Happy New Year – the next chapter!

Happy New Year to one and all, I hope you all enjoy whatever it is you set out to do this year.  Life is for living and I continue to try and make the most of every minute. 
Around this time, many people are reflecting on what the last year brought for them. Today I am going to focus on the plans we have for 2018. The reason is, come January 15th we will have our 2nd year moving in anniversary, which is when I will look back on 2017.
I was outside in the back garden this morning with the dogs, as we are house training Annie. I generally have to stand there a while, come rain or shine, night or day so I get plenty of time to think and plan. This year we have some big plans and I am ridiculously excited about them.

Firstly we need to look even further forward, to 2020, which is when we hope Ste can run this place full time. What does that mean? We’re still working it out, but it will pull in a small profit to give us the pocket money we need to ‘live off’. To do this we need to know exactly how much we spend and on what, so I know how much money we need to just live. To a degree, we already know. However I need details. So the idea this year is to make a note of every penny spent on groceries and food. Groceries includes household items such as washing up liquid, soap, shampoo etc. I am still working out how I’ll report back on this on the blog. Maybe totals weekly or monthly.  Food also includes any money we spend on eating out/takeaways/eating on days out etc.
To keep food and household bills down, we will have to continue to think differently. We grow a lot of fruit and veg already and that’s going to take off even more this year.

Secondly, to help with that take off, in March/April, we’re buying a polytunnel which is going where the pigs were last year. We will plant directly into the ground in there as it’ll be perfectly manured thanks to the pigs. It’s going to be a big polytunnel, an investment, so we need to plan, plan, plan and get busy! I am also researching which company to use for the purchase.

Thirdly we’re getting more pigs around the same time as the polytunnel. We plan on getting 3 pigs, a traditional breed which we won’t breed from this year, but hope to sell the meat off 1 to back pay for the keep of the other 2.

Fourthly, also at a similar time (wow, we’re going to be busy) we are hoping to have April fools day lambs. Or there abouts! The tup has been with our girls for two cycles now, and is still here. We plan on getting them scanned in February I think it is, to see what’s what.  Sorry to those who don’t agree, however the pigs and lambs will all be for meat/sale.

Fifthly (that doesn’t sound right), we are going to have a separate fund for 2 new bathrooms.  This again is something that is a long term investment. It’ll keep the house in good condition and sort out a damp/mould problem we have in our bathroom. That won’t be until after the summer that we do that as we need to save first and I think we have enough on in March/April and May!

Finally, we don’t know when this one will happen, but Ste is going to convert one of our small outbuildings (or find something suitable) to turn into a workshop which he desperately needs and will be a must for when he works from home and runs this place full time.

So this is the start of my planning posts, sorry there’s been a lack of photos.  I’ll put some below as there’s always a cute puppy one to be had!  As we start to put these plans in actions, I’ll of course keep the blog updated.

In the mean time, I’m sowing seeds and looking for potato recommendations (maincrop for north east planting that are good storers anyone?) which I will post about this week. 

Have a lovely New Year’s Day evening.  After going to feed the horses now, we shall be mostly sitting down as I have caught the lurgy (cold/throat/chest) that is doing the rounds and need to recharge.

6 thoughts on “Happy New Year – the next chapter!

  1. Hi Tracy,I foresee that you will be buying further land if the opportunity comes up. You go for it – I am so chuffed for you all. Its good to see so many plans. I personally think a large polytunnel or two is a must to get the edge on growing stuff to feed everyone and preserve for out of season. Have you thought about keeping Quails? Quite a few years ago I read an article where a young couple of homesteaders had taken on some Quail and were keeping them in an old stable. The return was quite phenomenal (if you buy 12 small Quail eggs from Waitrose they are nearly £3). It is just a thought as I think apart from feeding, bedding they are quite easy to look after). It is something I had always thought of doing if I ever get the land – that and rare breed chickens/bantams. Its going to be a flurry of spreadsheets by sound of it this year but if that helps in the overall costings then that is all that matters. Lots of new animals as well. Don't forget the preserving. It really is good to see you doing so well. Annie looks like she has been with you all forever. Keep warm and take care of yourself Tricia xx

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  2. Eeek! I love reading about your plans, chic! GREAT news about the 2020 plans, shame our recently made plan didn't come off but as you know we have to support people for a few months then we can crack on. Very exciting about the poly tunnel. Eeek, more pigs and April lambs that will be great and now you have had some lambing experience I'm sure you and Ste will do great guns. A work shop for Ste will be great! That is one reason Jon was wanting to get the tractor shed cleared as well as for the B n B. I am wanting to order spuds from the GYO mag plus some others and need to make sure I get the ones I want. Not a big outlay just after Christmas for a good potato profit! Do hope that blight doesn't get us again this year. Fab post Tracy even without photos. Look forward to the next installment!xx

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  3. Brilliant plans. The polytunnel here is the most productive part of our growing area I would never be without one now.We grow straight into the ground but built raised beds to give us even more depth and keep the earth contained. Unfortunately we didn't have pigs this time to manure the ground for us, they are coming in again later this year. But we at least have lots of chicken manure to feed the beds with, and a huge stack of horse manure that is rotting down nicely.

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