How We Homestead Series - Part 4: Our Daily Life


This is part 4 of a 5-part series on how 5 different bloggers homestead.  Please join us each Wednesday for a new post in the series.  To read parts 1,2 & 3{How It All Began, Living Simply & Real Food}, click {here}.

Balancing a homesteading lifestyle with family, friends and outside work takes organization and planning.  I'll break down what our typical week looks like but I'll also break down our year with additional monthly tasks, since they are always changing.  I'm writing this from the perspective of working outside the home since I've only been working from home for a few weeks {and boy does that have it's own challenges!}.

If you think about all the tasks as a whole, it may seem overwhelming but I've found that by organizing tasks monthly it makes this type of lifestyle manageable.  Plus, I'm an anal list-maker so lists make me happy.  :-) When you're not a full-time homesteader or don't strive to be a full-time homesteader, you have to pick and choose what will be homemade by you, created by you or grown by you versus the items you'll continue to purchase.


Here's a basic overview of our days:

Monday - Friday
  • the chickens are cared for before work {feed, treats, scratch grain, & basic cleaning} as well as after work.  
  • the garden is watered before work and after work I am weeding, picking off bugs & picking of ripe produce.
  • I prepare our breakfast & lunches every morning and cook dinner as much from scratch as possible every evening.  I try to make simple meals during the week and more elaborate meals on the weekends.
  • laundry is done as needed.
  • **monthly meal plan is written once a month as noted in this post.  **
  • **grocery shopping is done once a month as noted in this post.  I do, however, go during the month if there is a great sale on something or to pick up additional milk as needed.**
  • **shopping for paper products and animal supplies is also done once a month.  **
Saturday
  • chickens, dogs and cats are cared for before breakfast.  {chickens get grouchy if they get up too late - you don't want to spend a day with a grouchy chicken....}
  • we run errands, spend time with friends or family.
  • if we need items from the local farmer's market we'll go typically between 9a-10a.
  • the chicken coop gets a more thorough cleaning as well as all feeders and waterers
  • any crafting or other projects are typically worked on Saturday evening.
  • the house is picked up and cleaned.
  • house/coop/barn/shop repairs completed as needed.
  • breakfast, lunch & dinner is prepared {we eat dinner out about once per month}.
  • Saturday evening I make bread dough for the week & either freeze the dough,refrigerate the dough {depending on the type of bread}, or bake the bread & freeze extra loaves.

Sunday
  • chickens, dogs and cats are cared for before breakfast.
  • laundry is caught up.
  • any work around the house not completed on Saturday is completed today.
  • breakfast, lunch & dinner is prepared 
  • Sunday evening I do all the food prep for the week's breakfast, lunches and dinners.  This cuts down on what needs to be completed during the week and sets us up with homemade food.
  • ** usually the first Sunday of the month I do any food prep {based on my monthly meal plan} for the month that I can, i.e. mixing up muffin batter and freezing it; making cookie dough batter and freezing it; making pizza dough and freezing it; making dog treats and freezing the excess; marinades are prepared and meats that will be marinaded will be placed in freezer bags with the marinade and placed in the freezer; making yogurt; making crackers {dough can be frozen} and making condiments such as mustard, ketchup, etc.  **


And a broad monthly overview:

January
February
  • make lotion, lip balm, deodorant, etc. - enough for 6 months
  • plan garden and order seeds

