Notes from The North

Winter is Coming

Hey Tribe, I find myself musing about how the days are quickly getting shorter and all of the preparations required to get ready for winter.

Daylight is fading
Sunrise over my lake on 21 June at 0600

Today’s sunrise was 0641 and our sunset is going to be at 2050. To contrast that, for the longest day of the year-the summer solstice (21 June), our sunrise was at 0549 and the sunset was 2138, with true nightfall starting at 2310. As our days grow shorter, I’m looking ahead to the winter solstice (21 December 2022), where the sunrise will be at 0822 and sunset is 1658, with true nightfall at 1811. What a difference!

The long summer days are great for gardening, but our wild temperature swings make for a very short growing season. We don’t generally plant our outdoor gardens until after Memorial Day. If you follow our Facebook page, you can see videos I’ve done on my homemade greenhouse and its successes and failures!

natural Abundance

Wild blueberries are abundant this year and I need to dedicate some time to go picking. They grow all over our area, particularly areas that went through the forest fire we experienced ten years ago, which wiped out 23,000+ acres. They are small and very sweet. I like to freeze them to use later in pies, smoothies, or topping my waffles.

Firewood ready to stack

Firewood was the focus the last two days. I had several logs to cut up and split. I now have a pile of split wood to stack in my bins. Each year I rotate bins so that newly cut wood can season before I have to use it. There is one bin on the very left that you can barely see, but it is empty. I am planning on buying two full cords of wood to top off my bins. A full cord is 8′ w x 4′ h x 4′ deep. Pieces are typically 16-18″ long. Just as a contrast, a face cord is 8′ w x 4′ h by the 16-18″ deep.

feeling overwhelmed

How do you manage your list of tasks? I find the challenge is prioritizing what needs to be done. My to-do list is huge. I have basic, routine tasks such as mowing the lawn, maintaining my solar batteries, tree trimming, etc, and they sometimes feel overwhelming. My longer term list includes some light construction projects, harvesting food from the greenhouse and preserving it, to trying to expand my food preps. The list is much longer than that, but you get the idea.

My technique is to make a list and put subtasks under them so I can check them off and at least feel like I’m making some progress towards my goals. I’d like to hear how you manage your list and what preparations you have to get done for you and your family! Please comment and share!

4 responses to “Notes from The North”

  1. Hey Amy,
    I am a tiny homesteader and permaculture practitioner. On my tiny-homestead prototype I have a 7 day “chore” rotation. I follow this rotation weekly not forgetting one day of rest:) I divided my homestead responsibilities into (7) categories, (1) category for each day of the week and even color coordinated my chore check list. I dividend my homestead design into (7) sections to simplify stewardship. This organization has really helped me. I appreciate the service you are providing people.


    • Hi Santi! Thanks for reaching out to us. I reviewed the stuff you sent Brent-impressive! Right now I’ve been concentrating on getting our housing plan finalized but would love to have discussions in the future about the incorporation of gardens, rainwater catchment, etc. Have you ever looked at the book, “Community-scale Composting Systems” by James McSweeney? Might be a good resource for you as you plan out communities that will grow larger over time. Thanks for being a part of our community!

  2. I prioritize my to do list into 2 categories. Major and minor, go figure. Then I do one or two majors and the amount of minors I can accomplish in a day. I take great pleasure in marking of the chores I complete .
    I have always been a list keeper. Lol

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