This morning a crust of frost danced over the uncovered raised beds and painted the grass with mercurial shine. The garden sits placid and independent under the chill of winter and it seems a bit easier to carve out those chucks of time to reflect upon the year almost past, and the year that is rushing towards us.
It sounds cheesy, but I firmly believe in goal setting and list making. As in life, so as in the garden: your odds of stumbling into success are a heck of a lot better if you know roughly where your version of success lives.
|Plenty of fresh veggies for February – April|
So, call them goals, call them resolutions, call them a roadmap to my personal definition of gardening success.
This is what I’m planning on working on in the 2012 homesteading season:
- Continuous maturation of broccoli from June – November.
- Work on staggered plantings, particularly for snap peas, beans, cucumbers and zucchini
- Finally figure out how to grow carrots that aren’t destroyed by carrot maggot (Reemay?)
- Take better care of my various berries – including pruning canes at the right time!
- Set up a light-weight, portable fencing system that allows the chickens more directed free-ranging time.
- Set up a light-weight, portable fencing system that allows the toddler more directed free-ranging time.
- Maximize potato yield in minimum square footage.
- Figure-outen die hugelkultur.
- Be a good wife and mom. (I know this isn’t specifically garden-related, but I have to put it in there so Homebrew Husband and our kids don’t get lost in between the spring cabbages and the grape stomp.)
- Help at least three new gardeners start or expand their plantings (in person). Would this be a good giveaway? Would local people be interested in a free consult with me about veggie gardening?
- Keep good notes about 2012 Feb-April harvests with a plan to really figure out how to bridge that leanest of garden times in 2013.
- Go fishing at least three times. If circumstance allows, attempt hunting once.
- Research how to promote blog, figure out how to be a more dynamic and compelling blogger. Convert more people to veggie gardening!
- Make a compost screen. Finally.
- Figure out how to cross-dress apples in a more time-efficient way.
- Demonstrate and post about Backyard Orchard Culture pruning techniques.
- Freeze more side-dishes. Think “side-dish gardening” and remember how nice it is to pull out an already seasoned, frozen romano bean & tomato side-dish to round out a winter meal. It’s easier than harvesting kale in a windstorm, so remember that in May when you are planting!
- Finally figure out how to make really good compost. Invest in infrastructure if necessary.
- Plant and pickle more green beans. Dilly beans = my favorite pickle!
- Limit amount of external produce I put by to reduce stress levels in August and September.
- Rotate, rotate, rotate! Especially the brassicas! I mean it!
- Make grape-based wine.
- Further explore top bar bee-keeping.
- Do not get sucked into goat keeping. You cannot have goats. Fricking deal with it.
- Brainstorm ways to write a book that people actually want to buy and read, have this figured out by next year so writing can start in 2013.