Homesteading Heartbreaks and Breakthroughs: A Year in Review 2017

Did you accomplish your homesteading goals this year? We are looking back on our year and seeing what we completed and what needs to be done next year. #homesteading #yearinreview2017 #homesteadinggoals

It is almost the end of 2017. I can’t believe we are almost ready for Christmas on the homestead.

Where did the year go?

Today, I wanted to do a year in review of our goals for this year and how we progressed on them.

Our Provident Homestead Year in Review 2017

Did you accomplish your homesteading goals this year? We are looking back on our year and seeing what we completed and what needs to be done next year. #homesteading #yearinreview2017 #homesteadinggoals

This year’s goals:

At the beginning of the year, we planned out what we would accomplish each month throughout the year. You can read the full list here, but I am only going to include the new things in this post.

Learn how to bake bread– I love to bake bread, but I hadn’t really found a great, easy recipe that I can make often for my family. I accomplished this goal in this post and found a recipe that I love to make and my family loves to eat.

Start beekeeping– I started a new hive this year with italian bees. I show you the set up in this post and the struggles I had in this post. Unfortunately, an animal got into our hive this fall, knocked it over and the bees all went away. I hope we have better luck next year!

Start seeds indoors– We started our seeds indoors like we had done many times in the past. You can see the post here. But unfortunately, they didn’t do well. We discuss our failures in this post and we will try a different system next year.

Replace our rabbits– We replaced our rabbits we had in the past with 3 rabbits (2 does and a buck). You can read about them in this post.

Replace our chickens– We replaced the chickens we lost last year to a predator with 12 chickens (10 hens and 2 roosters). You can read about them in this post. Unfortunately, we had predator problems again this fall, and we are down to 5 hens and no roosters. So frustrating!

Increase garden sizeWe shared our garden plan in this post. We did not build all of the boxes on the plan, but we did plant more than the year before and used some ground space for corn and pumpkins.

Have a 3 season gardenIn this post we share how the weather kept us from starting a spring garden. We did plant a summer and fall garden, so 2 out of 3 isn’t bad.

Fill in garden path with wood chips– We did this and it made the garden look so good. It also kept the weeds down from in between the rows.

Try the deep much method of gardening– This was a success! I discuss starting the method in this post and how it turned out here.

Breed rabbits– We had a rabbit give birth to babies, soon after we bought them. We didn’t know she was pregnant so the babies died. We had several unsuccessful attempts to breed these rabbits and decided to wait until next spring to try again.

Harvest fruit from the orchard– We thought that this was the year that we were going to get fruit from our young trees. But a late freeze killed the blossoms and the trees never produced fruit. Better luck next year!

Plant garlic in fall– The garlic is planted and ready to go for next year. You can read about how to plant garlic in this post.

Butcher new rabbits– We didn’t have any success with new rabbits this year.

Did you accomplish your homesteading goals this year? We are looking back on our year and seeing what we completed and what needs to be done next year. #homesteading #yearinreview2017 #homesteadinggoals

Raise meat chickens and butcher them– We raised meat chickens this fall. We had many struggles which you can read about in this post.

Hunt for our own meat– My husband drew an elk tag for hunting and had a buddy to go with him to show him the ropes. He was so excited to get meat for our freezer and learn the ways of a hunter. But a few days before they were to leave, he was deployed for his job to Atlanta to help with hurricane relief in Puerto Rico. He was glad to go and help, but he was bummed that he missed hunting season.

Get more out of debt– We constantly struggle with getting out of debt and not getting into more debt. We discuss our triumphs in this post.

Did you accomplish your homesteading goals this year? We are looking back on our year and seeing what we completed and what needs to be done next year. #homesteading #yearinreview2017 #homesteadinggoals

How did we do?

Many of our goals started out well, but ended in frustration. That is typical on the homestead, so nothing new. We just need to learn from our mistakes and find better ways to do thing next year.

  1. Animals– Our efforts in beekeeping, raising meat chickens, keeping our hens safe and breeding our rabbits all need improvement for next year. We do have 5 hens that are laying (as of now), so hopefully we can keep them safe in the new year.
  2. Garden– Our garden efforts are moving forward, but they are still far from where I want them to be. We did eat fresh, organic food out of our own backyard, so that is a win in my opinion.
  3. Homemaking– I learned how to make bread. Of course, I did all the normal homemaking things: cooking, cleaning, taking care of everyone, etc. I learned how to use the Instant Pot and found out how much I love it. I have more skills on my list to learn next year.
  4. Emergency Preparedness– We put away meat and vegetables in the freezer and pantry. Also, we got a large family first aid kit and 72 hour kits together. We have some food storage and supplies that would be needed in an emergency. More to come next year.
  5. Health– We struggled with real food on and off this year. We worked on gaining new skills each month with our healthy living series. It is a work in progress.

We have had some triumphs and some setbacks this year. But although it is good to look back for a year in review and see what we accomplished, we don’t want to live in the past.

Help us look back on 2017 and see what we did right and wrong on the homestead. #yearinreviewClick To Tweet

So we look forward to next year and all the success and failure it brings. I hope you come on the journey with us so we can all learn new things together!

What heartbreaks and breakthroughs did you have this year? Please let us know in the comments below. Thanks!

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  1. The Pioneer Chicks- Alexa

    I like how you review your goals for the year! It seems like I have had lots of difficulties with my flock of chickens this year: mites, worms, rooster fights, mysterious deaths, bad hatchibility, to name a few! It’s all part of raising animals, you live and you learn!

    1. Julie @ Our Provident Homestead

      Thanks! Chickens can be so frustrating sometimes. But boy do I love those fresh eggs! Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Rebekah - Honeycreek Farm

    Love your goal review! I think we will have to sit down and discuss our own homesteading goals for next year!

    1. Julie @ Our Provident Homestead

      I’m glad you liked it. It was a rough year. I will have a post next week about our goals for 2018. Good luck on yours!

  3. Linda S

    Thank you for sharing your triumphs and setbacks with us 🙂
    While we are not a homesteading family, it’s still a good time to sit back and take note of our mistakes, celebrate our successes and evaluate our plans. I love baking bread (from fresh-ground wheat, yum!) and I am setting goals for healthier food choices in 2018.
    Stopping by today from the Simple Homestead blog hop!

    1. Julie @ Our Provident Homestead

      I love looking over the year to see what we accomplished and then planning for the new year. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Liz

    Great post Julie! I love that you do this type of post. It helps so much to see someone else’s successes and sidesteps. I think we get so caught up in being perfect and not showing our weaknesses but that’s not life, not reality. I love hearing about how things REALLY went! Just makes me feel more “normal” LOL!

    1. Julie @ Our Provident Homestead

      Thanks! I am very far from perfect!

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