Join My WaldenLabs for Free

You're not logged in!

You'll need to sign up or log in to get FREE access to The Self-Reliance Catalog.

All Hallows’ Eve is past us and we’ve reached November. In the old days the 1st of November used to mark the new work year for farmhands and maids, when they decided whether they would stay at the current farm or seek work at another farm.

If you’re far enough from the equator, you’ll notice in November that the days are getting shorter. Too short in fact to get everything done that you’d like to do. If you’ve had a rainy autumn and are late with the harvest then it’s easy to have tasks piling up on you. The ground might even freeze before you’ve had a chance to plow the field.

As a self-reliant homesteader you’re always at the mercy of the weather, and especially so in November.

Here are some of the things that self-reliant people did in the past during the month of November, that you can take inspiration from:


  • Relax. Seriously. It’s been a long haul by now with lots of work, and it’s time to enjoy the fruits of our labour on those first snow falls.
  • Make notes from this past gardening season. What worked? What didn’t work? What needs to be improved for next season? What did you have too much of?
  • Now is the time to let the ram join the sheep, and the buck join the goats.
  • You can keep the hens in a warm room and feed them cooked oats to encourage earlier egg laying
  • November is, for self-reliant farmers anyway, a month of treshing. Threshing is the process of separating the edible part of cereal grain (e.g. wheat or oats) or other crop from the scaly, inedible chaff that surrounds it.
  • Right after the first snow has fallen makes a good time to track and hunt animals for meat.
  • Harvest all the cabbages & broccoli before the first heavy snow fall. The kale & brussel sprouts can stay.
  • November is a good time to fell timber for repairing and improving wind mills. You fell the timber where the forest is dense, “to let the air in”.
  • Fir branches is used as bedding for the livestock
  • Condition wooden utensils and cutting boards