The New Year's Resolution ... Ready? ... Set? ... Not!  That is, depending on your view.  Don't get me wrong, Resolutions are great and can be a good way to achieve goals but let's face it, they're not for everyone (namely me).  

For several years now, I've been putting a different twist to the New Year's Resolution and it's worked great!

That twist?  It's simple.  Getting the Homestead organized for the year.

We use the first part of January to get our thoughts and lists organized and then use a calendar of when they come into play or need to be accomplished throughout the year.  It's been awesome and reduces a lot of stress.  My hubby and I mentally and physically visit all aspects of our Homestead to determine what needs to be done for the year.  It's also worked wonders for budgeting, a lot less ... "surprise".

So where do we start?  Actually, in the southeast portion of our property where our large garden is located.  We take a look at what needs to be changed, added, moved, fixed, etc.  And literally visually inspect the designated area and walk through questions like:

  • Do we need more bark for weed control?
  • Does the fence need tending?
  • Are we going to do any organic weed control?
  • Do the berry trellis' need attention?
  • Berry trimming and/or mulching? How's it looking?
  • How's our supply of Acid Mix for the berries?
  • Same veggies or something new this year? Which seeds are we in need of?
  • Do we need more veggie towers?
  • Which organic soil amendments do we need to refresh the vegetable specific areas?
  • Is the water coverage working? Sprinkler heads need cleaning/replacing? Water lines?
  • New garden area or expanded? Is there a special soil mix needed?
  • And so on.

So, how do you garden?

After a few years of trying different arrangements in ours, we've settled on having a "static" one and I love it!  It takes the guess work out of rotating the crops.  We also do companion planting which may involve inter-row planting or proximity planting.  A very useful and interesting topic for one to investigate if you're unfamiliar with it.

The information gathered is moved to a home-made calendar along with my area's frost-free date for planting   (check yours here).  Now that's a date we all need to work around when gardening!  At the same time, I work on my garden seed dates so I know when I need to get the greenhouse up and running for seed starts, when to work in those soil amendments and plant my spring cold crops.

And then I move on to the next area of our Homestead ... the chickens, turkeys, orchard, lavender, our yard and cows (soon to be ... I hear) with the process starting over again at each area and recorded on the same calendar.

It sounds like a lot of work, but really, it's actually quite fun!  It gives us time to dream a little, generate some notes, takes stock in gratitude for what we've built, and get on the same page as far as projects go for the New Year.  And with the ultimate goal of being organized, it makes each month come and go with less strain because you're already aware of the big picture to-do list and how it all fits together.  And as we have found, as each year passes, the time it takes is less... unless of course, you're like us and enjoy adding new projects to expand your Homestead each year.

So, what are you doing in 2018?