We’re dreamers, my husband and I. We’ve dreamed of getting away from it all since we got married. It took us years to realize those dreams, what they meant, what we needed to do. We finally realized them a couple of years ago. Last year, we thought we were working toward really attaining those dreams. We packed up, moved across the country, and had plans! So many plans! To wind up having to go right back to where we started from.
Our house didn’t sell. We were in an apartment, our neighbor was… well, not a very nice person. We gave in, and came back. In a way, I’m glad. We have time to become completely debt free, aside from our mortgage, which we will have time to pay down and be able to sell for less if we need. It gives us time to learn even more. It affords us time to find the land we want, purchase it, and pay it off before we step foot back into Montana. We won’t have to rent! We won’t have to worry about selling our current house for enough to pay it off, and we won’t have any bills!
So, what are we doing until then? We only have 1/3rd acre lot. Well, this year, we are making goals! Despite the fact that we don’t have very much land to work with. Despite the fact that we can’t legally have chickens because of a dumb town ordinance. We have a lot more space than we would have had in that tiny apartment in Montana!! We are going to plan, and learn, and figure out what we really want and need out of a property in order to homestead it.
We’re making goals and plans this year! They will get us one step closer to attaining our ultimate goal: off-grid homesteading in Montana.
Homesteading Goals 2016
- Plan our garden better. In the past, we’ve tried to fit way too many things into our small 15X12 raised bed. This year, we plan to only plant what we can fit in it.
- Take up container gardening. Since we can’t fit everything into that 180 square foot raised bed, and that’s the only place on our property we can have a “proper” garden (right in the front yard!) we will learn to utilize container gardening so we can grow more and be able to move it around. Our yard is heavily shaded so, containers are a must in order to grow as much as possible.
- Buy what we can’t grow ourselves locally. The healthy food, sustainable farming movement hasn’t really hit our area yet. However, I’m determined to source what we can’t grow ourselves from local, organic, ethical farmers.
- Source all of our own meat. In Montana, there were ethical farmers, using sustainable farming practices all over the place. Here? There are a few, not a lot, but a few. We will find them and source our meat from them.
- Hunt. All of us. If you follow us on Instagram, you have seen that we are working with our daughter. While she won’t be ready to actually hunt this fall, she will be ready to go out and experience and learn! We had a horrible season this year, so we are going to go out full force this coming fall!
- Process our own deer. We usually have it done by a local butcher. This year, I’d like to take on doing it ourselves. It’s a skill everyone should learn. You aren’t always going to have someone else around to do it for you. Doing it yourself allows you to know exactly what’s going on with your meat.
- Learn to render our own tallow and lard. Right now, we purchase all of our tallow and lard. While I buy it from a company I trust, that has ethical, sustainable, farming practices and pastured meat. I want to learn to do it myself. Since we usually have our deer processed, we don’t get the fat. Think of all the fat we’ve wasted! We need to learn how to do it ourselves, it’s yet another skill everyone should have.
- Make our own of anything and everything we possibly can. If we can make it, we’re going to. No more buying soap, cleaning supplies, bread, broth, canned vegetables. All of it can be made right here in our very own home, and we will be better for it.
- Look into beekeeping. I’m not sure what kind of ordinances surround beekeeping in our area. If there isn’t one, you best believe we will start a small hive!
- Learn how to mend and sew. I know a little bit of sewing, but I want to learn more! I’d love to be able to start making our own clothes, for now I just want to learn more about sewing.
- Start feeding our dogs homemade food. We feed them healthy, well-sourced food. I don’t question what is in it, ever. However, I’d much rather feed them what we’re eating. They’re here for a short time, they serve us well, they deserve a good diet. What better way to do that than feed them the same things we’re eating?
- Pay off debt. We want to pay everything off so that next year our goal can be finding that piece of property we’re looking for. This year, we will pay off debt and study what kind of property we’re really in the market for.
- Build a compost bin. Everyone should have one. We don’t, but it’s in the works to start one this year!!
That’s it for us this year. How about you? What are your goals this year??
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