This year I’m working toward becoming more self-reliant by expanding my skill set and learning how to provide more of life’s necessities for myself and my family. Here are a few of our 2019 farmstead and self-reliance goals (and why!).
Happy New Year! Many happy tomorrows! Auld lang syne!
Doesn’t the time just fly by? It seems like only yesterday I was excited about planning for my first full year on the farm, and now we are just a mere few hours away from the year 2019! Can you believe it, because I’m not sure I can!
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Like a lot of people, I have been taking time to reflect, set goals and start planning for the coming year. Starting a family farmstead — even a small one! — takes a lot of work, and a lot of thought has to go into doing it all correctly. Unfortunately, a lot of money has to go into it too, and that’s where prioritizing and list making comes in!
Our Biggest Accomplishments of 2018
First though, a look back at 2018!
As always, we had many big goals last year — and, as seems our usual, we didn’t get them all accomplished. Still, I think we managed to get a lot done while also being mindful and present parents to the girls, for Jasper having a more-than-full-time job, and then also losing him to sickness for a couple of months right at harvest time!
What We got done last year //
- Built a duck house, pond and yard
- Got some ducklings
- Planted an herb garden
- Grew a HUGE vegetable garden
- Filled our pantry and freezers with homegrown food
- Cleaned out the greenhouse
- Started planting perennial flowers
- Cut down overwhelming amount of blackberries
- Got a new tractor!
- Hooked up a separate water cistern for the garden
We didn’t get everything done though (we never do), and as tempted as I am to write another big “to do” list for the coming year filled with absolutely everything I want to do out here ever, I know that choosing perhaps five big goals is more likely to end in success.
Our Farmstead Goals for 2019
These are the top five goals/projects that Jasper and I want to accomplish out here on the farm this year. Obviously there are a lot more smaller tasks we want to and will do in the coming months, but these five are the big projects we’ll be focusing on:
What We Want to do this year //
- Get rid of piled up junk
- Fence in the lower field
- Start planting our fruit orchard
- Build a new chicken coop
- Upgrade the duck house
Yes, I know, the first three of these goals were on last year’s list, too. At least I’m consistent! Jasper and I have agreed that the first three of these must get done this year, and while it would be nice to complete the other two, they aren’t as important to us.
My self-reliance goals for 2019
My other big goal for 2019 is to become more self-reliant. I want to expand my skill-set and learn some new things that will help us become more self-sufficient here on the farmstead.
To me, self-reliance means the ability to provide — by myself — the things my family and I need to live and thrive every day, with skills such as gardening, foraging, and food preservation. It allows me to be less dependent on the vastly complex and unstable agricultural systems that dominate our grocery store shelves (think of all those food recalls!), the dwindling fossil fuels that almost every aspect of our society depends on, and the ever-increasing amounts of money (and time working for said money) that it all requires. Instead of being dependent on others, self-reliance allows me to rely on myself and the smaller, knowable, community around me.
The Self-Reliance goals I want to accomplish this year //
- Raise and butcher our own meat chickens
- Grow our own Meyer lemon tree for fresh citrus
- Grow mostly open-pollinated vegetables and save more seeds
- Make a solar-powered food dehydrator
- Restock some of my spice cabinet using my own herbs
- Make more canned and frozen convenience foods
- Purchase a beef cow from our neighbor
- Learn basic veterinary skills to treat sick or injured animals (when possible)
- Prepare emergency supplies
- Sell extra produce to friends and family
- Find a market for our fresh duck eggs
- Build a cold frame to grow lettuce through the winter
- Grow fodder for chickens and ducks
- Learn to cook meals using our wood stove
Increasing our self-reliance and accomplishing some of these goals will help us do more for ourselves, and save money in the process!
Well 2019, ready or not, here you come! And you, my dear readers, thank you so much for sticking with me — you are more of an encouragement than you will ever know. What are some of your goals for the coming year? Are you interested in increasing your self-reliance and sufficiency? Please let me know in the comments below!
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This post is part of a Self-Reliance Challenge organized by a group of bloggers and websites. The challenge is designed as a way to share ideas for how to increase your self-reliance and live a more abundant lifestyle.