As we often do with the new year looming, there are goals to be set and met. Do you feel it? For some, like myself, the new year brings the feeling of “freshness” and “new challenge”. This year, I feel challenged to make and reach some homestead self-reliance goals for 2019, and I thought I’d share those with you!
If you are anything like me, you probably have a zillion goals that you would like to make for your homestead. Chances are, though, that we probably won’t meet every one of them. However–it’s not a bad thing to make a fantastic list of goals that motivates you. Plugging away at that list each day, week, and month will yield many more results than if we hadn’t had the list at all! So let’s get to it.
My Homestead Self-Reliance Goals
I don’t tend to call my goals resolutions, but you can! The word resolutions has never helped me get anything done, but the word goals…now that’s the word that helps me stay focused. Silly, huh? Whatever works, is what I say! Here’s my list of goals:
- Make a new habit of grinding grains/baking bread once per month
- Cook regularly from the canned and dehydrated foods in my pantry
- Use all 6 of the available raised bed gardens for my spring gardening
- Start my seeds indoors, and on a regular basis so I’ll have transplants when I need them
- Reinforce the chicken coop from predators/egg stealers
- Collect seeds for at least 10 of the vegetables I grow
- Learn more about allowing our broody hens to hatch eggs
- Make enough soap for our family’s use, and to give away at Christmas
- Can and/or freeze winter squash that was harvested in the fall
- Dehydrate more herbs for use in making my own seasoning blends
- Make more convenience foods with my dried potatoes and beans
- Use our wood stove for heat over the winter
- Learn to make candles and use them for Christmas gifts
- Increase my goat herd
- Make all of our mozzarella and butter for the year
- Learn to make cheddar cheese from goat milk
- Make lip balm and other facial/body products to use as Christmas gifts
- Make it a point to use what we produce on our farm more often
- Learn to eat what we produce more, and rely less on the grocery store
- Stock up my apothecary with homemade herbal medicines
- Eat something from the garden daily
Obviously, I won’t do all of these in January! My focus at this time of year will be on starting my seeds indoors and getting my garden areas ready for spring!
Some Things We Already Do Here
Our family is in the habit of doing plenty here already, and it’s great to take stock of it all every year to see what areas we need to grow, and how we are doing in others.
- Grow a pretty sizeable garden year-round
- Grow lots of citrus: meyer lemon, a few types of oranges, and limes
- Preserve the harvest regularly (Canning, dehydrating, pickling, freezing)
- Raise chickens and ducks for eggs
- Use our canned tomato sauces and meat broths regularly
- Walk and get exercise regularly thru hiking/walking, and sometimes yoga
- Start many of our own seedlings (like tomato and pepper) for the garden in spring
- Compost our kitchen scraps or feed to the chickens
- Raise and breed goats for milk and extra income
- Cook from scratch regularly simple meals with simple ingredients
- Make soap, butter and cheese from goat milk
- Grow culinary and medicinal herbs
This is probably more than many do, but in my eyes it’s not enough seeing as how we are so blessed with what our land provides for us. Not much goes to waste, but it isn’t always used in the best way either. I feel that making more use of what we already have will improve our health, physical and mental, and teach us to rely on ourselves more than we already do for what we need!