Homesteading Where You Are: Successes, Failures, Goals


Thank you for following us on this Homesteading Where You Are Series.  This last post is a brief outline of some of our successes, failures, and goals.


Failures
Regarding failures, nothing is truly a "failure" as long as you learn from it.  That being said, probably the largest "failure", and the one I feel the worst about, is that we had no idea what to look for in chickens when we brought our first flock home.  As a result, we purchased half a flock of very healthy hens and from another source half a flock of very sick hens.  Unable to detect the subtle signs of upper respiratory issues, we put them all together and ended up with a dozen very sick hens {the rooster never caught it for some reason}.  I hadn't pre-planned by deciding what we would do in event of illness, I hadn't located a vet who could help me with birds, and, therefore, was at the mercy of the one vet I could find, in desperation, who charged us hundreds to treat a simple upper respiratory infection.  We did, unfortunately, lose one hen to pneumonia during all of this.  I've learned a LOT.

In the garden, I still stink at growing cauliflower and melons.  I'm working on it.  We also have been hit hard 2 different years by wild critters.


Success
Thankfully, most of what we've done has in some way been successful.  If it hasn't been a complete success, we've learned from any mistakes and turned it into a success.

Our garden, for the most part, has been successful.  After our first major mistake with chickens, I made it my mission to learn everything I could and know where I could find resources so that has now been very successful.

We had one really good year with the garden where almost all veggies for that year was provided by it.  That's what I aim to achieve again since I know it's definitely possible, even on this small lot.

Goals
Oh boy do we have goals.  Our main goal is to purchase a much larger piece of property, build a home and outbuildings, and raise goats, chickens, a donkey or two, and whatever else strikes our fancy.  The most important part of this goal is we would like to take in abused/neglected farm animals.

On this property, we would also like to run a small CSA.  Probably a 25-30 family one.  We hope to be able to offer a few shares every year for a largely reduced rate to low income families.  I think it's so important for people, no matter their economic situation, to be able to eat healthy, locally grown food.  We also hope to become as self-sufficient as possible as far as energy needs go and food.

Short-term and/or ongoing goals include - I still haven't made any hard cheeses, so I would like to learn that and maybe eventually be able to utilize our own milk to make them.  More of a focus on dehydration and fermentation.  Continuing to learn about gardening and soil is, for me, an ongoing goal.  Saving more of our seeds and making an effort to eat and shop as locally as possible.  I would also like to teach classes - making things from scratch, how to start homesteading, wherever you are, chicken keeping, etc.  All a part of building up our sense of community.


How about you?  What are some of your failures, successes or goals for your own homestead?

Series topics are:


And I also hope you'll visit the other bloggers joining me in this series.  Here's a little bit about each of them:

Sue – at The Little Acre that Could, shares her body with an auto-immune disease, and life with her husband. They live in a once-working Victorian farm cottage now bordered by a modern subdivision. She has dreamed of homesteading as long as she can remember and continues to strive toward that goal in rural Atlantic Canada. 
Mary- at Homegrown on the Hill, lives in Southwestern Ohio with her family on a 5 acre homestead. Their goal is to be as much self sufficient as possible. In helping with this goal, they raise a big garden and keep chickens, rabbits, and cattle for food.

Daisy - at Maple Hill 101, currently homesteads with her family in the suburbs of Central Florida.  Her vision is to move to a more rural property in North Carolina later this year and continue fostering a self-sufficient lifestyle which includes chickens, a large garden, and a permanent clothesline.

Jackie- at Born Imaginative, grew up as an avid 4-Her, on a 50 acre hobby farm, with parents who pursued a homesteading life. Now, with a husband and two small children of her own, she is bringing an 1880s farmhouse/30 acre farm back to life in Southern Coastal Maine.

6 comments:

The Little Acre that Could said...

Oh, Staci! That first photo is so pretty. I like the idea that nothing is a failure as long as you learn something from it. It's a shame that your first flock got sick, but you learned a lot from that (expensive!) experience.

I love your goals! They sound wholesome and good and altruistic. I hope you achieve them...and continue to blog about it!

daisy g said...

I would take your class in a heartbeat!
I love the idea of offering lower rates in the CSA for those who need it. And that you want to shelter abused/neglected animals. So many lofty and wonderful goals. I'll be here, learning from you as I have for a couple of years now. Thank you for everything, Staci. I'm so glad I've gotten to know you.
Continued blessings...

Our Neck of the Woods said...

I love your long-term goals! Especially the one of taking in abused or neglected farm animals. That is a big one of mine as well. Homesteading really is just one big learning lesson!

born ambitious. born imaginative. said...

I grew cauliflower for the first time this year-it can be done! I still haven't had any luck with melons.

I am picturing your dream place...perfection! I love that you want to devote your adventures to low income families and animals who need homes. That's what I love about this group, we're all kindred spirits!

Caitlin F. said...

I loved this series! It was inspiring, uplifting, and motivating to homestead no matter what surrounds you :)

Sweet Love and Ginger said...

Staci, I recently stumbled on your blog and am thrilled to have found it. It's nice to have found another local blogger with the same goals as me. I can't wait to discover more!


www.Sweetloveandginger.com