Monday, October 25, 2010

Reflections of a first-year Homesteader

After truly diving in to this so-called homstead adventure this year, I thought it would be nice to sum up some of my thoughts, lessons learned, and plans for next year. The end(ish) of the harvest is a good time to reflect on what went well, what could have gone better, and what really does not need to even be bothered with next year. So let's do that.

Worked well:
Potatoes did really well. Need more
Onions were awesome, easy to care for. More, I say!
Lettuce was delicious, although slower than I expected, since I am impatient
Carrots are easy to fit along borders, smaller spaces. Yes!
Tomatoes... mmm! Canned over 18 quarts of tomato sauce. More next year!
Basil was great- need to utilize more
Jalepenos were just hot enough, great in chili and other dishes

Not so well:
Strawberries did not produce like I wanted, didn't have enough. No strawberries next year
Raspberry plant grw like crazy, produced 5 berries. Is young plant, however
Blueberry bushes similar- 5 berries. Oh well!
Celery was kind of a cool novelty, but took up vital space for other stuff
Glacier tomatoes kind of tasted gross. I'll just wait for the real thing

Seed starting-
Worked well:
Lettuce indoors was awesome
Basil was brought in at beginning of Oct and is doing well

Not so well:
Need to start things on time :)

Worked well:
Peaches were delicious
Apples were easier to do with apple core and peeler machine

Not so well:
Tomatoes went quickly- need more for sauce next year
Pickles- more next year

Worked well:
Onions are storing well so far- will run out quickly since we use a lot
Potatoes- same story!
Carrots- could store next year as well

Not so well:

Worked well:
Getting into pattern of going to Co-op for most things, Kroger for snacks and processed only
Getting local meat, eggs, milk, butter and bread delivered to our door! :) :) :) :)
Not so well:
Went to farmer's market a lot towards end of summer- need to work on it!
Worked well:
Getting pretty good at buying recycled paper products consistently
Moon cup
Most cleaning products are eco-friendly
Can now recycle 1s-5s! :)

Goals for 2011-2012

20 potato plants
75 onions
50 heads of lettuce
20 tomato plants
4 basil plants
200 carrots
4 jalepeno plants
10 bulbs of garlic
2 watermelons
2 bell pepper plants
4 pumpkin plants
4 zucchini plants

*Expand into "raspberry bed"
**Make potato bed deeper

Seed Starting-
Start everything possible indoors
*Have saved many seeds already!


6 pints Pickles
20 quarts Tomato Sauce
20 pints Peaches
10 pints Pears
3 pints Cranberry Sauce
5 pints, 30 4 oz Applesauce
12 pints Baked Apple preserves
5 pints Blueberry jam

12 half-pints Corn
4 quarts Beef Chili
16 frozen Raspberry Muffins

4 bags apples rings
6 bags banana chips
fruit leathers?
2 bags dried cranberries


200 potatoes
50 onions

Purchasing- TBD

Living- TBD


  1. Don't most berries take a couple years to really produce? I know my strawberries did really well the second year.

  2. Very true :) yes I am just impatient and I think for me, rather than having a little small patch of strawberries, I will just go to a local farm and pick them and use that space for something else!

    I'm pretty impatient for a gardener sometimes :)