This section refers to processing the fruits of our labors, division of labor, and the planning that goes into building the homestead and maintaining infrastructure. Running the homestead successfully means that we have our eyes a year into the future, we track a million minor details per day, and we always strive to plug holes in our existing system while adding new features to our yearly schedule.
It is in these articles that we heat our winters, cool our summers, schedule our time, heal illness and injury, and manage the projects of the seasons.
It is important to note that 6 cord of wood is the baseline for our winters and more than that means we will not freeze during a particularly cold or long winter. This heats our 2600 sq ft, 2-story home all winter in Wisconsin Dells, Wi. It cost between $50 in gas for my chainsaw or around $1200 if it is fully delivered and stacked by a firewood service. That is an entire Wisconsin winter as one heating bill! Our bedrooms can definitely benefit from a second fireplace upstairs but the cracked flue means we need to use another insert and new pipes since we have the stonework in place.
We freeze, vacuum seal, and can our foods, but will likely smoke and dehydrate as well as ferment as of next year (fall 2016).
Our garbage for 3 people amounts to less than 1 bag per week on most weeks. It is rare that we produce more waste for hauling than this. If we do not have anything decaying in the trash, we can let it slide two weeks for the one bag.