Set your 2020 wild homesteading goals!

3 Tips to Set Your 2020 Wild Homesteading Goals

2020 is just around the corner. So what are your goals for the new year? It can be challenging to know what to focus on and where to start. But if you focus your goals and keep them from getting too big, you can pick achievable goals that will help build your wild homestead. Keep reading to learn how.

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I remember planning out my wild homestead when my wife and I first purchased our land. I had loads of ideas, and I really wanted to get started on them right away to build our wild homestead.

But then the deer came… and my priorities quickly shifted to keeping the deer out so my plants could grow.

We also had our little boy, and then, a couple years later, our little girl. Having 2 young kids really changes how much time you have for other priorities.

The result is that a lot of my grand plans and goals went uncompleted and got pushed back. Some projects from that time are still unfinished.

But I also learned an important lesson.

I pulled back my efforts and refocused on the area closer to our house—what would be called zone 1 and 2 in permaculture design.

Now, instead of trying to set my goals around almost 3 acres of land, I could instead focus on a third of an acre. With this new focus, I’m making steady progress and really transforming this inner area.

Learning to focus my efforts is just part of the lessons I have learned when it comes to setting goals for my wild homestead. Let’s dive into 3 tips to help you set your own 2020 wild homesteading goals.

But before we do, make sure to grab your free and easy-to-print worksheet all about rewilding your homestead. As you set your 2020 wild homesteading goals, it’s important not to forget to work with nature and support local wildlife.

Focusing Your 2020 Wild Homesteading Goals

Keep your 2020 wild homesteading goals focused

We love to have our kids help us with our gardens. But we also want a garden they can call their own, where they can grow whatever they want. This is part of our goal of producing more food on our wild homestead, (while making it fun for the whole family.) I’m still building this garden but it will be done in time for spring planting!

When you start thinking about your 2020 wild homesteading goals, first think about what would make the biggest difference on your wild homestead. What would transform your life the most?

On our wild homestead, we decided that what would make the biggest impact on our life is to increase our food production.

The first couple years were all about keeping deer out, setting up some basic infrastructure (fences, sheds, etc.), and getting a framework of hedgerows and other perennial plant systems in place.

But during this time, our food production was fairly low. We grew vegetables amongst our young shrubs and trees, but we didn’t have a permanent garden.

Now we do, but we need more food—especially staple crops like potatoes—if we are to feed our growing family.

We also want more fruits and berries! Got to have some of the fun foods, too!

So for us, our 2020 wild homesteading goals are focused around expanding our food production. To meet this goal, we are setting up a new growing area with a warm micro-climate on the south side of our house, as well as a couple new potato beds, and a series of terraces for corn, squash and other crops.

Oh, and we are building a new garden just for our kids, so they can start growing their own vegetables. Of course they’ll be able to help out with other garden spaces, but this will be a place they can really take ownership, to make their own choices and learn from their mistakes. I always had a garden bed of my own as a kid that I just loved—I always grew lots of carrots!

While these growing spaces will be a lot of work to set up, they will also be done early. And combined with our existing kitchen garden, our food production will increase dramatically.

It doesn’t matter if your goal is bigger or smaller than ours, as long as you keep it focused. By focusing our core goal on increasing our food production, that means we should prioritize building our new garden beds over other projects—even if those projects would be more fun (like building ponds!).

But all this new food production will have some ripple effects that will influence our other 2020 wild homesteading goals. Let’s talk about these in the next section.

Don’t Forget About the Ripple Effects

What does your first 2020 wild homesteading goal lead to?

Even with just our kitchen garden, we had a hard time keeping up with our purple climbing beans and our scarlet runner beans. But we love these plants. So what do we do when we are producing even more vegetables?

When you start transforming your wild homestead, you will likely have some ripple effects to keep in mind. Predicting what these impacts will be can help inform your other 2020 wild homesteading goals.

Our goal of producing more food will result in, well, a lot more food! Which is great, but we have to be able to use it all.

This means changing our cooking habits, as well as making sure we can preserve our new abundance!

This takes us to another one of our 2020 wild homesteading goals: improving our storage capacity for preserved foods.

To do this, we’re considering buying an upright freezer and potentially improving the shelving in our pantry. All of this would give us more room for freezing our vegetables and storing canned or dried foods.

Without these additions to our wild homestead, we might not be able to use all the new food we’ll be producing.

So when you start thinking about your 2020 wild homesteading goals, make sure to think through what will happen if you achieve your goals.

If you do this for each of your goals, you will be able to plan through all the steps you need to take to fully achieve your goals in 2020.

For us, adding a new freezer also means changing up a room that’s currently an office to make room for the freezer. This could mean we need to buy or build a new desk that my wife and I can share instead of having 2 separate desks.

All this from the first goal of growing more food! So make sure to think through your goals and what the ripple effects will be so you’re not surprised by the results!

Pick Goals that Will Save You Time or Work

Can your 2020 wild homesteading goals save you time?

Honestly, I don’t know if getting chickens will save us time or not. But I do know they will make some jobs easier for me. Plus, they will feed into our first goal by giving us eggs, which will greatly increase the amount of food we get from our wild homestead.

Running a wild homestead takes time and energy. So my final tip for setting your 2020 wild homesteading goals is to think about what you can do to save yourself time and/or work in the future.

One example is growing more perennial vegetables and setting up a food forests. This will take upfront time, but in the long run, you will save time and energy by reducing how much planting you need to do each spring in order to get a harvest.

