Happy New Year

January 2015 progress

2014 in review:

-Expanded the garden into 8 beds of 12 ft x 16 ft with a 2 ft walk way between each, laid out a 4 yr rotation plan. Also used straw as ground cover and seriously reduced the amount of time required to tend to weeds in the garden.
-Dug new ground for the berry patch 19 ft x 45 ft and a squash bed of one row by 25 ft
-First Garlic harvest, replanted 230 cloves of the Rocambole variety as it was the top producer.
-Planted fruit trees; Cortland x 2 and Montmorency Cherry x 2. Also bought 2 hazel nuts, 2 Juliet Cherries and received from a friend 2 plums, all of which are in the green house until spring.
-Got the garage painted(paid a neighbor in chicken for helping… yes, in chicken)
-Installed multiple fences; front yard “L”, back yard from garage to woods, an “L” behind the apple tree…really never want to dig post holes again…
-Converted the shed to the Coop, built a completely enclosed run(more post holes) and dug the trench of all times from the house to the coop for electrical and water(by hand!)
-Built 4 compost bins
-Planted 5 crimson Maples along the front yard edges
-Started what will one day be the rose garden, 4 bushes this year.
-Raised our first 45 meat chickens, learned to kill,clean and butcher.
-Started gathering the first eggs from the 3 layers in December, it’s 3 eggs a day.
-Created 4 new flower beds and planted the insane 220 ft total with bulbs and Hosta…stopped counting the bulbs, it was just over the top. The rear tine rototiller has earned it’s keep, beyond a doubt.
-Bought our first bee hive, harvested 6 pints of honey in August.
-Built a recycled window greenhouse 12 x 14
-Got business cards for Forever Green Homestead, getting ready for if/when we are ready to sell.
-Planted our first attempt at ginger rhizome/root, it’s in the living room and is looking good so far.
That’s the new stuff. The 8 cord of wood cut and stacked, the harvest and canning, the fruit tree trimming and spraying, the indoor renovations that have been ongoing for 3 yrs(last room done), and of course the full time jobs, auctions and yard sales to attend, all got squeezed in too.
It’s been a fun year, a year to be thankful for our health and happiness.
2015 goals/to do list:
-Have a shorter “new” list this year.
-Rebuild the side deck on the house.
-Sell some produce, going the herb route as everyone around here sells vegetables and eggs.
-Get back to walking together. We went for walks/hikes when we first met, then this vision of our life happened and we lost that peaceful activity.
-Make raised beds just behind the house to expand the herb garden substantially.
-Finish the greenhouse, run electrical and heat.
-Build one last building, a storage barn.
-Try growing a bed of wheat, grind our own flour.
-Build a new pump house.
-Finish the back deck on the garage.
-Install the brick walkway to the green house.
-Stain the fences and decks.
-Plant the grape arbor we planned this winter.
-Construct the rain water collection system to water the gardens, the barrels are here and waiting but we ran out of time in 2014
As with many of the other projects mentioned for 2015, we had to prioritize our time and the immediate need to complete them, so some simply got pushed to next year. It is next year now. There will, of course, be new things added as we go. Our curiosity gets the better of us and as we see things we then want to do them, so we do.
May your year be full to overflowing with what makes you happy.

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