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I shared with you about our 2018 homestead goals that we need to reach and accomplish. We also have a whole list of things we want to accomplish. If they happen this year, great! If not, that’s ok, they’re still on the “one day” homestead agenda.
2018 Homestead Goal Wishlist
An A2/A2 Jersey milk cow- Derek and I found out that we are A1 milk casein intolerant last year. That’s why we decided to get goats, they are all A2 casein. You can get A2/A2 cows but they are harder to come by and tend to cost more.
While we do love our goats, we really need more milk to make all of our dairy products. Seeing as how we are a family of 10, we can flat eat a lot of food and drink a lot of milk. Having a cow that produces well will be essential to our overall homesteading life.
Also, I have a deep love for Jersey cows and I just NEED one (at least) in my life. 😉
America Tarentaise Cattle herd for beef- Before we moved away from Virginia, we had actually bought 3 American Tarentaise heifers to start our own grass fed beef herd. They were the prettiest cows! The breed is well built, beautiful, and a heritage breed. We don’t know that we will be able to do it this year but eventually, we want to have an entire Tarentaise herd for grass fed beef.
Planting and orchard- This is another long term goal. It is actually something that I think should be done early on in homesteading because it takes several years to get a good harvest. We would love to grow most of our own fruits.
We did plant 3 trees last year, a Naval Orange, a Meyer Orange, and a Honey Bell Clementine tree. The Naval Orange died from a frost, we covered the trees but it just didn’t make it anyways. I was sad because it was my favorite of the 3. The other 2 looked great and were thriving until the goats got out and completely stripped them of leaves.
Neither one was going to set fruit this year, we are just hoping that they will come back from this…… we will just call it a very thorough pruning. P.S. Goats are very naughty!
Soap Making- This is one of those things that I’ve been talking about for the past 6 years. Maybe this year will be the year I actually learn to make soap.
Cheese Making- I’ve made cheese a few times but I’d really like to learn to make different types of cheese and be more successful at it than in the past.
Bee Keeping- We bought two small hives last year because we had caught a small swarm of bees. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a queen so they all ended up leaving. We are hoping to catch a healthy swarm or possibly purchase bees this year. We will just have to see how it all works out.
When we do get bees, we will be able to harvest Tupelo honey because we live in the area that has Tupelo trees. This is something that only grows in parts of North Florida and South Georgia. It is also a very delicious honey so we are pretty excited about it.
Farrowing our own pigs- We have been raising pastured pigs for several years now. We’ve always bought mixed breed feeders at around 8 weeks old and raised them to butcher weight. We have raised for our family and the last year we lived in Virginia, we raised some to sell.
Our goal is to get a breeding pair (or possibly 2 sows and 1 boar) so that we can breed and raise all of our own pork and some to sell. We are leaning towards American Guinea Hogs because they are a heritage breed and they are good grazers. This is important to us to preserve the breed and since we are a pasture based farming operation, we need a good grazing breed of pigs.
Some of these goals are definitely more attainable than others so we should be able to cross at least 1 or 2 off the list. Homesteading is great because no matter what you do or don’t accomplish, there’s always more to learn and what you do learn is satisfying. Once you have the knowledge and skill, no one can take that away, you have that forever and can utilize it as needed.
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