Take a minute and dream with me, will ya’?
‘Cause this lady is ready to hit 2017 hard with some farm projects!
I cannot be stopped, for I am on a mission.
A mission of fences and gardens and trees and ponds. Yes, ponds.
(psst, before you continue, don’t forget to follow us on YouTube throughout this year’s adventures!)
From debt-free to project-glee!
2016 was a year of scrimping & saving as we finished paying off our home. It was a huge accomplishment, and something we still keep pinching ourselves about. This past year, we were only able to do a tiny bit of renovation in our family room with some new shutters and a fresh coat of paint on the walls of our family room.
But this year. Oh man, this year.
It’s gonna be EPIC.
Project #1 – Goats
I mean, really, it seems fitting that the goats should be at the top of the list, am I right? These ladies have stuck with me through my early years of milking where I had absolutely no experience and had to resort to using my old breast pump to milk my goats. True story.
This project is ALL about a proper goat fencing & milking area. I feel British saying that.
“Right-o, yes, no more of this rubbish. I want it gone, all gone! What we need is proper fencing.”
Am I the only one imagining myself in a fancy 1800’s dress & pointing a white gloved hand at the yard while saying this?
But seriously, we DO need proper fencing.
Over the years we’ve had all sorts of “homemade-fencing-concoctions” and those of you who’ve dabbled in “homemade-fencing-concoction” husbandry understand that they are rather drab & tend to fall down like the London bridge.
No more. This week it’s getting installed so be sure to follow along on our YouTube channel to see how it goes!
Project #2 – Kitchen & Shiplap Ceiling
If you’ve followed along on our home renovation, you know this main family room of ours has had the biggest transformation. I love crisp, white walls and a bohemian/modern farm style and the last piece of the puzzle is good ol’ shiplap on the ceiling. My friend Shaye has gorgeous shiplap in her house, and she’s been wearing off on me, so this will definitely be a project we’ll start with.
I originally planned to put some art pieces on the wall, but I’m holding out a bit because I’m actually loving the minimalist look for now. It makes me feel like I’ve actually got a clean house.
The kitchen itself will need an entire do-over. We’ve painted over old cabinets and used old appliances, but now I’m stoked to get it just the way I want it. More pics to come on that!
Project #3 – Garage & Garage
Two garages, eh?
Let me explain.
Right now we have a garage off the kitchen that has it’s own bathroom, and what we’d really love to do is to enclose it and make it liveable space — sort of a place that will be for homeschooling, guests, and entertaining.
And because we won’t have a garage if we enclose it, we’ll be building another garage off the back of the house. We have lots of supplies & tools to store here on the farm, so a well-organized garage is just what we need.
Project #4 – More Garden space & Pasture Rotation
In my drawing above, you can see we have A LOT of space in our pasture. This year we’re hoping to incorporate some pasture rotation with an electric fence, and then add another garden area. You can never have too much space for a garden, so we’re excited to bring more of that in this year.
We already have quite a few fruit & nut trees we planted last year, so this year will be all about feeding & nurturing them with compost and a good layer of woodchips to help them flourish.
I would also love to start planning for a greenhouse right behind the garage as well!
Project #5 – A pond!
Be still, my heart how I’d love a pond! I’ve always wanted a natural pool for the kids to swim in, and we’ve dabbled in cleaning our above ground pool with only hydrogen peroxide, but I want to dive full in this year and create our very own swimmable pond;)
The summers are brutal here, and I think our huge shade trees might be the perfect place to put a pond under.
I’ve been digging into the research and have found that lots of people have even had success growing catfish in their pond and harvesting a couple times a year.
And what would a pond be without a nice wood deck to jump off of? That’s definitely gonna be a must.
So what are your plans this year?
Is it a year of saving up or a year of full-project mode for you? Are you getting new animals, building a garden, or maybe obsessed with ponds like I am? Either way, 2017 is gonna be amazing — I can feel it.
p.s. If you’d like to plan out your farm like I have, head over to Gardena and start dreamin’.
Holly Myers says
This coming year I would love to get more fruit trees, clean the greenhouse, and build more gardens!
Chrissy Davenport says
I am in complete awe over your plans and your yard (not sure you could even call it that!). We have 14+ acres and there are many times, almost daily, we wish we had more space to do this & that & to get this critter or that critter! Even though we’re almost complete opposites in many ways – we live in Minnesota, we have 14+ acres … there’s so much of what you’re doing that can transfer over to what we’re doing. Thanks!
