March 2017 Goals Update

April 5, 2017

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March was a month.  A long, wet, cold, disappointing month.

I looked forward to it’s coming for so long and I had a whole slew of things I wanted to accomplish before it was done.  The weather ended up getting the better of us though, and very few things on that list were completed.

  1. Getting the garden ready for spring planting:  We’ve been able to get out and till some parts of the garden, but it really is a very big plot and we do only have a very small rototiller (what we really need is a small tractor, but that is a want/need for another year).  So, we need to keep tilling the garden, and adding aged manure and amendments.  Ha! Such big dreams I had!  The endless rain and spongy ground that were the hallmarks of March sure stopped this from happening.  We were able to till the strawberry patch, and the nightshade beds inside the greenhouse, and I did manage to pile some manure onto the onion beds.  But that’s it.  There’s still a quarter acre of garden to till and amend before I can plant anything else.
  2. Planting out and sowing seeds:  This one is obvious, I know, but I’m putting it here anyway because it is something that needs to keep on being done.  This is the month that the first cauliflower and onion seedlings I started will need to be hardened off and transplanted outside, and almost everything else (exceptions being cucumbers and watermelons) will get started either inside or out.  An exciting month, to be sure!  The onions and strawberries were planted, miraculously.  And the cauliflower was hardened off, but so far there is nowhere to put it.  It is just sitting out there among last year’s debris, waiting for a spot to be cleared.  I did sow more seeds inside, and now have a thriving little nursery of lettuce, squash, herbs, and all the other usual suspects.
  3. Burning stuff up:  Oh boy, my favorite!  We’ve got a couple of different slash piles started, and we’re just waiting on a nice dry stretch to put the torch to them.  Yes, thanks to generous doses of gasoline, many piles of tree limbs and old junk have been burned.
  4. Moving the big chicks outside:  Raising three baby chicks indoors is a lot different from raising 12 baby chicks indoors.  It’s much less nice with 12, I have to tell you.  They stink and they’re loud and they’re constantly tipping or clogging up their water thing with shavings and just making a general stinky mess.  The good news is that at this number, they’re less like pets and more like livestock.  So I don’t feel so bad giving them the boot to their outside pen.  Done!  The chicks have been moved outside and also integrated into the existing flock.  Well, sort of.  They all sleep together in the coop at night, but by day they’re two separate flocks.  I’m hoping that when they reach maturity and start laying Wilhelm will gather them all together into one happy family.
  5. Deconstructing a shed:  Sheds are great, don’t get me wrong.  And this particular shed that we’re going to be taking apart is very well made with tree trunk supports and hand split cedar shingles.  But for the most part it’s not very attractive; it’s long, rambling and unenclosed; our builder said it’s in the way of the trucks that will need to come in; and the fire department said it’s so close to the house that it would probably catch fire when they burn the house down.  So Jasper and I are planning on dismantling it and then putting it back together as a chicken coop.  Somewhere else.  Um, nope.  Not even close.
  6. Clear around and amend fruit trees:  We’ve already done the pruning (or tried to, anyway, being novices), but we need to keep clearing weeds, blackberries and trash away from the base of all the fruit trees.  We also need to dump some manure around their trunks.  I don’t know the last time they had any manure, and I’m sure they would appreciate it.  No, we never got to this, either.
  7. Stick to meal planning:  I always have really good intentions when it comes to meal planning.  Every week I pour through my cookbooks and Pinterest boards, make a list, make a shopping list, and usually I get the first meal cooked.  But then, life.  Sickness and ballet practices running late and suddenly we’ve eaten Chinese takeout and pesto pasta four nights in a row. So.  This month it is my goal to plan easy meals and stick to them.  We’ll see, but I have my doubts.  You guys know how much I love cooking.  Annnnd ... no.  I was certainly full of optimism at the beginning of last month, but unfortunately this was just one more of the (many) things I did not accomplish.
  8. Save more money: We’re going to need it.  Yes!  We managed to sell our rental house at long last and got to bank all the proceeds!  

Ah, well.  There’s always April, I guess.


  • Spring Lake Homestead

    April 11, 2017 at 2:05 pm

    It’s probably too late for your brush pile, but have you ever heard of bio-char? It’s a more permanent soil amendment that you can add into your garden beds or around trees. We haven’t tried it yet, but we will be doing it from now on with any brush piles we accumulate.
    This guy has some really detailed and interesting youtube videos (his channel name is a joke, don’t worry), but if you ever want to learn more about a topic, he’s got some good videos. Sorry for this totally unsolicited advice 🙂

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