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3 tips to get the most out of your 2020 wild homesteading goals!

 
gardener
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Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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2020 is just about here—so what are your 2020 wild homesteading goals? This week’s blog post – 3 Tips to Set Your 2020 Wild Homesteading Goals – is all about helping you come up with achievable goals to make the most out of the new year.

I have a really bad habit of biting off more than I can chew when it comes to homesteading projects. There is just so much to do and I want to do it all!

But I have learned to pull back a bit and pick big but much more achievable goals. I also have a few other strategies for making my goals work.

Here is an outline of the 3 tips covered in the blog post.

3 Tips for Setting Your 2020 Goals



Overtime I have learned that focusing my goals makes it much more likely that I will actually achieve them. If I’m trying to do a little here, and a little there, and a little over there too it just doesn’t work. What tends to happen is I run out of time and I really don’t make any real progress on moving my wild homestead forward.

So for 2020 despite my burning desire to build a bunch of new ponds and water features I have decided to focus my time and energy on 1 specific goal—grow more food.

For a variety of reasons achieving this goal will move my wild homestead forward more than anything else.

But if I achieve this goal I will have some new problems to work out. So that leads to my 2nd goal and my 2nd tip which is don’t forget about the ripple affects of achieving your goals.

It will be great to grow more food but if I can’t use it then all that food will be a waste. My time would have been better spent on other projects. So this leads to my 2nd goal of increasing our food storage areas by setting up a freezer and improving our pantry.

Of course we will also have to get better at cooking with the food we are growing instead of the food we buy. But I’m less worried about this issue than I am about preserving our food and storing it.

Right now we don’t have the capacity to store a lot of extra food—so solving this problem is something that I need to do if I’m going to achieve my 1st goal.

My last tip is to pick goals that will save you time and energy. There is only so much time in the day and if your days are already filled up then adding a new daily or even weekly task might not be a good idea.

Goals that don’t require more regular work or goals that actually save you time. Sheet-mulching half your lawn for example so you spend less time mowing, or mulching your plants so you don’t need to water as much are both examples.

Putting it All Together



By focusing your goals, thinking about the ripple affects of achieving them, and picking goals that save you time and energy you will be able to really move your wild homestead forward in 2020. Plus, you can hopefully avoid some of the stress that taking on too much can bring!

The blog post dives into these tips a bit more and share more about my own goals for 2020. So please make sure to check it out before you go!

While you are over on the blog most make sure to leave a comment! If you are the first to do so you will get a piece of pie! The pie will get you access to some special features on perimes, discounts at some vendors, and you can use it to purchase some products on the permies digital marketplace.

If you leave a comment on the blog post make sure to leave a post here on permies too so I can easily give you the slice of pie.

I would love to hear what your 2020 goals are! Please leave a comment here (and on the blog post!)—it will be fun to see what you all have planned for 2020.

Thank you all and happy New Year’s (and new decade)!
 
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2020 vision... thats what ive been calling it for years now

hopefully i can reach some of the goals i had set

i would be thrilled if i could finish my little cabin but realistically i may not

it has been slow but steady progress though

all the best with youre endeavours people of permies!
 
pollinator
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Some goals for 2020:

Replant Notre Dame Oaks

Reinforce existing brush dams

Construct 2-3 more rock dams

Focus on improving the soil in my Kitchen Garden

Continue permaculturizing my dad's place in town
 
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My big one is land management: swales and ditches and hugelculture and a rain garden. If I get that done? Figuring out how to figure out the microclimates? Plant more perennial foods.

Realistically, I’ll possibly get part of all of these done and probably get none of them actually finished.
 
pollinator
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I have three goals for 2020:
- start using scythe (friends will probably be teaching a workshop on that; if they do, I must attend!)
- make a solar cooker (I have some leftover roof tiles which I tried to give away a number of times, but somehow they're still here)
- grow some silkworms! And mix the silk with sheep wool which I will have in the spring and spin it and make a poncho or something. Probably won't be enough for a poncho so maybe a little blanket...

Oh and one more, very very important:
- finally bake the cake from my aunt's recipe!! I noted it months ago and still can't get myself to do it... it is a challenging cake, but not *that* challenging.
 
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Daron Williams wrote:

2020 is just about here—so what are your 2020 wild homesteading goals? This week’s blog post – 3 Tips to Set Your 2020 Wild Homesteading Goals – is all about helping you come up with achievable goals to make the most out of the new year.



