One thing you know if you are a homesteader (of any type) is that there always seems to be a never-ending list of tasks that need to be accomplished. So I wanted to come up with a quick list of 6 fall homestead tasks that you should tackle. Personally, as a person who never sits still, this perfectly suits my personality! I find that spring and fall are the most task heavy seasons. This is when we ramp up and ramp down (for the most part) our whole gardening ventures. Oh, and did I mention that fall is my FAVOURITE season y’all! I LOVE the changing leaves, snuggly blankets, red and black buffalo check and pumpkin everything! I may be a bit excited…
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As soon as I feel that first chill in the air I am chomping at the bit to make up a pot of chilli, some of my roasted red pepper and sweet potato soup and a batch of chewy ginger molasses cookies! I also start busting out my fall decorations as I feel that fall is the true start of the decorating season. Last year I made some DIY fall pumpkins that turned out pretty damn good. I might even make up a new batch this year with some chalk paint in muted teal and orange. I really do love a good DIY, I even have plans to make myself a harvest dining table this fall/winter.
Shut down the garden
It’s sad but unless you live in a mild climate it’s time to start thinking about shutting things down. If you planted a fall garden then you may still have some things on the go, but there are still tasks you can tackle until your final harvest of the year is ready. Are there any pots that need to be emptied? Did you order and plant your garlic yet? Planting garlic is for me one of the most important fall tasks! If you have yours in the ground then kudos to you.
It is still a wee bit early for me, but I plan to have it safely in the ground for mid-October. If you haven’t thought about it or are curious then check out my Garlic 101 post. Another task I want to tackle early this year is putting up the Christmas lights. We waited too long and they never made it up last year and I don’t want to end up in the same position this year!
Pack things away
With any change of season, there are things that come out and others that need to be packed away. This is especially true in the fall as it is, for the most part, the winding down of the gardening season. Air conditioners are pretty much done for the season, patio furniture can be packed away, tools and hoses need to be collected as well. It is time to get all the “stuff” out of the garden. Then you can give it a once over and get it cleaned up and shut down for the winter. You can also use the lawnmower for the final few times as even the grass starts to turn “off” for the winter.
Stock & organize your pantry
Now is the perfect time to pull everything, and yes I do mean EVERYTHING out of the cupboards and pantry. Check for anything that may have passed its expiry date and compost/recycle it. Don’t just put the remaining items back in the pantry. Take some time to organize them. Maybe the soups go on the left side and beans on the right. That part is up to you. One more thing to consider before you start popping them back in is do you even LIKE/USE them anymore? If not and then consider donating them to a shelter/food bank so others who have less can make use of them. Lastly, make up a list of anything you were running low on or didn’t find in your cleaning and organizing. This is a great way to turn one of your fall homestead tasks into a good deed as well.
Get the house ready
Number four on the list of fall homestead tasks is getting your house ready for winter. There are loads of household tasks to tackle come the fall! Number one would be to remember to change out your furnace filter! It’s always good to do it with the change of seasons. I love my new Filtrete one that has its own app that lets me check the air quality and filter health! Then there are all the summer clothes and bedding to switch out for the fall/winter ones. Windows to clean, both inside and out, as if your mum was coming over to check.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, it is also a great time to throw up some fall decorations. If you are a Halloween junkie (I am a Christmas junkie) then it’s almost your time and I am sure you are already planning your costume and party. You may also want to take some time to clean out the fridge. Get rid of anything past the expiry date and learn how I save money with an “empty” fridge.
Get yourself prepared
We are about to start entering hibernation mode where we (for the most part) retreat into our houses and stare longingly out the window at the garden. As a homesteader, at least I find, that we spend so much time nurturing the garden, our animals etc and not enough time on ourselves. So I would challenge you to focus on taking some time this fall to invest in yourself. Recharge your batteries and carve out some time for you. I just ordered myself a fancy new cookbook from Half Baked Harvest whose recipes I adore. I also picked up a new 1000 piece puzzle of The Great Wave Off Kanagawa I had my eye on for ages and I am planning on making myself some fall scented soy candles.
Fire up the hydroponic system
Ok, so you won’t find this task on most homesteading fall checklists. But then I’m not most homesteaders! As a micro homesteader, I have to make the most of any space and means of growing food. Given that I live in Ontario, Canada and we get some cold-ass winters and have short growing seasons, you learn to adapt. This is the time of year where I venture down to the basement to see the poor state of my Aerogarden farm plus. Having been thoroughly neglected while I was joyously out frolicking in the garden it definitely needs some attention.
So this is the perfect time to clean your Aerogarden or other hydroponic systems. Then you can replant it and get started on growing some food over the winter. Now, this method is obviously not going to compare to the amount of food you can grow in your garden. But hey, it’s better than nothing. Plus, you can impress your friends, family and enemies with your homegrown tomatoes in the middle of winter. Be sure to check out my post on 14 vegetables you can grow hydroponically and 10 you can’t. If you are just thinking of dipping your toes into the hydroponic water so to speak (don’t actually do this, it just isn’t hygienic) then you may want to check out my post on Aegogarden tips for beginners.
So there you have it 6 fall homestead tasks. That is obviously by no means an exhaustive list. As I mentioned in the beginning, a homesteader’s To-Do list is pretty much never-ending! But if you are looking for a few more ideas to get you organized this fall before the winter sets in you can click on the button below to get your free copy of my Micro Homesteader’s Fall Checklist!