GREENSBURG, Pa. — Like many new homesteaders, when Cynthia Bombach moved to her first homestead she quickly became overwhelmed with the amount and variety of tasks that had to be done.
She had to find a way to get organized — or risk failure. Bombach bought a packet of file folders and labeled one for each month of the year. Then she filled each one with lists of the chores that she knew had to be done each month. Every time she learned something new, she added more notes to her folders.
Soon she was assembling a calendar of homesteading tasks to help guide and organize her work.
When Bombach moved from that first Pennsylvania homestead to a smaller country property nearby and then to an 11-acre horse farm, she continued to add to and adjust her homesteading calendar.
Finally in the spring of 2011 she began to type the material into organized lists. With a mission to help others, she turned her lists into a book, and The Complete Homestead Planner: A Month-by-Month Guide to Planning the Work on Your Homestead was born.
The 144-page book, released in June 2013, is a handy planning manual for homesteaders, hobby farmers and others who wish to make their homestead or property more organized, efficient, safe and productive.
With 12 monthly chapters divided into sections, the book is a useful aid to planning seasonal chores to be done on a homestead or small farm. Blank lines at the end of each section allow readers to customize the book to their own needs.
The book is based on a USDA Zone 5-6 climate and is most appropriate for the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic regions, but can be adapted for those living in similar areas of the country.
Each chapter is fully self-contained, so there is no need to go back and reread previous chapters. Readers can simply open the book and start in whatever month or topic category would be most useful at the moment.
Bombach is a freelance writer whose articles, essays and gardening tips have appeared in publications such as Mother Earth News, Fine Gardening, Draft Horse Journal, Equus and Pennsylvania Magazine. She is also the author of A Farm Heritage Album: Fifty years of Westmoreland County farming history told through the photographs and stories of those who lived them.