State of the Homestead Address: 2021

This time of year is often a time of reflection on the past and planning for the future. Since we moved to the homestead a lot has transpired. We have learned a lot, accomplished a few things, and started laying the groundwork for our homesteading dream. This is a cliff notes version of what we have managed to do in 2020, what our homestead currently consists of, and what we hope to accomplish over the next year.

To start us off, this video is a birds eye view of the homestead in its current state (plus some bonus footage for fun):

Aerial view of the homestead and some surrounding areas. Music: Nordur (2019) by Alexander Nakarada (www.serpentsoundstudios.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons BY Attribution 4.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Accomplishments from 2020

  • Expanded our garden to almost triple its size.
  • Experimented with bed preparation and amending in order to increase future crop yields.
  • Grew enough summer squash, winter squash, radishes, and cucumbers to supply our family for an entire year.
  • Built a chicken coop.
  • Raised over 70 chickens.
  • Built a 3-bin composting system from pallets.
  • Started beekeeping.
  • Started a small orchard.
  • Lined our driveway with Sugar Maples.
  • Cleared enough trees to open up the view of our ravine from the house.
  • Felled, cut, and split enough firewood to heat our home all winter.
  • Built a duck house and inherited ducks.
  • Cleaned up our yard and part of our fenceline.
  • Learned to identify some local fungi and wild edibles.

These represent the largest of our undertakings from the past year. All in all it was a busy year. Even if it’s not much to look at in list form. Still we are pleased with what we have been able to do and grateful to build on what we have done.

Current Homestead makeup

At present our homestead consists of the following:

  • 12 fruit trees
  • 3 nut trees
  • 8 sugar maples
  • Over 2,000 square feet of garden space
  • 41 chickens (38 laying hens and 3 roosters)
  • 7 ducks (6 laying ducks and 1 drake)
  • 3 cats
  • 1 dog
  • The bees died 🙁

Plans for 2021

Our hopes and dreams for the homestead are rather lofty. We have a lot of things we want to do with our land and ultimately want to be able to supply ourselves with food almost entirely from our homestead. However, for the next year, our goals are more humble:

  • Fix up our mother-in-law house for guests.
  • Build a cold storage room and pantry in our basement for food storage.
  • Finish clearing the view of the ravine.
  • Increase our garden output from last year.
  • Add pigs to the homestead.
  • Add goats to the homestead.
  • Get more bees.
  • Cleanup existing trails on the property.
  • Build an outdoor vegetable washing station.
  • Build an herb garden close to the house that is chicken proof.
  • Raise/process 50 meat chickens.
  • Use goats/pigs to clear underbrush for new grass growth.
  • Start construction of an outdoor kitchen.
  • Start edible hedge/food forest.
  • Dig some ponds for our ducks.
  • Make one post to this blog every week!

I am certain there are other things that will come up and have to get done along the way. However, these are the things we are really hoping we can get done this year

We are supper excited for all that this year will bring and hope to be able to share what we learn as we go!

6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I love the drone footage! The opening scene with your rooster was adorable. Lawrence really liked it too. Also, I’m so glad you inherited some duck friends! I want to know more about what a duck house looks like. Also, do the ducks have names?

    1. The ducks moved in just over a week ago now and we haven’t gotten to know them well enough to name them yet. I’ll have to do a tour of our duck house soon so you can see what one looks like.

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