The fall of 2013 brought about a couple of really big hiccups in my world and it is time for me to re-set my attention on my intentions. That said, I intend to get myself organized around my daily tasks and to-do lists. I intend to spend less time on social media and more time on the farm, in this space and building relationships with like-minded people in our community.
The coming year will, no doubt, be full of love, laughter and growth in every definition of the word. There are some things on the horizon that I can’t yet share in this space but that are incredibly exciting and profound for us as a family. I hope to share more here in the coming month, so please be patient with my process. For now, here are just a few of my 2014 goals & aspirations.
What is more important than family? Nothing, in my opinion. And this holds true for the family we are given at birth and the family we create by choice throughout our lives. However, I have found that, unfortunately, family can become the easiest aspect of our lives to take for granted. Through the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, one can forget to pay close attention to those who are the most important people in our lives. I have found myself in this trap and I am not proud of it. Truly, it is time for me to re-focus on my family.
This means more focused time communicating with my Partner and cuddling and reading with Sprout, more time chatting and enjoying time with Fish Girl as an adult, more coffee’s with Brother and dinner’s with Dad, more phone calls to my best friend and more evenings spent with everyone else I love and hold dear to my heart. I intend to live forever, but you never really know, do you? So today and every day must be savored and spent with those who mean the most to us!
Compost & Soil – Work smarter, not harder!
2014 will see a renewed focus on the foundation of our garden. We have the ability to create our own soil using kitchen scraps and chicken and worm poop. This is an amazing process that adds nutrients back into our garden beds and allows us to grow the most food possible in a small space. However, I do believe we could be doing better/working smarter than we have. I am playing with the idea of incorporating black flies and larva into the compost process and or figuring out how to grant the chickens regular access to the compost pile without worrying about them jumping the wall and landing in the busy street on the other side. These are both just ideas right now, but I am excited none-the-less!
Growing, sowing, tending and harvesting – you can control a lot, but you can’t control the weather!
New seeds – Germination rates are only as good as the age of your seeds will allow them to be. I have been collecting (purchasing) seeds annually for the past several years. I haven’t, however, paid much attention to the age of the older seeds that were purchased 4-6 years ago. Instead, I just planted what we had and didn’t think to purchase new seeds until those we had of a certain variety were gone. That thinking was short sighted and I think our garden suffered from it last year. This year we will invest a significant amount of time into inventorying every last packet of seeds and a significant amount of money into a new set of seeds in an attempt at setting ourselves up for success.
Sow assessment – For the past few years we have experimented with several varieties of fruits and vegetables in an attempt to figure out what does well here and what doesn’t. This year I will be cutting out several varieties that have not grown or produced well and will only plant what has had the greatest yield and has proven to do well on our plot. There will be a few exceptions here for the sake of diversity, but for the most part we will be focusing on what works and leaving the rest to the experts.
Seed starting – In the process of inventorying and ordering new seeds, I also intend to make a seed starting schedule based off of the 2014 long-range forecast. If we really are due to have a warm and wet spring, I’d like to be prepared for it and have my starts ready to move outside as early as possible.
Succession planting – Every year I have said that I want to get better at this and every year I fail miserably. Our summers are so busy with work that once the big planting is done in May, the garden kind of goes on auto pilot and I’m lucky just to get outside and harvest once a day or every few days. I am absolutely determined to do better about planting seeds regularly throughout the spring and summer as well as about getting a fall/winter garden in before it’s too late. I think I will create a succession planting schedule similar to the seed starting schedule I mentioned above and do my absolute best to stick to it! If you have any tips or tricks, I would greatly appreciate them!
Bees – New beginnings
After losing our bees last spring it has always been our intention to replace them with a new nuc. The intention is to be set up and ready to receive our new tenants mid-spring. Luckily, we have all of the equipment (and I have an Epi-Pen on hand) so the cost to us will only involve the actual bees.
Chickens – Sticking with 15
Last year proved to us that 15 chickens is ideal for our space and the time we can devote to them. Given that, if we are to continue adding new layers to the flock, we will have to continue culling the older hens. 2014 will be our fifth year of keeping laying hens which means we still have a few of our Original Five to cull. Though we haven’t decided how many new chicks we will get, we have agreed to cull an equal amount of older hens. We will also only get Ameraucanas (Easter Eggers) this year since we love and miss their beautiful green and blue eggs!
DIY – Doing more than just talking about doing things!
2013 brought me deeply into the inspiring world of Pinterest. However, I fear I spent more time Pinning things than I spent actually doing things. Well, I did some things, but not nearly enough to justify the number of Pins on my account! Ridiculous! So, the intention this year is to go through all of the ideas I pinned last year and make an actual plan to get some things done! There will be gifts and tinctures and laundry detergents made and maybe even some decorating and organizing while I’m at it and, of course, I’ll share it all here!
Community – If we learn and grow together, we’ll all be stronger for it in the end!
Eat Local Challenge – I am working on a very big challenge for Tool Lady and I in the late spring/early summer and will depend heavily upon our local community in order to make this challenge successful. Stay tuned for more details over the next couple of months and be ready to participate! Our personal challenge will also include mini-challenges for readers here and members of our Facebook community as well. Collaboration, focus on farms and farmers and personal growth…this is going to be awesome and I do hope you’ll come along for the ride!
Workshops and Events – I am also looking into the possibility of holding a few workshops in the coming year for those in and around Santa Fe who are interested in some of the aspects of urban farming and/or environmental education. The intention is to be able to offer some of the skills we have gained through our own experiences to those in our community who would like to learn. I have visions of workshops strictly for adults as well as workshops that can be attended by parents and their children. I have a decade of experience facilitating activities and workshops through my job, so this seems like a natural evolution of information sharing and community building. All I have to do is figure out all the details 😉
Everything that we do here is done with the larger picture in mind. Though sometimes it can feel as though we are all alone in our efforts to better the world through small acts of environmental friendliness, the truth is that there is a small army of us all working towards the same goal of treading lighter, eating healthier, producing more and consuming less. Each of our paths might look a little different, but we’re all heading in the same direction and that is what matters and what gives me hope when all of this begins to feels like too much.
That being said, if you’re looking for some inspiration, please check out some of my friends plans for 2014:
The internet is an amazing place where information can be shared and virtual friendships can be made! I wouldn’t be here in this newly remodeled space if it weren’t for you, your engagement and your inspiration! So, please share in the comments below what you’re goals and aspirations for 2014 are and what you’d like to see from this space in the coming year. The sky is the limit, so please feel free to share what you’d like to see more of or less of, what inspires you and what you’d love to learn about!
Wishing you the very best 2014 possible!
Linking up to Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #102