Self Sufficiency Goals for 2015

by Merissa on January 1, 2015

in Homestead Living

Self Sufficiency Goals 2015 - Little House Living

Self Sufficiency Goals for 2015

If you've been following us here at Little House Living for a while you may remember my post from last year about our Self Sufficiency Goals for 2014. Instead of making "New Year's Resolutions" we created goals that fit into our plan for our future. We created 10 goals that we hoped to achieve to get us closer to our goal of being as self sufficient as possible. Today I'll be sharing how we did and our new goals for 2015!

Update on Last Year's Goals

1. Start new garden.
Done! And it was mostly successful!
2. Plant a small orchard.
Attempted and failed. Never getting plants from Arbor Day foundation again.
3. Get Chickens and Ducks.
Missed this one due to the timing of our second adoption. We did end up adding a few ducks this past fall though.
4. Clear pasture to get ready for cows.
Done! The pasture isn't perfect but we did clear it well enough to add 2 cows this fall, Maggie and Molly.
5. Start a Berry Patch.
See #3. My spring planning didn't go like we thought it would.
6. Connect a generator to our main system.
7. Be conscious of power usage in our home.
Could use improvement but we did fairly well. Our average monthly electric bill was $100 even through the summer with using window air conditioners.
8. Pay off as much debt as possible.
We became unsecured debt free in 2014 which means we only have cars and house to pay off now!
9. Move away from consumerism.
We did pretty well at this and remained a mostly minimalist household.
10. Leave social media behind.
Need to work on this more!

New Self Sufficiency Goals for 2015

This is going to be a big year for us and we are calling it the year that we start creating a system. We want to figure out some new avenues for self sufficient income and making what we started last year, more self sufficient over all. Here are our goals!

1. Install solar power to smaller outbuildings.
While are aren't financially able to go all the way solar yet, we think a good start is to hook up some of the smaller outbuildings (chicken shed, pig pen, or anything with heat or lights) to solar systems. One piece of the puzzle at a time. 🙂

2. Begin looking for outlets to sell farm produce.
We are hoping to begin making a small profit this year from some of the things we are raising. During the year we plan on searching out the best outlets to sell our things...everything from fresh onions to piglets, and seeing what will bring us the most profit and what isn't worth our time and effort.

3. Sell animals for profit.
Last year we began working on some small income streams by purchasing a few animals to breed and sell. This year we hope to sell calves, piglets, and goats.

4. Plant cover crops and fodder.
This is a huge task that we are hoping to start this year. Of course being self sufficient means raising the food to feed our animals. Since we have a limited amount of land and can't plant huge crops we have been researching cover crops, forage plants, and growing fodder for livestock. We are going to finish drawing up a chart this winter to figure out what we will plant and try this year and where.

5. Start Garden #2.
Garden #1 worked well enough for just us last year, but was overtaken by the viney crops and didn't have enough room for planting some animal feed. This year Garden #1 will be regular household veggies and fruits and Garden #2 will be tilled and used for planting the vine crops and corn. Both gardens will be planted with a cover crop in the fall.

6. Build a Greenhouse.
This was something I hoped to do last year but we didn't end up having the time as we were finishing up the renovations on the house. In a few weeks we hope to start renovating an old building next to my garden into a greenhouse so I can have space to start my seedlings. The greenhouse will also serve as the "berry area" which I didn't get to plant last year, complete with raised beds and a trellis for berries and grapes.

7. Plant trees.
Since my orchard last year failed, we plan on getting trees from the local nursery this year to try again. I want to plant fruit trees and a few more shade trees in the yard. I hope to plant apples, peaches, pears, and apricots.

8. Restore outbuildings.
Since we spent last year working on our house, this year the focus needs to be on the outbuildings. Most are in good structural shape, but a few need foundation help and all need tin siding and new windows. I'm sure we won't get all of them done this year but any we can work on will help!

9. Add turkeys to the livestock.
We've be researching raising turkeys and would like to try a few this year for another meat source. To add these to our group we will need to build a small shelter and area for them to forage.

10. Continue to invest more time in our family than in anything else.
This is an across the board subject for us, but ultimately it means less personal social media, less material items, and more time spent with each other face to face and growing stronger as a family. At first glance this doesn't sound like a "self sufficient" thing but for us, being less dependent on the outside world and focusing more on those we see face to face is very important in the grand scheme of things.

A little bit of a busy year to say the least, but I think we've got it in us!

Are you ready to make some goals for this year? Click below for a FREE Self Sufficiency Goals Printable to keep track of your plans for this year and stay motivated.

Self Sufficiency Goals Printable

What are some of your goals for 2015?


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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah January 1, 2015 at 9:39 am

I have been researching solar and wow! I had no idea it can get so expensive! I love #10 it really is the most important goal of all. Good luck this next year!


