2016 was both exciting and humbling here on Forever And Always Homestead and has us excited about the new steps we are taking in 2017. If you are interested you can read more about 2016 in our Successes And Lessons Learned For 2016 post.
So what is in-store for 2017?
- Our Market – So first and foremost one of the things we are most excited about for 2017 is that we will be officially operating as a small-scale meat and egg producer. We will be raising and selling broilers, ducks, eggs, pork and of course our goat milk soap. All our animals will be raised on grass utilizing a rotational grazing method in order to properly manage our property and feed non-GMO supplemental feed as needed. Our primary method of sales will be through a Chicken and Egg CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and presales. We also plan on emailing our “Market Update” stating what all we have available that week so our customers can let us know what they want. If you are interested in signing up for our Market Update please click on the link and sign up. We would love the opportunity to provide you with fresh and delicious food.
- Hogs – We ended 2016 and began 2017 with the addition of hogs. We chose the American Guinea Hog due to its smaller size, ability to forage and its meat quality. Our goal with the American Guinea Hogs is to maintain a breeding trio (2 sows and one boar). We will breed for both meat and breeding stock. We will choose the best of the liters as future breeding stock for us or to be sold. The remainder of the litters will be sold either as feeder pigs or raised here for meat.
- Broilers and Ducks – As mentioned above we will be raising broilers and ducks this year for meat. We chose Freedom Rangers for our broilers and Muscovy for our ducks. We wanted to choose breeds that will forage well in our grass based system and have reduced inherent health issues. Our broilers and ducks will be raised on grass utilizing a tractor style enclosure to house them and protect them from predators. Throughout the day they will have access to small paddock areas in order to forage for a percentage of their diets.
- Blog Updates – We have certainly not been as diligent in our blog posts as we would like. Our plan is to set a schedule of posting a new blog every Monday and every Friday. These blogs may include updates about Forever And Always Homestead, breeds we chose to raise, some of the methods we use and some DIY tutorials. If there is something you would like to see us post about please let us know by commenting below, contacting us by Email, or contacting us through Facebook.
- Infrastructure – We are planning on doing a few improvements to our farming infrastructure this year. First we have a 30/32 foot garage / shop we are planning on converting to our barn. We will be building bay areas where the animals can go during extreme weather conditions or that we can use for isolation reasons as needed. We will also put some kidding / farrowing areas in it as well. The other infrastructure improvement we are planning is put in a strong perimeter fence. This is extremely overdue and necessary. It will protect our animals and allow us to fully utilize our land for our grazing management.
As you can see there will be a lot going on this year and I am sure the learning curve will be steep but we are up for the challenge. We are also kicking around a few other ideas for 2017 and still doing some research whether they are feasible. We will know more about these ideas in future posts. We are so excited about this life, these next steps on our journey for 2017 and sharing them with everyone. Thank you for following us and if you have any questions or comments please let us know by commenting below, contacting us by Email, or contacting us through Facebook.