I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Monday, 3 February 2014

yes i did finish

I didn't blog each of the thirty days toward my goal, but: I did it! 

 The farm's projects for the year have been shortlisted. A few more details to come, but we've narrowed things down. It's nice to already know what's doable and in these short, cold days, the thought of getting my hands into cool soil again is heartening.

We're increasing last year's field garden by about 50%, most of which I tilled last fall. In addition, I'm going to break ground on the far side of the same field for another field garden. That field will have two large garden plots, with the chickens in between in their mobile pasture. The whole field will, for the first time in who-knows-how-many-years, be in use producing food. With more space out there, the smaller garden closer to the house will become a home mainly for herbs and baby greens.

Planning like this has let me think more practically. The garden farthest from the house will have things like winter squash and potatoes that don't need as much frequent attention. We're going to plant a couple of rows of corn along the north side of the lawn. Why? Two reasons: lawns are, food-wise, wasted space, and a narrow strip of corn won't cut into our use of it. Second, once the corn is picked, those stalks in winter will be a natural, low-tech windbreak against the frigid northern winds that we are currently enjoying (by 'enjoying' I mean 'hiding from'). Closer to the house, we'll have the produce more often used or in need of protection from critters. Less ground covered while caring for all this will add up to be a real time-saver.

We are going to get one, maybe two hives of bees started. So those little oddities of livestock will be joining us. Odd, because unlike all other types of farm animals, we don't generally control what they eat or where they forage. Instead, we protect them, give them a place where they can do their thing, and let them go to it. I'm looking forward to this one, inevitable stings and all.

We're going to get a couple of pigs to raise for the summer. Sourcing has yet to be finished, but their pasturing and housing has been figured out. Same for turkeys. We'd like to try a half-dozen. Location's figured out but there's housing to be built. Of all the shortlist items, this one's at the bottom - if one thing doesn't happen this year, it's turkeys.

It was a huge help to have the goal in front of me every day, with little suggestions to attack the bigger goal piece by piece. So, continuing on with planning those items is the goal for this month. That, and getting myself in better shape. All of this farm stuff (and June's Spartan Sprint race!) is going to require physical ability. Staying faithful to the physio and strengthening exercises for my shoulder is a must, as is getting the overall strength and cardio back on track. Come spring, I'm going to need that to wrangle the tiller and lug food and water for all of those planned animals.

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