Getting Back on Track: Spring Goals

Sharon March 12th, 2010

I haven’t posted an ID update yet (I’m saving that for Monday) or done much to get new content going on this blog, and realistically, most of the changes will wait until the beginning of April, when I’m not insane working on the book.

But we are moving slowly towards goals.  The first, of course, is that I get my life back, but I’ve got seeds started and the buck in the barn with the does, and all sorts of good things going on.  I’m ready to get started on a whole host of new projects!  I can’t do them yet, but I keep dreaming.

So I thought I’d ask – what are your projects for spring?  What are your goals?


22 Responses to “Getting Back on Track: Spring Goals”

  1. Marie says:

    Our goals for the coming year…

    • Increasing the food production in our garden beds (succession plantings, cold frames)
    • Learning to can this year…specifically tomatoes and berries
    • Building our first solar dehydrator
    • Adding one or two more fruits to the garden…(blueberries, elderberries, beach plums?)
    • Expanding our knowledge and use of the herbs we already grow
    • Researching alternate heating methods for the house
    • Research, plan and prep for chickens next year
    All while managing the adoption of our first child…hopefully very soon!

  2. The Mom says:

    Lots of goals here

    -continue to increase the food coming from our garden
    -use season extension to increase food and decrease the amount needing to be preserved
    -eat more seasonally
    -add more perrennial fruits and veggies to the yard
    -add a well with manual back up
    -add more chickens and build larger chicken coop
    -research bees for next year
    -learn to make cheese

    Hubby will most likely be laid off this summer. We have a small business, but will be struggling for quite a while. The more I can make and grow at home, the better.

  3. Anne says:

    Planting out newly purchased (with gift certificate from in laws!): blueberries, raspberries, elderberry, a few herbs, currant, gooseberry.

    Try out some sort of permaculture-type “guild” around small fruit trees planted last year (need to do more research)

    Clear out garage!

    Remove carpet in living room (hardwoods underneath) — this has no real utility except the aesthetics will make me feel better and it will be less gross to clean up after my elderly cat. ;)

    More research and prep for chickens and/or ducks next year.

  4. Lynne says:

    1) Make a permanent cold frame in the herb bed

    2) Expand the flower beds by the front walk

    3) Fill in the second herb bed

    4) More closely match our consumption with our production….i.e. increase the carrots, spring and fall greens, broccoli, onions, corn, peas of all kinds, dried beans and potatoes and decrease the cabbage, turnips

    5) Try sweet potatoes for the first time! Other new veggies are eggplants, bietina and fennel

    6) Try a new variety of raspberries

    7) Pull up our currents as we have current worm and replace with blueberries…not such a bad trade

    8) Do more dehydrating

    9) Learn ways to control a) carrot rust fly and b) cabbage moth – we’ve got row covers to start

  5. K.B. says:

    Cutting down some trees (or actually hiring someone to cut them down), building a fence (ditto the hire, probably), starting a veggie and herb garden from scratch (raised beds), starting seeds, and trying NOT to order any asparagus, rhubarb, or cranberry, blueberry and currant bushes, as I think the veggies and herbs will keep me slightly busy :)

    (Also trying not to think about fruit trees, nut trees and chickens)

    Add to that renovating the ENTIRE house (every floor, wall and ceiling is coming out).

    Add to that the insanity of just adopting a second dog (she’s a sweetheart, and while housetrained, has NO other training).

    Oh – and I’m single and work full time.

    I should join the ID group, but I don’t think I have enough time :) )

  6. Robin says:

    -raise 75 meat chickens for our family and my parents household

    -figure out the schedule for raising a pig to butcher at home

    -actually grow some flowers this year instead of squeezing them out by starting more vegetable seeds than I really need.

    -start some perennial herb plants from seed

    -really planning for a cob oven

  7. Karin says:

    We are in flux so my goals are a little different this year.

    - I would like to really learn about fruit tree care. We may be moving to a place with a dozen fruit trees, so I am taking a fruit tree care class this spring. If we don’t move I will still be able to put this knowledge to work with our small saplings in our current yard.

    - We have fiber sheep this year so I am going to send the wool out to be washed and carded and I will learn to more than stare at my pretty spinning wheel.

    - I am going to really work on a winter garden this year because if we move we will be moving in August, just in time to get one in the ground.

    - My garden season will be disruptive so I will be joining a CSA to supplement what we need for next winter. My ultimate goal is to get the food I put up to last a little longer next week. Even with all we put up last season we are pretty low on veggies. So I would like to put up an extra months worth.

    - I would also like to learn lacto-fermentation this year.

  8. Emily says:

    Finishing the root cellar and planting a compost garden.

    Also teaching food preservation 2x month and helping other people start Preserving Traditions classes in their own areas.

  9. Gary Rondeau says:

    In western Oregon we’ve had a mild winter and early spring, so one new project is already underway – A new asparagus bed:

    And the raspberry patch is ready to go…

    A new project for this year will be an expanded amaranth planting to see if I can get enough grain to have it for breakfast on a regular basis.

  10. Jen says:

    Spring goals:

    - Sell house (which has been on the market since last June) and move as close as possible to husband’s work at UMass
    - Figure out what and how to grow things while in limbo (only fast, early crops? containers? guerrilla gardening?)
    - Start scoping out spring foraging spots
    - Continue experimenting with recipes to use up my grain share and continue blogging about it
    - Keep doing grant research like crazy for establishing a community farm in Northampton ( and help with our becoming a non-profit
    - Dive into research to help out Conway School of Landscape Design students working on food security plan for Northampton, soon to be published
    - Try to organize overly large seed collection
    - Assist with needed tasks for Pioneer Valley Heritage Grains
    - Care for lively almost-3-year-old daughter and stressed out tornado chasing husband
    - Sort through large quantity of stored hickory nuts
    - Convince self to dispose of rancid brown rice and whole wheat flour

  11. Claire says:

    Add one new 100 sq ft vegetable bed now (and 3 more later). Get humanure toilet system set up. After that is set up, pull old toilet out of bathroom, repair subfloor and tile floor, repair peeling plaster and paint, replace old toilet with lower-flow toilet for guest use. Figure out how to expand rainwater catchment system and use a bicycle-powered pump to irrigate vegetable garden during dry periods. Finish yard cleanup and shrub/tree pruning so I can get to veggie garden prep and planting. Get my DH to do his spring chores: clean out garage gutters, change oil in lawnmower and sharpen blade. That should keep me busy this year ;-) .

