about tapping your maple trees so you can get syrup.
Spend time poring over vegetable seed catalogs. Plan out your veggie garden. Start buying heirloom seeds and stocking up on gardening supplies. Research different gardening methods, spend time looking for resources that are local and mentors you can work with to be even more successful in the coming year. Get your seed order pulled together and order in a timely fashion. Make sure that you inventory the seeds that you already have and go through your supplies so that you can start your seeds on time.
Don’t forget to look back at your gardening journal and see where you had great successes, think about and note what you did. Same thing with your garden failures – this way you’ll have the information on what NOT to do this coming year.
This is also the time to learn when the right time is to start your seeds and delve into the Farmer’s Almanac to figure out how things are slated to look weather-wise in your region.
Learn and Grow in Your New Year To-Do List
Create a list of topics you want to learn about and ideas you want to implement on your homestead this year. Then pull together a list of the books and blogs that have information that you can go over to learn more about this stuff.
Decide on one or two new skills that you want to develop in the coming year. Write up a list of what supplies you’ll need and make sure you have an exit strategy if things don’t work out. Your exit strategy is a way to make sure you can recoup any monies spent on supplies – most likely by selling your remaining supplies to someone else.
Decide when you will be able to get out and do some yard clean-up. The perfect time is between the snowy weather and the rain. You’ll want to trim brush, check fences for breaks and mend or repair them. Pick up downed limbs, and you can even start chopping wood for the next year. This is also a great time to take care of cleaning and sharpening any tools that you’re going to need in February and didn’t get done before the snow first rolled in.
Make Other To Do Lists
Start pulling together your Spring Cleaning Checklist as part of your New Year To-Do List. Make sure you have everything you need to be ready for your homestead to start waking up in March and April.