What did you learn/accomplish over the year?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by shawnee, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. shawnee

    shawnee Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Ok guys, gardening season is about over, snow starting to fly for some and frost/freeze for others. Time to take stock and look back over the year. Learn anything new or have any accomplishments you're particularly proud of? Find that piece of land you've had a hankering for or done gone MOVED there and working yourself into a frenzy? Just a thought...Helps to look back for perspective sometimes when things feel a little bleak. Good to pat yourself on the back, too!
  2. Kazahleenah

    Kazahleenah Disgruntled citizen

    Nov 3, 2004
    Northeast Michigan zone 4b
    What a great thread! Makes one sit and think about the whole year a bit....

    Well, I learned that the growing season is DEFINATLY shorter where I live now. (upstate about 4 hours from where I was). I also got a beautiful garden in, and harvested.... unfortunatly, we had our first frost a few days ago.... and my maters are still budding!!! LOL. ahhh well, they were perpetually budding anyway. I also grew many tomatoes I never knew before existed... like purple cherry tomatoes. YUMMY!!! I discovered that growing watermelons here means starting the seeds in January in the house... lol. I also learned that all birdfeeders have to be taken in during March/April, as they do nothing to slow down a bear that's hungry. (lost 4 feeders to munchin bears this spring) This year I also grew my first "flower garden". So many of you folks (and the ones on my gardening forum) sent me seeds to get started, it was unbelievable!!! (and beautiful!!) I'm scurrying around saving seeds from the plants for next year now. My favorite 'new plant' was the Love Lies Bleeding. They are awsome looking and a great conversation piece. (and from what I read, they are a grain and a herb) My herb garden did not fare so well this year though.... lost almost everything in it to either dogs digging, squirrels digging or sun/heat. :flame:
    This was also the year I broke down and bought one of those bread machines... lol. My son was complaining that I didn't have time anymore to make homemade bread all the time like he was used to, and wanted "real bread" again. I'm still in the learning stage with that blasted machine though... love it, but it seems to make a very thick, heavy loaf. The cinnimon bread however is awsome!
    hehe... I also learned that you NEVER have "just one" mole. ;) (long, twisted story)
    This has been a great year for me in general... I learned lots, had a successful veggie garden, learned how to grow lots of flowers, learned more about plant diseases (like rose aphids... nuther story in itself) and you can laugh, but I learned that the word "Sparingly" means NOT MUCH!!! (yet another long story)

    There is a lil patch of land I have a keen eye for... we'll see what happens in the next year or two.


  3. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    Well, the year has 3 more months to complete, but to now I have learned a bit more about nature in my foraging mostly identifying more species of mushrooms. It seem I learn to settle in getting more observant about detail and appreciate things like birds and what not in the wild state.
    My very close companion dog had a pup that was nearly 'miractulous' considering I didn't think it ever would happen. The pup has learned to bring me much joy regardless of a poor year otherwise, or facing adversity. When things like this happen it must be for a reason, and we need to take something by learning from it, if only in small ways.
    On a direct practical level, I also am learning many new things to store away in my head for future planning about homestead activities including the never ending topic of interest of composting new and different ways and also I want to put into practice what I am learning about vermiculture.
  4. teresab

    teresab Well-Known Member

    May 25, 2005
    Near Erie,Pa
    In relationship to my garden I have learned I need to think BIGGER. I thought I planted a lot of stuff but I realized when I got involved in freezing and canning everything plus eating it every night that I didn't plant nearly enough. So now I am cleaning out this years garden and hubby is tilling it up plus almost doubling the size so next year there should be plenty to eat,can and freeze (and hopefully it won't be as hot and dry as this year was). What have I learned .....I have learned a lifestyle that I wouldn't change for anything...and I look forward to learning more everyday...thanks to everyone here!
  5. ellebeaux

    ellebeaux Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    Thanks for suggesting this, I feel better already!

    I bought my first house. Major, major, major accomplishment, one of the biggest in my life, I guess. My brother said to me yesterday, it's like putting a $1000 in savings every month (more like $813.62 in my case).

    I learned to can in a water bath.

    I learned how to use drywall screws.

