As the New Year comes upon us everyone starts setting goals and resolutions. I’m not really a resolution person. Honestly, I’m not under any delusion that a new year is going to make me a better person. I do, however, believe in making goals for the next year. In the past years they were fitness, eating, or adventure related. Since we started our homestead the goals that I set each year changed dramatically. We shared some posts from our 2021 goals like removing home toxins and starting bulk food storage. We accomplished a lot but have a lot more ahead of us. There are a few categories that I look at to set our new 2022 homestead goals and I’m sharing those and our goals with you here.
This is probably the biggest category for us and, I would assume, most homesteaders. These are the animals that are going to produce for us, the animals we will cull, and the animals we want to have as pets. They can be our protectors or our “just for fun” animals. Some of them might be rescued while others will be hatched right within our own homes. I think it’s incredibly important to give this category a lot of thought. Animals aren’t just something to jump into and they require a lot of care. I’m not saying you can’t be impulsive and just buy animals but it’s so crucial to make sure that you have the infrastructure and can provide the care that we need.
Our Animal Goals
This year our 2022 homestead goals include a lot of animals. This is the year we finally intend to take some very large steps towards bigger animals and just more overall. We have the property and most of the infrastructure that we need to be able to support these animals. (More on infrastructure later.)
So far on our homestead we have chickens, peacocks, and one guinea hen. Chickens have been our staple with the guinea and peacocks being added within the past year or so. The chickens we have are egg layers and we love them. However, this year we want to branch out into meat chickens. This year we would like to add more game birds. I’ve said for a while that we’d like to raise a turkey for our Thanksgiving dinner so that is now part of our goals. I also feel bad for only having one guinea so I think we’ll look to get her more friends this year. In addition to that we now have a pond that is just perfect for birds that prefer water. That means we are also looking to add ducks and geese to the farm too!
In addition to all of the birds we have high ambitions to start getting some bigger animals too. After a little work on our end we will be prepared to add beef cows and dairy goats. Those are the main goals for this year. I will consider it a huge bonus for us if we also add pigs and donkeys. They are on my list of “wants” but the situation will need to be right for us to add them.
The last thing that we are thinking about for our animal goals is the guardians that we will need. This is a big thought for us because we know that we have some significant predators around. Our neighbors do a good job of predator control but they are still out there and still around. For us, this will most likely be both a donkey and a livestock guardian dog. We want both for non-protective reasons, but we also know that they will serve a purpose on our farm. Our long term goal would be to breed our livestock guardian dog too because I just can’t wait to have some puppies!
Growing and Gardening
Not far behind animals on my priority list is growing and gardening. There are a few reasons for this too. This is how we are going to get most of the food for ourselves. If you are someone who is looking to be more self sustainable and not rely on the grocery stores this is going to be a huge category for you. That is why it is big for us. We want to produce as much as possible to be able to preserve as much as possible.
One of the things that I am not good at is noting how much of everything we preserved from the year prior. I know that some of the things made it to my instagram page but there are several that I just preserved and threw into the cupboard. Growing season can be chaotic, especially once it gets down into the preserving portion. Things grow rapidly and need to be preserved before they go bad. This year part of my goals is to document what we are harvesting and preserving. Part of the reason that I’m keeping a planner this year is to make sure I get all of this down. We won’t be able to measure our growth if we don’t start writing down our past. This will help us plan what to plant next year- where to scale up and where to scale down.
The other thing of note here is fruit. If you are planning on adding or harvesting fruit from your homestead it is super important to include this in your goals. Fruit trees take years of growth before they are able to be harvested. Even grapes take 3 years before you can harvest them! There is a lot of thought going into the fruit trees and berry bushes that we will want for our homestead. We currently have several old pear and apple trees that have not been well cared for. Due to that, we are going to have to replace them. One goal this year is to choose where they will be planted and get them in. That way by the time the old ones die off completely we will have the new ones ready to go. We also want to plant grapes and berries. Right now we have grapes given to us and we pay to go pick blueberries. It’s worth paying for them because it’s still cheaper than the store, but these are something we are looking to invest in ourselves as well.
This co-mingles with the first couple of homestead goals that we have and honestly we won’t be able to get the above done without some of this first too. Do you have adequate water for animals? Can you get enough water out to your garden? Is there a place for animals to stay warm and dry? Do you have places to start your seeds or will you be buying them. There are a lot of things to look at. I list this 3rd because it’s a little easier to plan for after you have your other goals. For instance, if you want cows then you will need a fence. If you just want chickens you will need a coop for them. I’d hate to have you building and buying things that you don’t necessarily need. Set some goals above and then figure out what you need to support them.
Our Infrastructure Goals
Thankfully, our homestead is now a lot more adequate for animals! We do need to get the water plumbed out to our barn though because filling a water trough with buckets just isn’t sustainable. We also need to add some quality fencing for the bigger animals. This shouldn’t be too hard for us but it will be a bigger investment in our resources. We also need to prepare the barn for animals. Right now it’s holding all of our junk! We will get rid of more and redo the storage that we have so that we can add stalls to the barn for the animals. This will also allow us to store enough food for them.
In order to get more game birds and ducks we need to add another coop. One of our current coops will move out to be the new home for ducks and geese but that leaves a spot needed for our game birds. We’re hoping to score another free shed to be able to covert it into a coop but I’m not sure if we will be that lucky. We have most of what we need for the meat chickens so that should be a pretty easy add.
Miscellaneous 2022 Homestead Goals
There are a slew of other goals that we have too. The above categories are majority of our homestead goals but I’m going to mention a few more so that if the above is done for your or if it’s too much for you, there are other steps you can take.
Here are the rest of our homestead goals:
- Clean out the stream by our house (they logged this and left a huge mess).
- Gut the basement. This has already started but is necessary due to prior owners not taking care of it.
- Make my own soap. This was on my goal list last year but I didn’t get around to it. Highly recommend adding a new skill to your list.
- Fix the tile grout. We had one of our tiles break so I need to get that fixed.
- Start a compost pile. I guess I could add this to the growing section since it will help with that but I’m considering it separately.
- Cook one recipe from a book or card per week. I’m so excited to challenge my cooking and share more recipes with you.
- Last but not least, pay off my student loans!
What are your 2022 homestead goals? Are there any other categories that you work through? I hope this is able to give you a good basis on what goals you should set for next year. We are so excited for what is to come at From the Hart Farm and we hope that you are excited for 2022 as well!