DaNelle, I love your articles and videos. You are an inspiration to me. I noticed though with your new post, “Our 2017 Farm Dreams & projects”, it has a plan drawing of your property. It seems your plan looks quite a bit different than it did when you had your plan posted in your “Planning an Efficient Pasture Rotation For Goats” post, where you had a drawing of 4 pastures in the back corner. Your new plan appears to have the entire back yard as the pasture. I’m in the planning stages myself, for building my pastures, and pens, and milking area, etc. I am just curious if you decided not to do the rotational pasture method? Is the large main pasture area just for the sheep, or are the goats going to be let out of their pens, and allowed to go in that pasture as well? My question may be more involved than just a simple answer, and who knows may even warrant a separate post, on why you are choosing to design your setup like you are instead of the aforementioned rotational pasture method you had previously spoke about doing. I do not own goats as of now, but we are drawing up a master plan of our property in preparation for goats, pigs, chickens, cattle, donkeys and I am just curious to the reasoning behind your decision to go with the plan you have chosen. Your wisdom is much appreciated, Thank you for all the time you take to teach us!
What did you use to create the 1 acre plot layout picture?
DaNelle Wolford says
I used https://www.gardena.com/uk/garden-life/my-garden/
Lauren Guess says
Those are great plans! I am so glad you shared the website that you can log on to plan your yard/garden, I have been looking for something exactly like that for weeks!! Thank you so much!
This year plans are in place and already in the making! We are starting a goat farm on our 2 acres, we ave already re modled our kitchen, dining room and living room! Next is our office and the guest room…..
Remodeled * lol
Richard J Nelson says
This year’s progect is to finish up the milk Barn for our goats and hopefully increase productivity
Love your blog and YouTube videos.
What software did you use for laying out your plot?
DaNelle Wolford says
I used https://www.gardena.com/uk/garden-life/my-garden/
Richard J Nelson says
I think that you should write a book on your experience with dairy goats I’m sure it would be a big hit
Let’s go, 2017! This year we are getting meat chickens and laying chickens for the first time. We are breeding our goats for the first time as well. Making a garden this spring. We might put in a pond with a few fish, too, let me know how that works for you!
First, let me say 2 things….I love your blog and you are such an inspiration. When a blogger can show their real personality, sense of humor and strength all in a blog post, then I am drawn in. And you have drawn me in! I look forward to each email I open. And I’ll be joining your YouTube channel.
To answer your question….2017 is a “saving up” and planning year for my family. We will be selling one house/property (11 acres of deep, dark woods on a mountain that I love) and purchasing more usable land for farming….probably fewer acres. Life and priorities change and I am embracing change in 2017.
This is sooooo kewl, and I just want to start out saying that goats are the smartest animal….and cute! I had a little mini-farm for my “divorce therapy” several years ago and it was the goats and the chickens and the ducks, and of course all the cats, that got me through it. I rescued all the goats from livestock auctions which as a city girl from Philly I never knew existed.
WOndering about the urban thing….I would really like another goat or 2 and maybe a couple chickens for my backyard but unsure where to begin.
I absolutely LOVE your plans! We also live on an acre of land and this year’s plans are to get out of debt, build several garden boxes where I have cleared out an awkward place in the yard and learn to grow our own produce, clear out the bottom half of the yard that is over grown (considering goats for this task), and hopefully finish our basement (by September) since we found out we’re pregnant again. I’m wanting to create an edible landscape over the next few years so our grocery budget can go towards organic products that I want to purchase such as milk and meats.
I love your blog and am looking forward to seeing your plans come forth this year.
I love the beginning of the year and making goals! You sure do have some awesome dreams, good luck realizing them! And yes, proper fencing for goats can save you a lot of headaches 🙂
We just started homesteading so we are just looking to get everything up and running this year (our vegetable garden for instance) and getting the place cleaned up. X
Kelly Ruske says
Your dreams are definitely a fun and entertaining, as well as an inspiring and educational experience for me as I began following you, (not as a stalker,lol), but on Facebook. I already have chickens and an organic garden, a couple of fruit trees, and a small yard in the Arizona desert. I have been researching how to raise goats, make cheese, and other homemade healthy stuff. That is how I found you and have been enjoying your charm and zest for life ever since. I also admire that you home school!
I have also found inspiration from Kaye Kittrell, “Late Bloomer” you tube videos on how to turn your yard into a sustainable food producer. She has toured several home gardens here in the valley and they are amazing. I met up with her for one of the yard tours and it was so much fun!
Anyways, thank you for sharing your talents and dreams.