Today I’m rolling out a new feature on the Faulk Farmstead: Homestead Organization!
Ah, organization on the homestead. For me, this literally feels non-existent at times.
To keep things afloat, however, some sort of organization is truly necessary for the well-being of our home. For me, I need a common place to keep track of when/where we got which animals, when babes were born, how long eggs were incubated, when we planted our seeds (indoors AND outdoors), even how much milk we are getting from our goats. These are all important things that contribute to how our homestead runs. Back when we picked up our first animals, 6 day-old chicks, I had decided that I needed a way to keep track of everything. Something that would keep this information in a nice, organized package.
A Homestead Binder!
What better way to keep everything I need to keep track of in one simple place? Separated by dividers, I utilize a simple three-ring binder system that I keep in a nearby, centralized location – my kitchen. For me, this is an important part of the success of this system – If it’s not handy and close-by, I simply won’t end up using it. Curious what I keep in it??
Divider 2: Animals
Divider 3: Garden
Divider 4: Random recipes
Divider 5: Purchases
Divider 6: Inventories
First things first, emergency information. As you probably already know, it is important to keep important emergency information in a centralized location. In this divider we keep emergency animal (vet) info, important resource numbers (that goat friend that ALWAYS has your back), important property info (our property has two pipelines running underneath it – having the pipeline company’s numbers handy is a must), and of course, family/friend numbers.
Next in importance (in MY book, of course), is the animals. This divider is the one that I refer to most often. In it, I keep track of each of the farm animals: where and when we got them, if they had been vaccinated, when they were bred (if applicable), kid production (goats), etc. I also make sure to keep contact information about the person we got the animals from. For example, the farmer we purchased our cow from was a huge resource for us when we had troubles with our first calf. He was completely understanding and patient with us – such priceless help! This is also a great place to keep a log of milk production from your animals, as well as egg production from your chickens.
Gardening comes next for me – divider number three. In this section, I can keep track of seed info, plain and simple…
- what seeds we purchased and from where
- which seeds were started indoors and when
- which seeds were sowed directly and when
- production from each seed (how much, when)
- sketches/diagrams: I used a computer program this past year to map out our garden prior to planting. This way I was able to see how many plants I needed to place in each row as well as a nice way to map out which plants were compatible with each other (companion planting).
The fourth section is where I keep random non-food recipes – my bug/fly-spray variations (what worked and what didn’t), homemade cleaning recipes (laundry soap, all-purpose cleaner, etc.), homemade beauty products (creams, balms, tinctures), and so on. I have a separate area in my kitchen where food recipes are kept, so this way, I can keep things separate and easy to locate.
In divider number five I keep track of important receipts/purchases – who we went through for our aluminum building/barn, tool purchases, etc. In my opinion, NOT an interesting divider. I will spare you and just leave it at that. You’re welcome.
Finally, in the final divider, we have inventories. Well, we WILL have inventories. This is the one divider I haven’t really gotten to yet. So here is what I PLAN to have in this divider:
- larder inventory, to include the entire pantry: canned/preserved goods, dry goods, emergency preparedness foods (freeze-dried), etc.
- freezer inventory: how much is in each freezer (yep, we have several freezers) – our pastured poultry, elk and deer from my husband’s hunting, local grass-fed beef, fresh-caught fish, etc.
- first aid inventory: a breakdown of what items we have for sickness, injuries, etc.
Although this is constantly a work-in-progress, it has proven to be a tremendous resource for me, as my memory is not always top-notch. I hope to incorporate some pockets into my binder for loose items such as receipts, and maybe even some more dividers/topics! I think it would also be helpful to have a breakdown of my seasonal chores in the form of a checklist – I am definitely a check-it-off kind of gal! Lastly, I would like to create some templates for keeping track of our egg and milk production – should be easy to do, but I just need to make the time for it! Priorities, folks!
So I’m curious: How do you keep track of everything on your homestead? Are you a binder or list person? A fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of folk? Share with us in the comments!!