Finally we have our goals down and edited. Of course the first time we wrote them out we realized that we were a little too ambitious. Not saying we couldn’t succeed. With enough time, energy, and money(oh yeah plenty of that stuff) we can force a square peg through a triangle hole. However, we decided that maybe a less ambitious and more realistic approach would be just the ticket. Some of these goals have “Sub-goals”. I just didn’t really feel that each thing would merit it’s own heading(by the end of this year I may have changed my mind ha-ha). So here is our reasonable list of goals for the upcoming year.
Massive Organic Garden
- Food Preservation- We want to preserve a year’s worth of veggies. I want to freeze or can everything we don’t put to use fresh. So that means we need to hedge our bets a little with an overzealous garden. Harvest to Harvest people!
- Compost-With this size gardening endeavor we will need tons(literally) of compost. Fortunately, we have 6 calves, 17 Chickens, a monster bunny, and 2 horses(that produce approximately 50 pounds of manure each per day). Plus all of the bedding required to house these animals. I think that will be a good place to start. Time to Compost!
- Braid onions/garlic- I know… Not really the gardening crescendo we were looking for either. But… I want to. I think it’s pretty. It’s obviously a tried and true storage method… Did I mention I think that braided bunches of golden husky onions and creamy white garlic are really pretty?
- Ideally we will sell one to help offset butchering costs. We will be timing our purchase of the pigs so that we can capitalize on the garden the most. They will also help with garden and food preservation waste.
- We want to harvest and process them ourselves. We may end up doing just that. The only problem is the weather and the hanging of the meat. For example: 79*F is our high tomorrow and 58*F is the low. Not exactly slaughter weather… When purchasing the pigs there is a window of time that they will weigh 220-240lbs. That’s the sweet spot. It’s not consistently cold here and it wouldn’t be something we could plan for. I don’t know about you but we can’t just up and harvest pigs willy nilly cause the weather will be decent for 10 hours. That and we have no where to hang the meat before butchering. We will see when the time is closer.
Raise Fifty Pastured Meat Chickens
- These should also help with a hopefully abundant garden. Sort of the same story with harvesting here as the pigs. We will have to see when it’s closer to time. With the chickens being obviously much smaller than the pigs we may be able to manage with a lot of ice and an extra fridge. We will also probably be raising these in two batches of 25.
- Really this initially fell into the category of “Eventually”. Unfortunately one of our Angus bull calves bungled his leg about 5 weeks ago. It still looks bad and he has a slight off gait. Meaning he won’t sell for number one beef if he doesn’t heal completely. That would be a loss because he’s still a nice calf and is growing and gaining weight. So I guess unless he regains number one beef status he will be our pastured freezer beef.
- Heifers are my favorite. We have been collecting Jersey and Jersey cross heifers. The Jersey cross heifers will eventually be nurse moms to bottle calves we buy plus they will have a calf of their own. The Jerseys will also possibly be nurse moms dependent on A1/A2 Status or they may end up doing something else entirely. There are a lot of decisions with how the heifer situation will play out but all of them start with collecting heifers. I firmly believe that you can mess up a lot of things in life but it’s hard to mess up buying nice heifers.
- Obviously one of them will eventually be our family milk cow. Unless I get a cow before I get these heifers raised to calve(which will be a few years).
Make as Much From Scratch as Possible
- Bread, pizza dough, tortillas, biscuits, bone broth, laundry/dish detergent, household cleaners etc.
- I won’t be getting carried away and if I buy tortillas at the store a few times I won’t be crying. The only thing I won’t buy at the store will be the bone broth(I have it in abundance).
Eventual/Bonus Goals(If we manage any of these this year it’s just a bonus)
- Breed and Raise Katahdin meat sheep.
- Homestead Honey Bees!!!
- Breed & Raise Heritage Pigs.