2016 Homestead Goals

With only a few more days until the new year, I’ve been making a mental list of all of the things I wish to accomplish in 2016. As always, my goals are a bit ambitious. But I like a challenge! I don’t expect to get every single thing done in the next 12 months, but it definitely helps to set goals to work toward. And if I don’t get them done this coming year, then maybe the next!

Here is a quick list of some things I’d like to work toward making happen around the homestead in 2016…

chickens

  • Start a flock of chickens from scratch with non-GMO chicks. I found a hatchery that ships day-old chicks hatched from a parent flock that has been fed a strict diet of non-GMO feed. Since we want to avoid GMOs as much as possible it’s important to us that our chickens aren’t genetically modified and that we feed them non-genetically modified feed. I’ve been researching a method of raising chickens on compost only (garden and organic kitchen scraps, weed seeds, bug and earthworms, forage, etc.), which I’d love to try implementing on our homestead.
  • Bring goats back onto the homestead. We cleared an immature wooded area of our property this year and allowed it to begin growing back up with shrubs and roughage that’ll be perfect to fence in and provide forage for a couple of goats. I really want a milk goat again, but I’d also like to raise meat goats. Maybe breed a Saanen or Nubian (milk goats) with a Boer (meat goat)?
  • Create a hugelkultur bed on the bank behind our house to stop erosion. We’ve actually begun this much-needed project already with the help of some friends (more on that to come!).
  • Turn the front yard into a food forest. This is probably the most ambitious project I want to begin (seeing as it’s so barren at the moment), and will definitely take several years of preparation and planting. But I really want to make headway on the front yard this year.
  • Build an outdoor (off grid, of course) wash room for laundry. I envision an open structure over a concrete slab with 4 corner posts and a corrugated plastic roof slanted toward the back to catch rain in a gutter which feeds to a chain of raised, connected rain barrels. Washtubs or large laundry sinks could be filled with this rain water, or heated over a small wood burning stove, and used to wash and rinse the laundry. Several clotheslines would be strung next to the washing area. This outdoor room could be used for at least half the year.

greenhouse coming along

  • Tear down the greenhouse and rebuild it as a lean-to. The way it’s built, elevated off the ground, makes it difficult to plant anything in without worry of the floor getting wet and rotting. It would be nice to be able to plant directly in the ground in the greenhouse. We might not even rebuild the structure at all, but instead replace it with cold frames. Either way, what we have now isn’t functioning so it’s gotta be re-worked. It might benefit us to line that side of the house with deciduous trees (short enough that they wouldn’t block the solar panels on the roof) to keep the house cooler during the hot summer months, since it’s the south side of the house.
  • Raise ducks and turkeys for meat. Possibly other fowl as well. I’m intrigued by the idea of being able to raise ducks for fat, since we don’t have anything producing fat for us on the homestead. And turkeys give so much more meat than chickens.

Jerry using hand pump on well

  • Insulate the well house and hand pump. Currently we are only using the hand pump on the well during warm months because the pressure tank and all of the plumbing connecting it to the well is above ground and completely exposed unless we cover the well back over with the giant insulated fake rock thingy that keeps it all from freezing during the winter. We need to build an insulated box around all of the plumbing, with a hole in the top for the hand pump handle to come through, and an access door to the shut off valves, so we can hand pump year round.
  • I’m still dreaming of a root cellar… though I’m not sure it’ll be in our budget this year. (Anyone have a bunch of cinder blocks they wanna get rid of??)
  • Try growing jicama. We love jicama… it would be awesome if we could grow it in our garden here at home instead of eating it imported, waxed, and probably several weeks old. I’d be so excited!

Of course I have many personal goals as a mom and entrepreneur. I also want to move to Ecuador. But that’s a whole other topic, lol!

I hope you’ll bookmark my site and visit us often as I continue sharing our lives and adventures in the coming year.

I’d love to hear your homesteading goals for 2016!

Kendra
About Kendra 1123 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

11 Comments

  1. I’m new here (just started reading right now!), but if you’re looking for a goat you can milk and butcher the wethers, check into Kinders. We just butchered our Kinder/Nubian crosses last month, which were less meaty than an actual Kinder would be and they were fantastic. My friend milks them all year and this was her first time butchering one. She took one wether and I took the other. We got about 6# of ground and 3 “hams” which are hanging right now. Plus stock, of course.

    • I’ve lived in Ecuador twice for a total of 20 months, and I’ve never been healthier than when I was there. The cost of living is incredibly low, the produce is amazing, they use the US dollar, and the people are the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. I doubt I’ll ever move to Ecuador permanently, but I do hope to travel there with my husband and children and perhaps move back for another short period.

  2. I feel the duty to warm you ducks are messy. I honestly didn’t believe my husband when he said they were pigs with wings and I had to find out the hard way. They can turn a drop of water in to a total mess, they really enjoying rooting around in mud and soft dirt but they do lay giant eggs and are easily incubated for more duckies. Even the cute little baby ducks are messy, the soaked our chicks we had in the same brooder coop.

    • I’ve read that they’re a mess, lol. We have a pond so I’m thinking maybe we can just build a duck house there. We have snapping turtles and foxes though, so I’ll have to figure out the best way to protect them. Thanks for sharing your experience! 🙂

  3. Awesome list, Kendra! Love the idea about the non-GMO chicks. We are hoping to move this spring and find a place where we can really step up our off-the-grid living. It’s a little scary, but it feels like a necessity. The house is going on the market next month! Just praying that we’ll be all moved into the new place by garden planting time!

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