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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013 Homestead planning.

Happy New Year everyone! So far I am thinking 2013 is going to be a good year,if today is what the rest of the year will be like things will be great.The sun was out all day, had a mellow busy day at home with Chance and the house smells good with cooking food. Nice way to start the year I think.

Today Chance and I sat down to make out our yearly project lists.One list for indoors and one for outdoors.Then everything laid out by month so things get done at the right time of year.Timing is everything when you are planning a garden.

Everything on our indoor list is all about painting and replacing the bathroom window.A small list of things that will be left until summer to do, when we are just waiting around of the garden to grow.But not our bedroom,that will be sooner because this girl is super excited to revamp our room floor to ceiling!

The outdoor list is longer and will most likely take most of the growing season to do.

We realized at the end of the growing season this past fall that some of our fruit was on its last leg.We planted one of our rows of Raspberries when we first moved here 13 years ago and they have not produced well the past two.We checked in one of our gardening books and it said cane berries are only good for ten years,so we are a couple of years over due for new canes.That row of raspberries is also in a now awkward spot because of the coop run layout we can not easily get to the berries on the back side of the row.And having the berries there eats up about 10 feet of garden space.So we have planned for new canes and to move the bed to an already  built bed in the front yard.(Hopefully there will be no more thieving of our fruit this year.)

Our strawberries are also needing to be replaced.They have a life span of about 3 years and that bed has been over run with grass.Since strawberries are heavy feeders it is a good idea to move them to a new location so we don't have any soil issues in the future.We plan to split the bed into two low raised beds,set about four feet back from where the old bed is.By raising the beds we will hopefully not have the grass issue anymore.

The berry beds will be built and filled by March so once the plants are available we are set to plant.

In the same area we are planting the strawberries we will build two other beds as well.One will be for peas and the other for lettuces.By the time the lettuces are done due to heat it will be time to plant onions in that bed.

The big back garden needs a total soil overhaul,badly.We are planning on dumping on some thick layers of compost and mulch that will get tilled into the soil.The garden will also get a heavy handed dose of Steve Solomon's fertilizer mix that we mix our selves. *** I think that only links to the page with the fertilizer mix "recipe" but the whole article is well worth reading if you are not familiar with Steve Solomon.*** This will happen in the next few weeks.We want to get things set in place so the soil can settle in once again before we plant come March.

Besides reworking the garden areas we have an old ratty tatty apple tree that will come down, a shed to dismantle,a gate to rebuild and the moving of some bamboo as well.None of those are time sensitive so we will just do them as we have time for them.

As Chance and I were looking over our project list and looking at planting times we realized we have some work to get done over the next 2-3 months. We've been gardening for a long time now,13 of them here.Over time we have gotten down planting times pretty well.That is if the weather at least semi cooperates with us.Timing of projects is important if everything is going to be in place at the right moment.

A thing I  started awhile ago to help us keep on track is a garden/farm practice of keeping a log book just for homesteading things.I keep track of seeds,individual chicks,when we planted trees and resources we have used.Each thing has notes about it such as- did not like,very good, bad layer,where we purchased or with whom we traded for ect. I also list phone numbers for the different farms we have used for u-pick.This book is really helpful when I am thinking of what to plant and if we need new hens which kind we have liked best.

The final thing we like about sitting down and planning out the years projects is we can start to budget for them.To help with the budget we check prices for things we will need and write the estimated costs next to the project on the list.We then know how much to aim for,maybe allow for wiggle room or rethink a project due to cost or time.Sometimes we find we have some extra cash on hand,we can then look at the list and see if there is a project that we can get started on that fits into the extra cash budget.

Written down it all sounds so business like, schedules,costs,material lists blah,blah ... It is and it is not.We are working for ourselves to make our lives better but there's more flow to it than a 9-5 clock.It's all done by  a clock that runs on seasonal time ticking by the day or week not hours.Like any work that needs to be done there are times when we are busy with a heavy work load,that's ok because we know there will be plenty of time to sit and watch the garden grow.

People say that winter is a time for coming indoors and resting.To me this is only partly true - yes in November and December there is not much to be done out in the gardens but come January things shift like the sun turning it's head to bring us more light. There is prep work to do,seed catalogs to dream over and plans to be laid out in tidy rows just like our garden beds.Our winter nap is over,time to get back to work.

I am personally excited for the coming year.Things are just looking hopeful and full of living life.One new thing that is already in place is I will be dropping down to 3 days a week at work.I will work longer days but it means I can be home a full day more.I have been thinking about what I will use that extra day for and I have set  a goal for it- I will use at least part of that day to do something I have passion for.Rearranging my work hours will also give me more time to work on getting back to school.I am not letting go of that passionate dream of mine.My personal theme to the coming year is "Happily moving forward." I want to move forward with my life this year and I want to do it in a joyful way.Let's have some fun, use laughter's momentum and the hopefulness of dreams to get there.

My friend Bettycrockerass wrote a thoughtful post today about how she likes to start her New Year by filling New Year's Day with things she loves,with the hopes it will set the standard for the year..Check it out because you know that is a brilliant idea.

Alright I wrote this New Year's Day but didn't post it until the next day so the time frame is off but you all get any way I am sure.

My very last thing to share today is this video.I am fascinated all around by this.And I think this is my favorite gun on the face of the earth.

So who has already started to map out their year ? What are your plans?


P.S I just found this useful guide for planning your garden on the Baker Creek site.


  1. Happy New Year Rois, let's find time to get together and celebrate. Or at least share some laughs and some beers.

    1. Yes,Yes,Yes! I am making seeing friends a big part of 2013.Esp the ones we don't see often.