    I guess that's about it as far as new homesteading skills go. But that's enough, I have to remember how hard I worked to get into this house and how grateful I am to be here.

  6. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

    May 20, 2004
    SE Missouri
    I'm finally back in the country. Now have 8.28 acres of the prettiest land in Texas with a 98 mobile home. And no mortgage! :happy: Been working like mad to get everything set up. The land was neglected so there is lots to do here. So far have got 3 coops built with help of a neighbor. Also have built a dozen pheasant cages, and working on fencing. Work, work, work! LOL
  7. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

    Oct 11, 2004
    We added a wing with 2 bedrooms for our 2 daughters, and finally moved them into it in January. Here it is off to the left:
    http://www.misty-river-ranch.com/images/CabinfrmRiver 004 small.jpg
    Now DH and I are up in the loft. We're almost done with the big loafing shed for the horses and the addition to the machine shed to store round bales in. The metal roofing will be in Wednesday, thank goodness, because it's been raining all weekend. And cold.
  8. Irish Pixie

    Irish Pixie Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2002
    I learned when it's really hot, and dry, for a long time in upstate NY (where we are NOT used to it) mare's reproductive systems don't work quite right, but watermelon and tomatoes grow like weeds. I have to say I'd rather have the mares work correctly.

    I learned the best way to preserve veggies (for me anyway) is to pack them raw and use my sealer, THEN blanch for 5-6 minutes in boiling water- great finished product.

    I learned that even tho we expanded the garden, it still needs to be bigger. DH learned he liked beets!

    I learned that two women (ages 43 and almost 19) can throw 400+ bales in two days in 90 degree heat (pick up out of the field, unload and stack in the barn)--and live to tell about it. :grin: My elbow still hurts tho.

  9. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jul 20, 2004
    I guess the most painful lesson I've learned so far this year is that I am strong enough to watch my Daddy die and to help him live his last few days on earth as comfortably as possible.

    I am strong enough to bathe him when he loses control over his bodily functions and I am strong enough to clean the floor after he throws up a large amount of blood. I am strong enough to get up every two hours during the night to give him a drop of liquid morphine and I am strong enough to hold his hand and tell him it's time for him to let go of this life and pass on to a more peaceful and pain free place.

    I am strong enough to plan a funeral, pick out a casket, stand in line for hours while strangers hug my neck and be there for my mother when everyone goes home and the house is silent and empty.

    That's pretty much the biggest lesson I've had to learn this year.
  10. Lerxt

    Lerxt Well-Known Member

    Feb 22, 2005
    I learned that barnyard fowl can be addictive.
    I learned that raccoons can learn the same rule.
    I learned how to protect my fowl from the addicted raccoons.
    I learned how to raise, kill, and clean the fowl the raccoons didn't get.
    I learned how to install an electric fence.
    I learned that nature has a sense of humor when a tree fell on that fence one week after we turned it on.
    I learned that ducks will happily swim in a flooded barn but the chickens will seek a high perch when it happens.

    I learned that I love living where I live and doing what I'm doing even if it is really hard work.
  11. Spotted Crow

    Spotted Crow Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2004
    Been there done that Ravenlost. My condolences...
    Lerxt, too funny, but true.
    I've learned that I can grow a few veggies well: Tomatoes, and Zucchini.
    I've learned that MA due a hardly any rain summer is not conducive to Lettuce, Strawberries or berries of any type nor Corn.I was looking forward to it too. It only got cobs about 4 inches long. :grump:
    I need to take more lawn to make more room to grow more stuff.
  12. tnborn

    tnborn Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2005
    I have learned that hickory trees aren't paw paw trees :)
    I have learned that stinging nettle grows by streams and wet places.
    I have learned where to find dry land fish and how to cook them. Yummy
    I have eaten a paw paw and like it.
    I have learned that alpine goats are just as loveable as boars.
    I have learned one can never have too many chickens.
    I have learned that I really love living on a farm.
    I have learned that building a house will test a marriage.
    I have learned many tips from homesteading today.
  13. midkiffsjoy

