Behind the Scenes: October 2019 – A quick recap of some of the homestead happenings that occurred this month, including: prepping our homestead for winter, transitioning to fall eating and savoring the fall season!
Slow living during Fall:
Fall is such a lovely season on the homestead. As soon as the cool weather hits, my ambition to do a lot of things starts to dwindle! Unfortunately, most of those things are chores that need to get done before winter comes! But, even with all the chores, fall is a fantastic time to practice “slow living”.
What is slow living? Slow living is an approach to life that values embracing each season, living intentionally, and living in as natural of way as possible. Sounds a lot like homesteading, huh?
It’s true! I think that homesteading is the epitome of slow living! However, even as homesteaders, it’s good to take some time to intentionally practice slow living. It’s so very easy to get so caught up in everything that we “have” to get done on a homestead that we barely notice or enjoy this crazy, adventurous life that we live!
So call it slow living or seasonal living or anything you want! But, we make sure that we carve out some time each fall to intentionally enjoy the good stuff in life! Here are a few of my favorite ways to savor the fall season!
Ways for homesteaders to enjoy slow living this fall:
- Go for a walk in nature (we do this a TON in fall to enjoy the foliage!)
- Bake for the joy of baking, not just to put food on the table
- Sit by the fire, turn off the electronics and read a book as a family or couple
- Take a walk around your property with the sole purpose of enjoying how it looks during autumn
- Bonfires with hot apple cider and family and friends
- Cuddle with your pets and drink tea
- Take a morning to sleep in and fully savor it instead of feeling guilty
- Indulge in a special seasonal treat – like pumpkin scones from a bakery or fresh apple cider from a local orchard
- Here are even more ideas from one of my favorite blogs, Homespun Seasonal Living!
Preparing for winter on the homestead:
Speaking of all those chores we need to get done in the fall…
Every year, I’m surprised by how much work it is to get everything ready for winter! I honestly think that fall is just as busy as spring… except that I have far less energy by this time of the year! ? Seriously, there’s just so many things to pick up and put away! I never feel more messy than in the Fall when I realize how many things we need to clean and put away!
With October coming to a close, we are still far from finished! But hey, I just keep reminding myself of that quote from Lao Tzu: “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” That’s my attitude this fall! No need to stress or rush. It will all be accomplished in time!
That being said, here are some of the things we actually did accomplish in October:
- Canned and preserved the produce we brought in before the first frost
- Cleaned and collected the remaining seeds from plants that we had dried
- Finished drying herbs
- Deep cleaned the chicken coops
- Prepared goat barns for winter
- Put out the heated waterers for animals & cleaned and put away summer waterers
- Deep cleaned the house (cause we all know there’s no time for that nonsense during gardening season!)
- Cleaned chimney and wood stove (and then deep cleaned the house again after getting ash on everything ?)
- Had automatic sprinklers blown out
- Put away hoses
- Cleaned and put away almost all of the pots, garden markers and garden tools
- Began removing stepping stones and sprinkler lines from garden beds
- Removed dead plants and pulled weeds in garden beds
- Began mulching garden beds with leaves and compost
- Turned and watered compost piles to heat them up before winter
- Planted cold-hardy greens in the cold frames
- Cleaned and organized the hay barn
- Began picking up fallen leaves and apply them to garden and flower beds
So, clearly there’s still a lot left that we need to get done in November! You can read all the details about how we prepare our home and homestead for fall in these posts:
- 10 Fall Chores to Prepare your Organic Garden for Winter
- 10 Fall Chicken Coop Chores to do this Season
- How to Prepare for Winter on the Homestead + Free Checklists
Transitioning to Fall Seasonal Eating:
I truly believe in seasonal eating. I believe that our bodies need different foods during different seasons. And I believe that if we pay attention to what nature provides, our bodies will benefit greatly from it! Because of this, I try to eat as seasonally as possible. And one of the easiest ways to do that is by simply eating what we grow right here on our homestead!
However, for me, one of the hardest seasonal eating transitions is during the fall. It’s very hard to adjust to not having a garden full of food right outside the kitchen door! While we still have some cold hardy plants, like carrots, kohlrabi, onions and kale available throughout October, the majority of our fresh food is gone for the year.
October just seems too early to already be eating our winter food supply! I hate having to break into all the produce that we’ve worked so hard to can and put away during the summer when the fall season is just beginning! Usually we pig out on all things squash during October and November. Unfortunately though, this year we didn’t grow hardly any squash in an effort to combat last year’s overwhelming squash bug infestation.
Because of this, I’ve been relying more on baked foods this fall to help compensate. And I’ve been fully utilizing the kohlrabi and carrots in everything from pasta sauce to fritters and fried rice! And I have had to give in and start using some of our preserved food. Luckily, we were able to preserve more food than ever before and our shelves and freezer are fully stocked this year!
You can read all about how and why we eat seasonally here and also get a free printable guide to get started with seasonal eating!