Kyle and I have done a lot of work on our property since we came out here in June of 2016. Taking raw land, clearing some of it, by hand no less, and building a cabin. We also got chickens (and lost chickens), built water filters, preserved wild foods, and learned how to can salmon. We recently spent some time deciding what our goals for 2017 would be and came up with the following list:
Getting Kyle a crew fishing license so he can salmon fish with our friends Installing a water system
- Spending more time hunting/fishing
- Preserving more foods (and shopping less)
- Getting equipment out here and clearing more land
- Finding our property markers (or having our land surveyed)
- Fencing animal pastures
Getting 2 goats for milking Building a bigger chicken coop and getting more birds
- Planting a large garden
- Planting pasture
- Building a garage
- Building a root cellar/pantry for food storage
Expanding our solar set up(we have this one) Building a shower/sauna Purchasing a sawmill Purchasing a second 4 wheeler
After much discussion and back and forth, we settled on our top 5 must haves for this year. Our number one goal is definitely clearing some of our land. I want to leave some space just forest, but clearing land will allow our solar to work better in winter. It would also give us space for our pasture, garden, animals and building areas. It would also allow us a little piece of mind that there aren’t predators sneaking up on us, as well as giving us a fire break around our house. Our number two is to build some kind of water set up. This will allow us to have a garden and get more animals. We are only able to get 20 gallons of water at a time from the creek right now, so we need more easily accessible water on hand if we want to have a garden, and add chickens and goats to our homestead. At a minimum we want to get a rainwater catchment system set up, but if possible we’d like to put in a well. We’ll just have to see what time, funds and research will allow us to get set up this year!
Our third goal is to get Kyle a crew license so he can help our friends out with salmon fishing. Last year they gave us salmon, which we canned, that has lasted us all winter. This year Kyle wants to learn how to fish and be able to help our friends out as well. Our fourth goal for this year is to put in a garden. This will require clearing land, adjusting the soil, and figuring out how not to drown the plants! Being able to grow our own food is a huge must for us out here, and I’m excited to have meals entirely from what we produce. Last years attempts at gardening didn’t work out so well, but I’m hopeful that this year we’ll have better luck. The last must have project for this year is a bigger chicken coop so we can get more meat chickens and layers. I’m also pretty convinced I want to add a couple ducks and have a mixed flock, so I know there are some special considerations for housing ducks and chickens together. I think the end goal will be to have 50 chickens/ducks for meat and eggs.
After these five projects, everything else falls in the “wish list” category. They would be amazing to get done/have, but we can live without them. We might add more goals for 2017 as we experience more life out here, but we are excited to see what challenges this year brings us!