Thursday, December 29, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust

Wow....December 29th....another year coming to a close.  Hard to believe it has been a whole year since I began this homesteading journey in earnest.  In ways I feel I have accomplished so much...others, not so much.  I am thrilled to be doing my crafts again.  That is something I have truly missed in the last 10 years.  And I find that I am working on more challenging patterns now, instead of being afraid of not doing it right - which is something I have battled all my life.  If I think I will mess it up, I just won't try it...or I will try it "in secret", with no one knowing, so if I do mess up, no one will know :-) 

So, in the past year, this is what I have accomplished:
  • Knitting and crocheting again
  • Making butter - we never buy it at the grocery store anymore!
  • Learned to make bread - I started baking some again yesterday - I really missed the way the house smells when I didn't bake it all summer
  • Produced more vegetables in the garden this year than last - still not enough to put up for the winter, but we are making more progress each year
  • Grew fruit - our blueberry bushes are small, but did put out a decent harvest to have in yogurt for breakfast for about 2 months - I would like to plant a couple more bushes next year
  • Got chickens - fresh eggs are definitely the way to go!  We have had 2 "no egg" days in the past two weeks...not bad considering we only have four girls and we have been getting 1-2 eggs every day even with the shorter days (we are not using supplemental light in the coop; I figure Mother Nature has a reason for the winter slow down)
  • Cooking more from scratch - not buying so much of the prepared foods.  It really does make a difference and doesn't take that much longer to make
What I would like to accomplish next year:
  • Would like to get a couple more pullets - we really love the "home grown" eggs!
  • Learn to make yogurt - I love yogurt, especially blueberry - so if I learn to make my own, and add my home grown blueberries to it, that would be cool!
  • Grow enough in the vegetable garden to be able to try canning
  • Learn to make cheese - not sure how much "extra" time I will have, with the full time job, dogs, cats, chickens, etc.. but it is something I would like to try
  • Possibly raise some meat chickens and learn to process them - the thought of raising home grown chicken appeals to me - but the processing scares me!!
I think we are making good progress on learning to be more self-sufficient.  It is a lot of work, but very gratifying.  Now, I am not a doomsday type of person, but I am uncomfortable with the direction the world seems to be going...on any given day, the news headlines are chock full of murders, bombings, child abductions, etc.  So much so, that I usually try to avoid looking.  I rarely watch the news anymore, it is just so darn depressing.  Anyhow, I believe there will come a time when something will happen, and those who don't know how to provide for themselves, or don't have the grit to just do it, will not make it.  I just hope there is enough time before that happens for me to learn more.

I hope everyone has had a great year and I look forward to learning much more from all of you next year!


Prairie Cat said...

Good luck in your endeavors! Making yogurt is incredibly simple. I blogged about it awhile back:

I am sure you could find better directions on the internet somewhere, but it gives you the gist of it.

BrokenRoadFarm said...

Thanks Prairie Cat! When I am ready to try it, I will definitely follow your post!