When we first purchased our dream home, almost a year ago now, I posted about some of our immediate dreams and goals for the property. In the past 10 months, we’ve put in a ton of work, and the change is drastic!
It’s exciting to reread the list of goals and see so many of them have been accomplished already! (Read all about our initial goals here: 2015 Homestead Goals) The yard has been cleared and the grass is gorgeous, the flower beds removed and prepped for this year’s vegetables and herbs, and the beaten old shed was torn down. We have since decided against building a new shed in the back, so we can scratch that one out! For our firewood goal, we have about 3 years of wood which is excellent, and a testament to my husband’s diligent work last summer while I was on maternity leave.
The rain catch system is something we are currently working on, we have a small rain barrel for the chicken coop, and (2) 55-gallon barrels for the garden beds. It sounds like we may be getting two more, much larger containers to put under our deck as well. Being able to capture and use as much rainwater as possible for our animals and gardens will really help our well out, especially since there is no way to know what type of Summer we will have! We managed to drain it dry last summer while obsessively tending our precious grass seed. Luckily the well recovered in only a few hours, but we want to do all we can to avoid that in the future.
We have also already begun work on the hillside which will be more play space and our orchard. It’s a big project, but we’ll take it one day at a time as always.
Starting on these projects has me thinking, what else do we want to accomplish this year? Many of our ideas are already under way, so I find myself hoping for success in all we do. I know failures and set backs will occur, and I can only hope they are minor and prove to be good learning lessons!
Without further ado, my hopes for 2016 are:
- Clear the hill for our orchard
- Plant ever greens behind stonewall for privacy (to replace the the rhodedendron we just hacked down, making our one close neighbor visible)
- Clean up the woods immediately surrounding our property (more wood for the stove!)
- Get our rain catch system set up ASAP!
- Build an outdoor fire pit
- Successfully raise our 15 chickens from day-old chicks (let my layers be healthy and strong!)
- Create and maintain a healthy environment for our Mason bees, with a successful harvest of cocoons in the fall
- Have a successful first time harvest of oats
- Fill our “berry patch”with raspberries, blackberries and blueberries
- Ensure a good first year for our asparagus bed … We’ve done all the preparations, and the crowns should be shipping to us soon!
- Be blessed with another healthy acorn crop
- Beat the squirrels to harvesting the shagbark hickory nuts
- A bountiful and healthy garden, allowing us to eat well and hopefully have enough to not only share with family, but with extras to can, dehydrate and freeze
- Have another successful hunting season, with hopefully a harvest of at least one deer each
- Host our first annual harvest/homestead festival for family and friends
- Watch our daughter continue to grow and learn, surrounded by all the beauty and fun of nature
2016 has been kind to us thus far, with a very gentle winter. I do get nervous thinking about what the weather will be like for the rest of the year, as we pass 50-60 degree days already, but it is so completely out of my hands, that I don’t let it bother me. All I can do is plan, prepare and pray for a bountiful year!
Want to see what we have done so far, and how Woodford has changed? Check out our Creating Our Homestead page!