My one tip to everyone who is homesteading is to focus. To people new to the game, my first tip is - do not get animals until you are ready. Why? Because they need shelter, fencing, daily taking care, doctoring etc. etc. - to me, they are a major step in farming life because they are living beings that can die and when they do, it can be rough on the people. Second tip is - do not plunge into stuff without understanding how much time investment is required and without doing thorough research (books, videos, questions online). Third tip is - if you must have a job in town to support your farming/homesteading habit - understand that you now have TWO jobs - one at work and one at home. It will be stressful until it is not.

My one single goal for 2020: help the land pay for itself as much as it can.
 
pollinator
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I posted the following on your blog Darron:

I have always believed in doing one big project per year, and no more. That too me is manageable, and limits burn-out. To me, the biggest issue homesteaders face is burn-out. And while few think it will happen to them, in the forty years I have lived here, the area is doted with homesteaders who gave up after just a few years. Sheep and goat farming is a mere 3 years for instance. Homesteading in general is 8 years before people tend to quit. It all has to do with burn-out, and if a person cannot see tangible results, they feel like they failed. They have not, but they feel like they have.

So I try and do one big project per year, like fence a field, build a barn, or clear forest into field. Those are big projects. But naturally I get a bunch of smaller ones done too. Over the years I have really transformed my farm, and others have noticed. It has just taken 12 years; 12 big projects to really show that progress. But I am still farming too.

My farm is in transition now, but I still have it, and all the changes I have made are still here, it is just that the barn will no longer house sheep, but it might be storage for wheat, rye, or potatoes? Who knows, but I have not burned-out, and I think that is important.
Staff note (Daron Williams) :

Thank you for the comment! You were the first from permies so pie for you!

 
pollinator
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Travis Johnson wrote:I posted the following on your blog Darron:

I have always believed in doing one big project per year, and no more. That too me is manageable, and limits burn-out.



I've spent the last three years working on infrastructure, removing diseased pine trees and sweetgums, and hauling in tons of wood chips and debris. Also getting my few little chickens established. Now, as I look at all the piles of leaves and wood chips rotting down and developing mycelium, plus all the mushrooms popping up all over the yard that excite me no end, these are my goals for this coming year:

Big infrastructure project: Save for/have a double gate installed in the chainlink fence so I can drive my truck into the back next Fall with soil amendments instead of having to cart it all painstakingly from the front yard.

General food forest establishment: Seed in reseeding and perennial groundcovers and pollinator plants in prepared open areas while all my leaf and wood chip piles rot down for 2021.

Specific "make this work" project: Nurture a tree collard patch with the two Merritt collard cuttings I bought plus the 30 Merritt collard "anything can happen" seeds.


 
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This year I will finish (cut and attach covering) my 4x8  greenhouse so hopefully I will lose fewer starts due to big temperature swings. I intend to use the greenhouse for starting only and remove the cover early summer so the dual layer plastic lasts for a few decades rather than just one or 2.
Add a few more varieties of edibles.
Plant willow starts in several places from cuttings from the neighbors (Thank you Darron).
Build a large wood and brush pile for small birds to increase habitat. I have 10 acres of former, long time pastureland in a valley of (mostly) former pasture.

Happy New Year!
Garden-and-greenhouse.jpg
Garden and greenhouse
Garden and greenhouse, part of field in background
 
pollinator
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The main three goals for this year, are as follows. . . .

1- plant the first phase forest garden.  I have already ordered trees for spring planting, so really I have to not procrastinate more than anything when they arrive.  Until then my forest garden prep is laying down cardboard as I get it, to smother the grass/weeds.

2- continue to heavily mulch and work the raised beds.  I was able to reclaim 17 raised beds and intensively cultivate 1 of them last year. This year I intend to continue smothering the weeds and I want to intensively cultivate 3 beds.

3- eat more yard produce.  I already get 5+ wheel barrels of apples from the yard.  Eating more fresh and canning more apples, eating young dandelion and nettle greens, experimenting with Jerusalem artichokes etc.    I want to eat what I have :)

    I think if I can avoid sitting down when I get home from work, I'll keep the momentum of the day going into homestead work.  Happy new year everyone.
 
gardener
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I find I do better if I have a mixture of large and small goals. If I need some self-encouragement, I choose a small goal and get it off the list! That helps with the delayed gratification that some of my large goals represent.

