December 28, 2010

2010: Year In Review

Time is a funny thing, isn't it? The days, hours, and minutes are units of measurement, each one specific in duration, never altering or fluctuating. Yet when I think about our being here, on our homestead, it can either feel like we've been here forever, or like we've only just arrived. I know you all can relate to that.

When we bought the place a little over a year and a half ago, we were full of plans and excitement. Some days since then we feel like we've accomplished a lot, other days, all we see are the things needing to be done. These loom over our heads and cloud our vision, casting a shadow over what we've already accomplished.

One thing that helped last year, was my 2009: Year In Review post. It helped to pause and take stock of what we've done. Here is a look back at 2010.


We were still working on the dining and living room hardwood floors, finishing up the details. We started evaluating our small second bathroom with an eye to remodeling. I did a bit of transplanting around the place, relocating hardy hibiscus, azaleas, irises, daffodils, and daylilies. We ate the last of our green picked, window sill ripened, garden tomatoes. We started researching and getting ready for baby chicks. January made its exit with an ice storm.


Our chicks arrived. We got a start on our spring vegetable garden, and planted strawberries and fruit bushes. It was also the month we began evaluating what we are doing and clarifying what we are about:
   Why We're Not A Hobby Farm
   Farm? Homestead? What Are We About? and
   A Self-Supporting Homestead


The spring garden was just starting to sprout and I was still harvesting from the fall garden. We started evaluating and researching HVAC systems. This was also the month we resumed working on the fence for the first goat field. The homestead "find" of the month was the old swimming pool.


We were still working on the goat fence. I bought and planted 30 comfrey plants for livestock feed and compost. I also started evaluating our food self-sufficiency goal and how much I'd need to plant to reach that goal.


We got our first goats! The chickens were finally big enough to free range. I got a start on my herb garden. Dan bought his first snath & scythe and we hand harvested our first hay crop. We finally found our septic tank and discovered there was no leach field for our septic system. Shortly afterward we had a new drainfield put in. May is also the month we got Katy and Riley.


I bought my first registered Nubian doe, with a view to eventually raise Kinders. We got our first egg, and butchered chickens for the first time. June was the month our rooster became a man.


July had a sad start when we lost Rascal. On a happier note, we finally finished the dining room. In July we started harvesting blueberries, tomatoes, potatoes and onions. July was also the first time we could look back and evaluate a full year's energy consumption.


We got our llama! The garden harvest was in full swing and it was our month for figs. House project for the month was insulating the ductwork under the house, in preparation for installing the new HVAC system. Also in August, I sold one of our two grade goats and bought my 2nd registered Nubian.


We finally got the HVAC in, after the summer heat had passed. We also made progress on our bathroom remodel. In the garden, we finished up the summer harvest. We also started making plans for a new fencing project.


Traditionally the month highlighting scary things, we had a scary close call when a hawk almost nabbed one of our chickens. Consequently our scarecrow made its debut. We worked on (and finished) fencing our second field for the goats and Charlie. Dan also started building a shelter for the animals in the new field. It was also the month I unveiled my new pantry and summer preservation efforts.


I re-evalutated our food self-sufficiency goal. I cleaned deep litter out the chicken coop for the first time, and the fall garden was the best I'd ever had. Progress on the bathroom included plumbing and  wallpapering. After a number of foiled breeding plans, I finally got a buck. Not what I originally wanted, but one to hopefully do the job (time will tell).


We bought our woodburning cookstove and started looking toward kitchen remodeling plans. In the bathroom, Dan put up the wainscoting and put down the tile floor. We were still getting plenty of fresh root crops and salad greens from the fall garden. Also window sill ripened tomatoes. My Meyers lemon tree bloomed for the first time and I had my very first pancake patch! At the end of December, Petey went to a new home.

As I read this over, I notice a lot of firsts and new things. It reminds me that we are in the establishment phase of our homestead. While we are nowhere near being self-sufficient, almost everything we do heads us in that direction and I'm happy with our progress.

How about you? What are your highlights for 2010?

2010: Year In Review © December 2010 by Leigh at


Theresa said...

You two have had a terribly productive year. Kudos to you both and maybe a little R&R for this holiday season. Sometimes it helps just to take a good do nothing break and come back to the tasks refreshed. Certainly helps with the staying power because renovation is a marathon, not a sprint.

-Heidi said...

You've been busy! Thanks for the excellent recap!

Alla said...

You've had a very productive and busy year! And January begins it all again, only different things. Failures will be tried in different ways and progress will continue. Life is good.

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

Sometimes you do feel like you get nothing done and have all these projects yet to tackle. Then you look back and can't believe how far you have come. It is a great feeling.

Leigh said...

Theresa, it's Dan who needs to hear that. After days over the road, where all he does is sit and drive, he's anxious to be productive when he's here. Now that we've spent the last of our house fund on the Sweetheart cookstove though, we'll have to slow down because we don't have as much money!

Heidi, we're just that kind of person. Of course, after over 3 years of apartment living where we could do nothing, we're got all kinds of motivation for projects.

Alla, amen to that, life is good. This exercise helped, but so did evaluating our 2010 goals. That up next.

Jane it is a great feeling and I'm so glad we started this custom. It helps to have it on hand when things seem discouraging and progress seems slow.

Jans Funny Farm said...

You've accomplished a lot in one year. It was very sad when you lost Rascal and closed his blog. But you also have a lot of happy memories from the year too. May 2011 be even better for you.

Kids and Canning Jars said...

I must add my Kudos! I also wanted to tell you how much I love your sidebar. It is full of wonderful resources. I Thought at one point you had a list of goals.??? Thanks for the awesome list.

Cathy said...

Wow - I'm impressed. So glad you do a year in review - it really highlights how buy you've been!

Anonymous said...

Leigh, I just love your blog, because you keep it so real. Happy blessings to you and your hubby! Happy New Year's! Wonderful post as always and please keep them coming...hugs!