How To Fail At Homesteading.....

Ok, so the title is a tad bit dramatic.  But friends, it's simply reality.  I could teach a course on how-to fail at homesteading, particularly this year.


Probably not a good thing since this is a homesteading blog.  It seems that the attempt to keep all balls in the air whilst one also tries to also craft a homemade life is, um, not possible.  At least not on this small homestead.  And at least not with all of the balls I'm attempting to juggle.

This is just the reality of our life.  I'm an over-achiever (and recovering perfectionist) who hates to wave the white flag but the white flag is raised and waving proudly.

So here's what we've done well, what we've done so-so, and what we've flat out failed at:

Garden.  Not so good.
Outbuilding upkeep/updating.  With the exception of the new soap manufacturing building, not happening.
Making meals from scratch.  Not too bad, but not where I would like it to be.
Food Preservation.  Ummm......what is that?
Products in our online store.  Constantly out-of-stock.

And around the house.....
Deck stained.  Nope.
Stairs built for the front porch.  Nope.
Front porch stripped and re-painted.  Definitely not.

The good news in all of this?  Everyone is well cared for, happy (except a couple of the grumbling coop girls who don't believe they get enough goodies....), and the business is booming.

The garden started off GREAT.  (even shouty all caps worthy!)  Using the black plastic "mulch" was a huge timesaver for weeding, however, the garden still needed some of my time that it just couldn't receive.  Also, as I've complained about for years (and have yet to fix the problem, so it's my own darned fault), the critters feasted heavily on every single thing that did well.  The only thing I can't blame the critters for was the potatoes.  I have no idea what happened to those.

The chickens are doing well but the stress of combining the new girls with the old girls was a lot for the newer girls who had just started laying.  That slowed right down but (thankfully) has picked back up.  The older girls are slowing down anyway, due to age, but I'm sure the stress didn't help any.

I wanted to get flower boxes installed under the chicken coop windows but just didn't find the time to do this.  The barn also needs a bit of TLC that it just couldn't receive this year.  And those darned cold frames I keep promising myself, well, we just didn't get to them again this year.

Cooking from scratch is something I switched to quite a few years ago now and have been very adamant about following.  Because I'm splitting my time between 2 full-time jobs, it does get difficult.  We, for the most part, eat very healthy, but we do go out for lunch and dinner more than I would prefer.

Ah food preservation......what I've been so happy about doing in the past few years just wasn't happening this year.  We were successful at freezing a lot of peppers, some corn and are in the process of freezing winter squash.  We did not, however, get to terribly much in the way of tomatoes preserved.  I made some freezer spaghetti sauce but that's it.  I also didn't get any berries socked away, broccoli, cauliflower, greens, beans, etc.

Around the house, we had a honey-do list a mile long.  We did hire someone to help with a few of the items so those could get checked off but there just hasn't been time to do any of the rest of it.  It's truly a blessing and a curse.  The blessing is that because our business is so busy we run out of time to do anything else.

And now on to the business.  So here's the thing......we are incredibly grateful that we are so crazy busy that we just can't keep up.  Juggling the full-time business with working another full-time job is the reason I did not achieve my homesteading goals this year.  We are so incredibly busy that we just can't keep up with the demand.  Again, incredibly grateful for it, but I know it can be frustrating if you're a customer.  And for that, I am sincerely sorry.

There's been a lot going on with building and running a business, so my next post will be all about that.  It will be all about my venture into creating a soap & skincare business starting with nothing (literally) and growing it to an annual total in the six figures in 3 years.  When I think about it, it just seems crazy!  I've contemplated writing the post and have finally decided to do it.

Please know that I'm not throwing out that we have achieved six figures in sales for any reason other than to let you know that it's possible.  It's possible to create a home-based business that provides an income for your family.

So that's where we're at!

I'm hoping your homestead living went a little smoother this year........


daisy g said...

Um, do you realize you're two people? Are you kidding me? Your business has taken off, wasn't that the goal? You make a quality product and are able to do what you love, that's a lot to be proud of. I am hoping that someday soon you will be able to quit your day job and concentrate on the business. I understand the overachiever part, I sometimes suffer from the same syndrome. But looking at all you've accomplished, I'd say you are about the farthest thing from a failure that there is. Give yourselves some credit. You deserve all of your success!

Andrea said...

Oh my! Regardless of how you feel you have not. You've accomplished so much.
As far as the other goals that you had, too many. A good manager is one who knows when to toss out other goals! Andrea

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Andrea - thank you, I like that thought!! :)

Daisy - thank you very much. It's the homesteading part that I've failed at this year but yes, I knew I was biting off more than I could chew. I was living in a dream world thinking I could do it all...... :) Happy you're feeling better!!

Tracy said...

I'm forever biting off more than I can chew. Trying to do it all myself. I know where you are coming from. I think you've achieved some amazing goals and how fabulous that your business is growing in leaps and bounds. Well done Staci.

Staci at Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Tracy - you are so sweet. Thank you so much! Yes, we are definitely grateful for all we've accomplished.

Unknown said...

Whoa! makes me dizzy just thinking about how much you have accomplished while having 2 full time jobs...Unbelievable! Is it even humanly possible? Anyway, you are surely inspiring people like me to homestead. Keep inspiring!

Just the Right Size said...

Omigosh, I'd LOVE to hear your words of wisdom starting a bath & body business. I am just venturing into this as a prospective "side hustle" and would love to know what to do/not do for the future.

Sweet Love and Ginger said...

I know this feeling so well. I've been working in a half finished kitchen for months. I've had all the parts to my automatic chicken coup door for just as long and haven't started putting it together yet. Everything else you mentioned, garden problems, cold frames, unstained deck. Yep I'm in the same boat on all of them. I"m just rolling with it. We aren't all perfect after all. You aren't alone.