2 Christine {at} Slow, Simple, Self January 1, 2015 at 9:50 am

Congrats on a great 2014! I’m very excited to see your ‘build a greenhouse’ goal! I’ve been dreaming of a greenhouse/potting shed too!

I think this year will be the year that we add chickens to our at home food production. I also have plans to expand our garden.

Happy 2015 to you! Thanks for the darling printable.


3 Sherri rocha January 1, 2015 at 12:14 pm

this year will be a new start for us, as my husband hurt his back at work, not knowing when he’ll go back we’ve decided to completely down size again! We want to live self sufficiently we’ve even got rid of our cell phones and got a land line:) our savings is $210.00 a month now to get rid of all the stuff stored in the garage and the big shed and the crawl space shsh! I just tried listing the list but we’ve got to down size.


4 Pam January 4, 2015 at 11:27 am

Sherri, I don’t know what landline you use but we use Straight Talk. Two years ago the device was about $100, not sure how much it is now. After that initial investment it only costs us $15 a month for unlimited talk, call waiting, call forwarding, 3 way calling and voicemail. There may be more features but honestly we only use the voicemail and call waiting. We love it. No one has any idea we use a prepaid home phone and for us we can’t find a better deal. Maybe there is but we have not found one. Thought youmay like the info:)


5 Ellen January 15, 2015 at 5:17 pm

Same here for straight talk. I’ve had mine for over a year now, and 16.01 a month is more cost effective. I’m so happy I found this site…I look forward to learning more.


6 Missy G. January 1, 2015 at 10:55 am

Love your goals for 2015! I foresee a bit of a problem with Goal # 3 if your cows’ names are Maggie and Molly, tho!! 😉

JK. I LOVE following your blog and following your family! It inspires me and brings me joy!


7 Merissa January 1, 2015 at 12:22 pm

Lol 🙂 Maggie and Molly are both already bred and we have access to a bull this summer for a boyfriend 🙂


8 michelle January 1, 2015 at 12:56 pm

we had similar experiences with arbor foundation trees. we’ve had the best luck with Meyers. my lemon tree has been mowed over, frozen, etc and it still produces


9 Lana January 1, 2015 at 3:26 pm

The goal this year is to clean out all of the excess stuff in our home of 20 years. We have a lot after raising five children in this house and they are all grown and gone. After being to my parents house over the holidays I am even more motivated. I have no idea how we will ever be able to move them when the time comes because they have so much and they will not part with anything. We do not want to put our children in that position. My sister and don’t think that we could get our parents cleaned out if we worked 12 hours a day for weeks and neither one of us have that option.


10 Nichole @Budget Loving Military Wife January 2, 2015 at 5:32 am

I love your goals! Building a greenhouse is on my wish list, hopefully in the next couple of years! We don’t have goals of self-sufficiency but definitely trying to live a minimalist lifestyle. Best wishes to you and your family!

*Found your blog via The Thrifty Couple’s Link up 🙂


11 loydapc January 2, 2015 at 7:50 am

* Rain barrels for the garden and the chickens
* Add fruit trees (have the catalog and made the list)
* Garden has been very successful but could be better, so spend more time on it and learn how to get rid of those pesty bugs !
* Work on keeping deer and the millions of rabbits out of the garden, looking at an electric solar fence


12 Megan January 2, 2015 at 10:00 am

The lady we get our raw milk from tries to get a count in Spring of people that would be interested in a locally and naturally raised turkey for Thanksgiving. Some people will sign right up (with a deposit), others will wait so she adds a few onto the count. Also, there will be some loss, so account for this as well. I am thinking about the spring when you find sources for selling your excess for profit. It might be a nice add-on product and you can get some of the cost of raising them up front.


13 Megan January 2, 2015 at 10:06 am

I realize that my last post may not have made sense. I am loopy on cold meds. I hope you got the gist of it though.


14 Shannon Knight January 2, 2015 at 10:15 am

I pray that when you are wanting to leave social media behind, you are not referring to dropping your blog. I truly love your blog!


15 Merissa January 2, 2015 at 10:15 am

Nope, I will still be blogging! 🙂


16 Matt January 2, 2015 at 11:37 am

2015 Goals.
1. Get organized so we can see everything that we have. We will probably save money by not having to go to hardware store so much.
2. Wrap up my insulation projects. 3. Encapsulate my crawlspace under the sunken living room.
4. Sell our vacant house in East Alton, Illinois.


17 Ginger January 2, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Try Grandpa’s Orchard and Indiana Berry. These are two tried and true outlets for homestead orchard and berry purchases. we have used them for years. They are affordable and have well appointed and healthy plants and trees. I would highly recommend both.
Turkey pullets are VERY hard to raise. (getting them from a reliable chick hatchery, did not seam to matter.) Try getting started chicks from a local homesteader who has had good luck. They will cost more but will save you in the long run do to servile rates. Good luck.
Western Kentucky sustainable farming wife, mother and grandmother.


