January 1, 2012

2012: Goals For The Homestead

Here it is January 1st, and we still haven't finalized our goal list for 2012! In some ways it seems that we ought to be getting a handle on everything, and have a shorter list. In other ways, having a few major projects now behind us, seems to open the door for all sorts of other possibilities. One big item that is not on the list, is a new barn, though we definitely need one. Not including that, here's what we've got our sights set on so far.....

  • finish kitchen (this first)
  • stiffen bedroom floors (next, both sagging badly)
  • Then start on front of house. We're the neighborhood eyesore! That project includes:
    • porch (a big job, needs structural repair)
    • siding
    • front door
  • continue with new siding on the rest of the house. We need to do this before we install rainwater catchment. We don't want to move tanks and disconnect things to get to the sides of the house!

  • worm bed for composting (and feeding to chickens)
  • continue bordering my terrace beds
  • Expand front yard herb & flower garden by at least one bed. I'm planning this should be a new comfrey bed. I lost most of my comfrey last summer due to heat and dryness. Best option is where the trench was dug to bury the power lines. The soil's already turned there so why not. I'll order more comfrey plants as well because this is a valuable protein source for the goats. 
  • find another (3rd) new home for the strawberries & 
  • plant the old strawberry and comfrey beds in annual rye or something that might help choke the wire grass out 
  • need an edger / weed whacker for the beds in the front yard. I can't believe I'm saying that but this is a problem.
  • incorporate more permaculture techniques

  • Fence in blueberry bush to protect from the goats (a must)
  • Prepare for pigs (at least we'd like to)
  • Think about getting turkeys (I'm only committing myself to thinking about it because it's not just ordering poults, it's having a place for them to live)
  • Continue pasture improvement
  • The woods - a lot more pines are down; might be a resource for that new (log?) barn. Consider what would be the best thing to do with that part of the property: fence for browse? plant? with what?
  • Need to consider how & where to store and process our grain crops as we expand on that. Right now everything is on the front porch; probably not the best place for storage, and nowhere to thresh and winnow. Another reason we need a proper barn.
  • Try another grain crop? Oats?

Well, that's the goal list as it stands today. After finishing the kitchen, it's the first year we don't have a specific indoor house project as the front porch will be all outside work. That will likely change when we get a long rainy or cold spell and can't work outside. If you hadn't noticed, Dan is a project person and can't stand to sit around without something to do.

The hall bathroom is probably the next indoor project; it has plumbing problems and water damage to the floor. We're still looking toward turning it, part of the hall, and the second bedroom into a master suite, though have nothing more than a sketch toward it so far. The original house floor plan here, plan with master suite here. It's nice having both indoor and outdoor projects to adjust to the weather!

Some things on this year's list are more urgent than others and will take priority. Some things are still in the research and preparation phase, and may or may not see beginning materialization. I do find that putting things on the goal list prompts us to do at least something toward doing the things that need to be done.

How about you? What are your plans for the new year?


Theresa said...

Leigh, as always an ambitious list that I know you two will make huge dents in! My plans, see what the universe cooks up. ;)

Anonymous said...

My plans would include the following:
1. Simplify my life -- removing "stuff" I don't need from my life. Just listened to Audiobook "Throw 50 Things Out" -- it makes sense.
2, Take care of myself -- work fewer hours, get more exercise, eat healthier and lose weight.
3. Finally get out of debt.

Enjoy your blog a lot and seeing the progress you are making on your goals.

Jean - MN

Anonymous said...

Looks like an excellent list:) I am sure your neighbors understand that you are not intentionally being the eyesore, and that you are working hard towards making the home your own:). I will be curious to see how the worm beds work out, as I was reading someone else's blog and they too wanted to raise them for the same reasons. Many blessings in the new year.

Woolly Bits said...

luckily my list isn't as "big jobbed" as yours, though last year showed us not to plan too much, because huge jobs can come up totally unexpected. we do have to rebuild a shed though, materials here - suitable weather not so. would be great if finished sooner rather than later, but in high winds and pouring rain it's just not an option. other than that we have the usual things like the garden and general repairs outside - and lots of textile plans for the inside:)
we'll see what the year throws at us - I hope you can manage at least a good lot on your list and look forward to reading about it!
happy new year to you and your family!
Bettina (from ireland, where the first day of the new year is just as wet as the last one from the old:))

Jocelyn said...

Love your plan! Some of it is similar to mine, in fact. Funny how that happens to us homesteaders. :)

Health and happiness to you and your family!

Suzan said...

You certainly have an ambitious "to do" list!! God Bless you and your family through out this coming year!

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

My plans for the New Year is to do better with my weaving, and stay stimulated by all your projects for that 5 acre farm..and keep my gardens growing..I love having fresh veggies at my hand :o0

Ngo Family Farm said...

Ooh, I love a good list, and yours is VERY exciting! Still working on mine over here as well, but I do think writing things down helps these things come to fruition. Thanks for sharing your goals, and I look forward to following your adventures this year :)

Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

Wow - I made a resolution NOT to have an ambitious list!LOL! I need to relax! Of course, I have set some priorities down to paper but they are pretty general. It's good to have priorities clear so that I don't get sidetracked.
Happy New Year!

Leigh said...

Theresa, with so much to do around here, we can't do nothing! :o Your plan actually sounds like more fun.

Jean, excellent goals. I could have added your #3 to ours, but paying off the mortgage is not something we could accomplish in a year. Not at the rate we're going!

Stephanie, we do have nice neighbors. :) I'll report on the worm beds as soon as we get them going.

