Bracing for Winter: Preparing Home and Garden for Arkansas’ First Polar Vortex

Bracing for Winter: Preparing Home and Garden for Arkansas’ First Polar Vortex

As you know, we’re always up for a challenge, and this time it’s Arkansas’ first-ever polar vortex. That’s right, our homestead is bracing for some icy temps, and I’m here to share our frosty adventures and how we’re keeping things snug and secure.

First off, this whole crawl space situation is new to us. We’re used to basements back in Wisconsin, so dealing with exposed plumbing is a bit of a curveball. We’re mitigating risks by turning off water where we can and letting faucets drip to prevent freezing. Homesteading tip: always stay one step ahead of the weather!

Now, let’s talk about our new colossal buddy – a 20-foot ladder, courtesy of Warner. This giant isn’t just any ladder; it’s a double-sided, 600 lb capacity beast that’s making our high-altitude tasks a breeze. And, as our homesteading pals wisely say, safety first! This ladder’s wide base is a game-changer for stability.

Despite the prep, we faced a deluge of rain and wind recently, really putting our homestead to the test. We found a few leaks around window seals and screws needing adjustments. But hey, it’s all part of the homesteading journey, right?

On a brighter note, I’ve been juggling indoor tasks like video editing and web design. Still, I’m sneaking in time to enjoy the outdoors and tend to our garden. Speaking of which, our wild chives are thriving, and I’m hustling to harvest them before the frost. Fun fact: the grass here in Arkansas doesn’t demand as much mowing as back in Wisconsin – talk about a gas saver!

Our Decora bamboo is facing its own chilly challenge. It’s cold-tolerant, but these upcoming zero temps are a real concern. We’re doing our best to insulate it with extra mulch and care. And about our hydroponic cacti experiment… well, let’s just say they prefer warmer weather.

We’re also reinforcing our orchard against the strong winds and cold. The good news is our berries and fruit trees are holding up well. Homesteading is all about adapting, and we’re learning to roll with nature’s punches.

As the vortex approaches, we’re sealing up the homestead, layering extra protection on our plants, and ensuring our bamboo’s root system is safeguarded from the freeze. It’s all hands on deck here, and we’re determined to protect our little slice of Arkansas heaven.

In our workshop, we’re prepping with plenty of wood for the furnace and strategizing to keep the warmth circulating. Homesteading isn’t just a lifestyle; it’s about resilience, innovation, and a whole lot of heart.

So, as we wrap up and brace for the cold, remember, this is just another chapter in our homesteading story. Stay tuned for more updates, and don’t forget to hit that subscribe button. Thanks for joining our frosty journey, and remember, Affiliate Links support our channel at no cost to you. Stay warm and see you in the next video!

Prepping & Playing In The Snow

Prepping & Playing In The Snow

Prepping & Playing In The Snow

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As winter’s chill grips the heart of Arkansas, our journey in preparing for the season’s first polar vortex becomes a tale worth sharing. Winter in the Ozarks are filled with their challenges. With the zone being 7A, you wouldn’t expect -20° F wind chills and temps near 0°, but here we are… dealing with exactly that. 

The onset of the polar vortex brought a unique challenge to our doorstep – preparing a house with exposed plumbing, a stark contrast to the basements we were used to. The solution? A meticulous process of turning off and dripping water in strategic areas to prevent our pipes from freezing. This wasn’t just a routine check; it was a crucial step in safeguarding our home against the biting cold.

A highlight of our preparations was the acquisition of a 20-foot Warner ladder. This wasn’t just any ladder; it was a symbol of safety and utility, crucial for reaching high places to change light bulbs and add insulation. Its stability and size made it a critical tool in our winter prep arsenal, ensuring that we could carry out necessary tasks without compromising on safety.



Winter in the Ozarks is a narrative of resilience, innovation, and adaptation. It’s about facing the unexpected and turning challenges into opportunities. As we continue to document our journey, we invite you to join us, learn from our experiences, and maybe find inspiration for your own winter preparations.

Our experience wasn’t limited to just the cold. We faced downpours and gusty winds that tested every nook and cranny of our home. The result? A few leaks around window seals and some troublesome screws. Our response was swift and thorough – sealing windows, doors, and gaps, leaving no stone unturned in our quest to keep the warmth in and the cold out.

Gardening took on a new dimension as we braced for the cold snap. Our focus was on protecting our plants, particularly chives and bamboo, from the impending freeze. This meant mulching, covering, and in some cases, moving plants indoors. It was a dance with nature, trying to preserve the beauty and bounty of our garden against the harsh backdrop of winter.

The video also touches on our innovative approaches to dealing with the challenges at hand. From hydroponic cacti that needed special care as the temperature dipped, to reinforcing trees and plants against the wind, each step was a learning curve. We also delved into the intricacies of ensuring our workshop stayed warm, a task that involved more than just a simple heater.

Preparing for Polar Vortex (00:00 – 00:39): Discussing the new experience of preparing for a polar vortex in Arkansas, including steps like turning off and dripping water to protect plumbing.

Ladder Safety and Insulation Work (00:40 – 01:25): Talking about receiving a 20-foot @WernerLadderCo ladder for safety during tasks like changing light bulbs and insulation work.

Addressing Weather-Related Challenges (02:06 – 02:46): Mentioning recent rain and wind challenges, and steps taken to seal windows and fix leaks around the house.

Gardening and Plant Protection (03:31 – 04:10): Discussing gardening efforts, including planning to protect chives from the cold snap and differences in gardening compared to Wisconsin.

Protecting Bamboo and Other Plants (04:56 – 05:44): Concerns about protecting bamboo and other plants from upcoming zero temperatures, including plans to add more mulch and cover them.

Hydroponic Cacti and Orchard Maintenance (05:45 – 07:36): Sharing experiences with hydroponic cacti and checking the orchard for any issues post-windstorm.

Final Preparations for Cold Weather (08:36 – 09:23): Final steps in preparing for the cold weather, such as adding extra layers to plants and reinforcing trees.

Adjustments in the Workshop (09:24 – 10:06): Moving to the workshop, discussing heating plans, and protecting bamboo plants indoors.

Final Thoughts and Future Plans (10:46 – 11:57): Concluding thoughts on the preparations and future plans, including changing a light to a fan for better heat circulation in the pole barn.

First Time Snow Motorcycling For Link!

 Link, Maddie, and I had a blast riding in the snow for the first time this year. This is Link’s first year motorcycling and he’s been learning all the different types of riding that can be done. We put the GoPro on the helmet and fooled around some today (excuse to run the dog 😉

We hope to hit some trails here in the near future. Link has really progressed, and I do what I can to teach him all the different types of environments to ride in before we do any real trail riding. We started a little adventure bike group here, and there’s over 20 people already in it, ready to ride.   


Playing in the snow on the Africa Twin and XR150L! 

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