Goal Tending

January is a blissfully slow time for us. It is my time for stacks of seed catalogs, cozy blankets, hot tea, and big dreams.  For The new year I don’t do resolutions.  I do goals.  I usually way overreach my time, energy, budget and skill set.  But on paper anything is possible.  (If you’ve wondered where we’ve been, make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram. We often post quick new there that doesn’t make it on the blog!)

I’m working on the 2017 goals but it’s not a cut and dry event on January 1. I add and ax goals over the course of the year as I realize what is doable, what I still am motivated to do, and what new ideas have cropped up.  And I checked off one of my 2017 goals by accident yesterday.  But first, my year in review.  Here’s my list of farm goals from 2016 (I actually write them down.  They live on the front cover of my farm management binder in the kitchen so I see it every day. I check them off as I go):

In case you can’t read my writing, here they are...

  • Increase layer flock to yield 10 doz eggs/ week
  • Hatch our own chicks
  • Raise 1-2 groups of meat birds
  • Create & sell milk & ale soaps 
  • Sell quarterly seasonal jams
  • Certify a salsa recipe
  • Add 8-10 hives
  • Catch a swarm
  • Keep hives alive until winter
  • Make a split
  • Achieve Journeyman level beekeeper certification
  • Own beef cattle
  • Establish figs, blackberries, blueberries, grapes, apples, pears 
  • Rehab egg house & derelict farmhouse

I’m pretty amazed when I see how much we accomplished this year.  New readers might enjoy knowing this was our first year on the farm.  86 acres unused for 20+ years = a big ship to turn.  There were so many other accomplishments that happened that I never even wrote down:

  • Added flock of laying ducks
  • Sold produce to local restaurants, farmers markets, and my own local mailing list
  • Raised a few queens
  • Created and sold flavored honeys
  • Used my own produce in canned goods
  • Won a blue ribbon at the State Fair
  • Added awesome retailers
  • Did lots of pollinator outreach events
  • Installed drip irrigation systems in all 3 fields
  • Planted strawberries, grew my own corn, survived an onslaught of cantaloupe and cucumbers 

Good stuff.  My first step in writing the 2017 goals is an honest look at what did and didn’t work last year.  My personal favorite thus far… What worked?  “Moving bees to the mountains for sourwood bloom”. What didn’t?  “Moving bees to the mountains in a car”.   Goal for 2017 – Move bees to the mountains with less stings (aka rent a truck). 

There were a few things we didn’t get to:

  • Meat birds 
  • Salsa (I actually did this  but can’t sell it – yet)
  • Milk soap (shelved until I have a dairy animal)
  • Own a beef cow 
  • Grow an orchard worth of fruit
  • Rehab farm house (in progress and the main reason why I haven’t posted in so long)
  • Farmhouse bedroom. Note stylish curtains amid rubble.

And so it goes.  I’ll post more on our goals for the year in the coming weeks.  I’ll also share the progress on some of the longer term goals.  Enjoy the winter blahs.  For if there is a slow season, a busy one will follow!

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One thought on “Goal Tending

  1. Pingback: Chicken Soup for the Bowl | buck naked farm

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