Wow, rereading our goals for this year sooooo much has changed in what we wanted to do for 2017, vs our goals for 2018. We accomplished a few of our goals, but have also figured out a few that don’t actually work for us. The longer we spend living this way the more we learn. Need vs want, idealism vs reality. Living this far out is not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.
Our goals last year were:
Getting Kyle a crew fishing license so he can salmon fish with our friends
Kyle did fish with our friends, although they decided not to fish the whole season. We did get enough fish put away for winter, and he made a little money. Our fishing goals for 2018 include getting our own permit and boat. That way we can fish as often as we want.
Installing a water system
Done! This is our first winter with this system and we’ve already had to make some adjustments. So far we’re managing, fingers crossed there are no catastrophic failures!
Spending more time hunting/fishing
We just got too busy with other things to do much besides Kyle salmon fishing. Next year we’ll hopefully be approved for subsistence hunting and fishing.
Preserving more foods (and shopping less)
Between a cold summer being bad for gardening and not spending much time hunting/fishing, we still depend a lot on the grocery store.
Getting equipment out here and clearing more land
We didn’t manage this as it didn’t fit our budget this year.
Finding our property markers (or having our land surveyed)
As it turns out, finding property markers under 40+ years of growth is not easy. We’ll need to pay someone to survey our property in the future.
Fencing animal pastures
Without knowing the borders of our land this wasn’t something we could do. We did create a pig pen though.
Getting 2 goats for milking
We did get two goats, and then we gave them to friends. Without fencing they got in to everything.
Building a bigger chicken coop and getting more birds
We did build a bigger coop and get more birds. However, we have figured that chickens aren’t the direction we want to go here.
Planting a large garden
We did this, but then… The chickens got in and scratched about. They thoroughly mixed everything up. Then once things sprouted the goats broke into our greenhouse and ate everything they could. Hence us giving them away. After all that, this was a very cold summer. Last year I wasn’t prepared for all the rain, this year I wasn’t prepared for a cold ‘warm’ season. Between all that we didn’t manage to harvest much.
This wasn’t possible without clearing land first.
Building a garage
We didn’t manage this, but we did build a wood shed. Our friends did drag an abandoned trailer here that we plan on turning into a garage. So I suppose if we get that finished in the next month or so we can count it as done this year.
Building a root cellar/pantry for food storage
We didn’t build anything specifically for storing food. We did however, cover our porch and added a door. That allowed us to store food where it was cooler. The porch is our fridge/freezer this winter.
We did add 2 more batteries to our solar set up. It doesn’t sound like much, but we can store twice as much power now!
Building a shower/sauna
We did build a shower. It works fantastic, and I enjoy it so much better than last years camp shower. We use this instant hot water heater for our showers now.
Purchasing a sawmill
Done! We’ve used our sawmill to mill shelves and steps. We also milled wood for our cabin, wood shed and pig pen.
Purchasing a second 4 wheeler
We did buy a second wheeler, but we also sold it. The one we got was more comfortable for riding, but was not really designed for the work we needed it to do. Back to one wheeler now (though we do have 2 cars again!)
After the many things we’ve learned this year, some goals have changed and some will be expanded. Our homesteading goals for 2018 are:
Purchasing a fishing permit
This is our #1 goal for next year, and will allow us a source of income and food.
Spending more time hunting/fishing
Next year we might be approved for subsistence hunting and fishing. That will extend some seasons, as well as areas we can hunt in. Getting a moose will be high on our list.
Preserving more food
More hunting and fishing means more putting food away for the winter.
Getting equipment out here and clearing land
With rental prices and the time it takes to get equipment out here, we’re seriously considering buying a rig for this. Then we could potentially barter it’s use to our neighbors as well.
Finding our property markers
Since we can’t seem to find them, we’ll need to find a remote surveyor and pay them to do it for us. It’s something we need done before we can expand much.
Getting a high tunnel
This will allow us more control over the temperature in the garden. Next year’s garden will be ah-mazing. Third times the charm, right?
Purchasing a beach truck
We need something that we can drive on the beach that’s cheap so we won’t cry if the tide takes it. The dream is to get something lifted, with big tires and a winch. Then we might even be able to drive all the way to our place in the summer.
Cut and mill lumber in preparation for building our cabin
We expect to work on this for a few years. After all, how fast can two people build their dream house? Especially with a toddler under foot! We’ll be living in our 250 sq ft cabin until the dream cabin is complete.
As you may have noticed, there are fewer goals for next year.
We have 8 goals for 2018, vs the 17 we had for 2017. Part of that is a large scale back on certain projects. As it stands right now, we don’t have plans for animals next year. We discovered this year that getting animals and figuring ‘we’ll make it work’ later isn’t a sustainable plan. Pens, pasture and fencing all need to go in before we try adding animals again. We do have to roll with the punches out here, but that doesn’t mean we can just toss the rule book!
We’ll also be dedicating a lot more time to building infrastructure out here. Having tools is great, except when you don’t have anywhere to store them. And working on vehicles is not fun if you don’t have a place to do it. There are a lot of little projects, like wood carving, that our current cabin is just to small for. The mess from carving a spoon doesn’t seem that big until it takes up your entire house!
One of the biggest things we learned this year is that winter comes fast.
Compared to Washington seasons, there is almost no time to get the big projects done here. And some things are multi season projects. There is a lot of finagling when building has to be done in the summer, but materials can only get here in winter. Putting less on our plates to start with will relieve some of the stress we’d felt this year. It also means that any extra projects we get done are just a happy surprise! We completed 9 of our goals this year, even if some didn’t work out the way we’d hoped. I think 8 is a good number of starter goals for 2018.