Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Garden Planning!!

In all of my reflection and looking forward that January inevitably brings for me, I have been thinking through my garden goals for 2012.

I started by looking back at my notes on last year (yes, I keep a garden journal).  Last year I wanted to grow enough produce for our family and one share for a friend's family.  I learned a lot from that.

I learned that I should have planned for the unexpected.  I had a total crop failure of all 8 squash and pumpkin varieties planted.  I had a terrible time trying to keep up with the squash bugs while using only organic methods to deter them (hand-picking thousands of bugs and scraping eggs from the bottom of leaves every day).  I have learned a little more about the pest this season and will hopefully be able to stay on top of them this year.  Having something ready to put in the spot that was suddenly empty would have been wise.

I learned that I need to figure out what I am doing wrong with root vegetables.  I cannot get radishes or beets to set fruit at all.  They have lots of lovely leaves and no bulb at all.

I learned that digging potatoes is a lot of fun and fresh from the ground potatoes are far superior to any at the store.  They taste like they already have butter on them!  I should have planted WAY more!!

I learned which things our family loves the most and how much we will actually eat of any given item.  I learned that more of something that we love is a waste of space if we can't actually eat that much of it.

I learned that growing some of the food items that your family loves is a great way to save a little money.  I also learned that my kids are more likely to eat food that they grew themselves!

So what does that mean for this year?  Well, there is no CSA.  My focus this year will be growing enough for our family and putting up as much as possible.  I hope to stay on top of the pests and get rid of some things that either didn't work or didn't yield enough for the amount of space they took.  I plan to continue composting because it has worked out beautifully!

I had planned on expanding the space again this year, but I need to have another year of working this space before I make that happen.

Here is the early plan for my space.
What ambitious plans do you have in the garden this year?

I am sharing today at The Thrifty Home.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I have been thinking about a verse of Scripture to take me through 2012.  I think I have found the perfect one.

Every wise woman builds her house, 
but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.
Proverbs 14:1

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reflection on 2011

I love looking back at the old year and seeing what was accomplished, what wasn't and planning some goals for the new year!

Last year was such an amazing year!  I won't link to all my posts, but here is a recap.
-We figured out Theo's SPD issues and got him the therapy he needed.
-I talked about my postpartum depression and enjoyed Theo so much.
-I grew a winter garden, expanded my garden space, began using a 3 bin composting system and added a cold frame to my garden.
-I shared my garden's bounty weekly with a friend and periodically with Brandon's coworkers.
-We cleared a spot and built a chicken coop.  We got day-old chicks and watched them grow into lovely hens and now eat eggs from our own flock!  We added a rooster this year, too.
-We concentrated on living a rich life while trimming some of our excesses.  We continued to live debt-free.
-We made the decision to homeschool Eden for Kindergarten and then did it!
-We celebrated 9 years of marriage, 5 years with Eden, 2 years with Theo and Brandon and I both turned (GASP!) 34.
-I made fig newtons.  I am now seriously looking forward to summer!!!!
-I revamped the look of my blog... by myself!! ;)
-We hosted Cousin's Camp for the second year.  One week later, we lived through an earthquake, a hurricane and a 20 hour power outage all in the same week.
-I learned to knit.
-I concentrated on feeding my family real, local, and in season.
-We nearly completed the kitchen.  It is painted and half of the cabinetry is in.
-We also made the decision to begin looking for a church closer to home.  This involves leaving the church we have been a part of for 25 years!  Sad but necessary for our family.

This year I hope to:
-Complete the kitchen.
-Paint the rest of the interior of the house.
-Create a beautiful bedroom for us.
-Hatch some of our eggs.
-Raise a flock of meat chickens.
-Cultivate another great garden!
-Blog at least once per week.
-Take an anniversary vacation with Brandon (10 years in June).
-Find a new church home.

What do you hope to accomplish this year?