Goals and Accomplishments

Inspired by Novella’s rundown of her accomplishments I felt the need to put what we’ve done and what we want to get done next year.

2010, you’ve been a busy year. 2009 was mainly taken up by wedding planning activities. In 2010 we decided to get busy. It started with the blog. In March I renamed it and started writing regularly. I then had Stephanie, Jeanette, and Jessa start helping me with it. It’s been great and they always have something awesome to share.

We also named our urban farm. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but to us this was pretty big. With a name you get to brand yourself. Not that we’re commercial or anything, but you can’t create a name for yourself without, well, having a name. That and “Finding out how to live simply” was just too much of a mouthful.

We expanded our gardening beds and double dug all of them, including our older ones. We planted 7 more fruit trees including a Medlar and a Fruiting Mulberry. We harvested our first pears, apples, pomegranates and figs. We also built a mushroom bed.

We also got two goats, more chickens – way more chickens - rabbits and bees. Admittedly the bees aren’t ours, we’re just hosting them. We bred our goats and rabbits. We slaughtered our first animals. We tore down our chicken coop and built a new and improved 8′x16′ barn with feed storage with a much larger livestock yard. We also built a 5 hutch rabbitry and got a 6th hutch from our friends Marjie and Bear.

We also have a lot of unfinished projects. The Greenhouse is one of them. We’ve got all of the windows for it but just haven’t built it. We also haven’t finished painting our kitchen, which we started last Winter.

Our goals for 2011 are rather ambitious.

First off I want to improve, well, actually double our garden production. This year definitely had a learning curve and so next year I think at least doubling production is feasible. I’d like to increase our food production by utilizing the front yard. It’s currently just mulch a couple of trees and a handful of shrubs.

We’re going to have our first kids – as in baby goats – come March. So we’ll be taking on milking for the first time. Bella had a good udder for her first freshening so I’m looking forward to seeing how much she can produce. This will be Daisy’s first freshening so we’re not expecting too much from her yet.

The greenhouse will get built probably early in the year. Hopefully before March.

More chickens. Yep, we’re going to get more chickens. But the majority of them will be for meat.

Speaking of meat, we’re looking into raising a breeding pair of Guinea hogs. Our original plan of raising them elsewhere fell through so we’re going to try it at our place. We’ll need to fence off another section of our yard and build a shelter for them. We don’t want to keep them with the goats since our girls have horns and can cause a lot of damage to a pig.

I also want to have my own bees. We’re looking at having one Langstroth hive and one Top Bar hive.

Finish the kitchen! Seriously, I’m getting kind of tired of having a half – painted kitchen.

I’m sure more things will come up over the course of the year, but for now, those are my goals for 2011

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Discussion

  1. I've got some wild plans, too :) Meat birds (we're going to build a smaller coop for those, like a tractor but different), a replacement layer or two every time we order another set of meat birds, and maybe some geese. Maybe.

    The second set of plans is top bar bee hive boxes. These are going to be hidden in a corner of the yard and I have to plant way more perennial flowers for the bees. A few baby citrus trees and lavenders isn't really sufficient, and the eucalyptus is some distance. Need more flowers.

    Then we have to build a couple permanent green houses. One which will obscure the nosy neighbor's view of our yard which will make it possible to build a structure for goats undetected, and another across the yard.

    Then the patio needs rebuilding.

    The oak needs a judicious trimming, the pomegranate needs topping, and I need more fig starts. Maybe I'll get lucky with cuttings from the scion exchange in January.

    Lastly, the front yard needs to be fenced in and I have to get cracking with my hops out there, and start growing barley and other crops that like southern exposure and heat.

    Thinking about nut trees. It's really not enough space for that, though.

  2. Sara, sounds like you've got a lot of good projects planned as well. Tom is out in they yard right now working on something – not sure what though.

    I wouldn't be too worried about perennials i your yard for bees. They gather nectar from sources within a 3 mile radius. They do better in urban environments because of the diversity of plants in peoples' yards. Our rarely hang around our yard.

  3. Thanks for the reassurance on the bees!

    I am officially nuts, or just obsessed. I ordered something like 15 lbs of seed potatoes from Fedco, and some sunchokes. I figure by April I'll know where to put them.

    Ordered a bunch of different squashes, too, including sweet meat because that gets a lot of paragraphs in The Resilient Gardener.

    My goal is to be able to store a couple hundred pounds of food in the very cold garage, padded in straw, next winter.

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