Skip to main content

Is it winter yet? Cold weather preps

Technically no, its only Autumn, but in the last week our temperatures have plummeted (to use a TV weather report term) and we have started to take this cold season a bit more seriously. Now I know you Southerners and anyone from a country that gets snow, are all just laughing about the “cold” we experience here in Queensland, but when you consider that over the last few weeks our overnight temperatures have gone from around 20degC (i.e. sleeping under a sheet only) to 5degC (i.e. finding more blankets in the middle of the night), I think we can safely say that it is now cold (relatively speaking). Winter starts at winter solstice, 21st of June here in the Southern Hemisphere, so we have plenty more cold to look forward to (and I spent the last 6 months of 30-35degC highs waiting for winter, so I'm not complaining!).

Here’s a few posts I prepared earlier, because winter happens every year and I’ve written about it before a few times!

eight acres: cold weather preps

Keeping Warm
If you haven’t read about our woodstove yet, here’s a few posts to get you started. I love our woodstove, it is one of the first really “self-sufficient” things we bought. And we have plenty of wood on our property (about 100 acres of trees), so we should be ok for wood heating for the rest of our lives. We use the woodstove for cooking all through winter and it keeps the house warm too.  We even use the ash on the garden. If you don’t have a woodstove, maybe you can use Lavender wheat heat packs to keep warm this winter! And don’t forget the dogs…. Sewing dog coats.

Woodstoves for heating and cooking

Winter Woodfires: installing a woodfire

Winter Woodfires: cooking in a woodstove

Winter Woodstoves: using wood ash

Winter woodfires: how to light a fire

Winter woodfires: preparing firewood




eight acres: cold weather preps

Knitting (and crochet)
Knitting always seems like more of a winter craft. I don’t really like to knit when its 30degC and my hands are all sweaty, but come winter and the knitting addiction returns. Over the past few years I’ve been teaching myself to knit, and more recently, to crochet. Youtube has been a fantastic resource. I have even learnt to knit socks and am working on a lacey alpaca wool shawl at the moment.

Knitting - some people make it look so easy!

Knitting is a survival skill

Learning to knit from a pattern

Knitting - how to handle a hank of yarn

Easy knitted arm warmers

Knitting socks on four double-pointed needles

I'm hooked! Learning to crochet...

Finger-crocheted rag rug from old t-shirts



eight acres: cold weather preps

Garden
Even though we are in the sub-tropics, we still get the occasional frosty morning. Usually 5-7 per year. But you only need one to kill frost sensitive plants, so this really limits what we can grow over winter, but it also kills lots of bugs, including the flies that worry the cattle.

The main thing we do for winter is roll up the shade cloth on the sides of the garden, and move frost sensitive plants up to a table under the carport, where they are more protected from frost. I need to get another mini greenhouse because the last one has holes in it, the plastic doesn’t last well, I’d like to build something more permanent instead of buying more plastic.

Frost preparations

Frost - what is it and how to manage it

Southern hemisphere readers, is it getting cold where you are?  Did temperatures plummet recently?  (I know its Spring the Northern hemisphere, enjoy the warm! and come back to this post in 6 months)


Comments

  1. We're getting colder here in Northland. Autumn yes but definitely heading towards winter. I made the wise decision earlier this year to decrease the animals grazing on the farm. Mad a huge difference. We won't be running out of grass this year even in winter. Waiting for the winter vegecrops to germinate in the trays now. My poor sunflower has seen better days. I've cut off the dead flower heads and dried them to harvest the seed for next spring planting. Hope all is well on the farm

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm in Northern NSW and I have to say we have barely had Autum yet! The days are glorious, like spring! Actually I just got back from taking the dog for a walk, and remarked to hubby that it felt almost balmy! Very unusual indeed! I wonder if we are in for a mild winter here?

    ReplyDelete
  3. This year was meant to be the year we got the wood heater, but replacing our car took the funds. We normally don't have to start the electric heaters until June, but winter came early this year. I've been a little slower getting up in the morning, because its so much cooler.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your posts always have such good quality info and links - so satisfying to settle down and enjoy - thank you!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

Popular posts from this blog

What to do with eight acres

Behind the scenes of my blog I can see the search terms that led people to find my blog.  It can be quite interesting to look through them occasionally and see what people are looking for.  Most of them involve chicken tractors, but another question that comes up regularly is “what can you do with eight acres?” or “how much land is eight acres?”.  Today I will try to answer this question.

Of course it is a very broad question, there are lots and lots of things you can do with eight acres, but I’m going to assume that you want to live there, feed your family and maybe make a little extra money.  I make that assumption because that’s what I know about, if you want to do something else with your eight acres, you will need to look somewhere else.

If you haven’t chosen your land yet, here a few things to look for.  Focus on the things you can’t change and try to choose the best property you can find in your price range.  Look for clean water in dams, bores or wells, either on the property …

Growing and eating chokos (chayotes)

** Sign up for my weekly email updates here, you will find out more about my garden, soap and our farmlife, straight to your inbox, never miss a post!  New soap website and shop opening soon....

Cooking chokos (not be confused with another post about cooking chooks) has been the subject of a few questions on my blog lately, so here's some more information for you.
Chokos - also known as Chayote, christophene or christophine, cho-cho, mirliton or merleton, chuchu, Cidra, Guatila, Centinarja, Pipinola, pear squash, vegetable pear, chouchoute, güisquil, Labu Siam, Ishkus or Chowchow, Pataste, Tayota, Sayote - is a vine belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, along with pumpkins, squash and melons, with the botanical name Sechium edule.


The choko contains a large seed, like a mango, but if you pick them small enough it is soft enough to eat.  If you leave the choko for long enough it will sprout from one end and start to grow a vine.  To grow the choko, just plant the sprouted choko a…

How to make coconut yoghurt

Lately I have been cutting back on eating dairy.  I know, I know, we own two house cows!  But I am trying to heal inflammation (bad skin) and dairy is one of the possible triggers, so as a last resort and after much resistance, I decided I had better try to cut back.  Its been hard because I eat a LOT of cheese, and cook with butter, and love to eat yoghurt (and have written extensively about making yoghurt).  I had to just give up cheese completely, switch to macadamia oil and the only yoghurt alternative was coconut yoghurt.  I tried it and I like it, but only a spoonful on some fruit here and there because it is expensive!





The brand I can get here is $3 for 200 mL containers.  I was making yoghurt from powdered milk for about 50c/L.  So I was thinking there must be a way to make coconut yoghurt, but I didn't feel like mucking around and wasting heaps of coconut milk trying to get it right....  and then Biome Eco Store sent me a Mad Millie Coconut Yoghurt Kit to try.  The kit is…