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Prepare for Winter with these Easy & Fun Ideas

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Preparing for winter is something we all should do. This not only the thing of off-grid, self-sufficient homesteads. It is in fact, a fun way to live intentionally and seasonally.

Make Oatmeal Fixings

Dehydrate some summer and fall fruit into slices or chunks to add to winter oatmeal or other hot cereal later on. There is an amazing, simple pleasure in making your own apple cinnamon oatmeal on a cold winter day.

Dehydrating fruit is especially easy if you have a dehydrator but can also be done in the oven. Be aware that dried fruit shrinks up considerably so a big box of something fresh might only yield a quart of dried fruit on the pantry shelf.

If you truly fall in love with drying fruit, freeze drying at home is now an option (expensive but doable).

Get Ready for Sore Muscles

Fall likely means raking of leaves and winter can mean shoveling snow. Be ready to treat those sore muscles by making a few home remedies now. Most of these are super easy and fairly hands-off.

Birch leaf infused oil is an amazing and simple remedy. Simply infuse those leaves in oil for a bit. Strain and then massage into sore muscles later.

Soothe and nourish overworked hands and feet with the power of beeswax and natural ingredients in this DIY calendula cocoa butter balm.

If you live when CBD is legal, try making this amazing salve.

Soften skin that has taken a beating from drier air with this moisturizing and soothing sore muscle liniment.

Make Sandwich Condiments

Think ahead to all those feast leftovers. Those sandwiches from the turkey or ham, deserve a little something special to dress them up.

Make a batch of homemade ketchup – go with a traditional tomato or try something from foraged fruits.

Can up some pickles.

Preserve some relish.

Make a mustard.

Be ready for quick and easy homemade sandwiches by topping them with something made from the garden or local farmers’ market.

Comfort Food Preparation

Winter is the season of comfort food but that doesn’t mean it can’t be healthy and homemade too. Get ready for those warming, comforting meals now by taking advantage of this season’s abundance.

Make and freeze pesto for winter meals.

A jar of roasted tomato pizza sauce.

Can up some pizza sauce.

Make a compound butter out of the herbs for winter soups and stews.

Fill the Spice Rack

Store bought dried spices can be iffy at best in the quality and flavor department. Drying homegrown or local herbs is super easy and hands-off, too. Hang a few small bunches of your favorites to fill spice jars and have vibrant homegrown touches to most every meal this winter.

Connect to a more natural and intentional lifestyle by learning to embrace spring living with these easy and practical tips.

Get Ready for Baking 

Whether or not you celebrate the traditional holidays, winter seems to be baking season for many of us.

Create herbal sugars, make homemade extracts, and whip up sweet compound butters.

A jar of sugar and lilac blossoms sitting on a table.

These simple homegrown, local, and fresh flavors will give all your baked goods an extra special touch whether you keep them for yourself or give them away. 

Gather Aromatherapy Supplies

Winter often means closed windows and less fresh air. Combat the staleness and dryness of winter air with some homemade potpourri.

Take some time now to gather a basket or two of supplies to have on hand for later. Gather pine cones, dehydrate fruit peels, and harvest fragrant flower petals to dry.

Later this winter, toss these ingredients into some water and simmer on the stove or in a slow cooker (with the lid off) for some naturally delicious smelling steam to fill the house.

Prepare for Winter Heating

Start getting ready now. Gather, buy, split, and stack fire wood. Order propane or heating oil. Get new filters for the furnace.

The abundance of late summer makes it fun and easy to prepare for winter. Use these 8 projects now for a little homemade security in the change of seasons.

It’s so much nicer to be prepared ahead of time for any unexpected cold weather that might show up early. It might also be more frugal to do it early rather than waiting and competing with everyone else who waited. 

Keep it Fun

None of these activities have to take up a bunch of time. While all of these individual things can provide us a level of security and self-sufficiency and those are reasons enough to do them, also let the making and using of them to be fun and enjoyable now and later.

Snow covered mountain side.

Remove the pressure of trying to do all the self-sufficiency things from the activity and enjoy the act of doing something by hand. 

Take a few hours here and there in the coming weeks to do a project or three. Have fun with them and enjoy the sense of home and security that comes from doing a few things in this season for the next. 

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Goats R Us

Tuesday 17th of October 2017

That first pictures of the white berries looks like a shrub growing here in the south. love reading your posts!

Kathie Lapcevic

Tuesday 17th of October 2017

Thanks so much for reading. Those are western snowberries, they're not edible. I've read that maybe they can be eaten cooked but no one does that I know of anyway. I think they're pretty however.

Lady Locust

Thursday 12th of October 2017

That is a lot of firewood! Is that yours? I haven't read "about" yet; you must be in Canada or the artic - heehee. Great list.

Kathie Lapcevic

Thursday 12th of October 2017

Northwest Montana and it is a lot of firewood. Several seasons worth actually. Got a good deal kinda thing and figure it's better than money in the bank.

Helena

Wednesday 30th of August 2017

I love the idea of drying fruit for oatmeal fixings. Question: when you're cooking rolled oats (regular, not instant or quick cooking) do you just add the dried fruit in with the oats, and it's all ready together, or do you add it partway through cooking?

We discovered this summer that pesto makes a delicious sandwich spread, especially with homemade focaccia. This is the first year we've managed to save enough basil from the bugs to make pesto, instead of using it more sparingly, and it's been such a delight.

Homespun Seasonal Living

Thursday 31st of August 2017

I toss the dried fruit in with the rolled oats and let it all cook together. The fruit gets soft and it even sweetens up the oats a bit from the natural sugars in the fruit soaking through the cooking water. Yay for that pesto!

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