    March
    • start seedlings
    • order chicks if adding to the flock
    April
    • garden beds are prepped - cover crops are turned into the soil and compost is added
    May
    • chickens are de-wormed
    • chicken coop spring cleaning {incl. washing windows, walls, etc.}/prepping chickens for summer
    • house spring cleaning
    • repairs/updates to house & outbuildings begins
    • garden is planted in stages every weekend depending on the frost
    • flower beds are mulched
    June
    • freeze & dehydrate strawberries & rhubarb
    • freeze excess sugar snap peas
    • can jam - strawberry, strawberry-rhubarb & strawberry-vanilla 
    • can strawberry sauce
    • make strawberry-rhubarb pies and hand pies to freeze
    • make soap, laundry soap & cleaning supplies - enough for 6 months
    • re-plant sugar snap peas
    July
    • can jam - blueberry, cantaloupe, raspberry, apricot & peach
    • can sauce - blueberry & raspberry 
    • freeze berries
    • make berry pies & hand pies to freeze
    • dehydrate berries
    • begin freezing excess green beans, grated zucchini & carrots
    • dry & braid garlic
    • re-plant cabbage, lettuce, beets, peas, spinach, etc.
    • make lotion, lip balm, deodorant, etc. - enough for 6 months
    August
    • can tomatoes {salsa, V-8 juice, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, spaghetti sauce & tomato jam}
    • freeze & dehydrate tomatoes {freeze whole & slow-roasted to make sauce with}
    • make & freeze ketchup
    • freeze & dehydrate sweet peppers
    • freeze watermelon for smoothies
    • dehydrate melons
    • pickle, dehydrate & freeze hot peppers
    • freeze sweet corn
    • can corn relish, pickles, jalapenos & jalapeno jam
    • freeze zucchini pickles
    September
    • dehydrate herbs
    • mix together homemade spice & herb mixes
    • chickens are de-wormed if needed
    • chicken coop fall cleaning/prepping chickens for winter
    • begin garden clean-up & planting cover crops
    • house fall cleaning
    October
    • can applesauce & apple pie filling
    • dehydrate apples
    • finish cleaning up the garden & plant cover crops
    • make apple pies & apple hand pies to freeze
    • freeze apple butter & pumpkin butter
    • roast pumpkin & winter squash & freeze
    • pull up remaining potatoes, beets, cabbage & spinach
    November/December
    • make gifts for Christmas
    • make baking extracts for baking {so far, vanilla, orange, & lemon}

    Please visit the other 4 amazing women joining me on this series for their homesteading stories. 
    They are:

      18 comments:

      blueberryacresfarm said...

      Found your blog through this series (originally read Our Neck of the Woods' post) and thoroughly enjoying it! Look forward to learning more about your farm!

      Liz said...

      I love your lists! What a great way to live. It is fantastic that you have everything planned out day by day, month by month. Another great entry!

      Mary Woollard said...

      I love your schedule and how it's broken down. It seems like it would be easy to stick to it. The monthly one is just great to know what's coming up! I may try to mold mine like yours. :) Thanks for sharing about your day to day life. I love the series!

      Amber said...

      I love this post, Staci. I'm a list lover, so I love how you organized your tasks by month! Very interesting!

      daisy said...

      Wow, you are super organized. A woman after my own heart...;0)
      The photos are perfect.

      I didn't know you could freeze bread dough!
      Hope you're having a lovely day!

      Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

      Thank you so much for the comments. I wasn't sure if such a long list would seem rather, well, anal or not. :) Happy to see there are other list lovers reading this blog. Welcome Blueberry Acres! Daisy - yes, you can freeze bread dough and it's such a wonderful thing!!

      Meg said...

      Wow, your lists put my lists to shame! I want to be you when I grow up! ;) I love seeing such an organized list. You inspire me with getting your 6 months worth of toiletries and soaps done. I hope I can do that at some point (when Munchie isn't crawling up my legs haha).

      Tracy said...

      I'm a list lover too so I think this is a great post Staci.

      Melissa C said...

      I love how organized you are with your list making, I am a lister to, but monthly! not yet! I think I may have to do this!
      Thanks for such great tips!

      Our Neck of the Woods said...

      It seems you really have this whole thing figured out! I'd love to be able to only shop once a month for groceries and make a monthly meal plan. I do good to get a weekly meal plan in haha! I really do need to sit down and figure out things that I'd like to learn to make myself vs buy, like lip balm. Thanks for sharing your weekly and monthly lists with us! :)

      elaine rickett said...

      If only I were as organised as you I am sure life would be easier - as it is I just bumble along from day to day - if it gets done it gets done - if not it waits till tomorrow.

      Leslie said...

      You are so organized! I am very impressed!

      Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

      Meg, you are too funny! Thank you Tracy & Leslie. Melissa, I'm happy you found it helpful. Tammy, I certainly don't have it all figured out, but thanks for thinking so! :) Elaine, I am learning to take that approach at times.

      Jo said...

      I also found your series via http://www.ourneckofthewoods.net/

      Thannks for sharing your great stories. I love the monthly rundown, it's such a good idea, I tend to get bogged down in the details so a nice broad brush stroke is sometimes very useful.

      luckybunny said...

      I really like the way you laid this out - I even got some ideas for organizing! :)

      Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

      Thanks so much Jo and welcome! Thank you Donna. :)

      Lisa M said...

      Wow.....and I thought I did a lot! You are so organized...kudos!

      Found you through Our Neck Of the Woods

      ~L

      Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

      Lisa - thanks. It's amazing, once you put everything on paper, to see what you do throughout the year! :)