My own personal long-term goal is an off-grid cabin built from materials harvested from this land. That aint going to happen any time soon so in the meantime...
Well, I guess you could say the main goal is to be healthy and happy. Pretty simple concept, right? One you would think most people would see as a basic goal in life. Then why are so many people so damn miserable all the time?
We decided to try and provide as many of the basic necessities of life as we could. It's something we believe in, it makes us happy, it certainly makes us healthier, and as an added bonus we get to work together as a family. So far, so good.
We're aiming for 100% essential food self-sufficiency. This means a large garden as well as raising livestock. Yes, we'll still buy coffee, sugar, salt, etc. but those are not essentials, no matter how useful they are. Regarding raising livestock, we're hoping to make that a closed-loop system here too; breeding, raising and butchering, as well as feeding them solely from the land, composting their waste (and ours), using the compost to grow their feed (and ours)... you get the idea.
We're also interested in everything from tanning the hides of our butchered livestock, to producing soap from their fat mixed with woodash lye, to learning how to hunt, trap and fish.
There are a LOT of things that we do not provide... yet. We're still heating with electric baseboards. We'll be switching to a wood cookstove in 2011, as well as harvesting all of the firewood from this land using hand tools and elbow grease. We're also slowly expanding a rainwater catchment system to avoid complete dependance on the sometimes temperamental electric well-pump for all of our water needs.
It will be a long process and hopefully you'll come along for the ride.