Monday, January 28, 2013

"Homesteading" Goals for 2013

I love to use the word "homestead," although it's a bit of a stretch in my situation.  It just sounds pleasantly old-fashioned.  Do a garden and chicken coop (and dog the size of a cow) count as a homestead?

I know people generally do this kind of goal-setting around New Year's, but hey, we are non-conformists.

Here's what's been accomplished so far this "rainy season":

  • Compost "bin" made from chicken wire

  • Chicken coop thoroughly mucked
  • Fallen evergreen branches placed as floor of chicken run (you can see that the kids ran out of patience about halfway through, and I have a bit more to do, but 50% mud is better than 100% mud)

  • Apple trees pruned, plum trees sort of pruned, grapevines sort of under control
  • 30% of Himalayan blackberries hacked out (pure evil, those things).

  • Leaves raked and placed over veggie beds for mulch
And here's what I'd like to accomplish in the next few months.  This may be a bit ambitious since, ya know, the kids spend most of their time in the garden saying things like,  "I'm bored," I want to go inside," "Can I play with the hedge trimmers?" and "Mommy, the baby's eating grass!"  But if I don't make a list, then nothing will get done.  This way, if I accomplish 1/3 of what's on the list, at least something happened.  

Chicken-y things to do:
  1. Fix garden fence so deer can't get in, chickens can't get out.
  2. Tinker with chicken coop to make cleaning and egg collecting easier (add one wall, add hinges)
  3. Create some type of very simple paddock-shift system for chickens, where they get out of their sad, muddy run to eat grass, then a week later, I rotate them to fresh grass to give the old grass time to recover, etc.  Also, I'd like to reseed their run once I have a way to keep them out of it long enough for the grass to sprout.
  4. Get the chickens into the fenced-in garden so they can eat some bugs before it's time to plant.
Plant-y things to do:
  1. Prune the peach trees in February
  2. Finish pruning the other trees
  3. Hack out the remaining 70% of the blackberries
  4. Get the grapes a little more under control so they don't attack the fruit trees anymore.
  5. Plant some comfrey under the apple trees to replace some of the grass (did you know that grass under trees competes with the trees for nutrients, since both are surface-feeders?)
  6. Plant early cool-season veggies in my established veggie bed
  7. Start tomatoes and peppers from seed indoors (unfortunately, this should be prefaced with "clean out place by windows to sprout seeds).
  8. Find some sort of seed to plant as a living mulch in my veggie beds once veggie seeds get established.
  9. Make a "bean tipi" for the kids to play in in the garden.


  1. I want a bean tipi to play in!

    1. I know! Hopefully the kids feel the same way. :)

  2. Homestead works for have a garden and a chicken coop which is more that I have going for me! LOL. Sounds like you have some great plans.


    1. Thanks! Now to make those plans really happen...

  3. I love hearing and learning about your homestead! Thanks for sharing, Danielle, and good luck on your list :)

  4. Dog the size of a cow DEFINITELY counts as a homestead. Haha, love it!


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