Chickens / Homestead Vision and Action / Management

Homestead Vision and Action

We all have goals for our self-sufficiency, our farms, and our flock.  The more clearly we can define our goals – really see them – the more likely we are to work smart to achieve them.  Join me in setting goals and envisioning your flock’s future!

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photo credit: mcarpentier via photopin cc

We have long dreamed of a homestead in West Virginia.  We knew what we wanted: more than 10 acres, southern exposure, a strong spring, another body of water on the property, a large pasture, views, and – in my husband’s case – spruce.  We found many of those things and many amazing things we hadn’t even hoped for on an amazing property in Arkansas.  I would have happily moved across the country to live on this property.

However, a better opportunity arose and we sold the property in Arkansas to buy a property in West Virginia which has all we were asking for and much more.  It is in the mountains my husband loves and closer to home.  The soon-to-be-ours property is at 3,800 feet in the frosted spruce in West Virginia in the same area as the Snowshoe Mountain Resort.  It is 14 acres and has southern exposure, such a strong spring that it has been used to plumb the house since the 1930s, a stocked pond, a large pasture, amazing views like those in the picture above, and the most ancient, amazing spruce grove my husband has ever seen.  If all goes well, there will be pictures soon.

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photo credit: archer10 (Dennis) via photopin cc

We knew what we wanted, and we imagined living on a property like this.  We feel so blessed to have the opportunity to live there.  This experience has inspired me to take the same approach to other goals in my life and taught me to be specific in defining what I want.  If you know what you want, you can move towards it and know when you’ve attained it instead of accepting what meets your minimum standards of satisfaction.

There was a time when we had no way of financing this, no conceivable path in sight, but we decided that we would find a way and that it would happen, no matter what.  Committing ourselves to achieving our goal, no matter how distant or unrealistic it seemed, freed us to pursue unconventional strategies.  It took us about nine years to get here, but here we are and it feels amazing.

This didn’t just happen to us.  We spent many hours figuring out how to take the next step and then the next after that.  The purpose of setting the vision is to let us know where we want to go.  Setting goals helps us to be more attuned to related information in our daily lives that can become opportunities to gain resources or education.  With clear goals, we can evaluate opportunities that arise and help us decide if they take us closer to our goal or off of our path.  We can decide how to use our energy, time, and resources. 

Setting goals is like making a grocery shopping list.  It helps to make sure that you remember to get everything you need and to avoid the temptations that would get you off-track.

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photo credit: BlueRidgeKitties via photopin cc

Setting Homestead and Flock Goals

Now I want to define my goals for my homestead and my flock for the next stage of my life.  First, I will imagine what I want my life to look like.  I will give myself time for ideas to arise.  Then, I will write them out to define them completely.  Rather than minimizing my goals until they seem practical and attainable, I am going to envision what would be ideal.  I’ve never grown out of daydreaming, and I suggest you don’t either!  After my goals are set, I will mobilize my time, attention, and resources to pursue my goals.

Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.                      – Les Brown

I will be setting goals, and I invite you to join me!

  • Spend some time thinking about how you would like to improve your flock, your management, or another aspect of your homestead.
  • Define what you want in each of the areas listed in my next post.
  • Write down your ideas in a journal.
  • If you feel like sharing, post your goals in the comments here or on Scratch Cradle’s Facebook page.
  • You can also pin pictures of what you would like to see to the Homestead Vision and Action group Pinterest board.  Leave me a comment on any of my pins on the Vision and Action board and I will send you an invitation to join!
  • After we set our goals, we will choose one to begin working towards now.  We will brainstorm ideas on how to take the first steps!

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photo credit: archer10(dennis) via photopin cc

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The Chicken ChickNatural Living Mamma

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25 thoughts on “Homestead Vision and Action

  1. Talk about striking while the iron is hot! WOW! Congratulations to you and yours. Great news for east coast EOs – d:^))

    • Thanks, MD! We’ll be about 2.5 hours from Staunton, so still a hefty drive. When my husband is onto something, he acts fast! It is amazing how quickly these real estate deals are going. We’ll be closing next week! It will be so much easier to move there. I just can’t even put into words how thrilled I am. I will also still be able to come to VA EO get-togethers from time to time!

