2016, it is upon us!
As Clay and I sat down to draw out our 2016 goals, we had mixed feelings on how we did on our 2015 goals. I was disheartened as I felt with a full-time job and a pregnancy, I wasn’t up to the standard we’re used to. But after some time and reminiscing, it seems we actually accomplished a whole lot in 2015 and should be proud of what we could get done between long work hours, 40 minute commutes and growing a fetus.
So here it is… our list of goals we started with in January of last year and what we did and did not do, plus some extra items that got squeezed in there along the way:
- The Garden:
- This was one of our major goals of the year, and I must say, we worked our tail feathers off for this one. And to be honest, we could not have gotten near where we are today if my good friend Laura hadn’t sacrificed a week of vacation to come be our farm hand for a week – THANK YOU LAURA!!!
- This included: Months and months of planning, sketching and plotting, fencing roughly 1 acre of land with 8 foot elk fence, digging and installing a 300 yard water line from our well, down the hill into the garden, rototilling the whole damn thing, multiple times with multiple machines, planting 15 fruit trees, 10 fruit/nut bushes, 10 raspberry canes and multiple perennials in the start of our food forest, creating 15 4′ x 100′ raised beds, implementing soaker hoses and planting most of them, and growing a mass amount of food for our first, very dry year. I attempted to keep all of our beds mulched with straw but this was difficult because the grass and the weeds put up a good fight, but our little garden wouldn’t be discouraged! Sake and I ended the garden year by planting a mess of garlic bulbs so I’ll be happy when spring arrives.
- The Corrals:
- This was the other “major” goal of 2015 and has been in the works for the past 2 years. Remember all of those logs we had to peel? Well they’ve finally been put to good use! With the help of some family and friends, the corrals have been built with half of the gates hung. These babies are ready to house our wild horse bunch that we will (hopefully) soon begin to transport from across the river. Canadian Acres is wild horse ready! Although the nightmares have started regarding wild horses escaping into our neighbors fields… lord help us all.
- Horse Management:
- This was a goal we didn’t necessarily get to other than feeding during the winter. But I feel like getting the corrals done is a big first step!
- Yard Landscaping:
- We spent many summer weekends on this project and Clay built me some beautiful flower beds, one large one that we turned into a hugelkultur bed, an archway with stone path to the fire pit, we gathered stone from around the property to fill the fire pit patio area and planted/grew some grass in the front of the house. Clay did a lot of level work and I planted some perennials on the west side and the front of the yard.
- We found a deal on white lattice, installed it around the bottom of our back deck and it looks beautiful! It also gives the chickens a secret, cool hangout in the summertime that they just seem to love.
- I had enough energy to put away some food for the winter. 60 lbs of saskatoons in the freezer, 2 batches of smoked salmon, strawberry jam, blueberry peach preserves, dill pickles, pickled beans and carrots and a wild rose, plantain & calendula salve. Wish I had gotten more done in this department, but thus is life.
- Full-time Job:
- At the end of March I got a full-time job as the Business Manager at the local Cultural Centre in town. It’s a great place to work and I really enjoy my co-workers, but it has definitely put the word “busy” in a whole new category.
- Extra Project: Clay built a large woodshed that wasn’t originally on the list, but is coming in handy during this cold weather.
- Extra Project: We got pregnant in June, found out in July and I’ve been dragging my homesteading ass ever since.
Goals we planned for but didn’t accomplish:
- Clothesline – Not this year, but I’m optimistic for this spring when we’ll have plenty of baby clothes to dry!
- Install gutters on house – this should be interesting come break up and with a new baby… hopefully things don’t get too slippery.
- Rain barrel watering system for house area and chicken waterer – there’s always 2016.
- 50 year plan plotted out on map – maybe someday.
All in all, I feel like we did pretty good. Thank goodness the major garden work got done before I got super tired in my first trimester. It is important to keep up with our goals and at least write them down for we have so much to do on the farm, and well, in life.
My family members often ask – how do you find the time to do all of these things? And I have to chuckle to myself because I guess we don’t look at it that way. We don’t have TV, we don’t like to sit idle, we like to work to exercise. We try to focus on building a life that keeps us active, on this beautiful land and living life to it’s fullest. Plus, with a view like ours, it hardly feels like work. Though, this 20 pound belly I’m carrying around can put a damper on that quickly. 2016 is all about new adventure and new challenges and we are oh so excited to see how we handle it this time. Stay tuned for a list of our very realistic and not-overwhelming-at-all goals for when baby Peck arrives in March…. are we really
dumb brave enough to try cloth diapers?
And because I always love to hear, what goals did you accomplish last year?