December 10, 2014

2014 Goals, How'd We Do?

We did our homestead goals a little differently this year. It seems we're at a point where the next steps are more obvious than they were when we were first trying to get our homestead going. So instead of listing definite goals for the year, I listed next steps. They were still goals, but the time frame was less loosely defined, which worked pretty well for us.

We had five categories: house, outbuildings, fencing, critters, and food preservation.

Goals for the house included:
  • finishing the master bedroom
  • replacing the side windows in the corner bedroom
  • and then completing the siding on that side of the house too

Of those I can report that the master bedroom is pretty much done. We finished the bedroom ceiling last January, and the floor in June. The only thing that keeps me from having an official "we're done and here are the before and after shots to prove it" post are the thresholds for the doorways. That's been one of those little projects that has hung on and on and on, if you know what I mean.

After that our direction for the house changed when we had trouble with the front door. Since replacing the door involved fixing structural problems with the entire front porch, that meant the beginning of a rather extensive project which is still in progress. It's a relief, actually, because it will make the entire living room more energy efficient once it's done. I can't complain about that.

Goals for outbuildings all revolved around building a proper goat barn (plan here):
  • finish chicken coop 
  • finish emptying out the coal barn 
  • tear down coal barn 
  • build new goat barn in coal barn footprint (A goal I didn't anticipate finishing this year.)

We got everything checked off that list except building the goat barn. That was actually postponed because of the front porch project. But we got a nice new chicken coop built and the old outbuilding torn down. Because of the delay in getting started on the barn, we recycled much of the old building to add on to the existing goat shed. And that turned out pretty well if I do say so.

Goals for fencing. We had only one goal for fencing:
  • finishing the doe browse. 

That was the first goal we checked off the list! In addition, we fenced the garden because deer wiped out a number of things and wandering dogs tended to come dig up the beds. Also we purchased electric netting too, and a solar charger (something we've talked about for quite awhile).

Goals for critters. These were:
  • continue working on my goal of developing a dual-purpose homestead breed of goat (my Kikobians)
  • getting Silver Laced Wyandottes for chickens
  • get a dog
  • get pigs (something that's been on the annual goal list for a number of years)

Well, I'm still working on dual-purpose goats, but not my Kikobians. Even though I had a beautiful crop of Kikobian kids this year, I had to make a decision and ended up switching breeds. In September my long time Kinder dream came true with the purchase of two registered Kinder does. That was soon followed by two registered Kinder bucks. All of my Kikobians are gone but not forgotten, and I've never regretted the decision to go with the Kinders.

Our year of Silver Laced Wyandottes was good as chickens go, but they didn't endear themselves to us as we hoped they would. Next year, look for something different for us.

I did get a dog, a Great Pyrenees, but that only lasted about an hour.

Last but not least, we finally got our pigs! Two American Guinea Hogs and I can report they have been a wonderful addition to the homestead. Their presence required another shelter, but this one is temporary, you can see that and the pigs here. Next year, piglets!

Food self-sufficiency goals included
  • garden
  • preservation
  • field crops

It was a pretty good year for growing and preserving. Even though we didn't plan for a large area of corn, we did a small one in. Harvest was only fair, because of a rainless spell. Rainwater irrigation was something else we planned to improve upon. Besides adding another tank, Dan made me an irrigation pipe from PVC. We were pleased that we had good pressure from the tanks for it and plan to make more of these for next summer.

One goal I did not accomplish, was a more extensive fall garden. This was because we've decided to revamp the garden, something I'll share more about later. This fall I planted one raised bed for salad, but that's it.

Of course we got a lot of other things accomplished too, but for our specific goals, I think we did pretty well. Things we didn't check off this year will go onto our goal list for 2015.

How about you? Did you get everything accomplished this year that you wanted to?

2014 Goals, How'd We Do? © December 2014


Farmer Barb said...

A goal list is a fluid thing. It is great for reminding me to get back to the plan. I haven't had the time to sit and look at it again to see how well we have done. Look for a post on it over the weekend. That would be at night when I am not operating the NEW TRACTOR!!!!

Benita said...

Since my goal basically was to survive the year, if I am still here on January 1st, then I met my goal. :)

It sounds like you two have done a very good good meeting yours.

Kris said...

2014 goal: get through it in one piece. *check* hahaha (or am I being premature since it's only Dec 10. There's still the holidays. ;-)

Congrats on getting done what you did and then some. Porch and goat shed looking good. Well done, gal!

Dani said...

Wow - that is certainly a list of accomplishments you can be proud of!!
Well done to both of you - well, Dan may do most of the heavy work, but the advice and support from you was invaluable :) They don't call wives the "other half" for nothing.

Ed said...

When ever I'm doing a home remodeling project, I always say that 50% of my time is spent doing 90% of the work. The other 50% of my time is spent completing that last 10% of details like threshold trim, etc. There always seems to be more details to do than I anticipate and they always seem to take as long as all the big ticket items.

