Things that were on my list to accomplish this spring/summer/fall:
1. Sell my goods at the Farmer's Market to support my homestead (chicken coop, out buildings, feed, and animals).
2. Raise pigs corn free/GMO free. This includes fencing, water tank, & feed buckets. Butcher ourselves.
3. Get chickens.
4. Make a 12 X16 pallet chicken coop.
5. Get 2 bee hives. Learn about them, extract the raw honey.
6. Gardens! Make 12 raised beds in my large vegetable garden, make 3 other areas for vegetable gardening, make a perennial garden bed.
7. Can/store my extra garden goodies for winter.
8. Get meat chickens, butcher.
Things I have accomplished thus far:
1. Been selling at the Farmer's market. I know that I want to support markets that are true farmer's markets, not commercial driven. I have been funding my homestead projects with the moolah I make off of my products that I sell... yes, check out my country store... you are supporting a good cause ;)
2. With the help of my hubs and dad, electric fencing was completed this spring. I bought my two yorkshire pigs immediately following and they are now about 200 lbs each. I have not fed them corn, just protein mix and LOTS of garden goodies. We plan to butcher beginning of November/end of October. I did get a meat grinder which I am very excited to use and make sausages, ground pork, etc.
3. We got 50 chickens- black australorps, buff orpingtons, Rhode Island reds, and welsummers. They are all laying now and it is quite fun to go on egg hunts daily. The Easter Bunny really needs to step up his game this year.
4. SIGH... the pallet chicken coop- it is still a work in progress and our chickens are STILL in the 8X20 enclosed trailer we have for things 'other than chickens.' But patience I tell myself, paaaaatience. My hubby is building it for me - with his demanding job, I get him to work on it a few times a month. But soon I believe I will be able to put my chickens in their permanent home. YAY!
5. BEES- these have been the most surprisingly awesome hobby this year. They are so easy and they do all the work. I just have to make sure they have water and enough room to continue to make wax/honey. I don't believe I will get the most honey they are capable of because they spent much of their summer making wax, but next year they will have about 90 lbs of honey per hive. I bet I'll get around 40-50 per hive this year. That's still pretty awesome. I'll extract the honey end of September. I still need to buy or make an extractor. I am going to try to winter my bees. We'll see how that goes.
6. Holy vegetables coming out every direction right now. Given we had a slow start spring followed by a rainy mess, my gardens are now doing very well. The perennial garden I wanted to do required a lot of work. So, I'll just give myself a big FAIL on that one. Yay me! But I have decided I want more medicinal plants in there that are useful for animals/humans alike. The problem with that garden area is one, it's tiered with very large bordering boulders and also it had 3 feet of rock mulch in it. We're talking 20 X 40 tiered, of 1" rock and 10 large bushes in this area. So taking the bushes and rocks out has been not a favorite task around here. BUT we did get my raised beds made- thanks again to the hubby and dad.
7. Canning. Holy moly, canning. I have canned lots of pickled beets, carrots, beans, plum butter, marinated veggies, spaghetti sauce, pickles, spicy pickles, dilly beans AND frozen peas, california medly (broc cauliflower carrots), broccoli, snap peas, carrots, corn and I'm still going.
8. Meat chickens are still on the list to do. I would really like my chicken coop done before I get them but that might not happen and I may just have to order them and keep them separated from the other birds until they are big enough to fend for themselves. I would like to get 40 meat chickens. I think that would last us the year or at least till next springish.
So between lots of other craziness with the kids, friends, and my husband making me relax- I think we/I have really given it an awesome run this summer- reaping the benefits should continue to flow for another month or so and butchering season will come into play. That should be an interesting blog ;)