Time is flying by, faster than ever before, the long awaited 2021 is nearly here. Twenty twenty has been an extremely eventful year for us personally, however - it goes without saying that the world has changed in ways we never thought it would. A quote I see floating around, "we're all in the same storm, but some of us are in different boats". Never assume that your own journey is the same as someone else's. As much as the above is true, I think it's also important to not discount your own [our own] journey - y[our] own success, even if it came in a year that will be remembered for many damaging and sad memories.
Some days, it's hard to believe that we are here. In 2020, we sold our very first house and bought our 1800s farmhouse. We worked diligently to source our own products before we even found contractors. Fixing up a fixer upper sure proved to be a challenge, mostly because Adam and I didn't do too much of the work ourselves - we needed plumbers, electricians, roofers, structural specialists, tilers, + more. Amongst the pandemic we were met with product tardiness, contractors quitting on us or not showing up at all. Permits took much longer, it really felt like the world was shutting down - how would we finish our home?
Thankfully, we were able to finalize the reno and move in within 5 months - and I mean, new plumbing, new electric, new roof + all new interior. It was well worth the time it took - especially considering we opted for moving forward without a general contractor, but it couldn't have been done without my husband, my dad, my brother & his father in law. Overall, connections within the family were how we were able to find most of the right people to get the jobs done.
We had big plans for 2020 - truthfully, we achieved more than I bargained for. My main focus and goal was our house, that was the most important. Our property of 15 acres had been neglected for almost fifteen years when we bought it, so it was a huge undertaking to clean it of the brush, roots + rock that have made themselves feel at home here. For the first time ever, we worked really hard physically to clear the property beginning in early February and we managed to get it done! Much of it was a grand effort from all of our family members - everyone helped out here or there but also, huge thanks goes to my Dad and his tractors!
We had hoped and talked about "one day" having chickens + other livestock.. but without delay, I bit the bullet, ordered my poultry + waterfowl and BOOM. Before we knew it we managed to successfully raise + harvest 40 cornish cross meat chickens, 10 white broad breasted turkeys + 3 pekin ducks. Our homestead remains home to 7 pekin, 10 cinnamon queen hens, 9 white leghorn hens, 1 easter egger rooster, 10 guinea fowl, 9 mixed breed sheep, 2 barn cats + our beagle, Mia. How the heck did we pull that off?! The desire to raise our own meat + the connection to our land. Our family goes by the quote "chciec to moc" - if you want it, you can do it... or "where there's a will theres a way".
This summer, we also extended what was left of a garden plot - 40ft x23ft, and I was able to feed my family for nearly six months without purchasing vegetables from a grocery store. I have never truly gardened before - this was my first year, and I fell so deeply in love with the dirt I can hardly wait to get back in the spring. I learned to pickle, water bath can, + preserve much of our harvest.
We're a day away from 2021 and we’re checking things off our list of dreams one by one. Within a few days, we should finalize our barn renovation. 2020 has encouraged us to grow, without limitations. It has sparked and curated a hobby + a new lifestyle. We already have plans for 2021 - adding piglets within two weeks or so, adding trees to our orchard - and berry bushes, and bees! One day I hope to add a family milk cow, but for now, I look forward to our very first sheep lambing season where I will learn to milk my sheep. I came across a quote from a fellow instagrammer today, that could not be more perfect for closing out this post - “We’re spoiled + we know it, we’re thankful + we boast it.” CHEERS to 2020 + every year moving forward. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU SET YOUR MIND TO!