January 1, 2018

Homestead Goals for 2018

Happy New Year! Somehow, the middle of winter seems an odd place for the new year to begin, especially in terms of seasonal rhythms. But nobody asked me, so as long as I have new calendars and remember to end the date with an 8 instead of a 7, all is well.

No matter when the new year starts, winter is a good time for evaluating and adjusting our goals and plans. These have mostly been geared toward homestead infrastructure, or what I call our "establishment phase." Trying to become self-sufficient is a lot of work! None of our plans for the upcoming year are new ones; they are either extensions or modifications of things we've been working on,

1. Finish the barn. I'm sure that doesn't surprise anyone, and there is still quite a bit to do: finish the roof, then walls, windows, doors, workbench and shelves for feed processing and storage, feeder, pens, hay feeder. Then we'll need a corral with gates to facilitate pasture rotation for the does. That leads to goal #2.

2. Fencing and Pasture. Once the barn is done we can work on the fences and pasture improvement:
  • Fencing. The bottom line is that we just aren't set up well for a faithful rotational grazing program. What we thought would work, hasn't. Having a number of fences squashed by falling pine trees hasn't helped, but if we have to repair fences, we might as well consider a better subdivision of paddocks.
  • Pasture improvement. The goal is sustainable pasture, but it has been a huge challenge to make it so. I've tried a lot of things over the years and have made some progress, but it's not enough. Grazing rotation is key, but that must wait on the fences. So as we reestablish fences, we will also work toward further soil and forage improvement. 

3. House. Another ongoing project, but there isn't much left: front porch ceiling, front bedroom windows, and the back gable end of the house. However, the roof on our little addition off the kitchen is badly in need of repair, so this will have to be the priority house project.

So that's it for us. Have you thought about your plans for the new year? Are you continuing with long-term projects or starting something new? May it be a productive year for us all!

Homestead Goals for 2018 © January 2018 


Gorges Smythe said...

Noble goals all, Leigh; I hope you achieve them. Have a great new year!

Leigh said...

Thanks Gorges! Wishing you a great year too!

Helen said...

Happy New Year, Leigh and Dan.
You sound like your going to be busy again this year, as are we. Our list has had a habit of getting pushed to another year, the years seem to fly on by, but we are determined to knock some of our list out. Some of the big projects we plan on tackling are, adding to out fruit orchard, expanding berry garden, fencing a cow pasture, building a storage barn to house tractor and trailers, and creating a gravel pad to park cars on and connecting it to exsisting driveway. As you can tell its an ambitous list, but we are motivated to get it done, trying to get most done while its cool, 100 degree summers are not the time to build fences and barns.

Tania said...

Happy New Year Leigh!

I am working on my goals for 2018 and hope to post them shortly.

I hope you are able to finish your homestead goals. There are always jobs that need doing when you live on the land. I love your short and simple list, but I realise those jobs take time to do. I tend to make list way too long lol!


Ed said...

Since I still have several years of work on my master list, I think I will continue working down it.

Rain said...

Hi Leigh :) Happy New Year to you and Dan! :)
My new year starts on November 1st. I am more comfy with my ancestors seasonal year with Samhain (Halloween) ending the harvest year. I do agree that winter is a wonderful time for introspection, re-evaluation and planning for the spring. :) I think that your plans are good, after all the work never ends does it?

2018 for Alex and me is all about saving money to hopefully qualify for a mortgage in early 2019. So more frugal efforts, resisting the temptation to buy toys lol...and getting the debt paid down even more.

My goals are more spiritual. I find that when my spirit is in good balance, everything else is very healthy!

Leigh said...

Helen, thank you and the same to you! You have some wonderful goals there. Big projects but ones that will yield big, long-term results. May it be a productive year for us all!

Tania, I'd love to see your goals! It's always interesting to see what others are planning. Here's hoping we all make good progress this year.

Ed, LOL A master list is really a good idea. That's pretty much what we're down to, I suppose, since ours seem to be longer term than one year can hold.

Rain, that's an excellent goal. The financial ones are hard because there is so little visible progress, but they are so worth it in the longrun. I think my year best follows the agrarian one, so new years is in spring. :)

Anonymous said...

Bravo! Your outline of goals is impressive! Cant wait to watch it all happen in your blog!

Mike Yukon said...

Wow that's a lot of work, does Dan know about all of it? :-)

Cozy Thyme Cottage said...

Hi Leigh, My goals are not nearly as impressive! I hope you will be able to accomplish all you would like to this year! Nancy

Leigh said...

Jayne, thanks!

Mike, LOL. I guarantee he was in on the discussion. ;)

Nancy, well, they are mostly things we've been working for awhile. Better to finish what we start, eh? :)

Mama Pea said...

Well, even though there are items on our "To Do List" that seem to have been there forever, we do get some things accomplished. (I find looking back on pictures we've taken of each project a solid, visual reminder of what we do achieve.) We're trying more and more to focus on what we do get done rather than what is left to do! Since my husband's recent mishap, he's made several subtle references to some things that are going to change around here. I haven't pushed him on those thoughts yet but I'm hopeful it means we may be getting a little wiser about how we go about some of our goals. In the past he's always felt better about the "doing it yourself" philosophy but it might be a better idea to hire a few things done now. (Re-roofing the whole house including the second story part with metal roofing? I could find many other items on the list we would both enjoy doing more than that, thank you very much!)

You and Dan are so organized and diligent at whittling away on your very thought-out and planned-out goals. A very happy new year to you both and continued success at achieving your dreams.

Leigh said...

Mama Pea, good to hear from you! Are you back from your blog break? I think our to-do list is about the same as yours now - forever ongoing work on the same big projects. I have to agree that sometimes our modes and methods need evaluation and shifting. Especially the big dangerous jobs like re-roofing! I don't know if we're actually as organized as it seems on paper. But both of us are workers, so I think "diligent" is correct. Hopefully we'll all make some progress this year.

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Keith and I spent an entire day recently planning finances for 2017. Added up all we made and spent in every category and then estimated what we needed to live on his income and my small pension plus some meat sales, for the next year. It will be tight but we have great hope for survival on The Poor Farm in 2018. This week we plan all farm projects with of course the barn finish, being the biggest priority

Mark said...

Hi Leigh! Finally catching up on blog visits. Still sounds like a busy year you've planned for yourself. I wish you well in getting it done.

Our plans are more modest: Add a couple more garden beds and plant all the ones we have. FINALLY, get some fruit trees in. Add some more chickens to the flock. Anything beyond that is icing on an already delicious cake!

Leigh said...

Donna, you and Keith are so much like Dan and me. I hope we both make it in 2018! We're looking forward to having our major building and improvement projects done soon. I imagine you are too!

Mark, congratulations on the fruit trees! Great investment. So are more chickens and garden beds, anything that improve food production!