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.
- Clear the plot next to veg plot to extend growing space.
- Clear the plot intended for the herb plot and start planting.
- Clear the plot intending for the dyeing plants.
- Make soap
- Start to plant some trees with a view to producing our own wood.
- Major blog makeover and post more regularly
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:
- 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!!!
- 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.
- 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.
- Clear the plot intending for the dyeing plants. And again - a big job, but needs to be done.
- Make soap!! Oh, I will, I will. I will pick a date on the calendar and do it.
- Plant more trees for firewood. Hopefully, I might be more successful this time now that the goat's pen has been reinforced.
- 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.
- Replenish our stock of chickens. We will be looking to get some hens in the spring, possibly some rescued battery hens.