2018 Goals Recap

Early this year, I published a blog about all the various things we’d like to accomplish in 2018… well this year took a slightly different route then expected. We definitely accomplished a great deal- some of it planned in the blog, some of it out of left field. So I thought it would be fun to review the blog and update everyone on Thewhowhatwherewhenandhow. You know happy new year type stuff.

1.Clear out a significant back portion of our lotas my recent blog described, this turned into a way bigger and more complicated project then we first anticipated. But we are well on our way to accomplishing this goal, as this coming spring we can hire someone to come in and remove the stumps from the cut portions. Then it’s time to start utilizing the space. More on that later.

2. Finish the kitchen and half bathroom in our shed and move onto the rest of it- redoing the electrical, leveling it out more, giving it a new tin roof.

So, we didn’t accomplish all of this. We made huge strides in the kitchen, completing the floor, walls, ceiling, trim.. even got a counter and some plumbing done. But spring sprung on us and we had to put our efforts elsewhere. The good news is, MrGillis is already back at it, getting ready to install the sink, propane line and range. Then it’s time for shelves and boom kitchen is done. We decided to wait on the new roof until the inside was finished. So maybe 2019.

3. Raise pigs for meat– this we did, and did well! We raised 4 pigs for us and family members and can’t wait to do it again next year.

4. Separate the alpacas into two herds based on gender- I am ashamed to admit that this didn’t happen. We got the new pasture up, but didn’t get another shelter built in time, so they’re homing together again this winter. Instead, we brought home 6 more females.

5. Get fiber processed into yarn and put up for sale- this we hit out of the park. We trucked the fiber to Ashland and our store page is up and running. We have more coming soon tho! The next step is an exciting one for me, but more on that later.

6. Separate chickens into two flocks- this also didn’t happen, but mostly because I’m still trying to convince MrGillis that we need a bigger hen house anyway. I put hen saddles on the girls being picked on for months this summer and fall, and the bullies finally got the hint to leave the others alone.

I still want more chickens tho.

7. Expand our strawberry beds- this was another goal we kicked butt at. We put in an additional 1000 bare root plants. We are looking forward to a bountiful harvest next year.

8. This was a secret, a two parter that only worked out halfway. We were all set to become official Coast of Maine and Blue Seal Feeds dealers. Only one of these things worked out.

9.Building ANOTHER add on to our shed-  this didn’t happen. We built a lot of other things instead, including a three sided cedar board shed for storing our bigger things, the mowers, wood chipper, etc. With the price of fuel down, switching to wood heat isn’t a top priority at the moment. That will still happen tho, we have all the pipes s the stove just sitting there.

10. This leads to the fact that the cellar wasn’t turned into a root cellar. We had an excellent harvest, but were able to store everything without the additional space.

11. Continued education- this was a shoe in for success. We learned a lot this year from books, you tube, other successful homestead bloggers and just elbow grease and practical experience. It was fun and I look forward to learning more this coming year. I’ve bought a whole bunch of books for winter reading.

12. The herb garden was a success this year! I didn’t get to plant everything I wanted but I have a bunch of herbs still going strong in our shed- parsley, cat nip, lemon verbena, oregano, thyme, marjoram, mint, sage, and a bunch more. I also taught myself more about foraging and harvesting from the bounty of what nature provides for me right in my yard.

13. We did manage to clean the ponds up a bit more, but basically we just maintained the headway we managed in 2017. There’s still much more to do.

14. We were able to take 2 weekends away before the baby came! They were both wonderful.

That’s it, a full reckoning of last years goals and how well we accomplished them. I think we did pretty good considering a few things got thrown in that we hadn’t expected- the pregnancy and birth of our son, raising 125 meat chickens, expanding the alpaca herd, adopting a rooster… growing a huge garden and harvesting all of that. We had to buy 2 huge freezers to accommodate the amount of food we grew this year, along with dozens more jars. It has been a truly successful year in my book.

Looking forward to 2019- until then have a wicked good day!


Published by gillisgardensllc

This is the official website for Gillis Gardens, LLC. Gillis Gardens is a farm, run by myself and my wonderful husband. We believe in biodiversity, organic growing methods and doing things ourselves. I knit, crochet, make jewelry and sew. MrGillis builds, doing everything from our plumbing to our mechanical to our renovations. We are both active members of our little community. We both take care of the plants and animals. He weeds, I harvest. He spreads manure, I plant. We raise multiple breeds of chickens for eggs and meat. We have a herd of Alpacas that we shear every year for their beautiful fiber, which we then have milled into ultra luxurious yarn. We make our own maple syrup, preserves and pickles. We raise bees for honey and herbs for medicine. We also raise pigs for meat and fun. We are the parents of two young children, and consider that our most important job. Follow our adventures here and also on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

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