Rosey the Riveter

Monday, December 31, 2012

Homesteading Goals for 2013

I don't like resolutions.  Mostly, because I'm not good at keeping them.

I am much better at goals, so here goes:

1.  Chickens!  One of the reasons I was so bad about updating the blog this fall was that I was busy helping the group "4 Chesapeake Hens" to legalize chickens.  It involved lots of research, calling planning commission members and City Council members, and attending some meetings.  In the end, we got exactly what we wanted... up to 6 hens and NO 6' privacy fence requirement, which is what Planning proposed, along with only 4 hens.  I have ordered the plans for the tractor that I want to keep them in, and Stephen is heading to Home Depot tomorrow to buy what he needs to begin building.  We are very excited about this new endeavor!

2.  Food Preservation:  I'd like to rely less on the freezer, which will mean more canning and dehydrating.  Thanks to last years records, I feel like I have a better idea of what the family will need/use so I won't be flying by the seat of my pants.  I am in the middle of my 2013 Can Plan, and once that's in place, I'll be in good shape.

3.  The Garden:  There will be changes in 2013.  No broccoli or cabbage, for one thing.  The Cabbage Moths here are awful, and I know that I can buy them from a local farmer for $1/head.  It's not worth taking up space in the garden for that.  There will be more carrots and lettuce.  More medicinal herbs.  More Calendula.  No tomatoes (again, I know I can buy them cheap and they take up so much room!)

4.  Meal Planning:  With two FULL freezers, I need to be better about planning meals and using what we have on hand.  Also, it's less stressful in the afternoon when I know what's for dinner.  My grocery shopping has changed dramatically over the past year, and it's so nice to know that I don't have to make huge weekly stock-up trips.  Instead, I need to make a quick trip in for olive oil, or butter, or toilet paper.  We have chicken and beef in the freezer, fruits and veggies either canned or frozen, and I get our eggs and our milk in glass bottles from a local farmer.  I try to make our bread with fresh ground flour... and I've gotta tell you, I don't miss the supermarkets.

5.  Learn something new.  In 2012, I attempted knitting (which is not for me), crocheting (much easier!) making mozzarella, grinding my own flour, pressure canning meat, and, of course, beekeeping.  In 2013, it's going to be all about chicken keeping!  I'd also like to do more with homemade cheeses.  I've signed up for a queen-rearing class and hopefully we'll be harvesting our own honey.

I think those are enough goals for now.  I'm sure they'll change over the course of the year, but for now, it's a good place to start.

Happy New Year, my friends!

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