green field and green grass

Setting Goals {2015}

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Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Proverbs 27:11

When the day dawned on 2015, I gave our homesteading goals about 15 seconds of thought.

My solitary goal: Survive.

As I’ve mentioned, I’ve felt like we barely kept our heads above water last year and it seems more than a little ambitious to hope for anything more than that again in 2015 until I’ve seen some improvement in our Homestead Management. I do have hope. (And a plan!)

It would seem that the spark of hope has turned into a little flame and I’m ready to contemplate what I’d like to see accomplished on our homestead over the course of the next year.

I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed though. I did say the flame was little so we’ve no plans for exciting additions. No bees, no rabbits, no fodder systems, no mixing up fancy custom feed mixes.

Our major project this year will be babies.

No, not mine. (Well maybe. Phoebe is a year old now so it’s not outside the realm of possibility.) But we’re hoping to close this year with 3 new calves, at least a bakers dozen of piglets, and anywhere from 4-8 lambs! Not to mention baby fowl! It’s incredibly exciting! Love me some babies! This is some uncharted waters for us so there will be some anxiousness over how it will all go.


Gardens & Orchard

-Finish fencing the Kitchen Garden
-Start perennial flower & herb beds around the Kitchen Garden to encourage pollinators and the ultimate all-natural insecticide.
-Soil test and amend the Kitchen Garden
-Source hay mulch… in advance of when we need it.
-Source wood chip mulch for the berries & grapes.
-Source some extra manure for composting. Can you ever have enough?
-Purchase & install greenhouse plastic and use it over the next winter.
-Prepare the new Pantry Garden for planting.
-Fence the new Pantry Garden with Inexpensive, Portable, Quick Garden Fencing then I’m thinking plant along the front with sweet peas for beauty and the bees.
-Make an awesome compost pile.
-Dig up black raspberries because the wild ones have infected them with a rust disease and they will never be productive.
-Replace them with red raspberries.
-Plant kiwi.
-Assess strawberries after harvest and make another purchase of plants if necessary.
-Prepare new orchard site for expansion by shifting the bacterially dominated soil to a fungally dominated soil through the use of ramial wood chips.



-Successfully breed our two Large Black gilts.
-Try to prevent as many piglet deaths as possible without strapping Big Mama & Tilly into a crate.
-Sell some feeder pigs and raise up the rest (3 for ourselves) in the overgrown area downhill from the Kitchen Garden & berries.
-Find someone who wants to buy the remainders and I’ve got to say that I think it would be really exciting to teach them how to butcher them too!
-Evaluate whether to keep both sows, sell one, or butcher one.
-Find a Great Pyrenees stud for Belle cause it’s the year of babies.
-Find a female cat for Snowflake so we can get some kittens up in here while we’re at it.
She literally crawled out of the woodwork when cutting firewood a few days ago. An ash tree to be specific… her name is Ashley and she’s about the best and sweetest kitten ever and is very much in danger of becoming a house cat.


-Increase our number of shareholders… or consider… No. I can’t say it. At least there will be a lot of pigs to milk feed this year! That’s some consolation!
-Stockpile hay all year long, making careful purchases to get quality feed. (Look into silage.)
-Push back re-breeding a few months to work back towards a spring calving schedule.
-Test for A2 status.
-Test our feed for GMO’s (because the mill sells both… and if I’m paying extra for it, it better not be contaminated!)


-Raise another couple batches of Freedom Rangers… start the second batch mid-July instead of August.
-Plan, purchase, and plant perrenial fruiting shrubs for chicken shelter and forage.


-Successfully lamb.
-Purchase shearers.
-Learn to clean the wool and what to do with afterwards.



-Establish a better clipping schedule and rotation with the sheep (You know, so I don’t have to go out every night with the scythe to make up for their shortcomings.)
-Seed plant the area known as the “flag.”
-Repair the fence and paint the posts.
-Clean up the areas our “pastured” pigs tore up last year and re-seed them.
-Clean up the barn floor. We need a plan there and I don’t know what it’s going to be. The hydrant was leaking last year and we fixed that, but the whole floor of the barn is like a mixture of manure and mud and I don’t even know what. It’s gross.
-Evaluate the new chicken coop layout and make necessary changes.
-Replace broken or missing barn windows.
-Paint chicken coop and barn interior.



