Sunday, December 7, 2008

It's SO overwhelming!!

I'm finally at a place where I'm not totally overwhelmed with the idea of living an agrarian lifestyle, with the idea of homesteading. I think there are lots of us out there that have this grand vision of their little (or big) plot of land. We have a vision of gardens and greenhouses and animals with barns, and growing feed for our animals, and this and that. That vision where everything is so perfect, where every inch of their property working for us. Ahhhh.... sit a moment and savor just how beautiful it is. And while honestly there will ALWAYS be more to do, more work, things that could be done better, we'll get there. I just keep telling myself that everyday :0 I think I can I think I can. Choo choo.

I know I have often been overwhelmed. I've felt like we'll never get there, like we're working so hard and not getting anywhere. And honestly, sometimes Clay and I really are just spinning our wheels. Spin spin. With so many things to do, it's easy to get sidetracked working a little here and a little there, moving from project to project and never really getting anything done. There are times I remind myself that the little things are part of the grand picture but sadly I admit, that other times... well.... we are suffering from our general lack of organization and planning skills. It's a virtue to suffer right? So while cut trees on the back part of the property we should have been prepping the back part of the garden before the ground freezes. We are SO guilty of this around here. How many of us have decided that we needed to make 600 pumpkin muffins today or played in the garden that "needed" tending when really we needed to do a day of laundry cause no one has clean underwear? Yeah you know that's you. So what do you do when there are 50 things you want to get done around your homestead and each have 10 parts? It seemed like there were 892,113 things that needed done around here. Where to start? What should we be doing now? And what can wait? This weekend we talked about it and set out to try and figure out what would work for us.

So we've been working on this list. We did a quick brainstorm of a lot of the things we want done around our homestead. Incidentally I then moved on and now have one for crafty projects (like how many dishcloths I need done right now, making the boys all pajama pants, finishing Cassie's nightgown), long term inside the house jobs and short term house jobs as well that need doing next week. Then we did basic prioritizing. Some were easier than others to figure out, others just are in the general area of how important they are. We'll keep adding to this list, tweaking it, moving things around, etc. Some things we don't know enough about right now to even know what we need to do lol. If you see anything we're grossly missing, that needs to be bumped way up the list for any reason, any ideas of how to better do some of the things on the list, feel free to let me know! We're more than happy to admit how little we know about this process. But we're limping along....

Want to see our nifty little, I mean insanely long list?

