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Thread: Homestead goals for 2021

  1. #1
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    Homestead goals for 2021

    I don’t know who else might have homestead goals, but I figure there are a lot of tendencies toward “local” and “self-sufficient” here. You don’t have to have livestock or be moving off grid - maybe you just want to plant a blueberry bush, can some tomatoes, put up a clothesline, or make some decorations from stuff that grows in your yard.

    now that I have some other things under control, I am trying to be more intentional, remember I do not have to do everything at once, and avoid “putting out fires” (by at least not starting them myself.)

    my big goals for this year are:

    KEEP RECORDS - I started this in February. So far, so good.

    Vegetable garden:
    finish planting spring/summer crops tomorrow
    get as much of my food from it as possible, but remember that I don’t have to optimize the harvest - free chicken food is good too.
    plant a few fall veggies
    by December - clean off the fence line, remove sagging/rusted fence section, have everything inside the fence planted or under mulch/sheet compost

    herb garden (this is new):
    Decide what I want to plant in it next year (this year is a few perennials plus “tuck things in randomly”)
    finish rock border

    fruit garden:
    mulch and maintain strawberries and raspberries (both planted this year), elderberry starts (last year) and blueberry bush.
    learn to make more elderberry starts.

    Chickens:
    finish chickshaw before current crop of 43 chicks needs it! (My kids are actually building this - it is half done, chicks are three weeks old.)
    prep winter quarters for new layer flock (will not keep all 43 - chickshaw sleeps 40, but will probably cut back to 36.)

    Goats:
    new pasture fencing for buck pen and new rotational pasture
    sell bucklings
    Breed all 4 Does (my herd was significantly reduced the last two years by old age - one year I had a lot of pretty doelings and I kept them all.)
    buy two goats IF and ONLY IF I find just what I want.

  2. #2
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Amazing goals, CL.

    My goals are very modest. Because of the prevalence of shade from buildings, orientation and trees, I am trying a garden of pots for the 'fruit' veggies - tomatoes, peppers, beans and cukes receiving about ~ 8 hours of sun. The 'leaf and root' veggies are planted in the 3'x16' bed - onions, lettuce, carrots, leeks, kohlrabi receiving ~ 4-6 hours.

    I am trying to harvest and dry my lavender bloom this year to make some sachets; just checked when to do this which is now. This is today's project.

    I moved my rhubarb this year as the shade was impacting it as well.

    I just mulched and added diatomaceous earth to slow down the slugs and snails in the rhubarb and hostas. I had added some crushed egg shells earlier. A kind friend had given me about a gallon bucket of them.

    I need to re-evaluate my one perennial bed. The plants that thrive are in front and tall - lilies, echinacea, liatris, peonies overwhelming the hostas. The hostas may simply be moved out completely as the slugs and snails love them to death, literally.

    I have adopted a friend's idea to take periodic photos of my gardens to see how the year unfolds to review over the winter to see what needs doing in the spring.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  3. #3
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    Last year, I started rehab of the planting along my front wall. When I was working, it was all I could do to keep up with the veg garden, so now I'm dealing with 20+ years of benign neglect. I just let anything that would grow there do so. Last year I spent a week digging out invasive lily of the valley, lungwort and asters and dividing and adding some hosta. Dug and separated out some daffodill, it was a great show this spring. This year I've divided and added more hostas. I have solid green along the stone wall, and green with white edges near the lawn in asymetrical groupings.

    Last year I also put in a flower meadow. I cleared out what felt like mountains of bittersweet and brambles and threw down a bunch of seed, and added some extra perennials from elsewhere in the yard. I used stones from the yard (I grow them ) to make paths through it. To my surprise, it was FABULOUS. For about 3 weeks, I had poppies of every sort blooming, it was like a new painting to walk through every day. Unfortunately most of the poppies did not come back this year, but the sweet william did. Its just gorgeous in all shades of white, pink, red, maroon, bi colors. They don't flow in the wind like poppies, but they are pretty in their own way. Some of the invasives are trying to come back, and I realized I also needed to amend the soil some as the soil is really poor there. After taking out the weeds, there are a lot of "holes" in the planting, this will be a multi year project to have it full of flowers that I like and are easy care, and keep some of the natives out only because I don't care for how they look. They can grow wild elsewhere in the yard.

