Our family's journey to the heart of a handmade life

Homestead Goals for 2016

Homestead Goals for 2016

We purchased our homestead in the autumn of 2014. We had massive plans for 2015, figuring we’d be all settled and raring to go by spring. But a new house, especially a first winter in a big old (like, built in 1850 old) farmhouse, with limited funds and two small children makes settling difficult (one of which was born a mere month before the big move. Yes, we got our house ready for the market, sold it, bought another one and moved within three months, and our littlest lady was born right smack in the middle of it all. During her labor, we didn’t even know if we would have a place to live, as it was one week until closing on our old house and we had yet to find a new one to move into. Good times.)


Spring came and went with not much to show for it. We did get bees! And some more chickens! But that’s about it. No garden, no cow, no pigs, and not many check marks on our little goal list.

2016 is going to be our year. If we do nothing else, we will at least get our cow. Because that it, afterall, the point of all this.


  • Fix fencing in the run
  • Move green coop to be for ducks? Guinea hens? Geese? Broody coop?
  • Buy bulk feed from local farm, to eliminate our reliance on Tractor Supply


  • Frost seed the pasture with clover
  • Purchase and set up electric fencing for paddocks (3-4 paddocks)
  • Prepare the barn: sweep and dust, close up any drafts, put up gates from door to outside for easier moving
  • Purchase general supplies and a couple bales of hay (enough to last until the pasture is ready)
  • Purchase the dairy cow, ideally a Jersey or Guernsey


  • Build the shelter from salvaged materials (second floor of barn, Craigslist)
  • Set up electric fencing at tree line, either for movable paddocks or fence in whole area
  • Gather supplies (container for water, buckets to carry scraps from the kitchen, medical supplies)
  • Purchase 2 heratige breed feeder pigs


  • Grow 80% of our produce, and try to attain the remaining 20% from local farms
    • We will be outsourcing potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic, and assorted non-necessities, like asparagus (too short of a growing season to justify the space) and corn.
  • Properly mulch the garden next autumn


  • Pull out hostas- we have dozens surrounding our house. I want to pull them up and plant lavender, catmint, and other more beneficial plants
  • Clear out area around the apple trees to make it more accessible in the fall
  • Build 2 more hives and purchase bees
  • Prune back roses
  • Trim bushes
  • Finish stacking leftover wood from last winter so it can dry by next winter
  • Create a proper compost pile
  • Rain catch system for chickens, pigs, and garden
  • Get more carboys so we can do bigger batches of mead



Do you have specific goals for 2016? Do you write them down each year? Tell us below!