Our time has come for a reset on our homestead, to start making the improvements we desperately need, system by system. Seven years after we moved onto our wooded lot, we are still putting basic things together, often again. This is frustrating and I feel like we have not accomplished much. Realistically, a lot has been done and we have accomplished a massive amount of work. However, I feel like everything is scattered and hectic, and too much time is spent putting out “fires.” We need to get the basic systems of the homestead built well and working efficiently.
The items I am considering as basic systems are as follows: Shelter, heat, space (storage), food, water, sanitation, pathways, and resources. All of the most important things to all life. Each of these “systems” will get a reset so that once we are through, all of these basic needs of the homestead will be working efficiently. The most important projects will get started asap, and the least important will get stuffed in between as we can get them done.
According to permaculture practice, your house is zone 0. The hub of the property, our daily living area, and our life base station. The house contains many of these systems and so the roof is our number one, most important project. This can’t get going until we empty out the upstairs and it is warm enough to sleep in a tent, so storage space will need to be set up first.
Heat and Storage
There is not a specific location for our firewood to sit and dry out, so we end up with many piles all over the place and none of it dries well.
The storage shed will be for wood and for all our junk that needs to be out of the way for building the new roof. This will be one of the first spring projects.
The kids will be in charge of growing a garden this year. Building and repairs have got to get done, and we can’t be spread so thin that nothing gets done. I spent last year helping the kids build up their garden beds and teaching, so that this year they can take charge.
Generally, we grow food for the summer and haven’t been storing a whole lot. This will be next year’s massive undertaking, but for now, it’s up to the kids.
Water and Sanitation
Our water storage is outdoors and useless all winter. The barrels need to enclosed and insulated so that we don’t have to spend all day melting snow to take a nice, almost warm shower. The water room will enclose the barrels and eventually a permanent shower that will drain greywater into the indoor greenhouse…..
If I can have a permanent shower for now, I will be happy.
The mini-excavator has only joined our homestead in the past couple years. We can’t get around to all the resources that are available and hence the firewood issue I mentioned before. Once we have pathways for the truck and can get supplies all around, our workload will be cut in half. Too many things have to be hauled by hand to get anything done fast.
Once the pathways are carved into the land, then we will be able to start organizing piles of resources around the property where needed. Piles of gravel, clay, rocks, logs, branches, compost, etc. will be laid out with easy access so that we don’t have to go hunting around the property for everything we need, one by one.
So that is all for today. Our evaluation lead us to deciding to practically start over from the beginning. This reset should be just what we need!