The Second Year on a Homestead:

Homesteading Goals

I wrote a post a while back about “The First Year on a Homestead” and I’ve been meaning to follow that up with a “Second Year on a Homestead” but it seems I’m about 7 months late! Although we’re halfway into our third year now, I want to tell you all a little bit about what happened here on The Green Acre Homestead in 2017. Our failures, our achievements, our goals, etc. I hope, if you’re beginning, you stick with it. What a wonderful ride it has been!

ANIMAL HUSBANDRY

  • Rabbits:
    • We’ll start with our livestock goals. In May of 2016 we bought our rabbits and tried to colony raise them and it was just not a great choice for us and our area. So, I built them a hutch just in time to move in January 2017.
      The hutch was fine and we loved it for a long time. The only problem we had with it was the rabbits went from living in a colony and getting to hop all over to a confined space with little to no room to hop. One of our bucks, Mr.Man, was actually acted very depressed and never came out of the darkest corner in his room of the hutch. Another slight aggravation was that it had no drop pans. So, at the end of 2017, I made plans for a new and approved hutch & run style living quarter for our buns and they moved in this year! Below you’ll see the first hutch (which I’m adding runs to) and our current hutch & run setup below.

 

Homesteading GoalsHomesteading Goals

  • Chickens
    • We had a goal to start selling some of our eggs to family and friends and, in 2017, we achieved that goal. We aren’t making the big bucks but it’s enough to cover a bag or two of feed. The best thing about it is that we’re supplying individuals with healthy, safe, fresh farm eggs! If you’re looking to sell your eggs, first check with yours or your family members co-workers and then move onto a network such as Nextdoor.com. Be sure to check the laws in your area.
    • Another goal I achieved in 2017 was modifying our hen house to make things a little more accessible. Hanging the water containers, taking out an annoyingly placed feeding trough, and adding bird nettings to their “run” area so they couldn’t fly out and container wrecking out gardens.
  • Ducks
    • I will admit that our duck goals are still aggravating ones. We were hoping for ducklings but our broody hens would never hatch ducks. We did learn to properly butcher and pluck a duck so there’s one big goal checked off!

GARDENS

  • Our garden goals have always been to simply feed ourselves. In 2017 we grew so many beans, cucumbers, squash, zucchini, and more kale, arugula, and lettuce than you can imagine!
  • We also installed our first asparagus bed, which is very exciting!
  • I finally learned to properly prune our muscadine vines and the grapes on them look mighty fine.
  • We got a bountiful harvest from our three mulberry trees…and so did all the other critters in the yard with access! (Ducks, squirrels, birds)
  • I built a 3 apartment bin for my hot composting and can’t wait to use the beautiful stuff. Composting makes me so excited and I hope you’ll learn to compost, too.

HOME

There are so many goals I have to achieve in the home. Here are a few I successfully marked off in 2017, and you can too.

  • I learned to sew. Just buy a sewing machine and dive in, Y’all. You won’t regret it.
  • Took a step towards waste-free and transitioned to cloth napkins! No more paper towels or napkins for this household!
  • PURGED! That’s right. I got rid of a whole bunch of stuff I didn’t need. To me, homesteading is simplicity. Every year I go through my home and get rid of the material items I don’t need. Donate them, regift them, either work.

YARD

I wanted to cultivate a space outside where Emerson and I could have friends over. So I made a goal at the end of 2016 to clean up the yard a bit and “remodel” our outside kitchen. Let’s just say we really love being out near the kitchen now! Emerson is from Austin, Texas so the kitchen is now red, white, and blue with a Texas flag hanging and Texas-themed cornhole boards. The cabinets have longhorn head cabinet pulls on them. Huge goal achieved!

GOALS FOR 2018

Since I don’t want to give away the post I’ll be writing [hopefully] in December of this year, I’ll just tell you what some of our goals for 2018 are…but I won’t tell you which ones we’ve achieved yet!

  • Get on a good schedule for raising and butchering our meat animals.
  • Offer meat birds to neighboring homesteaders and farms, on a small scale.
  • Successfully grow every crop we plan for; learn to can these crops.
  • Add a blueberry and strawberry patch. Add more asparagus beds.
  • Create a shelter for the ducks; get on a duckling hatching schedule.
  • Plant for citrus trees.
  • Goats!!!
  • Bees!!!
  • Reduce the amount we’re spending on feed.
  • Build a medicinal herb garden with herbs used for people and animals.
  • Install a garden bed specifically for the rabbits.
  • FINALLY get our soil tested.
  • Learn to sew a dress and pants.

GOING FOR THE GOALS

Okay, I could go on and on. I think I write down another goal 3 or 4 times a month! Honestly, when Emerson and I decided in 2017 that I would quite my lunch lady job and work full-time on the homestead, I was so extremely nervous. It wasn’t something I was really looking forward to. The idea was very intimidating and I felt so ignorant in every field.

Homesteading is now my addiction. I think about it all the time and I’m constantly reading up on ways to improve what we’re doing. I have future, long-term goals of producing enough homegrown food to share with the community around me; to learn enough to educate on how important all of this is.

This has been a wildly enlightening, enrichening journey for me. I’ve developed patience, understanding, and a deeper connection and love for this Earth and everything on it. If you’ve achieved some of your goals, I’d love to hear about it. If you haven’t achieved some of your goals, I want to hear about them, too, because I’d like to tell you that it’s not too late. Happy homesteading, friends!

2 Responses

  • Sherry

    I love to read the homesteading blogs! I admire your spunk and all the hard work you are putting into living naturally. I am proud of the more natural way you are raising your children.
    I work in corporate America but live in the country. I have rheumatoid arthritis so I am kind of restricted in what I can do. I grow some veggies in containers, cook from scratch, make my own bread, make my own pasta, sew(not the best, but I’m learning),crochet (for 45 years). I would like to do more gardening and sewing when I retire. Keep up the good work and I will keep reading about your journey with a big smile on my face!

    Reply
    • thegreenacrehomestead

      Hi Sherry! I actually don’t have kids YET but I am so excited to continue this way of life when we have children and raise them along this way. Container gardening, cooking from scratch, sewing, and crocheting are all wonderful ways of homesteading! You don’t have to have land or even a yard to homestead. I’m still relatively new to sewing also but I absolutely love it and it’s taught me patience…which is something I really didn’t have two years ago.

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the posts! If you sign up for my mailing list, I send out two emails a month with a more in-depth view on what we’re doing here and what my experiences are. I look forward to speaking with you again!

      Reply

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