Or you could finish mulching all your plants so you don’t need to water as often in the summer.

Achieving these goals will free up some of your time for other things—there are always other things to do!

For us, we are thinking about getting chickens in 2020. Now, in many ways this will mean more work for us, from letting them out each morning and feeding them to moving them around our wild homestead. Plus, we need to build them a coop!

That’s actually why we’ve put off getting chickens for so long. It’s a big time commitment! The more time you spend caring for chickens, the less time you have for other things, and I had too many other projects that needed my attention.

But the chickens can also be used to help prepare land for planting. If we use a mobile coop with an electric poultry net fence, we can move our chickens around our land and use them as the first pass to help clear land for future plantings.

Plus, they also help build soil fertility through their droppings! Easy fertilizer!

I have relied on sheet-mulching for most of my land prep work close to my house. But as I finish that area and move further away from my house, I need helpers.

Luckily, chickens love to scratch, and they can be effective at removing existing vegetation. Just think how bare a permanent chicken run can get! I don’t want that, but I do want help transitioning the land from old pasture to productive food systems that also support wildlife.

Chickens can be a big help. (Plus, we’ll get a lot of food from them!)

Set Your 2020 Wild Homesteading Goals to be Achievable

Are your 2020 wild homesteading goals achievable?

This new garden bed (currently a work in progress) will help us achieve our core 2020 wild homesteading goal of producing more food. This garden bed has a warm micro-climate due to it being raised and located along the south side of our house. A great place to grow tomatoes, basil, peppers and egg plants!

As you set your goals, don’t go too crazy with them. Everything takes time, and it’s better to make steady progress on growing your wild homestead instead of trying to do it all at once.

Our goal of producing more food could be a huge one.

But we are focusing on 3 new garden areas which will all be completed by spring. Also, by front-loading our efforts, we can make sure we have more time later in the year for the other parts of the goal—preserving and using the abundance of food we will be growing.

By front-loading our efforts, we can make sure we have more time later in the year for the other parts of the goal—preserving and using the abundance of food we will be growing.

Breaking up your goals into separate projects and tasks and then checking those off 1 by 1 is a great way to make your goals achievable.

Wild Tip

Your goal can be big and broad, like “Grow more food!” But if you want to achieve it, be sure to map it out with the specific projects you want to complete that help you attain that goal. Listing out projects, and breaking those projects down into the step-by-step components, will help make your goals achievable. It will also help you make sure your goals are realistic.

Keep in mind that new tasks and projects will come up. I just had a deer break part of my deer fence, which resulted in me spending time away from my other projects to fix and strengthen the fence.

Things always come up, so make sure to give yourself some extra time.

Plus, we all need time to relax and hangout with family and friends. Don’t make yourself so busy you never get time to enjoy the amazing abundance you are creating on your wild homestead.

One last thing—as you are setting your goals and mapping out the specific projects you’ll be working on, remember that you can work strategies into those projects that will give back to the land and support your local wildlife, too!

Rewildling your homestead is a great way to do this. So before you go, make sure to grab your free and easy-to-print worksheet all about rewilding your homestead.


If you like this post, please share it:
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If you like this post, please share it:
Daron

Daron is a restoration ecologist, a lifelong gardener, and the founder of Wild Homesteading. He manages the restoration program for a local non-profit, and he applies restoration and sustainable gardening techniques on his family’s own wild homestead. He loves sharing the joy of growing food with his two beautiful children. In addition, to running this site Daron manages the restoration program for a local non-profit and is a husband to an amazing wife who makes this site and the homestead possible and daddy to 2 perfect kids.

  • Bill says:

    Nice flow of plans! And planning process. Have been at this wild homesteading for a long time and continue to fight the same critter, food production and storage but each year the processes get ever better and now almost no fossil fuels!

  • Travis says:

    I have always believed in doing one big project per year, and no more. That too me is manageable, and limits burn-out. To me, the biggest issue homesteaders face is burn-out. And while few think it will happen to them, in the forty years I have lived here, the area is doted with homesteaders who gave up after just a few years. Sheep and goat farming is a mere 3 years. Homesteading in general is 8 years before people tend to quit. It all has to do with burn-out, and if a person cannot see tangible results, they feel like they fail.

    So I try and do one big project per year, like fence a field, build a barn, or clear forest into field. Those are big projects. But naturally I get a bunch of smaller ones done too. Over the years I have really transformed my farm, and others have noticed. It has just taken 12 years; 12 big projects to really show that progress. But I am still farming too.

    • Daron says:

      Great advice Travis and thank you for sharing! Avoiding burnout is very important and yeah, it’s something a lot of us struggle with. Good luck with your project!

  • Diane says:

    My three goals this year:

    Save for/have a double gate installed in the chainlink fence so I can drive my truck into the back next Fall with soil amendments instead of having to cart it.

    Seed in reseeding and perennial groundcovers and pollinator plants in prepared open areas while all my leaf and wood chip piles rot down and develop mycelium.

    Work on my tree collard patch.

  • Jay says:

    Setting goals is always a challenge for me. I try to keep a “running list” because some days either the weather or my body don’t cooperate with the main goal. Sometimes it’s *very* important to break the “big goal” down into steps and to celebrate achieving those steps in an effort to keep the momentum!

    • Daron says:

      Yeah, breaking a big goal into small steps is a great strategy! Otherwise it just feels like you don’t make progress. Great tip and thanks for sharing!

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