Homestead Off Days: Cold Weather Means Indoor Work

cold weather homesteadI don't expect today to be a truly off day. The chickens still need feeding, the broilers need attention and the bees will need a syrup change here this afternoon. But this cold, icy spitting weather (yes, I know it's mid-May) was on our radar and expected. As such, we were prepared.

There are a few tasks to complete when unseasonable weather comes to a homestead, and most of it is about getting chores done quickly and protecting those plants that can't take such a drop in temperature. Once that's done, it's time to see what we can accomplish indoors.

Indoor Homestead Work

cold weather homestead
We're only a few weeks out of winter, and the snow and ice hold-over has long since melted away. But our night are still in the mid- to upper-thirties some nights. That means a warm lamp on the broilers, a shut-in practice on the new layer pullets and ensuring plenty of syrup for the bees when they cannot forage.

As many of you know, both Wendie and I work from home 90% of the time, with the other 10% meeting with clients or teaching on campus at our local community college. Wendie generally works downstairs, surrounded by books, her files, large windows overlooking the lake and a pretty comfortable set-up. For me, I like to work upstairs in the living room within close reach to a comfy couch and the fridge for snacks when I'm feeling peckish.

A cold and wet day lets us really focus on this work. I can write several SEO article for clients and crank out this blog post, while Wendie makes strides with client websites, publicity tours and social media contracts. The plan today is to write a bit, work on some illustrations we've been commissioned for a young adult novel and maybe take a nap. The kids are at school from 8-3, so the quiet of the house really works in our favor.

Cold Weather Homestead

cold weather homesteadThat isn't to say we disregard the animals during miserable weather. In fact, they might get an extra check or two as the day moves along to ensure they're staying dry and comfortable, as well as ensuring their water and food are still available. Checks seem to occur every couple of hours, when the need to get up and stretch overcomes us. A mug of tea, a rain slicker and some muck boots makes any walk-about more cozy.

Perhaps one of the best reasons for me to work indoors on such days is the need to light a fire in the wood stove. I grew up with a house that was primarily heated that way, and I already miss the ritual of building a fire during winter mornings. A cold weather homestead lets me light her up and enjoy the quiet hiss and pop of a well-built wood stove fire.

Around 3, we'll pack up and go get the kids at school. We'll shift gears and begin to prep for dinner, all the while catching up with each other on what we've accomplished. At 8, it's bedtime, and we all snuggle in to our warm beds to get ready for what tomorrow brings.

We love sharing our off-the-grid homesteading life with you all, and truly enjoy it when you add to the conversation below. What are you cold weather homestead rituals? Do you have enough indoor homestead work to keep you busy, or are cold and rainy days you chance to relax a bit? Let us know by joining the conversation, and as always, remember to subscribe for more homesteading goodness!


Lisa Lynn said…
We heat with wood too and Tom just removed the firewood box from the livingroom yesterday. (which means we should be expecting cold weather any time now!) I have been instructed to take it easy by my doctor...I had laser surgery to stop a retinal tear from progressing into a detached week ago. However, I still plan to butcher some of my chickens today. That's taking it easy, right?! doctor doesn't know me very well. ;)
WT Abernathy said…
We love the wood heat:) It can get kind of dry during long burns, even with a kettle on the stove top, but that connection of smell and warmth is magical:)
We're just coming into week 4 on the broilers, so another couple of weeks and we'll be doing the same.
Lisa Lombardo said…
You are so right about the smell and warmth! We heated with wood when I was a kid and it takes me back. Thanks so much for sharing this on Farm Fresh Tuesdays!
WT Abernathy said…
It may be spring, but we're already starting to think about how much we'll need this winter:)