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Posts Tagged ‘resolutions’

Time to write a new post

The beginning of a new year brings thoughts of time. Looking forward, looking back. And part of that for me is the tradition of  making New Year’s resolutions.  (Not keeping them all is another tradition I follow, but let’s not talk about that right now.) I like the optimism that resolutions bring me.  Making them feels like a chance to become better, to have a better life, be a better me.  What they are really about, of course, is how I want to spend my time in the coming year. It’s about what I want to do and who I want to be with and how I want to live my life.

But you can’t do it all, can you? See everyone, do everything, go everywhere…it’s just not possible. Resolutions for me are about setting priorities. It’s a time to take stock and decide what things to keep doing, what things to stop doing and what things to start doing. Little Eco Footprints wrote about editing one’s life. That’s it exactly!

But it’s so difficult to let go of stuff, of relationships, of commitments, isn’t it? How many times have I thrown something out  only to find I need it the next week? More than that, I think I often define who I am by what I have, who I spend time with and the groups I commit to.  Letting some of these things go can feel like losing a part of myself.

But Little Eco is right. Extra stuff only detracts from the essentials, from what is important. Editing requires courage and the ability to let go of things we may have worked hard at, may have invested in, but in the end we are better for it. I’m going to start with stuff. Go through the house, shelf by drawer, and get rid of the extras. Maybe with enough practice, I will get good enough at editing to tackle the tougher stuff!

 

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Half time score: 6 completed  resolutions,  2 failed , and  3  in process, or at least a chance of still doing them!

On to the second half:

12. Plant in guilds and polycultures, like the 3 sisters guild. I did this and am pretty sure I like it, though there are some drawbacks. Sure looks pretty, though!

Corn with squash, beans haven’t emerged yet.

The beans are in there – can you see them? Maybe I planted too close…

Greens, broccoli, chard…the root vegies didn’t do so well.

A mosaic of greens…it was beautiful while it lasted!

13. Plant more cold weather crops. Broccoli, kale, corn salad, turnips, beets, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, peas, radishes, spinach, chard…all in and waiting for the fall!  I also planted most of these in spring.

Spring broccoli

14. Figure out out to successfully grow tomatoes here – lots of nasty tomato diseases lurking everywhere. This remains to be seen…they look pretty good for now, though.

Ripening at last!

15. Do compost right. After someone in my family weeded and put all the nasty weeds with their ripe seed heads on my compost pile while we were away on vacation, I have almost given up on this one. Deep breath…start again.
16. Construct an herb spiral. This was based on the load of rocks we were going to get for free (!) from a demolished house, but alas, never materialized. This on goes in the fail column for this year.

17. Try broccoli and cauliflower. Yes – yummy- and no. But I am trying Brussels sprouts…I count this one accomplished.
18. Find and grow Jerusalem artichokes. After a long internet search, failure…
19. Plant edible flowers. I’m going to say no here even though I have a few in the garden. I didn’t really keep this in mind for planting and want to do more.

Daylily

20. Get better at succession planting. Reseeded polycultures and started seeds for planting next month. I say this one counts.
21. Preserve more food. Well, this remains to be seen, but we have 5 pints of strawberries and 7 jars of pickles so far…

Babička’s pickles

22. Figure out what I can grow on the steep slopes in our yard. Still a challenge. Right now it’s squash, but the weeds are a hassle. I went through and weeded in the last 2 days, so it looks good now, but since it’s a slope, I can’t put down cardboard and mulch – it just slides right off. Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

Too much bare soil…

Spacing was better here and s the squash trail, they cover the ground.

Weeds took over this spot.

So by my count, out of 22 resolutions, that’s  10 completed successfully, 7 failed, and 5 in progress. I’d be happy with a 50-50 split. After all, 22 resolutions is a bit much, don’t you think? It’s still anyone’s game, then I guess.

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Friend and neighbor Andrea, who never tires of this description, says my garden does not look as bad as I think. I must admit that I am beginning to believe her. But you know how you can get used to a noise to the point where you don’t even notice it anymore? I fear that is what has happened with me and the weeds. So, when I look at my garden I don’t even see them , so now I think it looks great out there!

A few bright spots…

Olivia’s sunflower

Butterfly bush + Queen Anne’s Lace (Looks better than this photo!)

Rhubarb ready to harvest!

A rainbow of chard

2012 is more than half way over and I thought I’d check up on my resolutions and see how I am doing.

Garden resolutions for 2012:

1. Get soil tested. I didn’t, but I did find out how. There is a place you can send your soil for a small fee, but I am not sure it tests for contaminants. I’ll have to keep working on this one.
2. Grow potatoes in barrels. I didn’t get to this. I wanted to find a barrel that was  not plastic and was not pressure-treated wood and just didn’t find one. But I have 10 months to find one for next spring…
3. Figure out how to get manure and straw (where to get it and how to transport it). Nope. No clue. Possible I can still do this, though.
4. Build more raised beds. We did this! I now have ten 4×4 foot beds and one 4×8 for the strawberries. I love them!
5. Try garlic. Yet to come…
6. Build cold frames. We bought one instead. It’s functional, but a bit flimsy.

Flimsy cold frame now housing eggplant and peppers.

7. Put in fruit trees – cherry, apricot, maybe apples, but they are so plentiful and cheap here… We did this, too! And they are doing well.

Sour cherry.

8. Put in small fruit shrubs –  currants, blueberries, raspberries, grapes, gooseberries. All but the grapes…I think that counts as fulfilled!

Currants and gooseberries.

9. Make a solar dehydrator. Good project for next week!
10. Put in an asparagus bed. Done. It looks like a coffin, and it seems one of the asparagus died already.


11. Grow more herbs. Yes, to parsley, chives, mint and sage, I added tarragon, lemon balm, betony, rosemary, thyme, dill, savory, oregano, basil and marjoram.

Herb bed with sage going wild!

Savory and marjoram. Or is it the oregano? (I can’t tell them apart!)

So, running total so far…6 completed, 3 in progress and 2 that will not come to pass out of the first 11. Second half of the resolutions tomorrow and the grand total…

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