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Garden Goals for 2018

January 2nd, 2018

Throughout the fall, as I clean up and prep the garden for winter, I spend time thinking about what I want to accomplish in the garden the following year. More hedges is one of my main goals. If you remember, I added around 100 boxwoods in a few hedges this fall.

On one side and the back of the main garden behind the garage, I’ll be adding blackhaw viburnum hedges. My plan is to order those and get them planted in late spring/early summer. The main garden is also getting a new main walkway with pathways that will be going off or it in a different direction.

The entire strawberry patch is going to come out and will be replaced with new plants. The bed needs refreshing and moved as it’s in the spot where the main walkway will be. Thus I figured it was best to refresh the patch and start with new plants.

These are my main goals, if I have time and energy remaining I want to build a few raised beds and cold frames to add to the main garden. I have the big picture for the new design of the main garden which I’m just starting to implement in 2018.

What are you goals for the garden in 2018?

Stocking The Larder

August 29th, 2012

Yesterday, I spent some time cleaning the ‘Red Zepellin’ onions that were harvested a few weeks ago. They’ve been drying in the warm garage and it was time to move them to the basement pantry. These plants were grown from plants purchased from Johnny’s Seeds.

While trimming the roots and stalks off the bulbs, I was thinking about the security that growing your own food provides. Knowing that you can provide at least a small amount of nourishment for your family is truly priceless.

Sometimes when people mention that they can buy food so cheaply at the grocery it’s not worth the effort of growing it, I just shake my head. Sure, you can save money tending an edible garden, but the money saved pales in comparison to the other intangible value it provides to our lives. Besides peace and relaxation, the feeling of security is what I notice most when I’m tending the garden and harvesting food for our table. Knowing that I can keep food on our plates from tending the earth is deeply satisfying.

What intangible benefits of edible gardening do you value the most?

Quote of the Day: Hal Borland

January 2nd, 2011

Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on,
with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.
~Hal Borland

I know many people that make New Year’s resolutions, I don’t, never have. It is however, a great time to sit down and think about the previous year, learning from past mistakes and successes and trying to take those lessons into the coming year. I find that I do this better throughout the year rather than at this busy time of year, I try to take stock of how things are going often and make small adjustments rather than making big drastic changes at New Year’s.

Do you make resolutions? What are some of the ones you have for 2011?

Here’s to a Healthier 2009 for the Planet

January 3rd, 2009

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, I set goals of things I want to get better at each year. I usually make financial, health and environmental goals each year (and usually my environmental and health ones are the same, what’s good for the planet is also good for me).

Last year my environmental & health goals were:
1. To eat more locally & sustainably.
2. Replace regular items with more environmentally friendly alternatives when they needed replaced.
3. Reduce the amount of toxic products used to cleaning our home.
4. Grow some of my own food.
5. Reduce the amount of garbage we produce.
6. Become more conscious of our water usage and find ways to use less in the home and in the garden.
7. Reduce the amount of electricity that we use and find ways to do without electric items.

I was able to make great steps on all of these goals. We started buying food from the local farmer’s at the farmer’s markets, we started drinking raw organic milk from a local farm, and we purchased our poultry from a local farm as well.
We also grew a good amount of our own food, which is as local and sustainable as it gets! We probably were able to grow about 10% of our own food this summer.
This year started replacing items in the house with environmentally friendly items as they needed replacing and we will continue to do that this year. We were able to reduce the amount of garbage we were producing to 2 bags a month (we’re hoping to get that down to 1 this year). We accomplished this by trying to buy items with less packaging and by recycling and composting much of our waste.
We also built a rain barrel system to collect rain water for our outdoor water used. We were able to reduce our city water usage in the garden to almost 0 with this system. We also line dried our clothes this summer in our efforts to reduce our energy usage. We were also able to not use our air conditioner as much since it was a cool summer. Overall we were able to reduce our water and electric consumption by about 20% (our natural gas usage was down as well).

This year my goals are very similar:

1. To eat more locally & sustainably, particularly learning to eat more seasonally.
2. Replace regular items with more environmentally friendly alternatives when they needed replacing, paying particular attention to personal care products.
3. Learn to make my own environmentally friendly cleaning products and to find even better green alternatives than the ones I’m using.
4. Grow even more of my own food, hopefully around 20%, use more heirloom plants in the gardens.
5. Reduce the amount of garbage we produce to 1 bag per month.
6. Reduce the amount of water and electricity that we use.

I’m already working on a few of these. I have been reading a few books about green beauty products and I am replacing our personal care items right away (more on that next week). I have been researching making my own cleaning products and I already have used a few (vinegar works even better then my non-toxic toilet bowl cleaner). We are replacing our toilet tissue with Seventh Generation Bathroom Tissue, 2-Ply Sheets, 500-Sheet Rolls (Pack of 48)and we are trying to use more rags and towels instead of paper towels.
This year we’re also hoping to plant a few fruit trees and vines and to build a few more raised beds so we can grow even more of our own food. We’re also going to focus on using more heirloom vegetables and plants in the gardens.
We’re also going to keep trying to reduce the amount of garbage we produce by continuing to buy things with less packaging, buying second hand, or not buying things at all. We are going to switch to World’s Best Cat Litter because it’s compostable (you can compost the litter itself and the cat urine, all other goodies go in the garbage). This will not only reduce the amount of garbage we produce but it is a much more environmentally friendly product than the cat litter we currently use.

So what about you? Do you make resolutions or goals for the coming year? (notice the new poll today)

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.