18 Jenifer January 2, 2015 at 3:20 pm

2015 Goals
1. Add turkeys, goats, and a jersey cow to our farm.
2. Plant 3 rows of concord & Niagra grapes.
3. Save $$ for Solar. Right now we are generator dependent.
4. Fence in a new pen area for the piggies.
5. Add additional rain barrels.
6. Add a root cellar.
&. Continue to count the blessings on what we do have!!


19 Jackie M January 3, 2015 at 11:48 am

You should contact the local 4H groups for your piglets etc.

My #1 goal for this year is to own my own home.


20 Ronda January 4, 2015 at 8:09 am

Thanks for sharing with us all. I am inspired every time I read your posts. You post has also inspired me today to get off my rear and set some goals. A quote I have seen many times but don’t know who the author is: If you fail to plan then you plan to fail. I am going to make plans to succeed!!!! Thanks please keep sharing


21 Stephanie January 6, 2015 at 7:50 pm

Love your blog. Tried your recipe for easy cinnamon rolls. Delicious.
Your to do list for 2015 is inspiring. Mine not so much.
1. Get rid of all junk in the house and only keep what I like and use regularly.
2. Rabbits for meat. Already have the rabbits but need a proper building to house them in. Husband will never stand for them to be in the garage.
3. Turkey’s also. Failed miserably at them this past year. Will give them another try. This time with a heritage breed.
4. Become a better gardener.
5. Pump on our water well.
6. More fruit trees. Can’t have too many.
7. Will not feed anymore stray cats.


22 Laura at Mommy Maleta January 8, 2015 at 5:01 pm

You will be busy but in a very wonderful, productive way! Thx for linking up at the Thoughtful Spot!


23 Marie January 12, 2015 at 1:47 pm

I want to give you a little advice on your future Orchard.
We put in an orchard (about 75 trees) in northeastern TN. We purchased trees from 4 sources: Stark Bros, Grandpa’s Orchard and Big Horse Creek Nursery (hand-grafted heirloom apple trees), and a few from our local nursery (a very small operation just selling trees purchased from some place else).

My reccommendation: Buy your trees from Stark Bros. Of the trees I purchased from Stark Bros, I purchased some “premium” trees and some regular trees. Almost every tree from Stark’s has not been a disappointment. The trees from Big Horse Creek were very small and will take an extra 4 or more years to even be the same size as the trees from Stark Bros. The Grandpa’s Orchard trees were equally disappointing compared to the Stark Bros. trees. Shipping of the trees was what I expected and the care of wrapping in preparation of the shipping was excellent. Since we purchased these for a future retirement home, the shipping/delivery had to be during a timeframe we were at the home in November so that we could get them in the ground before we left to return to our other home. All of these trees have now been in the ground for approximately 3-4 years and when we finally make this home our permanent home in 2015/16 these trees should be doing very well. I ordered cherry (3 kinds), pears (3 kinds), apricots (3 kinds), peach (5 different kinds), plums (3 different kinds) and the rest are apples, varying on months of readiness for picking. I reccommend getting a Stark Bros. catalogue and studying the varieties and when they will be reading for picking, staggering the readiness so you have a variety of fresh eating, canning, baking, etc. over a prolonged period of time. The same recommendation for the other fruiting varieties should be followed also. Stark’s will also make recommendations for your coldness zone and they are very helpful over the phone too.
Good luck!

There is nothing like being out in the “compound” and being able to just pick an apple for a snack. You will have to figure out how to keep the critters from getting too many of them too! And, the proper pruning will help in good production. There are many great books to help you also…check on Amazon and try to find used books to save $$$


24 Marie January 12, 2015 at 2:12 pm

What I missed in my lengthy explanation of creating an orchard, was that the Stark Bros. trees were of such quality and size that you will probably have less loss, and they replace trees if lost within the first year. Some of the trees were not “stick” trees but were quite thick in the trunk and tall. We used tree guards on the trees and planted them in November so they would have the advantage of the fall/winter/spring rains before the heat of summer. We mulched them well as we were not going to be at the property except in March, August and November. There are great books on permaculture and having “natural orchards” so you may find those interesting and helpful. Again, Good Luck.


25 Merissa January 12, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Thanks for sharing this advice. We were actually going to go with Stark Bros last year before I ended up ordering from Arbor Day so we will have to take a look at the catalog again.


26 Marie January 16, 2015 at 11:42 am

The Stark Bros trees are very sturdy trees and the emails of support during the year are invaluable advice as to pruning and limb “spreading” techniques. I believe the Stark trees will be producing sooner than the other trees also, because of their size when they were put into the ground.


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