To get anywhere, you must have a sense of direction. We didn’t bother worrying about that so much in 2021. We didn’t bother with having any farm plans. Our intention going into 2021 was just to spend our first year on the farm getting our feet wet, and that’s exactly what we did.
Now that we’ve been here for over a year, it’s time for us to sit down and determine which direction we want to take our little homestead. These are our farm plans for 2022.
We’ve been raising chickens, but we want to focus on a few select breeds to raise, hatch, and sell. Right now, we’re working on Swedish Orusts (one of the rarest chicken breeds), Lavender Orpingtons, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, Silkies, and Seramas. We also bought a pair of geese last year, but they ended up both being males, so we’re planning on finally getting them girlfriends as well.
We started raising and breeding Holland Lop and Netherland Dwarf rabbits, but now we’re deciding what way we want to take our breeding program, focusing on certain conformation and colors. It would also be nice to upgrade our rabbit housing this year to include a better form of waste management. By the way, is anyone looking for plant fertilizer? Rabbit poo is an excellent cold manure. It doesn’t have to heat up or breakdown before being used on your plants.
Last year was also our first year with Nigerian Dwarf Goats. One of the does we bought last year was pregnant, so we were blessed with the birth of a doeling on the farm in April. We purposely bought a pregnant doe so we could have the experience of one doe giving birth before having multiple kiddings the following year. Now that it’s almost here, we are really looking forward to this year’s Spring kidding season and what new additions we might have for our herd. Our 5 girls should possibly be due starting mid-March and going into May.
Growing our Business
With the birth of new goats, we should also have a plethora of goat milk. As many of our friends and family already know, we’ve been busy making goat milk soap and plan to start selling very soon. This will allow us to grow the farm into more of a business venture, which we’ve been starting to lay the groundwork for. We spent a lot of last year brainstorming what exactly we can do with our little slice of heaven to make it more self-sustainable and generate a little income.
As we grow into more of a business, we hope to also expand our online presence by posting to social media and blogging more often. We’re also venturing into the various ways of monetizing our blog, whether it be through ads or Amazon‘s Affiliate Partner Program. There are so many aspects to living on the farm with taking care of the animals and growing the business that it’s difficult to stay focused on just one topic on our blog and socials. If there’s any type of content that you would like to see more of, let us know, and we’ll try to put that out there.
Expanding the Garden
Last year we intended on having a large garden as well, and we ran out of time and decent weather to get it in. We ended up planting a few vegetables that we didn’t take care of enough, and we struggled to keep the gophers and ground squirrels away. Keeping up with mowing 3 acres took up a huge chunk of time each week and became a source of anger and frustration when our mower kept going out on us. We ended up buying a zero turn from Tractor Supply and it cut our mow time in half. I’m looking forward to the Spring to be able to spend more time outside taking care of the property, growing a vegetable garden, planting more trees and fruit vines, and further enhancing the perennial garden we put in last year.
I don’t regret using last year to get our feet wet. It gave us practical hands-on experience and showed us that sometimes in life things just come up or don’t go as you hoped or planned. However, I’m very excited to approach things differently this year with renewed motivation, clearer goals, and a solid plan on how to reach those goals. Please follow our journey as we continue to expand our farm and learn as we grow.