Sunday, January 2

Cultivating Home Goals...

Just a few things I'd like to do this year, most of which are pretty superficial but I like to get them put down on paper and have a clear head for thinking and praying on more serious goals. I'm not big on personal "resolutions", but I do think it is wise to look back and evaluate and then look forward and set marks to pass by during the year.

1.) Make bar soap. (See, I told you these are superficial!)
I have a local source for lye, and we made our own tallow. The rest of the ingrediants are in the cupboard.

2.) Think about the food staples I buy and how I can make them myself.
Sugar, for one thing. If we put in another hive of bees I think I'll have enough honey to use in recipes instead of sugar. Currently, we buy sugar in 50lb bags. Pasta is another thing I could be making instead of buying. Butter, unfortunately, is still cheaper, though a lot less healthy, to buy.
3.) Start seedlings indoor.
Which means I need to learn about grow lights. Along with this goes thinking about what to grow this year and which foods are the best for preserving for year long use. I did black beans a few years ago and loved how easy they were.

4.) Put a few more trees in the orchard.
Another plum and a few more apples, most likely. We'll aim for putting in as many as the bank account allows and we have room for.

5.) Piano lessons for the kids.
I have a piano. I play. Really, it's just tiredness/laziness which keeps me from teaching my children.

6.) Be consistant in love and discipline.

7.) Begin daily walking again or cross country skiing in snow weather.
Before my last two pregnancies I was running a few miles each day and I am sooo far from that happening.

8.) Study more natural medicine and healthful eating and incorporating the knowledge into our daily life.

9.) Learn about alternative energy and ways we can incorporate them into our living.
We live in a great place for wind power and I'd like to replace our ancient hot water heater with a tankless one.

10.) Cute-ify the poultry area.
Think dirt and mud and you'll imagine why I never post pics of our chicken quarters. I'm thinking sunflowers planted around their fenced area and more straw to cover the dirt. Maybe some sort of wine to grow along the fence that stays green all year.

11.) Figure out what we can grow to feed our poultry through the winter.
There has to be something I can plant a plot of that they'll eat so we don't have to buy bags of cracked corn during the winter.

12.) Mulch the garden.
Last season, we bought straw which turned out to be hay and you can imagine how well that worked for mulch. (Straw has no seeds, hay does so we basically planted ourselves a hay field in the garden.)


Becky said...

I'm with you on planting trees. We've lived on our property a little over a year & I planned on planting some fruit trees but just haven't gotten around to it. I frequently visited the nursery department waiting for them to discount their trees in late spring & fall & never did find them at a discount...sad face. I guess I will have to pay full price in the spring & get some growing. We also want to plant some trees to border our backfence. I got a quote for some Leland cypress trees & they are indeed pricey. The other alternative we thought of are red tip bushes & planting them ourselves. So, although we will not get all these planted this year, I do hope to get a few started :)

Hannah, have you read any books or magazines called Reminisce? I stumbled across one book in particular by them titled The Christmases we used to Know at the library & I absolutely love it! I thought perhaps you would like it yourself. They have several different titles & it is compiled from various people's stories from their past. Some that are very touching are the ones that people wrote about the great depression & how every Christmas tree or gift was a huge sacrifice & deeply appreciated. The stories in this one are so heart warming. It is well past Christmas & I have renewed it so that I can continue to enjoy it. I am one of those that will hang on to Christmas as long as I can without being labeled a

Michelle @ Give a Girl a Fig said...

These are great goals...every one of them. I am also doing #1 and #8. I just signed up for a free online herbal course. It's VERY basic...but it's a great start!

Kim said...

You may want to look into growing soybeans mixed with oats to feed your chickens in the winter. I have taken warm water and soaked the beans and oats and fed it to my chickens and they really like it.

Anonymous said...

I love to make my own soap! You can't beat homemade, unscented soap with no frills. I love that when I bathe now I don't have to worry about sliding unknown chemicals (fragrance) and dyes all over my skin and open pores.

Anne said...

I love your goals. Best of luck, I'm sure they'll keep you busy! :)

rebi edel said...

Dear Hanna! I like your pictures and to have a look through your window!
Thank you for the ideas today. I do print them out and want to make additons or changes as I need them for us... It's such a great thing to inspire each other through blogging.
God bless you.

Carmine said...

As a faithful follower of your site, I'd thought I'd let you know that you really do inspire me. We made the move from the city to the country on 35 acres that provides us beef cows, and next spring, chickens and goats (and goat milk!). We are expanding our loving family after originally being "permanently" done.

Anyway, please be very careful with the tankless water heaters. If you are on a well system, they are not the best idea. You will need to have a master plumber (read: expensive) come out to clean the water lines in the tankless every 6 months or so of the sediment (even with a water filtration system). Research high-effeciency, fast-recovery, non-standing pilot (spark ignitor) water heaters instead. We ended up with a 50-gal that will support the dishwasher, shower, and 2 bath tubs at the same time :-)

I love your site, keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Question to Becky, Carmine and Hannah.. Hannah you said that you wanted to put in more fruit trees..
Someday I would like to buy a property that has more acrerage, and would like to have fruit trees.. But what amount of land would be good to have fruit trees? Right now we are in a 1/4 lot.. not enough room for that many trees.. Any ideas would be helpful..
Sue in NJ

Bonnie said...

I didn't get to read it because Baby Boy was very done with Borders, but Backyard Poultry magazine had an article about growing winter food for chickens.
Since you mentioned that in this post, I thought I would pass it along, in case you get a chance to look it up.

Wonderful goals by the way, very much like some of the ones I am making!

Kristine said...

I do not currently have chickens but have had in the past and will, hopefully, have them again soon. I have read that sugar beets are good winter feed for livestock. They hold well over winter and the animals love them. I'll be looking into it myself soon.