... where dandelions are on the menu.

MY 2021 HOMESTEADING GOALS

notebook and pencil
Gotta write in down.

This is a “worksheet” for writing out my goals for 2021. I expect it will get a bit messy and I’ll continue to develop it as we go. I hope by sharing my goals it will encourage you to set your own and make them come true … one baby step at a time.

gardening

shelf of pumpkins
Lots and lots of pumpkins.

I liked last year’s sugar pie pumpkins, but we need to grow more (everyone likes them and we’re running out). I’m also curious about cinderella pumpkins. They are larger (around 20 lbs) but they are supposed to be sweet and they are an heirloom vegetable/fruit (I’ll let you decide). If I like them, I’ll ask OMIL (the other MIL) to grow them in her garden away from the rest of my pumpkins and squash so the seed will be true. We do that for each other as needed because our gardens are far enough apart.

This article contains affiliate links. If you click and buy, I make a commission. Thank you for enabling my seed addiction. ❤

My sweetie loves acorn squash, but last year’s squash was a bit blah. I’m going to try another variety to see if I can find something better.

I’m gathering salad fixin’s. We’ll buy tomato and pepper plants in a few months. And we usually pick up Walla Walla onion sets.

I also have a number of herb and flower seeds. I’ll be experimenting with a few other things like leeks and maybe plant garlic this fall.

I got all my seeds in the mail and I put them in order of planting time. Looking forward to spring!

Helpful Tip:
If I find a seed is out of stock at the seed company,
I can usually find it on Amazon, Ebay, or Etsy.

One of our future goals is to build a walipini (it’s a partly underground greenhouse, we’ll build ours into the side of a small south-facing hill). We have the brick for the back wall, but the glass or Lexan part was going to be expensive. Well, a friend offered us several nice double-paned glass doors that will do the job. Given that we now have most of the materials, we will get started on it this year.

  • start work on the walipini (1st step is cutting back into the hill a bit and building the back wall with the bricks)

preserving

My sweetie just started canning in 2020. We canned rabbit and rabbit broth. It was nice to have them on hand without filing up our freezer. We’d like to do more canning.

  • make a list of jars and sizes we currently have, decide on how many jars we need to buy
  • 52 jars of rabbit, plus stock (not sure how much that will be)
  • can pumpkin?
  • can spaghetti sauce (Paul has a recipe he loves) – Turns out canning changes the flavor of spaghetti sauce. Looks like we will be freezing it in freezer bags in the future.

I have a dehydrator and someone just gave me another one. I’ll be drying herbs for over winter and garden produce too.

  • dehydrate soup ingredients and make some soup-in-a-bag dinners.

foraging

chanterelle mushrooms
A nice haul of chanterelles.

So far we have foraged morel and chanterelle mushrooms and have gone huckleberry picking. We’ll do a repeat of those this year hopefully. I don’t have anything more planned, but I’m up for an adventure if it involves goodies!

related article:
Mushroom Foraging Rules - be safe, be smart!

rabbits

I started the winter with two bucks and four does. Turns out one of my does is aging and probably not going to give me any more litters and then one of them died. 🙁 So now I am down to two does (one of which just lost her first litter by not nursing them). It’s been a rough start to 2021. I did just pick up one new doe and I’ll pick up one more come spring.

  • sell enough rabbits to pay for half the feed bill (my DIL will do the other half)
  • raise 52 grow-out rabbits (plus a few more to share)

I would really like to raise and breed Giant Chinchilla rabbits. They are on the heritage breed watch list because they are a bit rare. I will be looking for them in my area and moving them into my breeder colony.

  • find a pair of Giant Chinchilla rabbits
The Livestock Conservancy: Giant Chinchilla Rabbits

jumbo Coturnix quail

Paul and I are going to jump into raising quail for eggs and meat. We have a oil drip pan for catching the poo and we’ve designed our cages. In a couple of weeks we’ll buy the wire and begin construction. One of the teens on the property wants to be involved to see if it’s something he wants to do for his family. That’s nice for all of us. Having an extra hand is always a good thing.

I have a brooder design picked out and I’ve narrowed our choice of incubators to two.




Image credits
notebook & pencil © Jan Kahánek / Unsplash
pumpkins © Lori / Dandelion Hill Homestead
chanterelle mushrooms © Lori / Dandelion Hill Homestead

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