Homestead Diary Friday February 11 2022

Yesterday we had rain and temps that went up as high as 5C/41F and this morning it was so cold the ‘feels like’ temperature was -32C/-27F! Quite a drastic change overnight!

I was sure the deck would be slick as snot when I went out to do chores but thankfully it was covered in a light coating of some sort of sleet, which made it grippy to walk on like sandpaper, rather than a skating rink. lol Slip sliding to the barn and while doing chores is never fun!

The animals were all doing well this morning, despite the cold. When the temperature change is that drastic I almost expect to find them all shivering and the chickens sneezing. It’s those types of fluctuations that will bring on sickness. As much as I hate to say it, I prefer it just stay cold, not extreme cold, but definitely above freezing.

When people hear that we moved from the warm climate of Vancouver Island, BC to the cold winter climates here in the prairies, they expect that we miss the warmer winters. Nope. I sure don’t at all. I actually enjoy the cold, I find it quite invigorating really. I will often go for long walks outdoors even when it’s as cold as -40C/-40F or colder. I’ve found that here in Saskatchewan, at least where we are near two large bodies of salt water, the air is perfect all year round. In BC when it was cold, it would be cold and WET. So even if it was only -10C/14F it would absolutely chill you to the BONE! No matter what you wore! Here, because the air is neither too damp or too dry, as long as I’m well dressed for the temperatures, I’m always warm. Very seldom is it that I will feel cold outside. Of course in the extreme temperatures, any bare skin will get cold, but my body as a whole really never gets cold. I don’t even wear huge winter coats while working or walking outside, just appropriate layers. Long sleeve shirt or light sweater underneath an insulated flannel barn coat. Good mittens are a must, mine are like a glove/mitten combination, the thumb and forefinger are separate so I can grab/grip etc., but the other three fingers are in a mitten shape, and the glove/mitten itself comes up well over my wrists so no cool air ever gets in up under my sleeves. I wear wool socks that my mom knit for me, along with bog boots, they are not true winter boots, but not a regular rubber boot either. My secret weapon for keeping my legs warm… is bamboo velour yoga pants. I made many pairs for myself, and these keep my legs warm all winter. No need for snow pants! As long as I’m out there moving I just don’t get cold. I often come inside sweating after finishing my chores.

I share these details for those of you who may be new to hometeading, or may be considering homesteading, and wondering about these sorts of details of daily life. I know there are MANY people out there who are considering a move back to the land, and they are wondering if they could handle prairie winters or if they should move some place where the weather isn’t so drastically cold.

It will depend on each person of course, but for us, we do not regret moving to the prairies for even a moment. We’ve been here almost ten years now and we still love it! Moving to land is very expensive in many places, and the warmer the area, the more expensive the land. Here in Saskatchewan, there have been MANY people moving from city/town/small properties in places like BC, Ontario, Quebec, who sold their homes for a pretty good $ there and purchased huge properties here.

Some make it and love it like we do, but some do not.

I personally couldn’t do it, or at least I could not do it as well as we do, without the luxuries we have like a warm home, a large heated shop for times we need to warm up animals, and even to store our tractor in to keep it warm and easily run all winter. Then there’s other very important aspects to making winter life in the prairies much easier that some may not even think about, like a very good mature shelter belt that surrounds our home and our entire farmyard. It keeps the wild prairie winds from affecting us much at all, which keeps our temperatures for us, and even for our animals, much lower when you have weather that is -38C/-36F, with windchill temperatures of -50C/-58F. When we have those temperatures here on the prairies, our very well treed shelter belt keeps our farmyard temps more towards the -33C/-36F than the ultimate extreme wind chilling cold reached in open areas. These are the types of things that can make a difference between surviving in our climate, and thriving through the winter. I will always aim for thriving, not much of a fan of just surviving.

My doggies would agree. 🙂