I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Solstice, New Year Holiday Season! Let’s just jump right in and this show on the road. These are our goals for the Homestead for 2017.
- Organic Garden!!! Last year’s garden was attacked by my heifers. This year it will be in a new location with better fencing. We have a lot to do in getting the soil ready in this spot, but I think it will work quite nicely!
- Preserve All The Things!!! I want to have a pressure canner this year and use it. Also plenty of freezing and canning. I really want to make the most out of this garden we are going to do. Especially with our little one needing fresh and organic veggies too.
- Heifers!!! Get heifers bred and confirmed this summer. We have a couple of different options on that which I will post more about later. Basically, we can go with a local Jersey bull or we can do A.I. with a A2/A2 Homozygous polled Jersey bull.
- Pastured Organic Meat Chickens!!! Last year was the year of the Great Meat Chicken Debacle. This year we will be processing our own. We will probably still go with CornishXRocks due to their better conversion rate. However, I am very interested in the Rangers. So we will see. The most important part is the pastured and organic part of the equation.
- New Pasture/Organic Laying Flock!!! We are down to 5 hens as of yesterday morning. After selling our Australorps(They were very grumpy and unpleasant) we went through some predator issues again. Dealt with those predators and it looks like we have another small nocturnal predator that found it’s way in. I have a trap out and will be dealing with that stat! Then we will be looking at getting a new flock and possibly a rooster, as some of our current hens got broody last summer. They may see fit to hatch a clutch of chicks this year. So we are discussing which breeds to get and what rooster. I’m thinking a mix of Golden Buffs, other brown egg layers, and Easter Eggers for the hens and probably a Marans Rooster.
- Pigs!!! My husband and I are both very interested in doing a pastured pig or two for this year. So we will most likely be looking to get something this summer for winter harvest. I don’t know if we will be doing the harvest ourselves or sending it off. The weather here is so hot most of the time the logistics of keeping it clean, cold, and bug-free are major hurdles.
- Grass-fed Beef? We currently have a bull to possibly be used for grass-fed beef if he doesn’t sell. We have a while to decide on this. So for now, he’s just healthy and, gaining weight until we decide.
- Beef Herd? We have been talking more and more about starting our beef herd now, instead of waiting. So we may go ahead with a Hereford heifer or two to get that process going. Ideally, I would get them as 2 year-olds and have them A.I.d with our other heifers. To a homozygous polled Hereford bull as well.
- Meat Sheep? I may have a connection to get some excellent quality Katahdin ewes if I am willing bottle raise them and do some other horse related work. We already have an excellent field for them it would just need a little fence work. Wonder if they could share that pasture with a couple piggles?
- Honey Bees? I really want some honey bees. Ya know, cause honey! Of course, the garden will benefit from them as well. That may be too much to hope for this year, we will try anyhow, though.
2016 was a great year with many triumphs and failures. The best of which was the birth of our wonderful son. That did change things a little and blogging fell far to the wayside. I will definitely be doing more blogging this year.
So everyone get ready! What are your goals for 2017?!