Homestead Long List
Make new homestead binder
First big garden area
  • Work rest of ground
  • Measure garden area
  • Spread chicken manure
  • Plot and spray marks for holes
  • Rent backhoe and punch holes
  • Run fence
  • Get topsoil delivered
  • Plan out garden
  • Order seeds
  • Test soil
  • Amend soil
  • Build wide rows
  • Lay feed bags for path
Cut down Walnut tree in front
  • Talk to Clay about it again!
Seed starting area
  • Sort 2x4s, pull out right sized ones
  • Tell Clay to get more from throw aways at work
  • Measure out, create plans for 2 tiered seed table
  • At Lowe’s measure the two fluorescent lights
  • Read more to see if need more than fluorescents
  • Gather any and all seed starter materials
  • Get soil, compost, etc (decide what exactly to use) to start seeds in
  • Get spray bottle, or whatever else needed tool wise
Put up clothesline
  • Decide where
  • Buy pulleys (I SO want pulleys lol)
  • dig holes for posts
  • buy posts
  • sink posts
  • run line and hang up clothes. Hooray!
Chicken coop
  • Clean out shed
  • Decide on insulation
  • Insulate walls
  • Cover walls
  • Roosts
  • Make nesting boxes
  • Cut run door
Meat chickens
  • Design/plan chicken tractor
  • Build chicken tractor
  • Order chicks
Fruit trees
  • Cut trees from grove
  • Push stumps with backhoe
  • Measure area
  • Plan tree placement
  • Pick trees
  • Order trees
  • Punch holes with backhoe
  • Figure out if need to protect each tree
  • Figure when to plant
  • Decide whether going to roost with chickens
  • Decide what heritage breeds we’re going to raise
  • Order chicks
Grow animal feed
  • Decide what we’re growing next year
  • Mangels
  • Sunflowers
  • Decide where we’re growing those
  • Prep holes/punch sunflower holes with backhoe
  • Amend sunflower soil
  • Work mangel soil
  • Decide where and how storing mangels for Winter
Great Pyranees
  • Call Pam about puppies
  • Buy wireless fence
  • Read read read
  • Buy the materials we have bookmarked to get started
  • Set it up, get it ready
  • Buy bees yay!
Butchering area
  • Keep eye out for stainless steel sink
  • Get counter of some sort
  • Gather buckets
  • Decide where we are going to put up the area. Same place we’ve been doing butchering this year? Seems like a good place.
Set up new wood area
  • Run t-posts
  • Clear brush to the right of original pile so have enough room
  • Rake out and clean out all bark, etc. that’s there now
  • Move chopping block
  • Decide whether going to just cover with tarp or whether build small open wall roof
Prepare for next year’s canning
  • Gather jars and lids
  • Make a notebook with all the major canning times and lb pressure
  • Did I say gather jars and lids?
Chicken run
  • Decide with Clay where it will be
  • Start clearing brush and trees
  • Get Storey’s guide to dairy goats
  • Try and set a date with Pam to go ask her questions
  • Decide what we’re fencing first
  • Price out fencing
  • Run fence
  • List out what we need to make
  • Build barn
  • Build milking stand or whatever we need
  • Talk to Pam about getting goats in Spring
Plan garden!
  • Just reminding myself that I need to do this SOON
Make soap
  • Keep doing the reading I’ve been doing
  • Find or find out if I have my Soapmaker’s Companion book
  • Decide what basic hard white soap recipe I’m going to use
  • Learn about the numbers, cleansing properties, etc on the soap calculators (how high do I want my laundry bar’s cleansing to be, etc.?)
  • Gather materials
  1. Stainless steel pot
  2. Hand held stick blender thing
  3. Design mold
  4. Have Clay make me mold
  5. Glass or plastic pitcher
  6. Large LARGE glass measuring cup
  7. Gloves
  8. Safety goggles
  9. Lard
  10. Lye
  11. Coconut oil
Front herb garden
  • Measure area
  • Price out fencing
  • Start pulling up the large rocks
  • Start working the ground
  • Cover with a layer of leaves
  • Start bringing wheelbarrow loads of tree dirt
  • Mark pathway with rocks
  • Decide what berries
  • Plan area
  • Convince Clay to clear more trees for my planting J
Side garden/winter squash garden
  • Start working ground
  • Push out stumps with backhoe
  • Bring in loads of manure
  • Bring in loads of leaves
  • Measure out area for planning
  • Fence off area
  • Start researching plans
  • Measure out area with Clay
Stair step garden on hillside/perennial garden
  • Fell all the trees
  • Push out stumps
  • Start digging out area (maybe backhoe job)
  • Build out the beds
  • Fence off
  • Amend or bring in soil
  • Research research research
  • Decide whether we’re fencing off the woods for them to root around
  • Price out fencing
  • Build pig barn
  • Research research research
  • Figure out area
Rain catch system
  • Research and plan what we’re doing
  • Run gutters
  • Gather barrels
  • Plan/figure out how to keep mosquitos out (goldfish?)
Meat rabbits
  • Research meat rabbits
Aquaponics for fish
  • Research
  • Plan space for the system
Make deodorant
  • Save roll up stick container
  • Go bookmark Candy’s bar deodorant recipe

I'm going to print this off. It's a few pages, but as we go along, the plan is to cross things off the list, have it be out so we can read through it on occasion when seeing what to do, keep things in the forefront of our minds so if we see items on our list at garage sales, etc. we can pick em up.

Okay, off to finish up the last thing on my daily list - ironing Clay's shirt for tomorrow - and off to bed.


Humble wife said...

Yes I could have written the title one year ago for sure! I think steady pace has become my mantra and that I can only do so much.

For chickens we have decided that Dominiques are a wonderful heavy birds, and they began laying in 6.5 months. (but what works for one is not law for another)Isn't that the best thing:)

For canning jars and steel sink- my favorite-freecycle or craigslist...both have been wonderful. Freecycle helped me declutter in addition to providing this and that and even a great rooster!

Jeff said...

That is almost exactly like our list...

homekeeper4him said...

Did you copy my list??? lol. It looks the same as mine.