Sunday, January 8, 2012

Goodbye 2011..... Hello 2012!

Well, 2012 already! How did that happen? Much to look forward to in the coming year, not to mention the Olympics - no I didn't get any tickets in case you were wondering, so I will be watching it from the comfort of the sofa.

As is the tradition on A Smallholder's Diary it is time to review how I have done over the previous year and set myself some targets for the year ahead. Having looked again at what I set myself to do last year I'm not sure I want to do this as it doesn't feel that I have done very well.Anyway, best face up to it then and check out how I did:

  1. To make sure that the veg plot is as productive as it can possibly be. I didn't do too badly on the veg plot. Plenty of potatoes, broccoli, parsnips, shallots, leeks and pumpkins. However, sweetcorn, peas and garlic did not do very well at all.
  2. To make sure that we have as little waste as possible from the veg and fruit that we grow. This was about making sure that we use our crops effectively and making sure we freeze, pickle, jam or otherwise preserve everything we don't use immediately. We have done quite well with this with various jams and pickles made and the freezer is well stocked with fruit and veg.
  3. Clear the plot intended for the herb plot. No, I didn't manage this. I made a start, but other things took over, so it is nearly as overgrown as it was at the beginning of last year.
  4. Clear the plot intending for the dyeing plants. No - same as above.
  5. Make soap. Kind of achieved this - we bought some pre-made soap for melting down into bars for selling. It turned out that making soap for selling is a bit of a legal minefield - all soap needs to be certified by a chemist before you can sell and this costs money.
  6. Plant more trees for firewood. I didn't manage to do this due primarily to the particularly bad winter meaning that the ground was frozen until early spring, by which time I wasn't able to get any.
  7. Replace the fencing around the front area. I didn't manage to do this. I did start to clear some of the old fencing but didn't get any further as the cost was prohibitive.
  8. Replenish our stock of chickens. We didn't do this in the end, but wished that we did. We now only have one chicken left.
So, what about plans for the coming year? Well, I think it is the same as last year and maybe I might achieve them this time. The extra thing I need to do is to cut back the remaining hedges which have grown way out of control.

That's my work cut out for the coming year then!