There are several New Year's Resolutions that I have thought of as it relates to my pea patch and the 1/4 acre. I am not a big fan of Resolutions, and I know it's supposed to be in good fun, but I don't enjoy feeling like a puppet of the advertising industry around the first of the year. Or really ever. I hate the health food adds, the way Food Network starts showing "healthy meals" shows, the way Target puts Special K on sale (that diet is SO STUPID). I feel manipulated and homogenized. Just this giant braying flock of consumers all doing, thinking, and feeling the same thing.
But, I started thinking this week about what I want to do differently in the back patch, and this started me thinking about resolutions for the patch, and that led to this post. I learned a lot last year. Like, a ton. And I want to direct those lessons into something productive.
I also started subscribing to Mother Earth News, and their co-publication, Grit Magazine (all online through Overdrive. How Fabulous.) and have gotten some crazy awesome ideas from them.
So the resolutions I came up with are part things I want to do better, things I want to try and things I want to try and get away with. Hee hee hee.
1) I want to raise cornish cross meat birds and butcher them for our consumption. Not, like, 150, but maybe start out with ten. I need to cut my milk teeth on something manageable. Would it stun you to know I have never killed an animal before? (Well, not true - I hit a squirrel once in my car, and I've been the butcher of millions of aphids).
2) I will not raise any exotic (read: untested in this climate) veggies. I will stick with the proven winners, such as pickling cukes, paste tomatoes, Oregon Sugar Pod Peas, and Walla Walla onions. I will not let the glossy pages of the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Catalog get me. No sir...
3) I will use up seeds from last year first before opening new pack of seeds. I will not over order. I will show restraint.
4) I will not buy any more animals that require long term care. Not until we figure out where we will be living next year. The Cornish Cross' hens get processed at 8-9.5 weeks of age and they can live in the tractor until they get big enough.
5) I will amend my soil more. And better. I will become, as Joel Salatin says he is, a Soil and Grass Farmer. Because nothing will grow unless we take care of the soil. And grass.
6) I WILL spend more time pruning and staking my tomato plants. If it's the last fucking thing I do.
7) I will make this killer vertical herb garden I saw over at Seattle Seedling and affix it to my fence to gain more garden space for beans and such. I have two pallets waiting to be turned into useful things and not just impromtu trellises for runaway pumpkins.
8) I will plant my squash and pumpkins earlier and staggered to get more yield.
9) I will water wiser and actually invest in a hand held water wand. Because my old wand broke and I haven't bought a new one and consequently watering is a serious HASSLE out of a blunt end of hose. And it washes my seeds away.
10) I will enjoy my garden this year more because my daughter is old enough to start understanding the process of growing things and is at ease on the 1/4 acre. I will include her as much as possible and try to plant a tiny seed (seriously bad pun, sorry) of gardening in her mind.
And now I have joined the ranks of everyone talking about their New Year's Resolutions.
I guess there is no escaping it!