Ahh, the new year is upon us and it is time to ponder new goals for the new year. We have gone over our wrap up from last year as far as eggs and the garden go. But let’s take a look back at our 2017 goals (including a major goal) and see how we did. Then after that, we’ll look into making a few new goals to tackle this year.
We’ll start off with that major goal. So as I was reviewing the homestead for 2016 it hit me that I needed to take better notes. I can happily say that I have made progress in that. I have created a few forms to help me track eggs collected and what we have harvested from the garden. Yes, they need to be tweaked and I could still take better notes, but seeing as how I actually have notes instead of just a few things that got jotted down, I’d say that I can claim that I’ve hit this goal.
Last year I wrote about a goal being that I had plans to have ducks. As you have no doubt figured out I have ducks. They have grown and we’ve collected many eggs. We started out just ordering 12, cause a dozen should be good to start out with. Well, as it turns out, as many others have said, once you have the set up it is easy to end up with more. We were at our tractor supply during chick days and wouldn’t you know it, we ended up with more ducks. And chickens.
Now as we close in on having had birds for a year, I can say that I’ve enjoyed it. I might like to try some others, but more on that a little bit later. I think this is another one that we can mark down as met.
Ahh, last year I was recalling about how our first year with a garden went fairly well. This year we pretty much doubled our growing space with more raised beds. This second year went fairly well. We had our failings like we lost all the corn we were growing, didn’t end up harvesting any cold weather squash and such. But we did bring in a good bit of produce. There were more tomatoes than last year and we ended up with several more cans of sauce.
Last year I wrote about putting in a greenhouse. I can tell you that has not yet happened. I have an area set out for it and I have changed from the plan that I had last year as for my greenhouse plan.
Overall for the garden, even with our setbacks, I’d say that we had a good year.
Let’s just face it…they can’t all be winners. No, I didn’t end up putting in the apple trees that I wrote about wanting to get in last year. I grew no barley toward brewing beer. I got some hops planted, but I’m not sure how well they faired. I did manage to get a few grape vines planted. Then the first set died in a late frost, then planted some more. We’ll see if they make it.
This goal I don’t think we can count as having accomplished.
The thing is you never really know with bees. I’ve enjoyed having them, and I think they were in good shape going into the winter. However, we’ll see if they make it to the spring. I haven’t gotten to add any of the native solitary bees, but I have been able to expand out my bee yard from a single hive to two fulls and a Nuc.
As you are reading this, the website is still here! I have fallen down on posting as much as I would have liked, and there were some stretches that I didn’t really have any posts going up. But as we are still here, we’ll call it a win. Additionally, last year I mentioned that my wife was setting up an Instagram account. You can find it at Hootenanny Hollow. I don’t know how much is really up there, but if you’d like more, message her there.
So, what are we going to look at getting into this year? Well, for starters I know that I need to keep tweaking my note-taking process so that I have an even better handle on what we’ve been up to as I go to wrap up the year. I can tell you that this blog has been a great help in keeping notes and the forms and binder that I’ve made have helped greatly. I think this year as we look at what we harvested I might look at noting down weight versus writing down how many of something was picked.
And the birds… Well, I am going to keep the ones that we had. I’m considering trying some birds, particularly for meat birds. I am interested in adding turkeys, but I’m not sure that I will get to that this year. Since my birds are already old enough to be layers, I’m thinking that we will end up having more eggs. We were able to sell some last year and a chunk ended up going to the local food pantry. I’d like to see if perhaps we can sell a few more and then continue to help out the food pantry.
Plus the bees… I would like to continue with my bees and perhaps even expand out the bee yard even more. I like the idea of adding some local native bees. I’ve seen a setup or two from Crown Bee that I like the look of. With some luck in the spring, I’ll have a few full happy hives and this might be the year that we collect our first honey harvest.
For growing outside the garden, I have some other growing areas that I would like to focus on. I have one area that has been marked off as a pollinator garden, but mostly the past couple years has just been overgrown. So I’ve like to work on that a little more and see if I can get more things growing there than just grass. There is also a chunk of an area right in front of the house that I have a couple plans for to make it a bit nicer looking. If things go very well I might even get to put in a few more trees and grape vines in. Oooo…and I’ve love to add some lavender into the mix as well.
I have a few plans for building a few things as well. I’ve mentioned that I have a greenhouse on my mind and from watching a chunk of videos from One Yard Revolution, I’d like to build a hoop house as well. There are some sheds that might have to get built if everything goes rather well also.
I have another idea or two up my sleeve, but more on that later.
How about the rest of you? What are your goals for this year?