After the beginning of the year, resolutions abound. Lose weight. Exercise daily. Eat vegetables. Carpool daily. Try harder. Be better. Move faster. It is exhausting, right? And for the record, just how long do those newly minted resolutions last? Do they live to see the Ides of March? Perhaps they get the chance to revel in President’s Day weekend before fizzling? End of the month? End of the week? Or are they scraped before the ink has dried on the paper?
This year, I am trying something new. Rather than burden myself with a laundry list of personal resolutions that end up choking me with guilt, I am turning the resolutions towards another endeavor… my homestead.
What better benefactor of my good intentions than the homestead? In my mind, resolutions is just another word for goals. And goals my friends, are attainable.
25 New Year Homestead Resolutions
- Order seed in a timely fashion – before my preferred varieties are out of stock
- Organize my seed inventory – a spreadsheet is a wonderful way to keep track of such things
- Start seeds when appropriate – for example, tomatoes are best started at the end of February for my zone
- Apply compost to the garden BEFORE planting
- Get straw bales from local feed store in March – so they can be used to mulch the garden beds
- Set out the ‘walls of water’ in March – this allows an early start on warm season crops such as peppers, eggplants, and tomatoes
- Plant oldest seed first
- Price out and purchase metal tubing for low tunnels
- Send oldest hens to ‘freezer camp’ by March
- Hang yellow jacket traps on first 50F day in late March or early April
- Sharpen garden tools, such as hoe before first use of the season
- Install french doors on garden shed (with help of husband) before the heat of summer sets in
- Harvest garlic scapes before they become tough and fibrous
- Eat food from the freezer so it will be ready to hold the summer’s bounty
- Actually harvest horseradish this year rather than talk about harvesting horseradish
- Bake homemade bread at least once every two weeks – this includes homemade English Muffins and biscuits
- Remember to do succession planting after initial harvests
- Hang laundry on clothes lines – skip the dryer this spring and summer
- Do small batch fermenting (quart size) at least once per month
- Make my first aged cheddar cheese
- Begin summer days gardening
- Brew a batch of beer – use last fall’s hop harvest
- Experiment with making different types of sodas
- Set up low tunnel in late summer as a season extender
- Plant assorted spinach, lettuce, chard, and other greens in tunnel to enjoy throughout winter
Looking at this list, I feel a sense of pride and hope for the year to come. If I truly do everything on this list, our modest urban homestead will thrive. We will have fresh smelling laundry. There will be an ample harvest of fresh produce. Old hens will make way for new chicks. French doors will allow natural light in the garden shed. Homemade beverages will be at our fingertips.
Whether I call them resolutions or goals, I resolve to see this list through completion. Looks like this year is off to a promising start.