Now that the holidays have past and a new year is among us I want to document my top projects for the homestead for this year. I’m going to try to keep this as a top 10 of our main projects.
1. Buy a Generator
We will be finally purchasing a generator. I plan on purchasing one from Lowes (probably a Troy Bilt) at around 6000W. Luckily he have not had many prolonged power outages the last couple of years. But we have experienced outages ranging from a couple of days to month in the past.
2. Help Tracy get her children’s custom clothing business going by helping with her website.
My wife Tracy, just recently resigned from her job as a social worker. She is starting a business making custom children’s clothes, which she plans to sell locally and online. My job will be to get her a website set up so that she can sell her products online. She is creating great products, I just hope I can hold up my part of the business.
3. Renovate and expand the old chicken coop to get it ready for chickens
We haven’t had chickens since 2008. We will be purchasing a layer flock and maybe some others to experiment with butchering. I need to move, renovate and expand the old coop. We will be practicing a paddock shift system as well as making use of a chicken tractor.
4. Fence in forest garden/pasture for chickens
Last year I started converting a small area of fruit trees into a food forest. This year I plan on continuing to add to the food forest as well as convert portions of it as pasture for the chickens.
5. Continue to build forest garden
As I mentioned above I plan on continuing to add to the forest garden. I plan on making an entire post on this soon, but in short, we currently have 2 apple trees, 1 peach tree, and a cherry tree. In the understory, I have 2 gooseberries, horseradish, sunchokes, comfrey, and some mint species. I plan on adding some blueberries, dwarf fruit trees, and some perennial vegetables.
6. Finish screening in the front porch
Last fall I started screening in the front porch. Our plan is to create an outside area that is considerable cooler in the summer and provides protection form the biting flies and mosquitoes.
7. Build a herb spiral
This is the most well known and typical permaculture project, and I’ve never created one. My plan is to build a hugelkultur herb spiral. Why not?
8. Create a new garden area in zone 1, closer to the house
We need to dedicate our 18 beds in our main garden to the staples (potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, onions, peppers, corn, squash, etc.). This garden area isn’t far from our house but we need an area close for salad greens, some herbs, a couple of tomato plants, and stuff we use on a daily basis. If I can’t get it ready in the spring I plan on getting it ready in the fall of 2012 and ready for 2013.
9. Get some pigs
We want to get a couple of pigs and raise them til they are ready for slaughter to provide for a more healthy source for our pork products (bacon, sausage, pork chops). In 2011 we bought a cow and had it processed. We also have venison. Adding the chickens and the pigs will help us become much more self sufficient with our meat sources (besides fish).
10. Finish fencing in garden
We have a rottweiler who likes to dig occasionally. Enough said.