2015 Homestead Goals



Homestead Goals 2015

In addition to trying to drastically reduce our belongings and our trash, we must keep things rolling around ye old homestead. Here are our 2015 goals.

Become more efficient.

At everything. There are so many things around here that could be streamlined. For instance, with a couple more hoses we could have water delivered directly to one of the chicken coops. Right now we fill a five-gallon bucket and carry water to the coop.

Oh. Or last year our tomato and pepper garden required the following for access: untie and open a gate, tie it closed to keep the cows in; climb a fence; walk through cow poop and a wild blackberry patch; untie another gate. Can you guess who rarely did all that whilst pregnant and/or toting two small children? Yeah.

Oh. Oh. Or how about all the time we spent grinding grains for the chickens in the blender. The blender, people. (We actually took a step up this past batch of broilers and used our neighbor’s grinder- super score!)

I mean, really. I could go on and on and on. The point is, we don’t have time for anything extra around here, so we need to be smart about what we’re doing.

Get our garden on.

  • Plant early. This year, we’re throwing caution to the wind and planting before the last frost date (says the woman who has not yet inventoried our seed stash or ordered new seeds for the year). We’ll just be armed with extra seedlings should nature strike. Everyone at the Farmer’s Market clearly plants way before we do, because we only have seedlings when they are already selling full grown produce.
  • Succession planting. We also want to get better about succession planting. When one planting of cucumbers is done, plant another one! This will keep us in veggies much longer than a single planting. Note to self- get organized.
  • Continue mulching. Last year we used composted hay as mulch in our gardens and it can only be described as life changing. So much less weeding. The goal this year is to do it again, but do better about re-applying mid season to keep all the weeds out.
  • Plant a fall flippin’ garden. We WILL have a fall garden if it’s the last thing I do. Every year I want a fall garden, and every year I’m too worn out from the summer garden to deal with a fall garden when the time comes for planting. I’m getting my mind right early this year- it will happen. The end.
  • Grow herbs to dry. Last year we dried basil and it tastes amazing! I want to try to grow a few more herbs in bulk and dry them.

garden mulched with hay

Continue with the meat operation.

Hunt deer, raise pork and chickens. And also, learn a bit more about charcuterie before next year’s pork harvest. This year we ended up making a lot of uncured sausages. Next year I hope to be more adventurous!

chicken for meat

Start using our own dairy!

For real. We have to get with it and start utilizing our cows. We put off milking last year when I was giant pregnant/had a newborn and Farmer Dickie was super busy with work, but the time has come. Which leads to something else that needs to be done- we have to dull or remove Buttermilk’s horns. I’m not interested in getting skewered, and I am not familiar enough with large animals to feel comfortable around one with horns.

dairy cow

Quit the grocery store.

Grow our own, raise our own, utilize local farmers, and lastly, order in bulk from co-ops like Azure Standard and Bulk Natural Foods. Peace out, grocery. Except for bananas. And probably a little bit of other stuff.

Order laying chickens.

Duh.

What’s on your 2015 list?

~Ashley

Homestead Goals

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Comments

  1. Just dull those horns! We sawed the tips of Twyla’s off with a handsaw in a squeezechute. Nice list!

  2. Amanda Jones says:

    Thank you for the composted straw tip for the garden. I laugh because your list is soooo similar to ours. Except I will be milking goats and starting a bee colony.

  3. Hello! I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed this post and I linked to it as a good example in my most recent post on my blog, http://reedsontheriver.blogspot.com/2015/11/setting-our-homestead-goals.html. If for any reason that’s not okay, just let me know and I will happily take it out. Thank you for sharing such great content for homesteaders!

    Alisha

  4. Hello! I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed this post and I linked to it as a good example in my most recent post on homesteading goals in my blog, http://reedsontheriver.blogspot.com/2015/11/setting-our-homestead-goals.html. If for any reason that’s not okay, just let me know and I will happily take it out. Thank you for sharing such great content for homesteaders!

    Alisha

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