December 16, 2012

Our 2012 Homestead Goals: How'd We Do?

Last January 1st, I listed our homestead goals for the year. Hard to believe that was almost 12 months ago! So what can we cross off that list?

  • finish kitchen DONE
  • stiffen bedroom floors  DONE
  • Then start on front of house: porch, siding front door & continue with new siding on the rest of the house. Postponed.
    • Because we finished the kitchen so late in the year, we opted to save the front porch and exterior of the house until next summer. These are outdoor projects and we need good weather.
    • Instead, we started on the bathroom, which will be a good indoor winter project.

  • worm bed for composting DONE
  • continue bordering my terrace beds DONE
  • Expand front yard herb garden by at least one new comfrey bed. DONE
  • find another (3rd) new home for the strawberries &  DONE
  • plant the old strawberry and comfrey beds in annual rye or something that might help choke the wire grass out partially done. Done, sort of.
    • The old comfrey bed is still mulched with landscape cloth, (one of my biggest mistakes ever). This is now overgrown with wire grass (Bermuda), which has effectively glued the landscape cloth to the ground.
    • I did plant buckwheat where there was no cloth, and it did very well, even reseeding itself. 
  • need an edger / weed whacker for the beds in the front yard. GOT ONE. Though we rarely use it. Just can't get in to those electric and gas powered gizmos!
  • incorporate more permaculture techniques. Not successfully, except in planning.
    • I did let part of our wheat reseed itself, hoping the straw would mulch out the weeds and we'd have a volunteer crop of wheat. Instead, the weeds choked out the wheat.
    • No till in the garden is less than hopeful so far as well. I did make permanent beds, but am finding the wiregrass (Bermuda) is terribly invasive and tenacious. True, tilling does not kill it, but it does keep it at bay temporarily at least.

  • Fence in blueberry bush to protect from the goats DONE
  • Think about getting turkeys  DONE
  • Continue pasture improvement DONE
  • Prepare for pigs - PLANNING DONE.
    • Since we we didn't actually do anything material to prepare for pigs, I won't cross if off the list.
    • We did decide on where to put them. The area is already fenced, so all that will be needed will be a shelter, waterer, and feeder. These will be done next spring.

  • The woods - Consider what would be the best thing to do with them. DONE.
    • We're losing a lot of the old pines which is a concern.They are falling over rather haphazardly, often getting caught up in other trees. It feels hazardous to even walk back there.
    • We went so far as to inquire about having it logged, but this isn't likely to happen (it's only 2 acres). We will clear as needed, for example this winter when we will start fencing off an area as browse for the does.
  • Need to consider how & where to store and process our grain crops.  DONE. (Good thing I only said "consider")
    • We've talked about it a lot and have experimented a bit with threshing. We've made some mistakes and definitely need an area to process and store.
    • A barn is in the planning stages, so we'll see how to incorporate it with that.
  • Try another grain crop DONE Planted 2 experimental patches, one of hulless barley (a no show), the other of hulless oats. That one is growing now.

Honestly, I didn't think much about our goal list this year. We seem to be at a point where the next steps are more obvious than they were at first, when we had so much to do. Even so, I'm pleased to see how many things I could cross off.


badgerpendous said...

Wow, I'm tired just _reading_ your list of DONEs! That's fantastic!

I made a similar list myself back at Thanksgiving and we've got quite a way to go.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Dani said...

Leigh - I reckon you can be right proud of all that you two have accomplished :)

Doing the kitchen is more than enough, but all the other stuff too!

Lucky you with the forest - with the wood burner in your kitchen, and a good dose of drying time, you're set for fuel in years to come :)

Theresa said...

Count me as another who feels done in after reading your list. Wow, I knew you two were productive but impressive as always!

Leigh said...

Badgerpendous, you know, when you just take it a weekend at a time, a project at a time, it's amazing how much gets done!

Dani, thanks! The kitchen was huge, I agree, two years worth of huge. And just between you and me, the woods are a bit of a disappointment. They have less hardwood, which is what's needed for woodstoves. Lots of pines though, so we're figuring on an outdoor oven and barbeque for them. :)

Theresa, it's funny because so often we feel like we're going at a turtles pace. That's why this really helps, seiing what we've actually been able to check off the list!

Woolly Bits said...

I'd say you've been pretty busy - and successful for most things! it's more difficult when you have influences beyond your control, ie. weather etc. but all in all your list has shrunk quite a bit?:)

Farmer Barb said...

Weeds. Unwanted interlopers. In California the sun shines a lot. They employ the black plastic superheat method. Thick plastic sheeting, rolled with lumber in the edge and weighted with rocks to keep it close. The moisture collects and the heat gets high enough to kill the seed and the plant at the same time and "look Ma, no hands!" you are not actually having to touch it except to check on the death and destruction from time to time. Black is key because it heats up better. Then, when you have killed, you flip it to dry, then roll it up on the lumber for storage.

The tree-falling-over issue is due to the ultimate life of these trees. We had ours blown over in this area. There are lots of weeping, gooey pine carcasses all over everywhere with there roots to the sky. We saw a very attractive treatment yesterday. They cut the trunk into chunks of exactly the same thickness and stacked them like a brick wall--running bond style. What else are you going to do with all that pine? No logger will bother with the small wood lot. Either that or you invest big $ in a portable sawmill. There is a guy here who will come down, but he charges $1000 set up. I vote the low input method.

I am going to set up a goal sheet for 2013. You have inspired me!

CaliforniaGrammy said...

Truly amazing all you've accomplished. Don't you just love lists? I'm a list maker, because I love to be able to see things at the end of a day crossed off my list. Plus lists just keeps me focused on the goals I've set, and not get side-tracked (which is so easy for me to do).

Good job! Now let's see what 2013 will bring to the table.

Leigh said...

Bettina, yes, successful at quite a lot actually. I think though, that next year's goal list won't be so extensive. :)

Barb, we're going to sic pigs on the weeds where the wheat was! It seems my biggest problems are always were something else is already growing. Wiregrass for example, has been a real pain in the patoot!

Janice, list lover here! It seems though, that we are getting to a point where the next steps seem more obvious than before. We had so much to do when we first moved here that it was overwhelming.

Kids and Canning Jars said...

Very fun update. I shoulddo this myself. THanks for a good uplifting reminder.

Michelle said...

Y'all have worked your fannies off and have every reason to be proud of your many accomplishments. You didn't even mention the additions and changes in your goat herd, which was also a boon to the homestead. :-)

Benita said...

That is a lot of crossing out done. Very nice!!

Leigh said...

Melissa, it's an encouraging exercise. So often we get caught up in what needs to be done! This gives me a chance to be thankful for the progress we have made.

Michelle, well, the goats weren't on the goal list! They make my year in review post though. :)

Benita, thanks!

* Crystal * said...

Now that's a done list to be proud of!! Good job :)

Akannie said...

IMpressive !

I should do a better job at long term lists/goals....good idea to write them down.

Leigh said...

Crystal, thanks!

Akannie, especially if you put them on the internet for the whole world to see.

Unknown said...

Thanks for visiting my blog today. I always love visiting your and catching up on all the homesteading goals you are working on. Your lifestyle is something we want and are slowly working towards. I did implement the no right click a couple of months ago on my blog because I started fretting over the fact that anyone could come and take the picture of my children and do whatever they wanted with them. This world is not what it used to be and I just wanted to take that kind of stuff out of the equation. Have a wonderful Christmas.

Leigh said...

Diane, sadly, that is so true about our modern world. Not much respect for copyright these days, nor persons.

Chariot said...

You've accomplished so much! I love reading to do lists.=)