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It’s almost our one year anniversary of moving into our farm and starting the journey of living out our self-sufficiency/homesteading ambitions. While we haven’t accomplished all of the things I hoped to have done by this time, we have still achieved quite a bit, and learned a LOT in the processes.
- Goats – The goats have been a HUGE endeavor for us. We have now learned to milk, been through several kiddings, dealt with health and management situations, and established a really great little herd for ourselves. The goats are my obsession, my passion, and have really become the cornerstone of our farm. Goats are amazing.
- Chickens – We have expanded our chickens into two flocks with some fantastic breeds of colored egg layers. We now have a steady enough egg supply that we have been able to establish a few regular egg customers and let the chickens support themselves.
- The Barn – We have done a lot of work in the barn, including two brand new stalls for the goats for kidding and quarantine. It’s really turning into a space we can be proud of and feel great about housing our animals there.
- General Building and Maintenance – We have gotten comfortable with power tools. We know how to take good measurements. We now own a 50′ drain snake and know how to use it. We can disassemble and reassemble a toilet like clockwork. Drywall? We got this.
The areas that still need a lot more work:
- The Garden – This was perhaps my biggest disapointment this year. I was really excited to have a huge garden this year and be able to do a lot of food storing. Not so much. With an insanely cold Spring, and attentions divinded among too many other critical projects, the garden got neglected. We barely got enough out of it to even mention. It was pathetic. I’ve vowed that next year we will put more time and energy into a brag-worthy garden, with fencing and veggies as far as the eye can see, lovingly tended and rotated seasonally like clock-work. It will happen.
- House Interior – There is still a lot of sheet rock to put up, painting to do, light fixtures to install and then some. When the weather warmed up all of our focus moved outside and into the barn. With the Winter coming, we will once again readjust our focus to inside house projects, and will hopefully have a lot completed by Spring.
- House Exterior – One of my biggest “wants” was getting the house painted. Didn’t happen. It looks real shabby and drives me nuts. Hopefully, this will happen within the next year before it gets truly unbearable.
Of course, there is a laundry list of projects I’m hoping to tackle in the future – rain water collection, underground greenhouse, worm farming, expanding the goat area, medicinal herb growing, foraging, and on and on. My Pinterest boards are teaming with inspiration.
This past year has involved spending a lot of money on new equipment, materials and livestock. I sleep at night by reminding myself these are all investments, many of them one-time expenses that will pay for themselves in the long run, and hopefully some will even show us a return eventually. So for now, I will forgive myself for all of the things we didn’t accomplish, take pride in the things we did, and prepare for projects on the horizon