With the new year inching upon us, we have quite a honey-do list around the homestead. I realize that we won't get everything we have plans for done, that this will be at least a decade long process to get the home completely finished, and have everything set up the way we want, but I'm a list person, so we will do the obligatory New Year's resolution blog post!
Homesteading Goals for 2016
1. Move in :)
2. Plan and plant a small garden
3. Build a chicken coop and get chickens
4. Start 2 bee hives
5. Fence in a pasture area for chickens
6. Start an orchard that we can add to
7. Install a clothes line
8. Mark Maple trees
The contractors should be done in early February, and we home to move in shortly after. We just finished moving everything out of our storage units into the smaller garage yesterday. I'm sure we could have quite the garden, but I have a bit of a brown thumb, so I'd like to start off small. We still have 2 chickens at the in-laws, and I hope to get more in March during chick days. We will need a bigger coop than what we currently have for that, and as much as I would love for them to free range completely, we have a lot of predators around, so building a fenced area will offer more protection. We are near some clover fields, plus we have 2 acres of woods, so beehives are a must for our homestead location. We'll start off with 2 and see how we handle the winter before thinking about adding more hives. We would also love to have a large variety of fruit trees and bushes, along with nut trees, so thinking long term, we need to start planting as soon as we can. Adding a few more trees each year will be the best financially for us. Having first floor laundry right by the backdoor is ideal for having a clothesline. We get plenty of wind coming across the fields, and plenty of sun (when it's not cloudy in Ohio). One thing we must do this year is figuring out the trees that are on the property. We will need to start drying some firewood, but I'd love to try my hand at making maple syrup, if only just a small amount, so identifying all of our trees is a must.
Personal Goals for 2016
1. Lose some weight (once I get this boot off my foot!)
2. Cook more, eat out less (make healthier choices)
3. Pay off Lexi's braces
4. Pay for Lilly's braces in full
5. Pay off our Paypal credit card
6. Pay cash for South Carolina wedding trip
7. Keep a $1,000 emergency fund in our savings account
8. Hang dry clothes at least 50% of the time
Losing weight is always on the list. I know I'm not nearly active enough, but hopefully these moon boots I've been wearing on my feet will help enough that I will actually be able to be more active without being in constant pain. I just spent 5 weeks with the boot on the left side, so I have about 4 weeks left to go on the right side. I've never claimed to be a cook, and we eat out far too often, so I'm hoping to take advantage of the kitchen and start making more meals at home. I think living out in the country will make that easier. I want to limit the amount we go running into town for something. We still have 7 months of paying on Lexi's braces, and Lilly will need them in the next 6 months, so not having those monthly payments would help out tremendously. Luke has a wedding in South Carolina the end of April, and we thought of making it a family trip. We need to run the numbers, but we also don't want to charge the extra it would cost for the whole family. Paying off a credit card is a given. I'd love to have them all paid off. We try to snowball, but right now braces are eating up almost any extra we have, which is why are savings isn't growing much either, so it's on the list too. As for number 8, well I actually would love to use the clothesline, and not just stare at it!!
Of course, everything listed here is coming from my head. If you were to ask Luke, I'm sure organizing the shop and fixing cars would be the primaries on his list, and I'm sure the girls would have a tree house and swingset on the list! In all reality, I'll just be happy to start living out there and making the 5 acres more manageable once the weather gets nice.
Happy New Year!!!