Bettina, well, I think your jobs are big enough! One of these days I'll get my studio cleared out of kitchen stuff and have textiles back on my goal list. :)

Jocelyn, I think you're right about that!

Suzan, not actually sure if ambitious is good or too much!

Ginny, excellent goals!

Jaime, thanks! I agree about writing it down; that's the main reason we do it.

Norma, great resolution! Sometimes a slower pace is absolutely in order. I agree about writing down priorities. Not getting sidetracked is the key to looking productive. :)

Madeleine @ NZ Ecochick said...

What an exciting list of to dos! Can't wait to rad about hwo the projects go. Turkeys what fun. I'm in the same dilemma over whether to have chooks or not. Good luck for 2012. xx

Mama Pea said...

Ah, yes, a real barn is on our wish list also. So many things would be easier if we had one. But it's sadly far down on the list at the moment.

After our couple of winter months "off" (hahaha!) from our inside remodeling, getting that finished once and for all is about all either of us can look at right now. Of course, I'm looking forward to the garden this year since I let all the beds and field garden lie fallow this past year. Gotta get my fingers back into the dirt!

Neal and Laura said...

Top of our list: become completely debt free! We've got $10,942.50 left.

Alla said...

Sounds busy and that's good. After last year, I'm only planning on doing one day at a time and maybe setting short term goals.

Tami said...

Tell me more about your worm composting ideas, Leigh. I'd love to do it but fear I'd have to keep them inside during summer since its so HOT around here. No shade to speak of around my house.

Also...any tips you might have with the strawberries. I'd like to learn from your experience and save myself some grief before I plant.

Anonymous said...

Leigh, Dan and you are such awesome folks! Your list of planning and achieving them are always a joy to read of your adventures. Thank you for sharing them with us.

Our main goal is to buy a farm! I also have a list in an envelope that I keep where I have at least 20 things on it! *wink*


Sherri B. said...

Happy New Year Leigh! It looks like you have a great year planned out. About the turkeys...We raised four of them many moons ago when we first had chickens. We bought them along with the chicks and didn't really do anything special with them, they just grew up with the chickens and that was that. It all turned out alright, sometimes I guess ignorance really is bliss, haha! xo

Leigh said...

Madeleine, decisions, decisions! LOL Still, these are good dilemmas. :)

Mama Pea, I can so relate to the remodeling part. It is so important, but so time, money, and energy consuming. As much as it needs to be done, we get frustrated at times, having to do it! I know you'll love getting your hands back in your garden!

Neal & Laura, that is the best goal ever! And you are so close. The only debt we have is our mortgage, but we're nowhere near down to that yet.

Alla, that's actually a very good goal, one we should put into practice no matter how long the to-do list gets!

Tami, I got inspired about it by Tom, over at Worms-a-crawling Farm. He did a great introductory post (at that link) and gave a site for further information and to buy worms. I believe he's in North Carolina (?) and has had great success with his worm composting. We do have a hedge here, that will provide afternoon shade, so I'm thinking we'll be okay in that department. I was more concerned about starting them in winter!

As far as strawberries, I've not done very well because every place I've tried to plant them has been swallowed up by Bermuda grass!!!! I'm going to try to salvage what I can and try again this spring.

Pam, thanks! Your goal is a fantastic one! Once you reach that, you'll have goals aplenty to keep you busy for years to come.

Sherri, happy new year to you too! Thank you for that on the turkeys. I was looking at poultry catalogues just this afternoon. Unfortunately we don't need more chickens and it's a 15 bird minimum, so at almost $8 a poult, I'm not too sure what to do. Glad your experience was a good one. I'm hoping for the same here. :)

Jody said...

You are amazing Leigh, I don't know how you do it all. I really wish we had the space do grow our own grain. You have been given a gift. For us, we only get to enjoy it vicariously through you. Not to mention goats!

Sue said...

Great list, very ambitious.

On the idea of turkeys, I would definitely encourage you. This was my first year raising them, and I've got to tell you - they are a hoot. Who knew they had so much personality? I had them in with my chickens, but apparently chickens carry something that can kill them (black head), so I'm going to build a turkey tractor with pvc for the next batch. Several of the feed stores around here have poults in the spring if you only want a couple (but breeds can be very limited), but I'm going to go straight to the hatchery to get mine (once I decide which heritage breed I want).

CaliforniaGrammy said...

You are way more ambitious than I am. However if I can organize my studio so that all my quilting and tole painting supplies are neat and tidy so that when I enter I am inspired, I will be thrilled at the accomplishment! Having moved everything together from our summer place in Oregon and our home base into the new house has caused me to discover I have much too much stuff!

The best of luck to you and Dan in 2012!

Stevie said...

Gardening ideas sound good. I'm excited about planting in straw bales this year in the greenhouse instead of containers. Although the articles I read showed them in use in places wherever people didn't have the time, money, or energy for breaking up hard soil. Plus they eventually break down to make nice soil right where they were placed. Perhaps something to consider for your planting ideas?
Stevie @ ruffledfeathersandspilledmilk.com

Leigh said...

Jody, well, I don't know about that, but I do know we love doing it. We are truly thankful for being able to try our hand at things like growing grain and having livestock.

Sue, I hadn't thought about the feed store for turkeys, thanks. I know I don't want to mail order them, and will have to see how close the nearest hatchery is. Or whether anyone in our area raises turkeys.

Janice, those are excellent goals! The very best to you and yours this year as well.

Stevie, the straw bales sound like a great idea. We are fortunate to have tillable soil, so I hadn't thought about a lasagna type approach, though it would be nice to have less work in the long run. Straw is something to think about. :)

Cat Eye Cottage said...

A log barn would be really cool!