    I still have mountains of bittersweet which will require a lot of yanking and digging. I have some nettle which is highly useful but has gotten out of control- that needs to be pulled out some. Its in the mint family, so just cutting back isn't enough, the roots creep around.

    In the spring, I pulled out some thugs in one of the perennial beds and got more variety in there. Another victim of benign neglect, if it grew it stayed even if it crowded out everything else.

    Inside, I have painting that needs to be done but that will wait for the fall. I'd also like to get new kitchen cabinets- I never liked them when I moved in 24 years ago and everything else I didn't like about the house has been replaced except them. I hate spending the money, but would really like drawers for pots/pans/bowl instead of one big open space that is always a mess, and I would like the self closing ones because I am OCD and hubby often doesn't close them all the way.

  4. #4
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Herbgeek how I wish my lily-of-the-valley was invasive. After 30 years it spread about 2 ft.². I’ll be digging it up and taking it to Hermann.

    Your poppies sound wonderful. It’s odd that at least some of them didn’t seed themselves for this year.


    For the first time in decades I have an annual poppy blooming, gorgeous, and of course the flowers don’t last but man is it pretty.

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    My goals aren't necessarily outdoor things, except to try to improve my veggie gardening. Inside, I'm still working on my reduction of plastics. I have bar soap for the kitchen and so far the family is adjusting. Will also be making homemade detergent this weekend to replace the bottled laundry soap. Hopefully the family will adjust to that as well. And then all my normal stuff of just trying not to waste things.
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
    Be nice whenever possible. It's always possible. HH Dalai Lama
    In a world where you can be anything - be kind. Unknown

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    Razz, I love the photo idea!

    lavender is on my possibilities list for next year - I know where I want to put it, but I am going to do my goals for 2022 in December.

    our Lily of the valley is semi invasive - it is at the edge of the woods and spreads only a little under the trees. However, it would like to take over the lawn. It’s Dh job to mow it to wherever he wants it to stop.

    herbgeek - I didn’t know how much I would like self closing cabinets! After we redid the kitchen, dd was here and noticed the cabinet closing itself. She looked at her Dh and said “see! This is why I never learned to close cabinets!” And I said “the ones we had when you lived here did not do that.” She immediately said “see, I don’t even pay attention to the cabinets.” As if that got her off the hook for leaving tgem open. Her Dh said “you don’t close the microwave.”

    happystuff, homemade detergent counts. I am too lazy/uninterested to make my own detergent. Last August I bought what was supposed to be a year’s supply of septic/eco friendly plastic free laundry tabs in a box. Is still have 40% of the box. The box will recycle. It’s more expensive, but I can’t imagine putting in less effort - buying/measuring/cleaning up drips or dust/rinsing a container/and final disposal all reduced or eliminated. It’s worth the cost to me!

  7. #7
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    I don't close my microwave unless it is in use. I found over the years that the interior of each microwave rusted due to the moisture buildup left after use despite wiping it down each time. The microwave was fully operational but the rust spread very quickly and looked so gross.

    Also, the bulb needed replacing too often and is a nuisance to do.

    So I leave it slightly ajar, moisture evaporates and I don't replace the bulb. It does drive visitors nuts to see it open. When I explain my rationale, I get nods of understanding.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  8. #8
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    I don't close my microwave unless it is in use. I found over the years that the interior of each microwave rusted due to the moisture buildup left after use despite wiping it down each time. The microwave was fully operational but the rust spread very quickly and looked so gross.

    Also, the bulb needed replacing too often and is a nuisance to do.

    So I leave it slightly ajar, moisture evaporates and I don't replace the bulb. It does drive visitors nuts to see it open. When I explain my rationale, I get nods of understanding.
    Doesn’t a light go on with the door open? I sometimes leave the door to my microwave oven open to let things dry out, but mine has a life that’s fine so I’m using electricity.

  9. #9
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Doesn’t a light go on with the door open? I sometimes leave the door to my microwave oven open to let things dry out, but mine has a life that’s fine so I’m using electricity.
    My microwave light came on when only when in use or door open. Burnt out bulb=no light.
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

  10. #10
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    OK I went to pick some lavender to start drying; it is slow and tedious work taking each stem sliding down its length and then cutting with scissors. I must find out how the lavender farms are doing this.

    Off to sit in the sunshine to slowly cut bouquets for drying...
    As Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”

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