Life on a little urban homestead in the making, with ideas for self-sufficiency, DIYing, organic gardening, food preservation, chicken keeping, cookery, crafts, thrifting, vintage stuff,
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Jan 2, 2013

Little Homestead Year In Review

Little Homestead Year In Review-
With 2012 now behind us, I wanted to look at what we accomplished this last year towards being more self-sufficient. While I've felt in the past these goals were more personal for me, Dave has really come on board. He's always been a DIYer and gardener, so it wasn't a big stretch for him. I mostly had to learn to re-think things more thoroughly. So here's my list, mostly the BIG things, with a lot I'm sure I've forgotten-

I got a lot more serious about canning, & food preservation. I started a "working pantry" out of a spare bedroom closet-

We also bought a small chest freezer, and I transformed an old dresser into a canning cabinet, which was pretty full by summer's end-

I bought, and grew, a lot more fresh produce to preserve, bought less store-canned and frozen

                     also got some freebies from the neighbors!

Did a LOT more thrifting, finding lots of clothes for work, things for the house/garden, and made more things myself-

I helped Dave build this from an old screen I bought and cedar boards

Started using more space in the yard for food production- planted a new pear tree and started a raised bed where a stump used to be. It was very productive! Sadly got 0 fruit from the apple and nectarine trees, due to the ba*****s from the city spraying herbicide near our easement. Luckily I saved our trees :)  
I edited the veggie garden and planted only varieties that would thrive really well-

Added 3 new girls to the family- my New Hampshires: Molly and Little Blackie. 
We harvested even more eggs once my new girls got into production this fall

and Anya, our little feline sweetheart

We took a few short road trips that I really enjoyed, and went camping-
Ponderosa Lake, McCall, Idaho

St. Gertrude Monastery, northern Idaho

Got a lot more organized in general- recipes and cookbooks "before"


Started the Independence Days Challenge which really helped me organize my thoughts, goals and document what I actually did more-

1. Plant Something-

2. Harvest Something-

3. Preserve/Store Something  

4. Manage Reserves- Get A Good Deal/Barter/Stock Up/Prep- 

5. Eat the Food- Try New Foods/Recipes- 

6. Build Community Food Systems-

7. Recycle/Re-Use-

8. Skill Up-

9. Regenerate What is Lost/Salvage Something- 

                                        Started my First Annual Dark Days Challenge!

Survived the worst fire season in the 15+ years we've lived here, horrible smoke for most of the summer

Got rid of more "stuff"- sold a TV, cabinet, misc. stuff around the house on Craigslist and eBay, and donated the rest. We have so much more room in the garage, and house, for needed things. Also made some cash! The space looks more open and there's less stuff to maintain as well. I hate the cluttered, over-decorated look.

Here's some hopes for this year-
We ripped out an icky, old viney shrub in the front yard to replace with something that looks nicer and has some flowers. 

We may re-landscape some of the front yard to increase flower bed sizes and possibly add more food production there too. Except for the fruit trees, and a few berries, the front yard is mostly perennials and flowers. 

Keep the chickens happy and healthy. One is limping right now with no cause I can see, oh well. My chicken doctoring skills are much better now. 

Keep me healthier.

Keep fixing up the house. We need to demo the old bathtub in our main bathroom, it's past it's usefulness.

Add a small wood stove to the living room, since we always have some free wood and can find more :)
                                  Morso 2B Forest Stove

                                               Jotul Black Bear

I keep hoping to move out of the city at some point. Time will tell with that...

Well, that's about it!

And Remember-

 No one else will!


Carolyn said...

Here's to a wonderful & productive 2013! And I love your canning cabinet, all those home-canned food look very pretty in themselves!

nancy said...


Karen Mary Butterfly said...

YOu've had a great and productive year. You are very inspiring! I only have a small raised bed for tomatoes, but it's a start! I grew up in the country and would love to give my kids the same experience! For now it's the suburbs for us. My mom and grandma always canned everything and my dad had a huge vegetable garden!! I need to learn how to can!! Happy new year!

nancy said...

We all start somewhere!

Ray said...

I was born and raised in the Boise area (Eagle, Meridian) and still have 2 sisters in Meridian. Your blog brings me a little bit of home!

nancy said...

Thanks Ray and welcome!!!

Candy C. said...

You guys really accomplished a lot last year! Here's to a great new year and the completion of more of your goals! :)

nancy said...

Thanks! I hope to wear Dave down on the wood stove. He's stuck in the 70's with those and not a fan...

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

I tried to reply to your comments with e-mail but you are a no reply commenter so I could not respond. Not sure if you knew that. Anyway thanks for the book suggestion. I am hoping to see if our library has it but doubt it. As for the hotel we stay for free as hubby earns points traveling for work. The Co. pays but he gets to keep the points which we love. Makes for a nice treat to stay without paying. I am making more of our own breads and they are just so much better tasting and filling as well. I need to make a designated baking day. The kids love it. Check the Marmee's pantry blog on my side bar as she has great recipes for all homemade things. I have you on the blog roll now too. Thanks for the great comments.

nancy said...

Thanks, I checked out the no-reply thing, can't figure out why it doesn't work ...

nancy said...

I added a link for the book, was having blogger issues!

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