The New Year is always an interesting time. You have people who LOVED the past year, and you also have people just itching for it to be over with. Chris and I are kind of just in the middle, we don’t tend to think of time as being confined by years, and mostly take things day by day. However, I do find it useful that years can allow you to set concrete goals, and help you benchmark whether or not you met your goals. On our little farm we have a lot of goals! Some of these are immediate, some are long term, but the list is essentially never ending.
Recently, our young YouTube channel was tagged in a collaboration, a challenge to reflect on 2018 and whether or not we met our goals. Chris and I sat down and recorded a video about this, which you can watch below. I also wanted to share this in blog format, since I know many prefer that method.
Goals we Accomplished in 2018
The garden was a huge goal, and one that I actually didn’t even have until March of 2018, just before I started my first seeds ever. We started with a 30′ by 50′ garden, and Chris thought I was crazy to start so big. Honestly, I thought it was too small. The awesome thing is that we ate so many meals right out of the garden, and were even able to preserve a lot of food to feed us through the fall and winter. We are still cooking up winter squash from the garden, we have tons of tomatoes and green beans in the freezer, and we have so many different sauces and pickled veggies stored in the basement. There were many successes in 2018, but also some disappointments in the garden. You can read more about it in my post, Our First Garden on the Farm | Successes, Failures, and Lessons Learned
We made some big strides in sustainability in 2018, and are excited about continuing to do so in 2019. In addition to growing more of our own food, we added in composting. We no longer throw away any of our kitchen scraps, but put them all in the counter compost bin, and take them outside to turn into amazing fertilizer for the garden. We’ve also been composting other farm waste from the horses, goats, chickens, and bunnies. At the very end of 2018, literally last week, we signed a contract to add solar panels to our barn roof, when we replace it in the early spring. This is a HUGE step for us, and we are so excited to document this process for all of you.
We took our outdated, and sad looking small kitchen and turned it into a fresh, modern farmhouse kitchen! You can read more about the changes we made in our recent blog post, Modern Farmhouse Kitchen Reveal. This was a project early in the year, we started it in January of 2018 and wrapped it up in early March of 2018.
Starting our YouTube Channel and Consistency with other Social Media
This year, we launched our YouTube Channel, reached 1,000 followers on Instagram (we literally hit 1,000 on December 31st), and brought the blog back to life, with consistent posts and active participation. Traction was slow and steady, but I am so happy with all of the connections and friendships I’ve developed. I even met two of my instafriends in person and they became actual, real life friends!
Building the Goat Shelter
Finally, we were able to build a brand new shelter for the goats! We have loved having a lean-to style shelter for the horses. It allows them to be in full turnout while still having access to shelter from the weather. We wanted the same for our goats, so Chris built a lean-to off of the barn (right photo below). This has made it so much easier to keep hay dry, and ensure the goats have plenty of space to seek shelter during bad weather.
A few we did NOT Accomplish in 2018
Improving Drainage for the Horses
We live in a wet climate, which means lots of beautiful trees and lush forests, but it also means a lot of sitting water and mud, especially in the fall and winter as temperatures drop. We have plans to improve the drainage, especially around the horse pastures, but this will be a time and cost intensive project, so it may not be something we get to until 2020 or later.
Planting Fruit Trees and Berry Bushes
This wasn’t really a goal going into the year, but I really wish it would have been, because I’m bummed we will have to wait another whole year for some fruit harvests! Fruit trees and berries take a while to establish, and they truly test your patience. This will be a priority in 2019!
Other Home Renovation Projects
We also had plans to work on our master bedroom, redo our downstairs bathroom, and renovate the laundry room, but those minor projects have been pushed back until we have the time and money to work on them. We will prioritize at least one or two of them in 2019.
Extending the Collaboration to Bloggers!
While this challenge originated on YouTube, I want to bring it into the blogging world and hear about all you accomplished in 2018. I am going to challenge three of my favorite blogs:
- My favorite fellow female homesteading blog. Candace with The Homesteader’s Wife
- One of my very favorite gardeners to follow, Meg Cowden, with Seed to Fork
- One of my very favorite equestrian blogs, and an all around awesome human! Taylor with The East Coast Equestrian
- My other favorite equestrian blog, suburban gardener, and now AUTHOR! Susan with Saddle Seeks Horse
That’s all for now friends.
All my best,