One of my favorite blogger friends, Jenn from Sunshine Farm tagged me in her latest post about goals from 2018 – goals that were met and some that were not. Reflecting on these goals and what is ahead for the next year. I like it! Challenge accepted!
Jenn and her husband are from NY State and have a farm that is just over 12 acres. They have such a picturesque piece of land, with the most adorable farm house and red barn, and they have put a lot of time and effort into building on to it for their animals, and have a lot of really great ideas for the future. I can’t wait to see them grow it and continue what they are doing!
This is actually a positive thing for me to do right now as we start this new year. Rob and I had a conversation on New Year’s Day about what we want to happen this year. Personally, at Scarlett Homestead, and for our business plans. We have so much we want to accomplish.
I like to normally focus on the positive and always share, and receive good news first. It makes the not so good stuff more tolerable. But in order to understand our goals, I’m actually starting with the things that did not get done. The not so good stuff.
Depending on what you’ve read of my posts the past few months, you may actually wonder why there aren’t more posts about our Homestead and why there isn’t more pictures or information on our livestock, horses, and general goings-on at the property. I often wonder why it’s taking so long too! The answer to that is permits, red tape, lack of trades, waiting on the County for permissions, waiting on quotes from the PUD (Public Utility District) etc. The first year of this property journey was entirely taken up with just purchasing this land. A more detailed description can be found in some of my very first posts. A 40 Acre Parcel, How many people does it take to buy a piece of land!?
(I need a lot more of this…..it’s good for the soul….)
We didn’t buy an existing homestead. We bought a totally raw, never before developed piece of land. So we aren’t just setting up shop and fixing it up, we are actually building it totally from the ground up and it has been a massive journey that I’m not sure we were so prepared for. We are really pioneering this baby from scratch. It’s going to be incredibly fulfilling one day, to have a homestead that we built with our own hands. Literally everything on the land will be of our own imagination and work. There’s something very satisfying about that. Patience however, has been my biggest struggle these past two years. If you would ask my closest family and friends, they would confirm that enough tears have been shed to water our future garden for a season.
One thing I have realized these past two and a half years, is that although you own a piece of land, you actually have very limited rights for how you develop it, and you can’t just build your house where ever you want to, or when you want to, and it must be in a very exact order. I’m not going to get into freedom and rights and rant about government (It’s not my thing), but I will say that this has been the one thing that has prevented us from moving forward with our plans. An example – we have our septic design and testing completed. It’s been completed since this past summer. We submitted it to the county in August, and it took until late November to put a stamp of approval on it and mail it back to us. So much waiting. That’s actually not even that long. We’ve waited longer for other phases. So much waiting.
We are finally at the Building Permit phase with our project however, and we hear that can take anywhere from 3 months to 8 months to receive the approval from Snohomish County to move forward with building. That’s a big difference of time. I’m going to be realistic this time and plan for the longest amount of time and then be surprised and happy if it goes quicker.
So moving forward into 2019, we really hope that by the summer time we are building our home and moving in by the fall. If you are a praying person, please don’t hesitate to insert one here. Please and thanks.
So that brings you up to date in a small way. While we wait for the adventure to really begin and things to get interesting, we do however keep ourselves busy at our property and do things we can, within the boundaries of what we’re allowed to do. Doesn’t that sound crazy? Yes, it does. (We are in WA State. This is a reality here).
The things we wanted to have done in 2018 at Scarlett Homestead that did not get done:
- Get the house built – not by a long shot
- Start our garden – it’s like a dream
- Fence the property – not even worth talking about
Those are massive projects, but we honestly believed that we were going to be there, doing those things right now. But life is funny like that and rolling with the punches is something that you have to do. And try to laugh at. I would cry too much if I couldn’t laugh and make jokes as much as I do.
But here are the things that we wanted to do in 2018 that DID get done:
- Build a chicken coop and start raising chickens for eggs. This happened, and was more successful than I ever could have imagined. It was my first time raising chicks and it went great. We love our girls and our rooster.
