Our Homesteading Goals For 2013

I like using the term goals better than resolutions.  “Resolutions” sound nice but have no meaning or structure. The word seems to have been reduced to mean “things you wanna do better, but probably wont.”

In my opinion, resolutions will not take me from point A to point B, and that’s the way I view things in life.  If I want to get somewhere I make a decision and I move in that direction.  Sure, sometimes you get off path, but you reset, gain your bearing, and start again.  Just like our debt-free goals, it may take awhile to get there, but we’re still moving in the right direction.  A —->B

So, enough with the rambling- here are our homesteading goals for 2013:

1. 6-8 Chickens with a Chicken Tractor

chicks

We’ve wanted chickens for a long time, probably 2-3 years now.  We want chickens for their eggs and their meat.  The plan is not to harvest the meat until a hen stops laying, or if we have an extra rooster.  We eat a lot of eggs, probably a half dozen a day or more and we’re tired of spending $3-4 a dozen for good eggs. We may add a few more in a fixed pen so we can turn the chickens into little composting machines.  We hope to have this goal complete by March.

 2. Build a Compost Bin

compost

After a brief stretch of gardening this past year, I have come to realize that composting is necessary for a self-sustaining garden.  We want to get to a point where we’re not dependent on any outside products  (fertilizer, organic pesticides, etc) to keep our gardens going year after year.  In fact, we just built this.  One goal complete for 2013…yippee. By the way, I hope you didn’t think I was smart enough to figure all this composting stuff out on my own- I got the bin idea from SamPrep here, and I ‘ve been reading up on composting from this book.

3. Save $15,000 by 12/31/13

piggy

As part of our ongoing financial plan, we want to save $15k this year. $10k of it will be our emergency fund which will complete the first part of Baby Step 3 of Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover Plan (more info on that here).  But there are a few catches to this…

  • First Catch –  We live on one income, and I do not make 6 figures.  Far from it actually.  So, saving that much money and still paying the bills, plus recreational activities, and new homesteading activities will be tough.
  • Second Catch – We only budgeted to save $450 every paycheck,  and if you do the math that comes out to $11,700 at the end of the year, not $15k.  Somehow we have to come up with the other $3,300.

This $15k will go towards a piece of property that we plan on paying cash for to homestead on.

4.  Rabbits and a Rabbit Tractor

(I refrained from adding a picture of a rabbit because all the ones I found were too…cute)

It’s not rocket science as to why we want these furry little guys- we want to piss-off as many animal lovers as possible…lol….JUST KIDDING.  I’m actually gonna have a hard time killing them.  I thought about buying a couple of rabbits locally and dressing them myself, but after I do, I may never want to do it again.  If I can build the whole set-up (tractor, breeding pin, nesting box ect)  and commit myself a little deeper, maybe I can desensitize myself to the slaughtering part. As horrible as it sounds, this is the cycle of life, and I will be completely grateful to these creatures for supplying my family with wholesome food.

5. Build 2 – 3′ x 12′ Raised Garden Beds

beds

Building raised garden beds is not that hard, BUT filling them all of your own compost and growing a large amount of kick ass produce is. At least for us because we’re newbies. We’ve tried adding amendments and growing in our sandy, lifeless Florida soil and it wasn’t too pleasant. We don’t want to go there again.

So there you have it, 5 goals for 2013 that I think will be tough, but definitely obtainable.

Please let us know in the comments below what kind of homesteading goals you have for the year. If they’re good, we might steal ’em. 🙂

Thank you for visiting The Wannabe Homesteader. Let’s connect on YouTube and Facebook!

This post was featured at the Homestead Barn Hop!

Photo Credits: LadyDragonFlyCC,  Images of Money, Linda N

14 Comments

  1. I’m several steps ahead of you, Brother.
    We have the chickens, they do my composting, all on our (in town) homestead…complete with rabbits…and raised beds!

    So, now that I’m done bragging, I want to extend everything I have to help you achieve it too….(Except the $3,300, sorry :P)

    Give me a shout, I can help you on a few shortcuts I learned…the hard way 🙁

    Brother Darrell
    db recently posted..Learning to Garden – BasilMy Profile

    1. I don’t believe you….until I see the process of everything on video…:-p

      I always had in mind that my chickens will always be in a movable tractor, but now I will be pinning some up so they can compost for me. I’ll just rotate them through tractor so they get more greens.

      1. You might think about having the rabbits set up over the penned in chicken area, they can then help convert the rabbit manure into an even better soil amendment for your raised beds.

