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Project Plans for the New Year

Every January 1st Dan and I set goals for the upcoming year. In the beginning, this was because we had so much to do that we had to prioritize and choose. Now, there is still a lot to do, but our longterm project list isn't so long and overwhelming. Much of what we do are routine seasonal activities: planting, harvesting, firewood, etc. Some of it is maintenance and repair. Those kinds of things don't make it to our annual goal list. What does, are major building projects, repairs, upgrades, and other improvements that will help us toward our goal of greater self-reliance. Here's our list for 2019.

1. Carport.

The carport has been a multipurpose building since we bought the place. It's been used for my car, storage, tool shed, and Dan's workshop. Once the barn was finished, it became our firewood storage. Unfortunately, the poor thing has been on the verge of falling down for a while now; the roof is pretty much shot and the girders need fixing. So this is project number one, with the first step being to decide whether it's repairable or needs to be torn down. It's definitely useful for firewood storage, plus it would be nice if we could create a small outdoor kitchen there.

2. Drainage. Rain runoff from our houses' largest roof surface drains into the driveway, runs down the driveway, and creates one huge puddle between the house and the barn.

The carport question is bringing it to the forefront because the water drains into the carport! Dan's previous fixes have only temporarily resolved it, and since we've had an exceptionally rainy winter so far the problem is continually before us. We're working on a more permanent solution to the problem, so expect more on that soon.

While the ducks love the big puddles, it's a nuisance for everyone else.

Those are the projects we'll address first. Two other things we'd like to make a reality are:

Poultry yard. Dan's not been happy with the chicken yard for a while, especially since we've had to keep them off pasture while we are planting and soil building. So we've been discussing options. Besides building more grazing beds, he'd like to build a house with a permanent "pond" for our Muscovies.

Solar project. We've dabbled some with solar projects, all useful, but small. My next project is a bit more ambitious, but one that I think is important. I want a solar back-up for an extra fridge and the freezer. If we lose the grid for even a couple of days in the heat of summer, there is the potential to lose a lot of food. We try to eat mostly fresh and I can a lot, but I usually have a surplus of milk and eggs in summer that I wouldn't want to lose. The freezer is important for quite a bit of our meat, also extra produce for winter freezer canning. Protecting these perishables during a power outage is important. I should have more on this project sometime later this year.

Between these and our seasonal projects, we are looking forward to a busy but productive year. So how about you? Do you have a list of goals for 2019?


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