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Our Homesteading Goals for March 2017

Our Homesteading Goals for March 2017

Can you believe it’s already MARCH!?! I sure can’t! Time sure is flying by this year I feel like, which makes sense because we’ve had a lot going on. It’s a lot of work working towards the self-sufficient life, but it is well worth it! 🙂

This post, as the title suggests is our goals post for March! I know we’re already 9 days into March, but I want to get this out there, so here it goes…

Get the Garden Prepped

For the last couple of years we’ve had 2 raised garden beds, one is 4 ft by 10 ft and the other is 5 ft by 10 ft. The harvest from these beds the last couple of years was so-so, and I feel like that was from not maintaining the proper balance of nutrients in the soil. But here we are again, Spring is near and it’s time to start thinking about planting again!

Last fall when we put the beds to sleep we piled on all of the compost we had on hand, a ton of grass clippings and wood chips, and we finished it off with a pile of leaves. I was just out there looking at it the other day and it’s starting to look very promising.

So this month we want to finalize our garden plan, start some seeds indoors, and add an additional layer of compost to the beds. We also need to redo our fencing around the beds. We have a large number of deer in our backyard and last year we had a cheap 7 foot high garden fence which did the trick, but is in dire repair or replacement with something else.

Bring Home the Chicks

Last month we finished up the chicken coop, well, we’re about 95% done, and this month we are going to bring home the chicks! As I had mentioned in a previous blog post, we are going to be picking up the chicks from Tractor Supply! They get new shipments on Wednesdays and Fridays until April 30th, so I’ve been calling up there eagerly waiting for them to get in some Black Australorps or Buff Orpingtons. I don’t know if the kids are more excited or if we are! 🙂

Prepare/Welcome? New Baby

As some of you may know, we are expecting our 4th child, and our first girl in the next couple of weeks!! We are eagerly awaiting her arrival but have a lot to do before she gets here to ensure we have plenty of time to relax and bond with her 🙂

In the last few weeks before her arrival we want to ensure we have a lot of freezer meals made and put up, as well ensure the pantry is stocked. We still need to pack our hospital bag and figure out the plan for when my wife goes into labor, such as who is going to watch the boys and all of that kind of stuff. Definitely some exciting times!

Stock Up on Non-Food Items

Lastly, this month we want to stock up on all of the essential things we need that are not food related. What I’m talking about here is toilet paper, paper towels, personal care items, etc. We want to buy this stuff in bulk and have a system in place where we’ll always have a multi-month supply. We think this is a good idea because it is just one less thing we would need to worry about during our bi-monthly grocery store trips.

Leave a comment below with the goals you are currently working towards, we’d love to hear them!

Until next time, God Bless and Happy Homesteading!

Andrew & Maria

Tractor Supply Chick Days

Tractor Supply Chick Days

Howdy Homestead Dreamers, I hope everyone is doing well! I just wanted to write a quick blog post about our chicken situation…

I was super excited to find out this week that our local Tractor Supply just received their chicks! I had always heard that they had chicks each year, but this year is our year! Our chicken coop is about ready, but we still have a few more things to do such as set up the brooder and pick up some organic chicken feed.

For the brooder I think we are just going to use a box or bin with bedding and a clip-on heat lamp. With the organic chicken feed we lucked out and there is a small family-owned pet store on my way home from work that carries the feed, so I’m going to be swinging by there on my way home from work to pick some up.

I was also happy to see that they have multiple breeds available. We were hoping to get either some Buff Orpingtons or some Black Australorps, and it looks like they may have both! Another great thing about the Chick Days at Tractor supply is that I believe their minimum order is 6, whereas if you buy from an online hatchery, the smallest order that I saw was 15. Being that we can only have 6 hens where we live, this is perfect.

Buff Orpington
Buff Orpingtons
Black Australorp
Black Austtralop – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Australorps_henne.jpg

We will be posting some pictures as soon as we get them, so stay tuned!

Until next time, God Bless and Happy Homesteading!

Andrew & Maria

Our Homesteading Goals for 2017

Our Homesteading Goals for 2017

Howdy Homestead Dreamers, we hope that this post finds you well!

So believe it or not, it is already February. Time sure flies when you’re having fun 🙂

Well since we only have 11 months left in the year, we better go ahead and post our goals… We plan to post our goals at the end of each year (for the coming year), to let you guys know what we plan to work on, and to give our readers some ideas of possible goals they could follow if they are on the same journey as us.

Without further ado, our goals for 2017 are the following –

Start a Blog (this one) About Our Homesteading Dreams and Journey

Starting a blog about our homesteading journey has always been an idea that we tossed around up until recently. We wanted to start a blog about our journey not just so we could look back on it, but to share it, and hopefully inspire others to pursue such a fulfilling lifestyle.

We just started this blog last month, so we wanted to include this goal in our yearly goals because there is still a lot we want to do with our blog and a ton of information that we want to share!