        Speaking of raised beds, see if you can find someone that raises horses, and offer to take some of their old, dry horse manure off their hands. I use a 50/50 mix of old horse manure and peat moss as my initial soil for my beds, then rotate my compostable scraps though them each. If you can arrange to turn each bed into a penned in area, when its time to redo each bed, let the chickens loose on them, your chickens can do all your work for you….and make tastier eggs in the process!

        Just a thought…
        db recently posted..Mammoth BasilMy Profile

  2. I love all the ideas except the rabbits. I couldn’t do it. It would even be tough to axe the chickens (if I ever needed to). I guess I need more “desensitizing.”

    1. I’ve been raising rabbits for several years now, as well as growing up on a farm. Killing an animal is NOT easy. But I think that if we want to eat meat, we should be strong enough to look it in the eye and do the deed our self, it makes us understand the circle of life, and how we fit into it.

      Plus if you raise your own meat, you KNOW what went into it, no question as to the quality.

      I dread harvest day. I have to shut a part of me off when I’m doing it. But once I’m past the killing pat, and I’m turning a dead animal into food, I’m better, knowing I’m providing wholesome food to my family. My animals have a good life, and if I do it right, only have one bad day. I can’t guarantee either of those when I buy it from a store that never saw the animal or how it was raised.

      http://floridahillbilly.com/one-bad-day/

      Peace
      db recently posted..Hickory Bark SyrupMy Profile

    2. Yeah the rabbit harvesting will be the hard part….hopefully I will be able to get use to it.

      That said, if it comes to a situation where you and your family are hungry, they will be easy to kill…:-)

  3. I had rabbits in my medium-term plans, and then one of my neighbours offered me his meat rabbits for free (he was switching over to breeding pet mini-lops as a project with his granddaughter). So I achieved that goal last year!

    Rabbits really are very easy to look after, and don’t take much effort. I had trouble with a really hot day (hit 110 F!), and lost a doe and her newborn kits while I was at work. That was a real setback, but I changed a few things about how the cages are set up to hopefully stop that ever happening again. Other than that on incident, though, no real problems to speak of.

    The slaughtering is really hard the first time – you just have to steel yourself and get through it. After that, whilst it’s not enjoyable, it’s nowhere near as difficult.

    1. Hey Darren! Good for you on the rabbits! Brian wants me to help him dress the rabbits but I’m not so sure about it. :/

      Do you have any other homesteading goals you hope to accomplish this year? You guys seem pretty far along and great website, by the way. Thanks for stopping by!

      1. I’m not sure on my goals yet for this year. I’d like to consolidate what we’ve already got, and increase the fruit and vegetables we’re growing. The rabbit manure should help a lot with that!

        I’m also toying with the idea of bees. I heard of someone who wants to sell his hives, so maybe that’ll happen soon. I’d like to expand the rabbit cages, too.

        Oh, and Joel Salatin is coming to my town (yeah, here in rural Australia!) next month, so I’m hoping to get to that.
        Darren (Green Change) recently posted..Rubbery EggMy Profile

        1. Bees sound like a great idea! We’d love to get into them but a little bit later on. You’re gonna see Joel Salatin!! No way! So jealous right now! I’d love to travel up to Virginia and tour his farm. I can’t believe he is coming all the way to Australia. Take pics!

          1. Joel actually came to my town about 18 months ago, and I got to see him then as well. So that’s two Joel visits without even leaving my district! I can’t believe how fortunate I am. I’d be super jealous if you ever get to visit his farm, though – that’s something I doubt I’ll ever be able to do.

            Here’s my blog post (with a pic!) from last time he came: http://green-change.com/2011/08/02/meeting-joel-salatin-in-jamberoo/
            Darren (Green Change) recently posted..Fox Caught On Game CameraMy Profile

  4. First off I want to say how jealous I am to hear that someone gets to meet Joel Salatin, I read his books alot and watch his videos on Youtube.

    Anyway, Rabbits are by far one of the cornerstones to my backyard homestead. They provide immediately available fertilizer(no need to compost), meat for my family, and I generally sell enough to pay for feed ($15/piece).

    My aquaponics also helps substantially. I grow several lettuces for my family and to feed the rabbits. Not to mention the squash and Zucchini that thing produces.

    My chicken tractor is good, keeps fresh eggs for my family and some for others as well.

    I hope yall(yea im from SE Georgia lol) meet and exceed yalls goals. Good Luck!!

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