Homesteading Goals for 2015

Jeremy and I had the talk. You know, the talk where I go on and on about the many things we need to do yesterday, and he calms me down and we logically come to a compromise on how we are going to grow our homestead next year.


Because I'm crazy, and he's a little too conservative. Balance.

But then he surprises me sometimes too.

Our goals for 2015 are threefold: pigs, bees, and trees! (It kind of rhymes!)

We'll be fencing in an area to raise some pigs. We're just now starting to read up on raising pigs, and besides being notoriously famous for getting out of fences, pigs sound good for a farm. And I want bacon and sausage. I can't afford the good-for-you-stuff, and I can barely afford the bad-for-you-stuff, so I'm going to have raise my own.

And this is where Jeremy surprised me, I thought two would be more than enough, but he's thinking we'll go ahead and raise a couple more pigs to sell at auction. He's pretty smart like that. Maybe we can cover the cost of raising all the pigs. So the plan is to fence in the area this year, and then get the pigs in the spring of 2016. (Unless God wants to speed up that process, which I am fine with. Jeremy, though, wants to take it slower.)

Then bees! Mom and Dad are very generous with their honey, but we could eat all of it. The kids really, really love the stuff. Plus it's one of those sweeteners that God makes, so I'd really like to replace the other sweeteners with it more often. And we're too far south for maple syrup.The plan is to get a hive for our homestead. Jeremy is highly allergic, so placement may be tricky, but it'll be worth it.

As for trees, we're starting to plan an orchard as well. Fruit trees take years to start producing, which is why I can get panicky and want it done yesterday, but we want to do it right, so we're also researching types, where to plant, when to plant, dwarf/semi-dwarf, etc. etc. I'll share all of the research later (when it's done), but that's also in the works.

These new things will be in addition to the work we already have for next year. The goats will need to be bred in the fall. In January, we'll need to train the chickens and guineas to lay their eggs in the coop. (Should be fun?) And we'll be incubating several eggs for meat birds too.

And the garden. I've got to come up with some way to keep the garden and the chickens. The chickens ate all of our fall garden. Punks. I'm going to figure it out though. If it's the last thing I do!

Sorry, that was a bit dramatic.

Any one else been thinking about your 2015 goals yet? I just realized instead of trying to lose weight for my new years resolution, I'm trying to get more bacon and sausage into my life. That's a nice change.

Although, I will still need to try to lose a few pounds too. Noemi didn't take it all when she came out.

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21 comments

  1. Are you getting pigs in 2015 or 2016??? When you said spring of 2016 I was wondering why you would wait another year. I guess you will be the bee keeper then if your husband is highly allergic. Busy woman for sure. Ha!!!

    Charlotte Moore

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    1. Hey Charlotte! Jeremy wants to build the fence in 2015 (maybe over the summer), and get the pigs in 2016 to kind of spread out the cost, especially since we'll be getting a few pigs instead of just two. That requires a bigger fenced in area, shelter, etc., and more upfront cost. And yes, we will be busy! Busy as a bee!

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  2. Hi I'm visiting from The Art of Home-Making Mondays. Your plan sounds like a good one. Pigs are a good investment. I would plant some sugar maples, too, though. You don't have to live in the North to make syrup. We live in Tennessee, and I have several sugar maple trees that help me make great syrup. Have a great day!

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    1. Sugar maples? I'll have to look into that! I love, love, love maple syrup (even more than honey), and would love to produce some here. Thank you for the information!

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  3. Your goals sound wonderful.... and it is so nice to recognize the balance God provides between the husband and wife. :) Our desire is to have some acreage eventually and get started w/ some of this.... especially the fruit trees, but for now, we keep running our "homestead wannabe" on our 1/4 acre. :)

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    1. We were on a little bit of land in town just a little over a year ago. It's amazing how fast things can change. It's good practice! Thanks for reading!

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  4. We are an urban homestead. We've been through the raising of turkeys, guineas, geese, and chickens and by far, the chickens are the easiest. We are 90% off-grid...which means we have grid optional electric. Our goals for 2015 are to finish the kitchen addition, turn the old turkey coop into a gunsmith shop for my husband, put in a well and increase our battery bank for the solar. It's a fun life; challenging and never dull and always something new to learn. By the way, if you coop your chickens until your garden is well developed, they shouldn't bother too much. They will wipe out anything that's seedlings or young growth.

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    1. Thanks for the info about the chickens! I hate cooping them for very long at a time, but I might just do that instead of trying to build a fence. I want them to eat the bugs in the garden (at least the bad ones) but I don't want them eating the plants. And now that I think about it, they did leave the full-grown tomato plants alone while they ate the new fall plants. I'm excited now! Thanks!

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  5. You goals are great I look forward to hearing how it all goes. We have just butchered 2 pigs and made sausages and they are great. We didn't do bacon this time but we have done. Please keep us updated on how it is going, thanks for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. May your new year bring heaps of bacon. Blessings.

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  6. Your goals are good! Bees are on our list too (for a long time, sigh...)... We finally got our fruit trees in 2 years ago and with big hopes for next year to have something to munch on.. Regarding the chickens, we finally put chicken wire around the whole area and that works out for us... We are also hoping to get another steer to raise for meat. We just butchered the last one and want to keep the rotation going... Etc., etc., etc. with smiles... Thanks for sharing with us at the Art of Home-Making Mondays in 2014. We hope you continue sharing in 2015 :) Have a blessed new year Jennifer!

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    1. Thanks JES! You'll have to let us know if you get fruit this year, I'd like to know how long I'm going to have to wait. I know it will go by quickly, but it does seem like a long time this side of the timeline.

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  7. Happy New Year. We have 10 fruit trees and 3 more on the way. Yes, they take years to start setting fruit. But, while you're waiting for fruit to appear on your trees, you can purchase miniature potted trees. Some can even be brought in orders. I like to order from Peaceful Valley. http://www.groworganic.com. It is the time RIGHT NOW to plant bare root tree, bushes, and vines. Blessings. Stop by my homestead when you get time :D

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    1. Right now? I thought it was either in November or in the spring? Goodness, I'm already behind.

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  8. You're going to love pigs. We raised two last winter and it was an incredible experience. And the meat - sooooo much better than anything I had ever tried before! Good luck!

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  9. Lovely to meet you Jennifer! We plant half an acre garden every year. There are two squares next to each other. We plant one side one year with the chickens on one side, and let them fertilize it. Next year we switch. We also have a separate pumpkin patch. Chickens will eat all your corn, so watch out.
    Chickens are easy to teach where to lay. If you get a dumb one, just put a wooden egg in the box and leave it there. She'll find it and you'll be set.
    I read your story and am amazed at not only what God is doing for you but also your wisdom to see it.
    Looking forward to having you join us--our next garden how-to will be Feb 4, and then weekly from there.

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    1. I'm looking forward to your next post! I hope I'm not too far behind in planning for the garden...and my two free hands are now about to be full of a waking fussy toddler again! Makes typing difficult! Thanks Deborah!

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  10. Hello Jennifer, I am so glad everything is going so well for you guys. I live near by and I have bees so if you ever need any help. I also have duck and turkey eggs if you want to expand your farm. Randy Mabry

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