Hooley dooley! Yep, it really is March already. Does anyone else feel the months keep flying by quicker and quicker? I had planned on doing a recap months ago on what we had achieved here in the first year of KaMa Heights Farm, but you know…life!
Looking at the homesteading goals we set out for 2017 (see post here) we certainly had a busy year working full time as well as on the property. But boy does it feel amazing to see some of our grand plans coming together. Here’s a quick recap on the goals we had versus what we achieved.
- Upgrade from one phase to three phase power. It may have taken a couple of electricians and multiple visits from the energy company to get this all set up to code but this goal was ticked off with a sigh of relief!
- Install air conditioning throughout. Hell to the yes! TICK. TICK. TICK.
- Solar power installation. 66 blue shiny panels soaking up the Aussie sun rays since October 2017.
- Minor cosmetic updates and dreaming up renovation designs. Not too many updates completed but a lot of ideas have been considered on how to get the most out of the current footprint. We have however just finished fully renovating what was our guest bedroom into a baby’s nursery as our biggest achievement of 2017, falling pregnant with our first bubba, is due to arrive in just a matter of days! Room reveal coming soon.
- Fencing is still on the list of things to do – perimeter and paddock fencing.
- Defining a ‘backyard’. As mentioned in the linked post, this is project made up of many projects and headway is being made. Clearing of dangerous trees too close to the house, excavating and levelling of dirt. We made a makeshift chicken coop out of the annex part of an existing shed in order to remove their old pen which was in an area we wanted to clear.
- Division of paddocks. We fenced off and built one new enclosure, but the main grazing land division is yet to be decided upon.
Our first year at KaMa Heights Farm was full of learning new things, trying new skills (which has included successes and failures!), lots of reading and exploring different ways of doing things.
From composting, designing a seasonal edible garden (you can see our plans here), learning about companion planting, dehydrating food, experimenting with fermentation, and learning all we can about animal husbandry.
We may have said there wouldn’t be any new additions to the farm family in 2017 but a few made their way onto the farm and into our hearts. Oops! We rescued Harvey our majestic panther in April and closing out the year with an early Christmas present came in the form of Daisy and Duke – a 100% Australian Miniature doe and a 75% Australian Miniature / 25% Pygmy wether.
So what will 2018 bring?
We’re certainly entering new territory as we become first time parents (to a human baby that is!) and finding our feet with the little man as we eagerly await his arrival this week will no doubt take time. Among finding our way through dirty nappies and sleepless nights, our ambitions for our second year on KaMa Heights Farm are no less.
- Now that we have one room renovated, the plan is to continue tackling one room at a time and transforming our 80’s panelled ‘up-to-wahzoo’ house into our dream French style farmhouse.
- Keep on keepin’ on developing our backyard space. The last existing structure being the garage and temporary chicken coop needs to come down first before we can continue levelling out the area. Once we have our wide open space, all levelled and clear, it’ll be a lot easier to see what will work where – the new farm shed, chicken coop, edible garden, garden beds etc.
- Build a large chicken coop.
- Fencing, fencing and more fencing!
- Irrigation – laying new pipes to get water from bottom dam to top dam.
- Hatch our own chicks and grow our flock. With an increase in numbers, I would love to be able to start selling our farm fresh eggs also. Given it takes 22-24 weeks to rear them to point of lay, the thriving egg business might be a focus for 2019 though!
- Add a couple of older does to our goat family. We would love to kick off a kidding season, because, well…kids! But also having does in milk that we can add to our farm produce. I mean, who doesn’t love goats cheese!!
- The other addition we are looking to make to the farm is introducing a dorper sheep herd. Two reasons – producing our own meat (Dorper is like the Angus or Wagyu of the sheep world!) and land maintenance. Dorper sheep require low levels of maintenance in comparison with most other sheep breeds as they are wool shedding sheep and don’t require shearing. They have excellent grazing habits and unlike other breeds, aren’t highly selective – they eat everything, weeds and all.
An exciting year ahead and we can’t wait to share it with you.