Is it winter yet? Cold weather preps

May 11 2015 0 Comments Tags: update, winter

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)




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