  2. Your goals and the old saying “you have to have a dream for a dream to come true” will work just like ours did about retiring in Costa Rica. Enjoy your dream! Paradise is where you make your paradise (ours is at 3,800 feet too).

    • It’s amazing that we both found places at 3800 feet! I bet yours is significantly warmer! 🙂 That is a great saying, and it is definitely true. Costa Rica is certainly paradise. I am so thrilled. We are closing on Tuesday!

      • Well it is a little warmer but we are close to the cloud forest so it is never above 85 (usually the high is like 75) nor less than 58, takes some getting used to. We get around 100″ of rain during the rainy season but hardly any during the dry season so it has required lots of different thinking, A covered garden but chickens can be out everyday even in the rains. You are now owners of your paradise, congratulations!

      • It’s interesting how you have to adjust for the extremes of precipitation. It looks like we will get around 53″ of rain per year, fairly well distributed throughout the year. Average highs are in the upper eighties in the summer and lower thirties in the winter; average lows are in the teens in the winter to fifties in the summer. Your area sounds fascinating. How long have you been living there?

  3. Hi Heather, I’ve been enjoying your blog/newsletter for a while now and your photos are always nice but I especially like the red leaf/spruce photo from today’s newsletter. I was wondering it you would mind if I saved it and let my DH use it as a possible colored pencil subject – that is if it is actually your photo. We don’t want to get into copyright infringement! If you would rather not we will respect that.

    Thanks! Jeanette Texas

    On Sun, Feb 3, 2013 at 4:23 AM, Scratch Crad

  4. I love the look of your new blog theme! Your posts are so inspiring! This one really sums up what I have been thinking about. I started my garden blog last summer to journal my garden successes and failures. What is amazing is that I have learned so much more in 6 months of blogging + accomplished so many more goals than I had ever even dreamed about last year. Writing out these goals on a blog, getting advice and knowledge and encouragement and support from other bloggers who have been there is truly a blessing. I’ll be writing down my ideas on my blog…thanks!

    Looking forward to seeing all you do with your new property. How exciting!

    • Thank you! I am glad you like the change. I’ve been a bit ambivalent about it, but I do like the way it looks. I love your point about blogging. That is really insightful. Thinking about what you are doing and writing it up to explain to others is a very good way to clarify and process. I would love to hear your ideas! Leave a link when you post them!

    • Thanks! I actually cried when we sold the property in Boxley. I absolutely loved it, but this is really a better fit for my husband and our families. I think I could be happy in either place, but I am thrilled that I found somewhere I love just as much.

  5. Very inspiring, I am glad you found your perfect property! We are still looking for ours. We have defined (most) of our goals and I have a vision board at my desk so I don’t lose sight of them. The dream sometimes seems to get lost in the day to day bustle of “life”, but every time I look up from my computer I see my board and it brings me back to how I want to live and the changes I need to make to get there.

    • Thanks! I am still figuring out what it means for my flock. Certainly, a 2-hour and 20-minute drive is much better than 17 hours, but there is no coop and someone would still have to be living there to take care of them. We’ll see. It’s also significantly colder there. The average high in February on the new property at 3800 feet is 40 degrees F with an average 20 degree low while it’s usually 52 high/25 low here. So, a bit chillier and much more snow. I’m looking at some of the chickens I have now and wondering how happy they will be there. We’ll see. 🙂

  6. I do want to think of some goals. I love the idea of homesteading, and we do lots to be self-sufficient. I want to do more though. We don’t have a farm, but my parents have land down the road, so we will be joining them to garden this year, and I’m not sure if our neighborhood would be pleased with a beehive… It’s something to think about. Thanks for the inspiration, and congratulations on the new land (hopefully!)

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