Start Raising Chickens for Egg Laying

eggsWe’re not sure about you, but our family, Maria and I, and our 3 young boys, eat a ton of eggs! Really though, we go through about 2-3 dozen of eggs a week. So in an effort to become more self-sufficient and less dependent on the grocery store, we decided that we are going to start raising chickens. Neither of us have ever raised chickens before, but we’re going to dive right in. The building of the chicken coop is currently underway and we’ll have more details about that in an upcoming post.

Get Our Children More Connected with Nature

butterfly.jpgAs we had mentioned previously, we are homeschooling our children. Another one of our goals this year is to get our children more connected with nature. What we mean by this is that we want them to spend more time outside than they do inside. We want them to get muddy, to learn about nature, to find bugs, to help with yard work, and to just take it all in without having a screen in front of them. Besides our backyard, we plan to provide many opportunities for discovery, enrichment, and exploration!

Evaluate What Skills We Have and What Skills We Want to Learn

Homesteading is so great in that anyone, from any background can do it. As we pursue our homesteading dreams, another one of our goals is to evaluate what skills we currently have, and what skills we want to learn in order to do the things that we want to do in a more self-sufficient way.

Start Making Our Own Household Items

soap.jpgThis year, as I have already touched on a couple times now, we want to become less dependent on the system and more dependent on doing things ourselves. This leads us to our goal of starting to make our own household items. We want to work ourselves off of buying things like body soap, dish soap, glass cleaner, lotion, shampoo, etc., and start making it our self.

Begin Researching Ways to Make Additional Income

The last main area of focus for this year is on our income. I currently work a full-time job and my wife currently works a part-time job, but we want to start researching ways that we could possibly start some sort of home business where our family can be together more throughout the day.

Well there you have it, our Homesteading goals for 2017. We’ll be posting updates to these goals throughout the year to help keep us on track and to share our progress with you.

To help you achieve your #1 goal, we recommend The Freedom Journal.

Until next time, God Bless and Happy Homesteading!

Andrew & Maria

Our Homesteading Goals for February

Our Homesteading Goals for February

It’s hard to believe that February is almost upon us, I feel like it was just Christmas!

At the end of each month we plan to post our goals for the coming month. We are going to do this to help keep us on track as well as to share our progress with you.

For February, our goals are the following –

Get this blog up and running

Getting this blog up and running is a big goal of ours as we believe it will help us to achieve our other goals and especially help us reach our homesteading dream. We want to make this blog informational, inspirational and hopefully a rat race escape route to be used by others.

Finish the chicken coop

In January we started building our chicken coop, something that we have been talking about since at least last year. Where we live we can only have up to 6 hens, no roosters, so the plan was to build a chicken coop with a run but have them out free ranging when possible. Last weekend I was able to get some of the framing done, but in the next month I want to get it completely done and ready for some chickens come spring. I’ll create a separate post with more pictures, total cost, and placement in the yard once it’s done, but here is the progress so far –

Goal: Chicken Coop
Chicken coop framing.

Sew some outfits in preparation for the birth of our daughter

My wife is a fantastic seamstress and in between homeschooling, working, and everyday household chores she is hoping to sew a handful of outfits and blankets in preparation for the birth of our daughter. With 3 boys in the house, my wife (and I of course) are super excited to be having a girl! Sewing is one of those great skills to have, and luckily my wife has been sewing for quite a while now, always learning new techniques and always keeping her skill fresh. Below is one of the outfits that she has produced –

Goal: Sewing

Goal: Sewing

Finish setting up our homeschooling room

Another project that we had started last month was our homeschooling room. For the last 6 months or so we’ve been using the dining room table as a makeshift homeschooling area but it just wasn’t working out with all of the stuff that comes along with homeschooling. What we had decided was to convert our family room into the homeschooling room. The family room was one of the more underused rooms in the house, so it just made sense. We have moved a lot of the books and school supplies down there but there is still a lot of work and organizing to be done. We hope to get this project finished in the coming month and will create a post of the finished space. Here is a sneak peak –

Goal: Homeschooling Room
Our new homeschooling room.

Figure out how to make less trips to the grocery store

Lastly, groceries has always been an area of our lives that could use some serious simplification. We have been grocery shopping once a week for as long as I can remember. Just recently we started realizing how dependent we are on the grocery store… Our long term goal is to grow and preserve the majority of our food, but we aren’t quite there yet (not even close).

Some questions we are asking ourselves are – Would we be able to survive without trips to the grocery store? What if the grocery store doesn’t have what we need? What if a big store or some other natural event cuts out the grocery store for days? For weeks? So this month we want to figure out how we can improve our dependance in this area. Are we able to cut our trips to the grocery store in half? Stayed tuned and we’ll let you know how it goes!

So there you have it, our first goals post! We plan to do this each month to help give you guys some ideas. It will also help keep us on track in order to reach our homestead dreams!

Until next time, God Bless and Happy Homesteading!

Andrew & Maria