-Stockpile wood for heat all year long- perhaps on a consistent schedule (“Firewood Fridays”?) so we don’t have to do it when there are 3 logs left and it’s 8 degrees outside and then burn wet wood.
-Decorate. Seriously haven’t made this house a home and I’m feeling that both in my comfort and desire to keep it clean. Focus on the main level bathroom, living room/hallway, kitchen/dining/entry (they’re all the same space), the sewing room, and kids bedrooms. I’m talking curtains and paint mostly. I have it all purchased, it’s just about feeling like doing it.
-Finish remodeling project- our bedroom and bathroom open right up into the living room where we entertain guests which is just creepy. Basically we’re pulling in a hallway to block that off for privacy’s sake.

Of course, I have sundry other personal goals, but this is a good plan for our homestead.

I know that seems like a lot, but if you think about it, much is maintenance and planning. Wait. Is that called survival? And here we’ve come full circle.

For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. James 4:15

So what about you? Got any big plans for this year?


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  1. I know it’s late, but I couldn’t resist letting you know how much I appreciate this post. I feel like I’m just getting 2015 goals sorted, but that’s because I was away so much of January ( and when not away we were entertaining the cutest little boys who stayed for a while).
    I just wanted to mention about pigs – we have not lost many piglets to their mother squashing them. The first litter 2, the second 1 and the third we lost none. All of those were during labour. She is very careful not to sit on them when she lowers herself to feed them otherwise. Even Boris is very careful when piglets are around ( I know you hear stories of boars eating piglets, but Boris has always been so gentle and the time we did separate him off both D and B were sad).
    I look forward to reading about all your babies! We are expecting another lot of piglets early this year and hopefully a couple of calves before the end. Of course a stack of lambs ( Lord willing) are planned for July/ August too! Oh and chicks – I have eggs in the incubator and intend to continue with incubating eggs each month! I love new babies on the farm!!
    Have a wonderful year!

    1. Well this was quite encouraging to read! You only ever hear the horror stories, you know? I might just be a bit less scared, so thank you! I’m really excited that there will be so many homestead babies this year. It was something we always wanted to do on the last place, but never thought we had the space to consider it. We joke with folks we know that the petting zoo opens up in the spring! 😉

  2. Thanks again for all that you share with us Quinn! I’m up late reading various post on your blog for a dose of, ‘there are others like us out there’ inspiration! I love reading what others are planning for their homestead particularly when they have similar goals and family life. We’ve been on our new homestead all of three weeks now. I had to force myself to get the house unpacked before I could even consider planning of the garden, etc. I don’t regret it. So it was a treat tonight to sit and start planning in my homestead binder (thank you for sharing yours). Then an even bigger treat to read your latest home education post, cause gosh, I was feeling overwhelmed and we’ve just barely started back. Having four grades to think about and two toddlers in the mix is no laughing matter (or maybe it is depending on how you look at it!). Anyway, goal setting like this is next on my list. Having it written down takes a bit of the weight of it off of my shoulders. I know if I look at my binder it will be there even if my brain let it slip. Thanks for taking the time out to share. It means a lot. Have a wonderful and productive New Year. God bless you and your family in all that you do.

    1. LOL! We do need to hear how we’re not alone, don’t we? It sounds like you have an exciting and adventurous year before you! I was shocked, to say the least, at how much moving threw me for a loop and how I couldn’t get my act together. I kept trying to fit the square peg of how I used to manage my days into my new round hole and it wasn’t working. I don’t know if I still have the kinks worked out 🙂 I don’t mean to share that to discourage you when I’m sure that you’re looking forward to settling in, just to let you know that if the settling takes longer than you expect, it’s not because of any failure on your part- you’ve a lot to juggle! Praying that the Lord would bless you with a smooth and bountiful 2015!!

  3. What a wonderful and full year you have ahead of you! I pray your endeavors are blessed! And the back up incubator is really good plan! You never can tell whether you’ll get a gal to go broody, but it seems to me that once you do if there are any hens that she raises herself that those hens will go broody more easily. It took us years to finally get one to successfully, but once we did, our DIY breeding program really picked up steam.