Setting Goals for 2013

canning pantry

Here’s what’s left in my canning pantry as 2012 draws to a close. I’m proud of all of the things I’ve learned to can over the past year or so. On my shelves you will find…

  • carrots
  • glazed carrots
  • Muscadine and Scuppernong grape juice
  • cabbage
  • chicken
  • venison
  • chicken broth
  • beef broth
  • strawberry jam
  • strawberry fig jam
  • muscadine jelly
  • apple-pear jelly
  • pear glaze (for meat)
  • peach pie filling
  • cranberry sauce
  • sweet pickle relish
  • tomato sauce
  • tomato juice
  • banana peppers
  • peach salsa (which turned out terrible; I’ll be dumping that today)
  • corn
  • dill pickles
  • bread and butter pickles
  • chow chow
  • pears
  • potatoes

Gone is the apple pie filling, applesauce, pearsauce, peaches, and squash. Guess I know what I need to make more of next season! My goal for the coming year is to can a bunch of heat-and-eat meals, such as chili, soup and stew. And perhaps some mixed veggies. I’d like to get a lot of the beef out of my freezer and canned as well.

Every year I try to make a list of goals to work toward achieving over the next twelve months. It helps to give me focus, and a feeling of accomplishment as I scratch things off my list. Sometimes I feel like I’m going around in circles… it’s nice to have a visual reference of my successes.

My blog is the best place for me to jot these goals down, as it will always be here for me to refer back to, and won’t get lost in my craziness. Hopefully it’ll be of some use or inspiration to some of you guys as well.

Here are my thoughts on what I’d like to get done in 2013. I may not get them all accomplished, but I’ll sure try! I’m sure I’ll think of more to add as I go…

  • Learn to culture all of our dairy products (cheese, buttermilk, yogurt, kefir)
  • Learn how to ferment foods
  • Get in the habit of soaking grains and making sourdough
  • Learn how to make ketchup (fermented ketchup, maybe?)
  • Learn to cook with other grains, such as barley, millet, spelt, amaranth, and quinoa
  • Learn how to sprout grains
  • Cut sugar out of our diet (this’ll be the hardest for me!)
  • Dress up the chicken coop
  • Get the garden’s raised beds laid out and filled
  • Get involved in the Farmer’s Market
  • Make all of our soap
  • Make our shampoo/conditioners (I’ve dabbled, but we still buy storebought for the most part)
  • Make my deodorant and the family’s toothpaste
  • Learn how to do a cleansing tonic in Spring
  • Build my Shelf Reliance store, and my blog traffic
  • Lay a walkway to the front door
  • Clear some trees from our land to put in an orchard
  • Hook up the water stove (I think this has been on my “goals” list for the past three years now, haha!)
  • Dig a root cellar/tornado shelter
  • Eat fish from our pond
  • Further develop a network of like-minded neighbors and friends
  • Grow more herbs and make more homemade herbal remedies
  • Make a canning DVD (crossing fingers!)
  • Open my home more often to guests (once a week? we already host a Bible study every other week)
  • Publish an ebook (another one of those goals I’ve had for several years now, lol!)
  • Get better at using my sewing machine (I did learn how to hem pants this past year, woo-hoo!)
  • Get my 5 yr. old reading books by the end of the year
  • Get the junk piles removed (it’s funny how stuff piles up when you think there must be a use for it!)
  • Learn how to crochet a dishrag (like my mother-in-law does!)
  • Finish up the greenhouse
  • *Try* to stop using the dishwasher completely (working toward less appliances to depend upon)

Yep. I think that’s a good start!

What are your big plans for the new year? I’d love to know what you are excited to work toward, or a new skill you’re eager to learn!

About Kendra 1035 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.


  1. I canned carrots last year from our garden and I used the pressure cooker (as I did with my green beans). My carrots now seem to have very little taste and the texture feels like they were overprocessed – despite following the canner directions. The beans, my mother commented, also seemed overprocessed. I like canning better than freezing to save on electricity, but I hate spending all that time and work gardening to have my produce be mushy. Do you have any suggestions for keeping the canned produce more firm? Thanks so much

  2. We did soup starters, Veggie Beef was our favorite. Nothing like going to the bsement, getting a jar of starter and a jar of tomato juice and heating it up on a cold night! Chili beans, stuffed peppers, spaghetti sauce, venison stew, all really yummy heat and eat canned meals! I think you will enjoy having them on hand.

