Day Four: Whew….this is work!

Today, I’m supposed to work on establishing some goals for our ranch in one, five and ten year increments.  Yikes!  That’s a bit intimidating.  So I started with a list of things that I’d like to do, learn about, accomplish and experience.  I made a list like this right before we moved to Colorado about six years ago.  To be true to the vision that we’ve had from the beginning of this adventure, I am going to make the type of list that Jill Winger suggests in her book, The Prairie Homestead.  However, I’m going to include the things that were on my original list…. the list I made while still living in Atlanta….the list of things that I wanted to do if I ever had a chance to live in a rural setting and also things that have been added to that list over time.  Some of these things we’ve completed or experienced, but as part of the process, I’m still going to list them.

– Build a barn

– Begin raising chickens

– Build a chicken coop

– Buy horses

– Learn to quilt

– Learn more about freezing produce

– raise and butcher a steer

– buy goats

– breed goats

– learn how to milk goats

– learn to make cheese

– learn to make soap and lotions

– crochet more

– learn to felt

– learn how to use whole grains

– grind my own flour

– recycle food,s, waste, worn out clothes, etc

– become more confident with various horses and equine skills

– train Bliss, Farrah and Lacey

– construct a buck pen

– construct goat house

– construct pallet cabins

– construct bunk house

– learn more about high altitude gardening

– use fresh and local produce whenever possible

– become self-sufficient and sustaining in basic food supply by raising meat, milk, chickens, and vegetables plus canning and freezing local and seasonal foods

– have a Barn, Bed and Breakfast

– use the facility as an outreach for retreats and gatherings

– offer classes in homestead related activities

Okay!  So there is the list and I’m sure that over the next few weeks we will continue to add to it.  But I don’t think all of these items are necessarily goals….at first glance it looks more like a “bucket” list.

I have to admit that I cheated.  I couldn’t quite figure out how to put this list into one, five and ten year goals, so I looked ahead in the book.  Tomorrow, we are supposed to spend time detailing out how we want the “finished product” to look here at the ranch.  Kind of like what I’m always talking and writing about:  Beginning With The End In Mind.  So, based on that, I’m think I’m going to stop with this list and wait until we have a clearer picture of the end result and the back up and use this list to help set goals to meet that desired end result.

These are all good steps to go through but all very interconnected so I think that we will probably end up back tracking, fine tuning and tweaking the various steps as we move further into the 21 day process to our “custom” homestead.

What kind of list would you make if you had the time and the opportunity to homestead?  How can those things be adjusted and adapted to your current situation so that you can go ahead and “get started”.  One thing that Jill does say in this book is, “Do not let your less-than-ideal circumstances stop progress.

She makes a good point.  Even though we now have land and animals, etc., we still have less than ideal circumstances and are faced with some very daunting challenges if we are going to make this dream and ministry a reality.  There is never a perfect time to begin…..sometimes you just have to go ahead and take that first step.

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