If you have ever lived on a homestead, you know that preparing to survive the winter is one of the top concerns. Having enough food in the freezer to last the winter can make a huge difference in the success of your homestead. For most of us that just means that you will have to take a lot more trips to the grocery store, but it also means that you will be spending significantly more money.
The struggle to make sure that you have enough food to feed your family for the winter looms over homesteader’s heads throughout the year. You want to make sure that you have enough food to get proper nutrition in everyone’s diet, plus extra so you can survive any unforeseen disasters along the way. That means that you need to plan your warm season well, to make sure that you are stocking up along the way.
While this is easy for some homesteaders, some can barely produce enough food for the current season. This is where you will need to get creative in finding ways to produce more meat throughout the year. Here are just a few suggestions for ways that I have found to get more meat in the freezer before the long winter.
Plan Your Livestock Breeding’s
If you do a good job of planning the breeding of your livestock, you can afford to slaughter more of your older breeding stock. A good example of this is goats, who can be ready to breed in less than a year. If you produce enough kids (baby goats) in a year, and manage their bloodlines well, you can slaughter most of your adults every year. By the time you get through winter, they will be old enough to breed and then get packed into the freezer themselves.
Do Some Hunting
Depending on where you live, hunting can be a great way to secure more food in a hurry. This is especially true if you live in a state with Big game, like elk and moose. You can even make it educational by using a crossbow or traps. You can even teach your kids a thing or two about crossbows along the way. Make sure that you are ready to go when the deer season hits, and you are sure to get plenty of meet for your freezer!
Plan a Fishing Trip
Fish is a meat too, and a very healthy one at that. If you can plan out a fishing trip during a time when the fish are migrating or are easy to catch of any other reason, you could fill that freezer up quick! Do some research on the salmon migrations in your area, then make sure you have plenty of bags so you can take them all home.
Make Some Extra Money To Buy Meat From Other Homesteaders (Or Trade)
There are plenty of ways that you can make some extra money on a homestead. Some of these might be easier for you than raising more livestock would be. Use your imagination and I’m sure that you can find a way to make some extra money if you need to.