Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Goodbye 2010...... Hello 2011

My, how time as flown! 2011 already. Well, a Happy New Year to you and I hope you had a great Christmas. Not too much over indulgence I trust?!

It has become a bit of a tradition here at A Smallholder's Diary to review the year that has passed and to set goals for the coming year. So let's look at how I have done this year and think about what I should concentrate on for the coming year.

Looking first at last year's goals and how I did with these:

  • To keep on top of the weeds.
Nope! Failed there. The main problem this year was that the chickens kept getting into the veg plot and scratching up all my crops. This is not a problem I have experienced before, so I was not prepared for this. Keeping on top of the weeds became pretty pointless after a while with the loss of so many crops to chicken scratching.
  • Clear the plot next to veg plot to extend growing space. 
Yes, achieved this one. it took a while as there was a rather stubborn bay tree there, but I got it out eventually.
  • Clear the plot intended for the herb plot and start planting.
I didn't manage this. It is very overgrown and is a major task. I did start it, but there is more to clear than I had anticipated.
  • Clear the plot intending for the dyeing plants. 
 I didn't achieve this one either - even more overgrown than the intended herb plot.
  • Make soap
 Oh, how embarrassing! This is the second year I have had this as a goal for the coming year and I still haven't achieved it!! I think the idea of it scares me slightly, so I think I need to set aside some time and just go for it.
  • Start to plant some trees with a view to producing our own wood.
I did manage to plant some ash trees. Unfortunately, some of these refused to grow, and some of the others were rather chewed by escaping goats. I should get some at least out of this.
  • Major blog makeover and post more regularly 
Well, partially achieved. I managed the makeover, but my posting has been rather erratic.

All in all, rather a mixed year really. I achieved some goals and completely failed on others. My lack of success in some areas has been down to a lack of time and organisation. Also the veg plot being ransacked by the chickens caught me rather unaware. Our flock of chickens has diminished to just two due to death through old age and we think we lost our cockerel and a couple of hens to a fox. 

So, to the coming year. What shall I set myself to achieve? Well this is what I have settled on:

  1. To make sure that the veg plot is as productive as it can possibly be. OK a bit general, but this includes keeping on top of weeds, making sure I harvest at the right time, and making sure the plot is well and truly chicken proofed!!!
  2. To make sure that we have as little waste as possible from the veg and fruit that we grow. This means that anything we do not immediately use is frozen or otherwise preserved. We received the River Cottage Preserves book for Christmas and I feel inspired to transform our various produce into a range of tasty goodies that will last well beyond the growing season.
  3. Clear the plot intended for the herb plot. Yes that again. To be honest, I'm not sure I will manage to get much if any of it planted this year, but if I can clear it that would be great.
  4. Clear the plot intending for the dyeing plants. And again - a big job, but needs to be done.
  5. Make soap!! Oh, I will, I will. I will pick a date on the calendar and do it.
  6. Plant more trees for firewood. Hopefully, I might be more successful this time now that the goat's pen has been reinforced.
  7. Replace the fencing around the front area. This will to be give the goats more space and eventually will be a space to keep a couple of sheep.
  8. Replenish our stock of chickens. We will be looking to get some hens in the spring, possibly some rescued battery hens.
Well, that's me sorted for the coming year. I think I am going to be busy!!

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Tanya Walton said...

That's quite a hefty list of goals you have there...i think mine is probably as long but so far i have been a bit of a coward and only have them in my head rather than down on paper....if I keep them there then only I now what I have failed to

I wish you all the luck for 2011 and accomplishing your list of goals!!

A Year In My Garden said...

This is a very enjoyable blog - I just found it and read a long way down.

A butternut pumpkin has to be called a bumkin - it would be wrong not to.

You are almost my nearest blogger ! I'm in sunnt grimsby. Happy new year

Damo said...

Good luck with your list!

Mal's Allotment said...

Enjoyed the round-up. (But don't beat yourself up, please).

I'm curious to know how your toilet roll parsnips experimetn has come out.(?)