  3. I love your list! We have quite a few in common. I’m envious of your canning pantry! I only canned fruits this year (I’m new to canning) and we’re over halfway through all the applesauce, pearsauce and berries!

    Here’s a blog post you might like regarding cutting out sugar:

    Food Renegade is a wonderful blog and she covers other topics you might like, too, like fermenting and culturing! And she shares lots of thought provoking information on her Facebook, too.

    I haven’t commented on your blog before, but I’ve been reading it for a while and have been really enjoying it! 🙂


  4. I would love to learn how to make cheeses this year. And can more. I would also like to can some meat. And expand the chicken house. And get a dairy goat. And start my own blog. :o)

  5. I will Kendra! Thank you! I did watch your video how to can with a pressure canner, It was helpful. I think you should make more videos some time!Also do you recommend any books on canning? Thanks!

    • Jillian,

      If you happened to see it on my “goals” list for this year, I’m hoping to work on another canning video, Lord willing 🙂 Thank you for your encouragement! The go-to book for canning is the Ball Blue Book of Canning. I also like Jackie Clay’s canning book (

  6. Wow!! First your food pantry looks beautiful!! You should be proud of yourself Kendra. Really!! Our family set a lot of new goals for the year. Not as many as you though. LOL But it was a fun family thing to do. Even the kids had some pretty cute goals. My big one was to learn to can this year. I have always froze food from our garden.I have canned jam though.Also my girls and I are big crafters, sewing knitting making anything we can learn. I really want to make things this year to give to homeless shelters and hospitals, and so forth. Great school and bible lesson all in one.:-) one of my husbands big goals is to read the bible in 90 days.and start a green house for us this year. It is nice to set goals and work toward them. I love all of your goals!!

  7. Wow! This is what is leftover? That’s amazing! One of my goals this year to have a pantry like this. I’ve never canned before but definitely want to give it a try.

    I love your goals, I have similar ones too. Good luck this year, I can’t wait to see what you accomplish!

  8. I love your list! We had no luck with our garden last year, but are trying again this year – until we get it right. I want to grow our food and learn to can it like you do. Looking forward to reading your blog.

  9. First off, your pantry looks incredible! My goal this year is to get ours stocked up so that in December 2013, it will look like yours. 🙂

    It is always nice to have others hold you accountable.
    Your list makes me tired just reading through it. 🙂 Good luck!

  10. An inspiring list! I haven’t listed as many goals for myself for this year. I set a few general goals for my personal life, such as eat healthier, be more organized, take the dog for more walks, reduce sugar in my baking…things like that.

    Thanks for sharing your goals with us! I always find it fascinating what other people hope to accomplish on their homestead 🙂

  11. I love reading other homesteaders goal lists; it always gives me ideas as well as letting me know I’m not the only person trying these things (living in the middle of suburban America, it often feels that way!). We are doing as much urban homesteading as our area will allow (and hoping we can get some of the regulations changed!) – but still several of our goals are the same for this year. That includes the no more sugar goal. I think that one is going to be VERY difficult 🙂

  12. Can I just say “Wow!” ??? That’s an impressive list of goals. I can’t wait to see how you end up doing your root cellar, as we are researching how to build a cost efficient root cellar right now.

    As for us, we started a new blog, , that will chronicle our new and exciting homesteading journey and our journey to get out of debt. With that and my homeschooling goals, I think that’s about all I can handle for 2013 :-).

    May God bless you with good success on your goals for this year!

  13. I want to raise chickens, have lambs, grow my blog, grow a HUGE garden, and so so much more! I love your list and I love visiting you on your blog. Too bad we don’t live closer. 🙂

    Fellow farmsteader,
    Noel @ the Shepherd’s farm

  14. Great goals! I love your idea of canning soups, stews and ready to eat meals. I hadn’t thought of doing that! I hope you do a blog post and tutorial when you can some so I can get a feel for how you do it. Happy New Years!

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