Where are my fellow enthusiasts at?I know I am not the only one who is homesteading on our little farm, playing outdoors in nature, and also building boss spreadsheets. Where are my people at?!?
No Offense, I promise!
Fear not, I verified the term geek as:
a digital-technology expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as self-reference, despite often used disparagingly by others).
a person who has excessive enthusiasm for and some expertise about a specialized subject or activity.
I wear it as a badge of honor. It's who I am, a controller personality. I need #alloftheinformation, preferably in a handy digital format, but at a minimum in a written hard-copy. I am an INTJ and green personality (take the free quiz here to see what yours is), what can I say?
Even nerd is fine for me, I take no offense. Heck, my co-workers and I used to call each other 'data monkey' as a term of endearment. P.S. James still likes to use that one from time to time, or this one from the movie Tommy Boy:
Now that we got that out of the way, let's talk about spreadsheets in the nerdery (thankfully the calculator function is built right in, though there was nothing quite like a good old fashioned 10-key)!
I am fortunate that my husband appreciates a good spreadsheet. In fact, he is better than I am at formatting them and makes his look beautiful. Mine are more built for efficiency so don't tend to be as pretty, hahaha.
In this season of life, I am ready to match up our new homesteading adventures along with my deep love of spreadsheets! I talked about our journey in moving from collapsed small business to forever home in my post God's Love Letter, check it out.
So where to begin? I need your ideas!
So far I have found one really cool resource that I stumbled upon as we are learning about gardening, so let's start there.
1) Garden Chart Google Sheet by USDA Grow Zone - From our friends at Kellogg Garden Products, these are set based on your zone to ensure your working with plants that will grow the best in your area. And best of all, you can edit and customize for your personal garden goals! While you are on their page, check out the other great resources they have from free downloads, educational blog, and all the organic soil products and organic fertilizers you could need.
2) Farm Profit and Loss, Expense Tracking - What about for everything else? We are just starting out our hobby farm, so we trying to track expenses and find price points if we have enough extra production from what we will use for our family to sell. What are you using for that? I built one to start, but it leaves much to be desired... The ones I found online seemed to be geared to large scale operations and were a bit much to use for a beginner.
3) Animal Tracking and Monitoring - What about tracking animal growth, or other metrics? I feel like I have become good at documentation likely because I am often not great at remembering... Therefore I document! Don't try to ask me what date our latest batch of chicks were hatched, no chance. Heck I have forgotten my own anniversary before, that's just me.
4) Food Preservation - Who is planning their food preservation, storage, and canning goals based on what they have available or what their family will need?
So I started tracking chick hatch dates and ran a calculation of what temperature they should be at week by week as they grow in their brooder, etc. I'm tracking our first pig from purchase price, feed costs, and harvest supplies. I even started tracking our winter propane usage figures for our Farm Stay Airbnb so that I know how to budget next year if we are again at 100% occupancy and using our central HVAC.
Clearly I have room to expand my homestead geek spreadsheet collection.
Help a Girl Out!
What things are you tracking on your homestead? Which measures were most helpful to see over time, if any? Did you find value doing this on your garden, with the animals, or somewhere else entirely?
I look forward to nerding out with you, comment below and let's share our homesteading geek energy! Queue spreadsheet unicorn gif...
Information courtesy of Echo Alexzander