Saturday, December 12, 2020

A Few Homesteading Goals for 2021...continued

 The last post, I let you in on some of the misguided goals I had previously shared on Youtube. The biggest one that pretty much had the axe in the heart was the quail.  Most people don't know (mainly because I never share that side of my life) that we have a family group of livestock...and some of our family members have quail and other animals separately from the main family group.

Because we don't have the new house set up yet, we didn't want to do any livestock at the new place either. It just didn't make sense to have critters out there we couldn't protect, and we didn't want to add any more habitats for animals at the "old" homestead family compound.

So the quail idea tanked... for 2020.  

Even with everything pandemically going wrong with the world, I'm not giving up on living life. You have to keep pressing forward, right?  With that said, I will share here (erniehatmaker.com) more of what's going on in our lives that I don't share with Youtubeland.  

Like what? Well, I've had rabbits before.  Meat rabbits (New Zealand and Florida White crosses) and a few Angoras.  I've also taken care of quail for family members, although raising them on my own will be a new experience. We also have a family-owned herd of Boer-Kiko cross goats raised for meat.  

I will be putting a video out soon that kind of explains why I don't show that side of my life, but for you reading, I'll go ahead and tell you--

I don't show the cows, goats, and horses because I don't own them solely.  When Ed and I begin on the other homestead, I will show what we do with them. I just don't think it's right to share things on Youtube that other family members are contributing more to than I am.😂

So these will be my 2021 goals, and if you want to mention them on the channel occasionally to remind me or ask about them, I'm all ears:

    1. Rabbits.  We're planning on a beginning trio, the normal buck and two does.  I don't know what breeds just yet.
    2. Chickens.  We're an egg-eating family. We go through TONS of eggs a week, so chickens that are good layers would be awesome. Right now, we have chickens that roam between our compound, and we don't keep track of them.  They are all kinds of crosses, with the occasional Bantam thrown in.  There are 4 roosters and last we counted (some time back in August when one got run over) 11 hens.  They usually stay around either the goats or the cows, but they cover a lot of territory.  There are bobcats around here, but most of the time, the dogs keep the cats away. The way that we plan to do chickens on the new homestead, they'll get supervised free-range.  Our family group is always majority vote, so as much as I hate just letting the other chickens just go wherever, I follow the rules set by the family.
    3. Goats.  These are a maybe.  And I'll leave it at that. Let's just see how far we get with the others first.
On to the garden.
    1. Raised beds.  We're fiddling with where to put them right now.  Too close to the soybeans, and the deer may drift over.  Too close to the road, and people may want to stop and take some without asking. (Yes, this happens around here. Everyone's so neighborly.)
    2. More flowers!  There are a few wild swarms of bees around the woods and creek, and I want to attract them to stop by the garden. I may even put some "natural" bee housing out to see if we can get some full-time residents there.
    3. Pepper power.  I plan to do more than a few pepper plants this time because I want to make enough to dehydrate a ton and create powder.
    4. More containers.  Nuff said.😂

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

A Few Homesteading Goals for 2021

 So my homesteading goals for 2020 went the way of the Dodo. Like, literally DOA, disappeared without a trace, somebody ate the last one without realizing it-- extinct!  I laugh about it looking back and with all this mess in the world right now (talking pandemic, lumber and feed prices, everything), I'm amazed I met any of my goals at all.

Because I made the number one mistake when creating goals-- I told people about them. 😂 No. I made a concrete goal, a plan, and a deadline to do something that relied on forces outside my control to complete.  

First, the home site.  We already owned the property. All we needed was the soybeans harvested on the two acres we were going to use for Phase 1 -- I'm telling you, we have it all figured out-- and we were going to get concrete poured. The concrete was going to cost $5500 to pour for the depth of footings and the foundation pad. We had $5500.  That should be it, right?  Whim, bam, boom! TAKE MY MONEY!



It was kind of like one of those places where someone grabs a loud speaker and says, "Everyone who has their plans laid out and knows exactly what's going on, please step forward-- except you, Hatmakers! You stay right there!" 

Yeah. Like, do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.  

 The first problems:  

  • We have a creek that runs from a fairly decent-sized river bottom, and it flows along the northern boundary of that property. That's a good thing, right? We have a water source that has never dried up in the 127 years it's been in our family. Which also means to be on the safe side, the insurance company would prefer the main building--the house-- be raised a little higher.  Which means we have to order a truckload of fill gravel and dirt to build the pad higher.  We know a guy. We called him. Two days later, we've got the back hoe out there spreading the fill dirt he delivered us. We nailed down our concrete guy (contractor, spreader, whatever he's called) and he said he could come out the next day to help dig the plumbing trenches so we could put in pipe.
  • The next day, it rained. HARD rain!  Some of the fill dirt washed down into the lower part of the soon-to-be yard, while water from the field above cut away some of the sides of the dirt pad.  We called our guy again, he had another truckload of fill gravel and dirt out there again, and we built up another dirt pad again.  We were then ready to dig our plumbing trenching. 
  • The contractor who was going to help with that couldn't get anyone to help him because he relied on day laborers who had been laid off because, well, everyone was being laid off because of the pandemic. Good news for some of them, bad news for us because he couldn't get anyone until three days from then. So Ed decided to trench with just the help the contractor could get to answer their phones. That took two days. Then we got the pipe installed and were ready for concrete.
  • Because there's only one concrete place within 50 miles of us (the down side to living in the middle of nowhere is everything is a drive away), you have to make appointments.  They were already using all 9 trucks for a huge job with a correctional facility, and would be booked for the next three days.  We could have a truck on the fourth day unless it rained. 
  • Which it did.  For a week straight.  Every time it stopped raining, the ground would aaaalmost get dry enough to get a cement truck out there, then rain again. And it did this for three weeks!  The soybeans loved it!
So we finally got concrete. If you follow my husband's Youtube channel, he did a video on that.  It was still a bit muddy, and the concrete truck got STUCK.  My dad pulled the cement truck out with one of the larger tractors.😂  

Next came the task of getting lumber.  Remember that line I just told you about? Everyone stepped forward but us again, apparently. 

  • Hurricane season hit like a Conga line!  They were lined up and doing some damage in the States...which meant emergency housing from the government was being created like wood was become a precious commodity. Because it was. Lumber yards stopped milling certain sizes of wood. The sizes we needed, to be precise. Prices tripled for what little was making it to the stores and lumber yards. So we bought where we could.
And that is all just the house goals that weren't being met.


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