At the beginning of the year I set some goals for this year. We are just a little over half way through the year and so I decided to take a look at my list and see where I am with my goals and if I need to adjust some of them.
This is a list of the goals that we have set for this year (2017) for our homestead:
- Continue to live without going into any new debt including cash flowing the kids college classes and the car repairs.
- Make extra payments on our property.
- Build up an emergency fund.
- Launch our home business. We have launched our home business but are still in the very beginning stages of growing it.
- Finish fence for the goat paddock. We have more then enough food on our 36 acres to feed our goats. However in order to keep the goats from eating our shade trees and our gardens we have to either fence in all our plants or fence paddocks for them to graze in. We have made some great progress on this but are only able to put up the t-post for some of our fencing. We will have to finish the rest of this project next year.
- Add trees to our orchard. As of right now we have one apple tree in our orchard and one apple tree in the perennial garden we fenced in during 2016. We also have 2 goji berry trees. We have added 11 trees this year. This far exceeds for goals for the year and I am hoping that we can plant 2 peach trees from peach pits this fall in our orchard. We have 2 trees to add next year and 2 peach pits to add this fall.
- Fence in orchard. We have fenced in the orchard, but I will add chicken wire to the fencing next year to keep our some of the wild rabbits.
- Add ducks to the orchard. We have added ducks to our farm. We added 11 Cayuga ducks and 12 Pekin ducks. We have enjoyed having them. We are still learning how to care for them and what their specific needs are with each new season.
- Build Duck coop in the orchard area. We built 2 duck enclosures in the orchard, but we will probably need to adjust them for winter and hope to expand the duck enclosures next spring.
- Add raspberries and strawberries to the perennial garden. We will also add comfrey and any other perennials that we can get our hands on that we think will benefit our homestead. We might add grapes to the perennial garden this year too. We added strawberries and comfrey, but we were unsuccessful with the raspberries that we added and we were not able to add grapes this year. Hopefully we can add grapes next year. I have yet to decide what to do about raspberries.
- Add pergola to the perennial garden. This addition is so that we can enjoy our perennial garden. In addition to adding the pergola we will also be adding shade to the garden as the summer months are brutal on the plants. This project will be moved to next year.
- Add more shade trees to our homestead. (We added 3 shade trees to our homestead in 2016.) We love trees. Right now when you drive up to the property there is very little green. We want to create a self-sustaining oasis in the middle of the desert. We would like to add as many trees as we can but we hope to do this with free trees. In addition our homestead is located in an area where we can’t dig into the ground (because of rocks) to plant trees, but we will do everything we can to find places we can plant trees. Technically all our tree are shade tress and as I mentioned earlier we were able to add 11 new tress this year.
- Build multiple cold frames to extend the growing season. We can only grown food for our family if we can manage to extend our growing season. This project will likely be moved to next year.
- Work on our greenhouse. I would love to have tomatoes growing year round in our green house by the end of this season. This project will likely be moved to next year.
- Paint our shed. Our poor shed has been neglected as we have rushed to build a home and fence in our garden and goat paddocks. However, the wood on our shed is now in desperate need of paint to protect it from the elements. We did get the shed painted.
Paint the old chicken coop. I have no idea how old this chicken coop/wood shed is. However, a fresh coat of paint will make it cheerful and pleasant.I stared this project and decided not to finish it. I will just leave it as it is.
- Paint the house so it is all the same color. Our house was constructed in 3 stages and all three stages have a different exterior. Ideally they would all be the same. We did get the house painted and it made a huge difference.
- Build steps for the house using bricks we got for free in 2016. I also need to build some functioning shutters for the windows on the front of the house for the hot afternoon son.
- Get a water tank. We actually need to get a filter system for our water and then a water tank. Although we would love to do this project this year, we can continue to run our water from the well into the house until we can afford to do this. This project will likely be moved to next year.
- Hook up the water heater to the large propane tank. This project will likely be moved to next year.
- Finish the bathroom. This is also a project that we would love to do this year, but finances will dictate if we accomplish this in 2017 or have to postpone it until 2018. This project will likely be moved to next year.
- Skirt the house. This will make the house a lot warmer, and this step needs to be finished before we build the cold frames that will surround the house. This project is 60% complete.
- Put wood panels in the family room ceiling. This step needs to be done in order to install a fan in the ceiling this summer. If it isn’t finished before summer, than box fans it will be for another year. This project will likely be moved to next year.
- Insulate and panel the library. Although I really want to do this project it will depend largely on free materials as this project is not currently in the budget. This project will likely be moved to next year.
- Build bookshelves in the library. We have to build at least one bookshelf this year to get our books that are literally piled around our tiny house in a more protected space.
- Add bees to our homestead. This is perhaps the project that I am most excited about and the most nervous about. I am worried that we won’t have enough flowering plants to keep our bees here and also that we will lose our bees to one of a dozen different issues. However we will go forward with this venture and hope that it works out. We did add bees. We are hoping that they make it though the winter.
- Plant lots and lots of perennial flowering plants for our bees to enjoy. I planted lots of perennial plants for the bees, but nothing really seemed to make a difference until my friend gave me some catnip to plant. The bees and the butterflies love catnip.
- Grow paddock for the chickens. Our goal has always been to grow enough food on our homestead to feed the animals that we raise on our homestead. Food for our goats grows naturally, but we will have to plant a variety of plants for our chickens. We did plant grass, but we have a lot more to plant to be able to rotate our chickens.
- Plant winter wheat. This will help feed the ducks, chickens, and goats.
- Add worms to our homestead. I have already made two unsuccessful attempts to raise worms on our homestead. I am going to make a third attempt this year. Worms are not only great for the gardens but they are also a secondary source of food for the chickens. I had some success with the worms, but I was unable to figure out how to keep them thriving. As a result I took the worms that I had and I put them in the orchard and the perennial garden. I will probably get more worms next year and continue to get more worms until we have tons of worms everywhere. We are seeing worms in new places around here and that is exciting. That is a sign to me that our land is becoming more fertile.
- We added rabbits to our homestead. This was not originally on the list for this year, but we are enjoying raising rabbits.
I can see that I still have a few goals to work on and some that will be pushed to next year. I also have a few more goals to add.
New goals for the second half of this year
- Grow lettuce
- Make the front of the house more welcoming