Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Top 10 Homestead Goals for 2012

Erica over at Northwest Edible Life is running a giveaway of The Urban Farm Handbook and, as part of the giveaway, she's asking what the entrant's Big Urban Homesteading goal is for 2012.

Well, since I already have the book and I have a lot of goals, I decided I wanted to share them in a post. I also wanted to find out what your homesteading goals are for this year, urban or otherwise.

Here are mine (in no particular order):

Top 10 Homestead Goals for 2012

1. Double the number of chickens we have (we are getting 3 more chicks in March)
2. Go in on a pig share (done this past weekend - post to follow)
3. Add one more raised bed in the backyard (work in progress)
4. Get front yard re-landscaped to remove grass and put in edibles (March/April 2012)
5. Get started with meat rabbits (May 2012)
6. Buy some pasture land in Eastern WA (working on convincing the hubs on this one :)
7. More canning - tomato sauce and pickles, relish and, of course, jam
8. Join the Honey CSA from Urban Bee Company since we won't be hosting a hive
9. Get into goat cheese making (working with a local source)
10. Learn how to dispatch rabbits and chickens (hooking up with The Urban Farm Handbook authors Annette, for rabbits, and Joshua, for chickens)

So, what are your homesteading goals for 2012?

Pig pic from the wonderful Conyac Brothers' Farmstead in Marysville, WA.

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This post is part of this week's Homestead Barn Hop.

23 comments:

Green Bean said...

Buy some pasture land!?! I love that goal. Hmm, off to convince my own husband that we need to do that - though obviously closer to home.

Erica/Northwest Edible Life said...

Oh dear. Well, since I just took my first bee class...want to bet if I can make it 6 months before bees live on our roof?

Motherhen said...

Mine is to actually get milk from the lovely pair of does I've been feeding for almost 2 years now. I am a goat cheese fanatic, and I am itching to get cheese-making. Also, I am to maintain more order in the vegetable garden which tends to get away from me by August. After a few losses to predators, I am hoping to maintain my flock by adding 3 new polish hens and 6 of a yet-unchosen-heritage breed and raise another 12 turkeys.

Annie said...

Among other things, build a greenhouse, build permanent raised beds on fenceline where in-ground beds have been until now, learn more about plants we're having trouble growing, sell pop-up camper to make more room in backyard for other things, install irrigation system to raised beds that can be fed by either rain catchment or city water, and continue to plan and prep for chickens that won't happen this year, but maybe next.

Illoura said...

Wow, this years' goals for you are lifetime goals for me, lol! Your energy must be thru the roof, if not your determination... I hope to see it all happen!
Thanks for sharing your ambitions, it makes me feel a little less crazy with my own (like it's really something possibly doable).

Una Walker said...

Hmmm...working on improving my soil, wish I could add more chickens, putting up more jars of yummy things, bees have been on the lists for a while maybe this will be the year! I'm going to learn about goats.

Aimee said...

My goals re. Actually to pare back - I've overdone it in te animals and am
RealiIng that I've midlife from a homesteader into a goat breeder, which was
Not the plan. Want to decrease from 5 does down to two, and from about thirty chickens sown to a dozen. Also seal the greenhouse and get the compost pile under control.

Aimee said...

And maybe learn
How to turn off spellcheck on my phone

Dogs or Dollars said...

Big Plans!

Chicken show up in March.
Seeds are ordered for our tomato, cucumber, basil, potato and parsnip centric garden.

Mason Bees to help with all of the above.

I would love to go in on a hog share and am increasingly interested in ripping out my front yard. Hmmmm...

dandelionlady said...

There's a pig share in my future as well, and hopefully some beefalo as well. My big excitement is moving away from the city, looking for a new house with a couple of acres not to far away from the urban centers.

For me this is a chance to actually use all the knowledge I've gained. To find a house that has the potential for sustainability is exciting!

Greenpa said...

Hey, I'll be happy to teach you to murder chickens when you come visit this summer, on your Little House quest. It does take some learning.

I wonder if they still sing that verse to the song in Kindergarten? "We will kill the old red rooster, when she comes! When she comes!"

I doubt it. But we did have chicken and dumplings from one of our free-range orchard guard chickens last summer (I got there 10 minutes after it had been killed by a male Cooper's hawk; he was smaller than the hen, and had spent the entire time dragging it into a bush to hide...) - and it was pretty astonishing. "Oh! THAT'S what chicken is supposed to taste like!!"

I do have an old speckled rooster we need to, um, "de-select".

Robj98168 said...

Same as last year :(
Convert front yard into Edible landscaping; Build a new permanent green house on the porch; rid my yard of the himalayan black berries... sigh

jj said...

We need to murder the roosters we've already got :)

Our goals are to get bees, and maybe turkeys, and continue to maintain the big garden even with the baby coming this spring...

Lisa Nelsen-Woods said...

Grow more than 6 tomatoes in our front yard veggie garden. That's 6 tomatoes not plants.

Anonymous said...

Dispatching of chickens is pretty straightforward, all you need is a sharp axe/cleaver and something too keep the chicken from moving too much. A chicken cone is the most human option but tying the legs and using a metal rake to hold its neck in place is a low-tech solution you probably have all the tools for already (don't forget a chopping block). Rabbits are a bit trickier, a .22 and a bucket with grass in it to keep them calm and unawares is one method (like shooting rabbits in a barrel har har). The more gruesome neck snapping is always an option but requires the rabbit to be very tame.

patricia said...

I'm going to a bee class this Saturday and am planning on starting a bee hive this spring. Also I saw on the internet how to grow mushrooms, so I'm going to order some mushroom spawn this spring. They say white oak is good for growing the mushrooms on and I found someone who has the trees for it, so we can cut some logs from them! I'm really excited about both of those things. Wanting a small hoop house for spring, also will be planting a couple more fruit trees. Had a huge garden last year and will again this year. A huge garden is so much work, but really worth it, health wise!

Anonymous said...

The pasture land sounds most interesting - keep us updated!

kat said...

Shear the llamas and alpacas that are on the pasture in Eastern Washington, get my son to move to the farm to help with the above and many other things, renew my share of farmer raised beef and hog, keep my chickens alive and laying, maybe raise some basil, green beans, tomatoes.

Deanna said...

Raccoons killed off all our chickens a few months ago so first on the list for me is to get several hens. I'll raise chicks if I have to but I've been-there-done-that enough times that I would be happy skip that stage.

Like Lisa, I am also hoping for more than a few tomatoes this year. Oklahoma suffered heat and drought conditions which rivaled the Great Depression so I'm hopeful for a much better gardening year.

Additionally, there are several skills I'm hoping to tackle this year, such as pressure canning (I've only done water bath before), making tortillas, making soap, making candles and making pasta.

Kelly said...

Plant the fruit and nut trees and bushes, install the water catchment system. Establishing an urban homestead is slow going to be sure but so rewarding.

Brenna @ Almost All The Truth said...

Love those goals!

Our urban homestead goal is to actually get chickens (which will depend on my health) and expand our garden so we actually have enough to bring inside before the kids eat it all!

TheDeb said...

EWA, I think about that myself and I've got nothing to graze. I just want access to the sun and they dry.

Exciting developents. Good luck!

Billy said...

Irrigation system is indeed very important in this kind of project. It has to be installed for a better water system.

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