Happy 2014!

Last year, I made some homestead resolutions.

The resolutions were…

-move from our suburban home to acreage in the country
-Make cheese
-Make kefir
-Make soap
-Make candles
-Dehydrate beef jerky
-Can all of our fruits and veggies for the year with in season produce either grown in our garden or bought locally in bulk
-Landscape with edible plants.
-Process rabbits.
-Plant fruit and nut trees
-Buy meat in bulk from a local farmer
-Cancel cable

I managed to get most of them done. I still haven’t made cheese and there was no way I could have canned all of our fruits and veggies for the year. Other than those two items though – I finished everything else on my list. 2013 was a big year.

-We sold our house and moved from our .17 acre suburban lot to 71 acres in the country
-Made water kefir
-Made homemade lye soap
-found an easy and cheap laundry soap recipe (post about that coming soon – it only costs $0.15 per gallon.)
-Made candles
-we landscaped our old house with Kale, Swiss chard, and roses before we moved.
-Dehydrated beef jerky and multiple other items with my dehydrator
-Planted 14 fruit trees in our orchard and bought a 15th tree that lives inside when the weather is cold.
-Cancelled cable (we haven’t had cable since August – no one misses it!)
-Started learning how to sew on a sewing machine
-set up water, electric, septic, and a house on our property
-met and became friends with some of our neighbors
-got chickens and built a chicken coop (The girls laid 14 eggs for us today!)
-butchered a goat and stocked the freezer with fresh meat
-canned meat with my pressure canner
-set up our water catchment system
-built a driveway so our vehicles don’t get stuck in the mud when it rains
-acquired our barn cats
-butchered and skinned rabbits
-quadrupled the size of our worm barn
-stopped using shampoo (I’ve actually been “No Poo” since October of 2012.)

For 2014, we have some big plans. I’d like to…

– Keep up with my garden. It’s 5 times bigger than the last one, and I’m worried it might be a lot to handle.
– Order our bees and beekeeper supplies
– Plant more fruit and nut trees
– Plant a perennial garden with berries and grapes
– Plant an herb garden
– landscape with edibles
– Finally make cheese
– Make all of our soap and laundry detergent for the year (I’ll still buy dish soap and dishwasher detergent.)
– Can more fruits, veggies, and meats
– Dehydrate more fruits, veggies, and meats
– Get to the point where I only grocery shop once a month. Right now, I go weekly. I’m going to try to stretch that to every two weeks to start.)
– File the right paperwork to officially make us a farm
– Sell some extra produce and eggs
– Keep good records
– Buy a tractor
– build a shop
– build a storm shelter
– build a front porch
– get a dairy animal
– raise meat chickens
– hay our own property 2 times during the summer if the weather cooperates

That’s a pretty big list. I’m not sure we will be able to buy a tractor, a shop, a storm shelter, and a front porch – – but I’m going to leave all of them on there. The tractor needs to come first, since the tractor will allow us to bale our own hay, which will make us some money over the summer and might pay for some of the other items. We’ll see.

There is a lot to do, and there is a lot to learn. I’m having so much fun though. I cannot wait to see what 2014 brings. Do you have any homesteading goals for 2014?

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