homestead projects

2016 – Year in Summary

I want to start putting a milestone on each year.  A recap of what was accomplished on the farm and a quick summary of dreams for the next year. 

Main House:  No activity was planned or completed on the main house. — We need to put a new roof on the house, install some piers, hang guttering over the back porch, and paint the fascia.

Storm/Root Cellar:  The giant hole that was to be the storm/root cellar was filled in during 2016.  — There are no current plans for a storm or root cellar.  I’ll have to fix that.

Garden:  The garden is in a holding pattern.  Things were planted, things produced, weeds took over again in 2016. — Plans are to reduce the number of actively worked beds for next year.

Vineyard and Berry Patch:  We were able to prune the grape vines for the first time and it resulted in a decent harvest.  The berry patch is overgrown and struggling.  It has had no attention.  — We need to clear the berry patch and establish new canes.  We need to prune the grape vines and plant 3 new ones.

Orchard:  The orchard was neglected in 2016.  Several of the trees died.  Some pecans were replaced.  — We need to prune all the orchard trees.  We need to remove the dead trees. 

Chickens:  We reduced the flock and only allowed a few eggs to hatch in 2016.  All but one of the rooster runs were removed.  — We need to reduce the flock more.  Plans are to get below 10 chickens during this next year.  This means that the chicken yard may need to be reduced.

Pastures:  The west and pond pastures were disked and seeded with a winter mix of seed.  It was very dry and there was little germination that took.  — We need to drag, disk and overseed all remaining pastures.  Pasture rotation has yet to be implemented.

Pond and Irrigation:  The pond still doesn’t hold water effectively.  Shallow irrigation was installed to run water to each of the small goat pastures.  Automatic waterers were installed for the goats.  — We might consider adding a second well for the pastures.  Also might could use another cobett or similar product for the cows.  There is still talk of running guttering off the barn, goat house, and workshop via pipe to help fill the pond.

Barn, Corral and Stalls:  Nothing was addressed related to the barn, corral, and stalls.  — We need to find a new home for our wood for heat in order to free up the stall space for the moo girls.  Once the items stored in the lean to are removed, additional stalls can be built.

Cows:  We purchased a steer for processing and another pregnant cow.  She gave us a lovely little heifer in August.  — We need to sell some of the cows.  I would like to work with the yearling calves for haltering and eventual milking.  We may need to sell Benny.

Goats:  We increased the goats to 28 this year.  Kidding stalls were build in the goat barn.  — The windows and excess not related to goats need to be removed from the goat barn.  I’d like to find a couple of does from the east side of the country to round out my herd.  I’m planning to participate in milk test this year.  The goats need a playground.

Dairy:  (Milk, Cheese, Yogurt) — Lots of ideas here.  This year we will be looking into establishing a grade a raw milk dairy.

Natural Products: (Soap, Potpourri) — I’m not making much progress here.

Retreat House(s):  We purchased an RV that was to be refurbished so that one of the kids could use it as a rent house.  — We need to get the RV reworked.  Still thinking about a tiny house for a retreat.

Front fencing:  — A friend gifted us some pipe rail and we are considering using it across the front of the house and to extend the corral a bit. 

Obviously, we have a lot going on and a lot in the works.  Some of which won’t happen.  This is life on the homestead.

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