Our goals for 2013 seemed easier to write than in years past. Initially there was so much to do here that we needed them for direction. Now things seem clearer as to what's next. They are still a good reference however, and it's especially helpful to make such a list in the first place.
Here is what we hope to be working on in 2013:
House: House projects pretty much have a work flow at this point. As we complete one, we will move on the the next and will continue down the list. How much we'll accomplish in 2013 remains to be seen and depends on how many unexpected problems we run into! Here are the next steps:
- Finish the hall bathroom. This is the current project.
- Move on to the middle bedroom. This room is actually the second step in creating a master suite; the bathroom is the first step. The suite will include both of these, as well as a study for Dan, which we'll make from part of the 5 foot wide hallway. (Original floor plan here, proposed floor plan here.)
- Ideally we'll finish all that this winter (ha!). This summer, we'd like to start on the front porch before it falls down. It will have to be completely rebuilt due to foundation and structural problems. This must be done before we can continue replacing the old siding for the house (a project first started October of 2011).
Fencing: This is next on the list. It will be ongoing it seems, until the entire property is fenced! Like the house, we will keep working on it until we finish, whether this year or beyond. For sure this year:
- Fence the browse area in the woods for the does. We plan to work on this after we finish the bathroom.
- After that we have a couple of choices:
- Privacy fence on the rental house side. Renters come and go and we feel this is a necessity because the goats are too attractive to their dogs and children. Our experience has not been good with either one.
- Finish fencing the yard around the house. At first this was just a privacy fence which doubles as a place to store firewood. However, roaming dogs are motivating us to fence in the entire yard. We seem to be a dog magnet! I can't tell you how many times stray dogs have come and upset the chickens and the goats.
Rain Catchment: we want to at least get a start on this. We have all the materials for one corner of the house, and just need to set aside some time to put it together. That will probably be after we finish the bathroom.
- No specific goal here except to make it a primary focus again. Last year the garden was put somewhat on the back burner because of the kitchen remodel. There were many days I had to press on with kitchen projects and neglect the garden. Now that the kitchen is done, I can get back to full time gardening.
- I did however, decide to challenge myself, in what is probably the closest I'll come to a resolution. Based on Carla Emery's concept of 365 days of independent eating, I decided to resurrect my garden journal to try to record at least something everyday toward that concept. Details on "Day 1" of my garden journal.
Pasture Improvement: This year we'll focus on the buck pasture. I'll have the soil tested soon and start getting soil amendments. The plan is to plant it in corn and cowpeas this summer, and pasture in the fall.
Animal Shelters: Eventually we'd like to have a rain, sun, & wind shelter in each fenced area. At the start, we're considering temporary hoop shelters made from cattle panels and tarps. That will make them inexpensive to make and easy to move. We'll need two this summer.
- One for the bucks, because of the soil improvement project. They will have to spend the summer in the front pasture and will need rain shelter.
- The other for pigs, which we plan only to have over the summer. They will live in last year's grain field.
Outbuildings: a real barn would be too expensive to build, so we're going to make do with what we already have, insofar as they are structurally sound. It took awhile to come to that decision, and was based in part by being able to visualize our outbuildings and barnyard as a whole. We have a general plan in mind now, so this year, the goal will be:
- Build a new chicken coop. The exsisting shed can then be used just for goats.
- Guinea house - in the buck browse because that's where all the ticks are
- Turkey house - we only plan to keep a few turkeys. Perhaps a portable house for them? According to Joel Salatin, turkeys are excellent at weeding corn (once it gets too tall for them to eat).
I know the list seems long but fortunately, it's not a checklist where we start at the top and work our way to the bottom. We like to have both indoor and outdoor projects because of the weather. Some of these projects that will take only a few days to complete, or at most a week or two: the rain catchment project, pasture improvement, and the shelters. Others are larger projects and will take weeks to months to complete, such as the master suite, fencing, and possibly the chicken coop. And as I mentioned, some are just the next step, whether this year or next.
It seems that when I share my goal lists every January 1st, many folks comment how ambitious our lists are. At the end of the year, comments for my "year in review" posts focus on how much we've accomplished. As an encouragement to others, I'd like to say that the key to success is to not look at the list in its entirety and think, "that's impossibly long!" Rather, we just take it a day at a time, a project at a time. Some days we work on indoor projects, some days outdoor projects. "By the inch it's a cinch, by the yard it's hard" as the saying goes. Before you know it, all those inches add up to a project complete. :)
Homestead Goals For 2013 © January 2013