    midkiffsjoy Bedias, Texas

    Sep 29, 2005
    I learned that I just can't do everything I could when I was 15. grin. I've learned that t top posts ARE worth the extra price to save my back digging post holes. I learned that a disc is not the instiment of doom my daddy made it look like when I was little. I learned that I too can hatch out chicks and ducks. I learned that YES coyotes will come into your back yard and that sometimes a 410 does NOT fix everything (sometimes you need a 3030). Dogs you love can not always be trusted. You DON'T just have kids to have someone to open the gate (see dad?). Having your own ranch is worth all the gold in the world. In texas, sometimes, you DO need to have a barn that closes. If it's not concreted in the wind CAN pick it up and blow it away, no matter HOW big it is. If it IS concreted in the wind can pick it up and blow it away, no matter HOW big it is. It's GOOD living in a state where you can grow tomatos year round. A good ranch dog is never fully appresiated until you are stuck with a city dog. Having a washer and dryer in doors IS everything its cracked up to be. Sometimes the plush carpet of your own livingroom floor is the most comfortable place to sleep. It's good being able to BE the evacuation destination.
  14. midkiffsjoy

    midkiffsjoy Bedias, Texas

    Sep 29, 2005
    OHOHOHOHOH I also learned that SOMETIMES when the seed packet says eggplant....sometimes you get WATERMELONS. giggle (I think there was a MIX UP at the packaging plant)
  15. buspete

    buspete Well-Known Member

    Mar 7, 2005
    New Hampshire
    I learned to build stuff out of pallets
    I learned about freecycle.
    I built a chicken coop and run for less than a steak dinner in town
    I learned that it's hard to beat chickens for entertainment value
    I learned how to process extra roosters
    I learned LOTS of ways to cook eggs
    I learned that there is no such thing as too many extra egg cartons

    I built a guinea pen
    I learned how cool it is to watch guinea keets hatch in an incubator.
    I learned that guineas are as loud as everyone says!

    I built a duck pen
    I learned that raccoons like to eat ducks
    I learned that raccoons are stubborn
    I learned that raccoons taste like lamb.

    I learned what hydrofracking is and had our well fixed
    I got 2 antique wood stoves
    I replaced our oil burner furnace myself

    I'm sure there are countless other lessons learned and little job completed, but this summer meant our first year in the country, there is still much to do before winter!
  16. suzyhomemaker09

    suzyhomemaker09 Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    SW Missouri
    I learned that chickens , ducks and geese will eat everything you plant in a garden given a chance. We're still so new to all this and was really dissappointed to find out that everything I planted was eaten by our birds.
  17. vtfarma

    vtfarma Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2003
    I learned patience
    I learned to be more humble
    I learned that even though you think you know your animals and your farm that they still can serve you a suprise once in a while.
    I learned guinea hens are very noisy.
    I learned never to get guinea hens again.
    I learned that our neighbor is a banker not a farmer.
    I learned never to ask our neighbor to farm sit again.
    I learned that at 14 she was sweet and at 15 she is a dragon.
    I learned more about Youth Football than most mothers know about youth.
    I learned that my faith is in a tenuous position.
    I learned that marriages are a work in progress.
    I learned that everyone in our neighborhood seems to fight with their spouses at the same time.
    I learned that that time is usually a full moon.
    I learned to believe that customers can get really freaky at a full moon.
    I learned that neighbors get really nervous when you put up no trespassing signs.
    I learned more self reliance.
    I learned to depend on me.
  18. chickflick

    chickflick Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2003
    I've learned that procrastination coupled with fear, can really ruin your life and dreams; and that sometimes 'the universe' has to kick you off your butt. And that when it does, and you think it's so tough.....that it's only your fears/negative energy being mainfest.

    I've learned I never want to be that 'old' again.
    I want to be fearless of change, and be in sinc with it!

    I'm still in a very large transitional period (aparently) and look forward to what may come, and how I'll be after it's done.
    Days are fun again. I'm just not the sort to be 'stuck' anymore!! (I almost feel young again)

    SO WHAT IF things happen out of your control?? Tee Hee.
  19. tonto

    tonto Well-Known Member

    Jun 30, 2004
    Okay, I'll bite.

    What is hydrofracking?

  20. michelleIL

    michelleIL tryna be His

    Aug 28, 2004
    In a small town Western ILL
    I'm a bad girl, kinda like what a girl does with hubby, but in the pool???