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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

2018 Homestead Goals

    Each year I think of the past year and wonder if we accomplished what we needed to and if we could have done more.  I wonder if the costs of the feed and the care of the animals equaled to the amount of resources gleaned from our homestead.  I have written a homestead goal before but never in too much detail and this year I strive to be different and to do better.  That is why it is now into the first full week of February and I am just now posting this.  I really reflected a lot and it took a good amount of time to get things sorted out like I wanted.

 
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A view on our property.

     I was thinking recently and realized that the success or failure of our homestead rests squarely on our shoulders.  We are responsible for all the results or lack thereof ourselves.  Wow!  Mind blown.  Why did I not realize this sooner?!  I mean, seriously, who else is to blame?  Oy!

     Our main goal of our homestead is to become self-sufficient.  If you haven't tried it yet, becoming self-sufficient is a LOT of work and to be honest, we have not put in as much work into it as we should have.  This year WILL be different.  We have very little income so we have to build up slowly but consistently.  We have to be patient because we can't go into debt to achieve our goals.

Our goals for 2018 for our homestead are:

To put in the hours.

      We are good about getting up and doing our farm chores and if something is in bad disrepair it does get fixed.  Now and then we start new projects but we truly do not put in the hours our homestead needs and deserves to get us where we want to be.  We have been just coasting along for a few years but if we want to become self-sufficient, more has to be done.

Eat from our freezers and pantry.

       
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      Our 2 freezers are plum full and so are our cabinets and yet I still run to the store at least once or twice a week to purchase things that "sounds good" or "looks good".  That is just wasteful and I plan on using up some of the stockpile and eat it up.  

    I plan on making freezer meals at least once a week; working up to 2 meals a week.  These will be for when I am not feeling well; things are chaotic; or a friend is sick and we want to help feed their family.

Garden plans.

     
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Some corn growing in our garden a few years back.

      I need to inventory our seeds and plan out our garden.  Every year we say we will have this great big garden but if the garden is anything like last year's it was a disappointment.   We fought hard and the whole season and hardly harvested anything. 

     I plan on fertilizing more this year because our soil is so very poor here.  I will start seedlings indoors and plant only what we will eat or will feed to the animals.  I want a BIG garden and big harvests to preserve by canning and dehydrating to last throughout the entire year.  I also plan on adding to our orchard and plant more fruit and nut trees.  We also need to put up a farm fence around the orchard to keep the donkeys at bay.  The fence we have around them now is just not doing the job.  It just isn't strong enough.  I also plan on starting an indoor herb garden.  

Building updates.

     We need to build a new lean-to off of our building for more covered storage.  

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    We also need to fix our existing rain barrel system and add to it by hanging more guttering up and more barrels added.   This really helps with watering the animals in the hot summer months and provides water for our gardens and orchard.  We also need a new porch because ours is pretty wobbly and with my MS, I will eventually need a ramp so this is the year that a ramp will be built.  

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     We also need 2 new pens for our ducks with laying houses for each.  

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A few of our ducks.


Animals.

     Every year I plan on adding more animals to our homestead but I do believe we are about where we need to be in that regard.  The only animals I want in the future (next summer) would be rabbits.  Our goat herd is at a nice size and besides that all of our females have been bred so we are doing good there.  

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Contessa loving on her baby "April".

   I do plan on mating the turkeys and start raising and butchering some of our turkeys this year.  We have not utilized them as we should so that is one of my goals for this year.  

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    We also need to continue to incubate chicken eggs and raise chicks until maturity.  

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Some of the baby chicks we had last year.


      We also need to make our homestead more profitable and the only way we can do that is to utilize our animals.  We can sell farm raised organic meat birds. We can sell our fresh eggs and baby chicks.  I can sell baby goats.  I can make goat milk cheese and goat milk soap to sell too.

    Some of our pens for the chickens need to be rebuilt in different areas because where they sit now is prone to flooding.  New guinea coops and more chicken coops need to be built also that are easy to clean.  We also need to build a few more goat pens so we can rotate the goats around more often.

Food preservation.

     This goes hand-in-hand with our gardening.  I need to dehydrate anything and everything I can.  Dehydrate every little scrap and a little at a time WILL add up.  If and when the garden is successful, I need to can the surplus.  We also need to be better at gathering the nuts and wild berries that grow on our homestead.  

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One of the wild blackberry bushes that grow on our homestead.

Fill our freezers.

      I mentioned earlier that my freezers were full but if we do start eating from them regularly, I will need to work hard on refilling them and my goal for 2018 is to fill them with meat that we produce on our own homestead.  Organic meat birds (turkeys, chicken and duck).  By the end of the summer, I want enough homegrown meat in our freezers that we can survive through the colder months on those meats alone.  This includes going fishing at our pond and vacuum sealing the fish for this winter.

Home maintenance.

      We need to set up our new solar panel and actually start using the electricity we have gathered in our batteries.  We also need to rig up the pressure switch on our water tank.  I need to keep more accurate homestead records and track our yearly harvest of fruit, vegetables, herbs, eggs, meat and milk.

Growing my blog.

   I need to be sure to post more often and consistently to my blog.  I also need to make sure the posts are engaging and entertaining to my followers.  I also need to build up my Youtube following.  Both my blog and Youtube can generate income if you have enough followers.  With my disabilities, I cannot do much of the physical work but the accounting part of the homestead and the online work is something I can do so I need to put in more hours into building them up.  I need these to be profitable.  My goal for my blog is to do new content at least 3 times a week and add new Youtube videos just as often.  I hope they both are exciting and entertaining enough for each of you to view and visit them on a regular basis.

     Each of these take a lot of work and time but they can be profitable.  It is not a "get rich quick" thing for sure and it does take a LONG time to build up but I plan on doing what I can for our family.  

      What are your goals for the rest of 2018?  

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2 comments:

  1. I had never been to your blog, just know you from Facebook :-) It's a great blog. You have quite a year planned and I hope you get everything done!

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    Replies
    1. I am so glad you made your way here. I really appreciate you dropping by and hope you'll do so again real soon.

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