Leigh said...

Barb, YOU GOT YOUR TRACTOR!?!?!? How exciting is that! I'm on my way over to see if you've posted details and pictures.

Benita, LOL I know you had a tremendously busy year!

Kris, you and Benita, LOL. It's not a bad goal, actually.

Dani, I have to give Dan most of the credit, but I've always been at the ready to be fetcher, go-fer, an extra pair of hands, and moral support. :)

Ed, that is so true! Unfortunately, some of our finishing up details never seem to get done. :)

Mama Pea said...

I think you and Dan get more things accomplished in a year's time than some of the rest of us put together!

We had a dismal year as far as getting items on our list checked off. Up here near the tundra (!) we have so few months in which to do any "outside" work. With our boatloads of snow last winter and very prolonged, cold, snowy spring, we were behind at the get-go. Then the roofing job which we did ourselves took WAY longer than we had planned for. It kinda went on that way all summer and fall for us which has left us still doing some work outside in inclement weather, but so it goes now and then. We're already making plans (trying to be more realistic!) for 2015 so we're fine.

Did you ever hear anything about your one-hour dog who went AWOL on you?

Mom at home said...

You both did great work! Everything in life is trial and error. You tried many things and found out what works for you. That in itself is a great accomplishment. All the construction takes so much time and you did it!

Karen@ said...

Good job!
My husband was bored in our last house because he had done everything there was to do in that "city house".
No problem with him getting bored on the farm :-)
We need to get the "to do list" written down. Right now it is just in our heads. I like crossing things off a list.
I'm hoping to be able to can more next year.
Again, great job.

Simply Handmade Farmhouse said...

Great Accomplishments! It feels great when you can cross it off the list.
My hubby is a project starter but never completes the job. Any suggestion how to get him to finish a project before he starts a new project? (smile) As for my to do list..I was able to cross off 8 out of 19 jobs. Not too bad I will just push the rest to next spring.

Kev Alviti said...

Before I even read what you wrote I knew you've done good this year. I think the fact that your book has been so well received and the marketing you've done has been done so well should also go on your list as well as getting digital copies out as well. I don't think I'll ever get everything thing I want to done!

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

You have a lot of big goals and accomplished a lot of them. Good job! At 75 and on a city lot we don't have such big goals but sometimes they seem big to us! LOL Nancy

badgerpendous said...

Wow, you got so much done, I'm getting tired just reading it. Best of luck in the new year, can't wait to hear about the revamped garden!

Quinn said...

You must be feeling pretty good about all the work you've done this year! Some of those projects are very big!
Was that lost dog ever found? I've often thought of him and wondered what the end of the story would be. Didn't like to ask, in case it was bad news, but since you brought it up...?

Su Ba said...

I never, ever get everything done on my list, but then again, I don't expect to. I have too many ideas for projects that I'd like to do. If I can get the top 12 things on the list completed then I'm satisfied. That comes to one major project a month. Sometimes I get all 12 done, sometimes not. This past year was better than most. I got all 12 completed. Yeah!

You and Dan have done GREAT! That's been some real major work done. And I've had a good time following you on your various projects. Been lovin it.

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, I think you all do remarkably well considering how iffy your summers are. Who can plan for weather like that!

Never did find our dog. I called everyone I knew to, even former owner. We're guessing somebody managed to corral him.

Mom at home, that is so true! We've finally figured out to be more flexible with our plans.:)

Karen, I have to agree with you about crossing things off a list. And how nice to have a project minded husband!

Teresa, thanks! I used to be a starter-but-never-a-finisher too, but I can't tell you how to "cure" it. :) Dan pretty much puts his foot down if there are too many unfinished projects around the place, LOL

Kev, it has definitely been a busy year!

Nancy, well, I think having goals and something to work toward is good for us all. :)

Badgerpendous, thanks! Hoping for a much better garden next year.

Quinn, sadly, we never found the dog. :(

Su Ba, that's the thing about lists, isn't it? They never get done! But that's why I prefer goals to new year's resolutions. A goal can't be broken, it can evaluated, changed, or postponed, and there's no shame in that.

Chris said...

I can't believe its nearly been a year already! What I like most about how you went through the list, was deciding priorities and finding the means - whether that be through recycling or simply waiting until you came up with a better solution.

Here's hoping next year's plan's are nearly as successful. :)

Sandy Livesay said...


You and Dan have accomplished most all of your goals....congratulations!

Bulldog Man and I accomplished about 65 percent of ours. Dealing with family medical took priority over our homesteading goals. Were hoping in 2015 we meet all of our goals.

Hugs to you and Dan.

Leigh said...

Chris, a goal list is invaluable for prioritizing, isn't it? Kind of nice to just pass of the unaccomplished to next year, too. :)

Sandy, that's why I prefer goals to resolutions. Goals are more flexible so that things like family can be ministered to without getting off track. That's always the right decision. Here's hoping 2015 is a better year for us all!