At the moment, I promised myself that I wouldn't move on to any other big project or start any new big projects until the overgrown cedar hedge is cut down to a manageable size. Planted by former, former owners, they used local cedar trees whose biology is a natural height of over 100 ft! I was pruning it with a gas hedge trimmer on a pole while standing on wheeled scaffolding and started having inner ear problems. With regular pruning stalled, it over grew worse. Eventually I started at the north end and pruned right back to trunks and 5 feet of height for the first 10 trees before stalling. The next year another 10 trees before stalling. Before Christmas I decided no new projects until it's pruned as far as the lilac bush -  set a realistic sub-goal. I fill our 8 ft trailer to overflowing for every 1 1/2 trees pruned, chipping and shredding the load, and moving on. At one point, my son helped move stuff out of the way of pruning south of the lilac, so yesterday, I actually got some preliminary low pruning done there. Yipppeeee!!! There's still some chain-saw work needed on the trees I've pruned, but I draw the line at hubby's gas chain saw as my hands are really too small to get a firm enough grip to feel safe.

Wish me luck that I can get all the way to the Forsythia bush before stalling! My neighbor's very happy with the current progress as his veggie garden will get a lot more sun. However, this project has expanded a little - now I *really* want to try and start seed and cuttings from Salal on my property to interplant with the cedar. I'm told they'll play nice together, towards the south part of the hedge where it's more shaded and a bit wetter. Suggestions are welcome for the north area - very sunny and dry with rocky/clay soil.
 
Daron Williams
gardener
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Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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M. Phelps – Thanks for the comment and good luck with your cabin and 2020 vision!

Tyler – Great goals and I love that you’re planting more oaks! For those that don’t know here is the thread all about planting trees in memory of Notre Dame: https://permies.com/t/110107/Planting-Trees-Memory-Notre-Dame

Jennie – Nice! Building your water systems is a great thing to do! But I’m all for using microclimates and growing perennial foods. Good luck!

Flora – I love my scythe! It’s actually sitting behind me as I type these because I need to do some repair work on the blade after hitting an old metal fence I did not know was there ☹ Thanks for the comment and good luck with your other goals! Cake is awesome! 😉

Oddo – Very good advice and thanks for sharing! I’m in the start of my 4th year on this land and I’m just now thinking about getting chickens (my first animals). I would have loved to have them sooner but it would not have been a good time to do so. I had too many other things to do on the land so the chickens had to wait.

Travis – Thank you! 😊 Yeah, burnout is a big issue for us all. I struggle to not take on too many projects. There is always so much I want to do but I have tried to pull back my work and follow my own advice. Thank you again and thanks for sharing! Good luck!

Diane – It’s great to see all the progress from past work! 😊 I’m also working on doing some seeding to get more herbaceous plants established. I’m just staring to think through what I want in a mix—I actually just made a thread about it: https://permies.com/t/132551/Making-seed-mix-cleared-disturbed

Thanks for sharing and good luck with your projects!

Barbara – Good luck with your greenhouse! I hope that goes well for you—a greenhouse is on my list of future projects but I’m not sure if I will have time for it in 2020. Awesome that you’re going to plant some willows! I just stuck in a few cuttings of my own to expand my patch. Also, I love that you are adding woody debris to make habitat for small birds—really awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Brian – Those are 3 great goals! I have some fruit trees coming too this spring—I always love to hear about people getting food forests established! 😊 Good luck with everything!

Jay – Yeah, I like small goals too. I just finished building a little “find the bug” area for my kids. Basically just fall leaves, rocks, a couple small logs, and some branches. My kids love to look for bugs and this will give them an area to explore right near their sandbox. Only took 15-20 min to make and it made me feel accomplished for the day! 😊

That hedge sounds like a pain… I hope you can get it under control! Good luck! Also, please let us know how the Salal project goes!

For that north area… you could try lupines. I have a gravely, dry area that they’re doing well in. Riverbank lupine is native to the west coast and on my wild homestead it’s doing great. But it does get a bit big and is short lived (2-3 years). But it fixes nitrogen, is beautiful, and can be chopped and dropped. It also self-seeds fairly well.

--------------------------------------

Thanks all for the comments!
 
gardener
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I lost my infrastructure that protected the raspberries from spring and fall weather. so I suspended berry sales. I concentrated on improving the glass greenhouse instead of replacing the high tunnels and improving my chicken tractor cultivation. Started my 80th year. So the goal for 2020 is to use the progress from last year to produce more food that will store easily by getting plants started in the greenhouse on time. Remaining cleanup from Snowmagedon: Cut the black berries out of the fallen grape arbors and get them back up on trellises so I can keep them free of the blackberries. Consolidate the scattered raspberry plants so that I can keep them mulched and weed free.  
There will be a lot of rooted vine tips and runners left over in the process available to anyone willing to come help.
 
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