It is probably no surprise that I would love to have a large parcel of land (think at least 20 acres) and be able to supply all the food my family would ever want or need. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I am not in that situation. Instead, I live on a quarter of an acre in a small city. I need to learn to make my *right now* work for me. The following is what I have come up with as far as homestead goals this year.
Replace the roof
This isn't so much a goal, but it is something that really should have been done this past year. We are hoping to have Matt do the work with a couple of friends this summer. That will definitely cut down on the cost. We will need to figure out staging since our house is 3 stories high, but I think we might be able to rent/borrow some from a friend at church. We are planning on using our tax refund to pay for this, no vacation this year :-)
Install a chimney
In the fall of 2008 we bought a wood stove. We knew that the chimney had been closed off from the house, but assumed we would just need to put in a new liner. Unfortunately, that was not the case, and after we had a mason come to our house and do an estimate, we realized that our wood stove dreams were way more expensive than we were comfortable with. This fall we hope to have saved up enough money to get the chimney fixed and the wood stove installed. Luckily, we have a close family friend who will let us cut wood for free as long as we haul it out. Done.
Start all of my own seedlings/plant seeds directly
Have you seen my seed order? I know I am completely over my head with the amount of seeds I am ordering. And sometimes I think maybe in my head a quarter acre is actually 25 acres. But I am going to give starting seeds a go, and hope for the best. I am not as concerned about this goal being completely successful, as it is really my first time trying to be serious about it.
Provide 75% of our spring/summer/fall vegetables from my garden
As with the above starting seeds, I want to provide a lot of the vegetables that we eat this year. I know that I don't have enough space to really dedicate to winter storage crops, but I think I can definitely manage the spring/summer veg. I also hope to preserve a lot of food for winter usage, but not holding my breath that will actually happen. We eat a lot of veggies, and to have them available right outside my door would be a huge help in the grocery budget department. My neighbor will also be doing a garden this year...his garden is about the size of my entire lot, house included. Maybe he will let me plant some of my seedlings over there...hmmm...that's an idea.
Matt and I have been talking about getting chickens for a while now. Well, mainly I have been talking and Matt has been nodding his head in somewhat agreement (or he has totally tuned me out at this point and doesn't know what he is agreeing to). We go through so many eggs, and at $5/dozen at the farm now, I can't see how getting chickens for eggs would be a bad thing. Sure, there is a learning curve, and of course we will need to figure out how to house them, but overall, I think it is a good idea. Eggs are the only non-bean protein source that Emma will eat, which is fine with me, but means we need to buy the fresh from the farm eggs. So hopefully this spring we will be the proud owners of some little baby chicks, who will hopefully grow to give us lots of eggs. We are allowed 6 in our city. I think we might start out with a few more just in case though.
These are my main homestead goals this year. Obviously not a huge amount. Some are very necessary, like getting the roof done, and others not so necessary, like providing 75% of our vegetables. But, overall I think they are attainable and not so outlandish. What about you? Do you have specific goals for your home this year?
I'm linking up at the Barn Hop today :-)
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