2. Increase our bee hives – we went from one hive to three this year and the bees are doing better than ever.
3. All of our house plans, engineering plans, underground work, power planning and contractor people are all lined up, completed and ready to roll once we have the building permit in our hands.
4. I had my book ‘Expecting Your Little Miracle’ published! I wrote a faith based devotional for expectant parents who wanted a bible based insight into a pregnancy. It was released a few months ago and it’s starting to sell across the country. The feedback I get from complete strangers is really humbling. I’m thankful I had that opportunity and that someone published it.
5. Healthier living – this year has been a great one for me for stepping out of my comfort zone and learn new skills in the kitchen. I’m a decent cook, but I took it further and tried new things to learn how to make things completely from scratch and not buy processed foods so much. Making my own sauces, condiments etc. has been more work, but so very rewarding. It’s our hope that once we are living at Scarlett Homestead that most of our meals are ‘farm to table’. I really take that seriously and I can’t wait to walk out into my garden and have the freshest foods to make for my family. It’s important to me. So I’m doing my homework now!
(After making homemade cream cheese I was ruined for life on the store bought kind)
6. I set one other cooking goal – bread making – It was my goal this past year to cut my bread buying down to only 25%, with the rest being made at home. I not only met this, but exceeded it and probably only buy breads 5% of the time. I’m really excited about that. I feel like a homesteader woman should know how to make bread. I don’t know why. I made it up.
7. Lastly, I’m not sure this was really a goal, but I took a chance and started blogging, and it turned out to be something I love. I sometimes think I might have jumped in before we were really ready, but then stop myself….when is the perfect time? I often felt like I should have waited a little longer to begin until we were actually building and had more “meat” for the homesteading content, but I’m not sorry any longer. I have met so many great people and it’s been an incredible learning experience. I have gained so much knowledge from other farmers and homesteaders and it gave me some great ideas for what we can do.
And now, our goals for 2019:
- Build our home – If I have to, I will bake cakes and buy presents for the people at the County who approve Building Permits. I will do whatever it takes to make this happen.
- Fence the outer perimeter of the property. We will host a fencing party. You’re invited!
- Bring our livestock and horses home. (They are all at my inlaws farm at the moment – which we could never express how thankful we are that they are safe and happy in the meantime. Thanks Mom and Dad).
- Start a garden. Probably small, realistically, but plant at least a few things.
- Try not to cry when my son starts preschool in September. (I’m already quite sure this will be on my failure list next year).
- Have our Scarlett Homestead business website live and running. (more on that later)
- Maybe…..just maybe…..we want to start a video blog once we start building. This is a big maybe. I need more courage.
Thanks Jenn for tagging me in your post. It’s healthy for me to write these things down, be a little vulnerable and admit that I cry and get frustrated, but also know that it’s a new year, with new possibilities and new things to look forward to.
We are pioneering this homestead no matter what it takes to make it happen. I hope you enjoy reading as we fumble our way through this next year and get this thing built! Thankfully I didn’t have to ride in a wagon train from Missouri to get here and start from scratch. Trust me when I say that I would have perished on the Oregon Trail. As much as I know I can do this, none of us will ever really understand how tough those men and women were. They were the true pioneers. I’m just the wife of a homesteader, trying to learn new skills as I go, helping provide a better life for our family, while my husband does the hard stuff.
So that’s where we are at! I feel like life can be edited so often through social media/online, and that’s normal. We all do it. But life can be a challenge at times and it certainly has been for us these past two years. No, I don’t usually share the tough days or tears that have come because of setbacks, but they are there, and I think that’s my last goal….To be honest about this journey! I know we aren’t the only ones completely homesteading from scratch. Maybe it will help us grow, to find kindred spirits who will help and inspire and reassure. I think we all need a little more of that.
Thanks, and love to you all, The Homesteaders Wife xo