  12. Susan in NJ says:

    - Income replacement
    - Revisit the household budget while waiting for first item
    - Get personal paperwork in better order
    - Repair/rebuild the compost bins and re-layer the pile that is still working
    - Rake all the leaves that didn’t get raked last fall, trim the raggedy dead perenials, and deal with the early spring weeds
    - Clean the garage gutters
    - Plant peas and fava beans
    - Start seeds
    - New raised beds
    - Really clean the kitchen and food storage areas
    - Make lots of different japanese pickles
    - Brine (corn) a beef brisket (alas not in time for St. Patrick’s day, due to demands of first three times)

  13. Sarah says:

    Get things in order to move when our lease runs out in August! This will, I hope, involve re-evaluating whether I need the stuff that’s slowly been developing its own tiny civilization in the back of my closet. Maybe this time we’ll find a place with sunny windows and/or yard? And with a landlord that won’t weedwhack our tiny garden? We won’t be moving far; we just need more space, or more accurately better divided space.

    We’re also switching CSAs to sign up with the one our synagogue is partnering with. They have pickups through December and “deep winter” pickups through early spring…getting winter shares in easier-to-manage sections would avoid the problem of the pile of carrots moldering in the pantry.

  14. Evey says:

    North Carolina:
    continue seed starting for WV family farm (5 hours away until June)

    sell unit/share in Asheville NC cohousing community

    get in shape for farm work

    pack or donate remaining “stuff”

    get teaching position in WV for next school year.

    root service berry cuttings to take to WV

    At WV farm:
    clean-up kitchen garden for spring planting of earist crops

    plant peas, green, potatoes & some onions first week of April

    dig 6 more raised beds in fenced garden area

    get bee yard built and electifried (for bear protection)

    be more organized in succession planting as 6 people will be living/eating at farm full time from now on.

  15. Karen says:

    My goals have changed this year. I am glad to talk about it because it has been weighing on me and I need to air it out. I am continuing the gardening in the city plot with more focused intention of producing a crop… so using a row cover to protect from insects, more careful watering, etc. I am doing all the other food preservation stuff. And I would like to volunteer at a non profit that sells bee queens in the mid atlantic region so I can practice beekeeping again.
    I am now really looking at going back to school. I wasn’t even thinking about this two months ago but it is all barreling at me that I need to develop a skill for health insurance. I am looking at a 2 year degree in lab tech or Sonography Tech… something like that. I am 46 and nervous but excited at the same time. I feel smarter than ever but also unsure of myself because I am so far from math in high school. I will have to do it all again and I am not sure what I am capable of. I can develop all the homesteading in my spare time but one of us (my husband and I ) need a basic skill that people will need no matter what. I never thought I would be doing this but it feels right.
    HI Sharon!!!

  16. Diane says:

    Finish waterproofing the new root cellar so we can use it!

    Try growing quinoa and amaranth this year.

    Get new chicks to add to the flock.

    Reclaim the raspberries, blueberries and asparagus from the weeds.

    Grow more greens this year and freeze some of them.

    Get an old, affordable small tractor.

    Get new windows for the cold frames.

    Broadfork the potato and pea beds as soon as it dries out some.

  17. SinDee says:

    This is really our (my husband and I) first attempt at growing food, with a long term goal of urban homesteading. That seems like a pretty lofty goal, but I have set things out in my head so it’s a gradual process. So the goals for this year…. get the raised bed in place mid-april, so it’s well before the last frost date and then other things can go in immediately. we started sprouting some seeds today, so we are learning how to grow seedlings, so I hope to keep on with that and nurse them into being strong. No bees this year as I had hoped, but I think we’ll investigate them. really, the raised beds and getting into the habit of having the vegetables/weather dictate our actions (NOT when we feel like it) is a goal for me. If there is a lot of food to preserve, it will be time to do it, not later when I’m interested in doing it.

  18. curiousalexa says:

    1. Deconstruct a carriage house and use the materials to build my cabin!

    2. Improve garden structures and skills. Last years ‘raised bed’ simply turned into a raised lake. The hills of beans and squashes did fine however. (I think the raised bed ought to be more hill and less plateau like!) The tomatoes didn’t stand a chance with the wet late start last year; I’m seriously considering moving to container gardening this year, which seems ironic given I live on 60 acres…

    3. The chicken flock is slowly expanding with other people’s (free!) old layers. I believe my farm-mate has arranged to take some chicks that will be hatched and grown for a school project.

    4. Plans include using 2-3 piglets for tilling future garden spots, then sharing the pork with friends and neighbors come fall.

    5. Market angora rabbit fiber and tanned satin rabbit hides.

    6. Organize the canning/drying tools to make them easily accessible whenever something becomes available for preserving. I’d like to move away from throwing everything into a freezer.

  19. homebrewlibrarian says:

    I always have post-winter plans but this year I’ll be headed to England for a year of volunteer mission work. That this will take place on something like a small farm in the southern agricultural area of the UK means that I won’t be completely removed from getting my hands dirty. My plans are to learn as much about everything I haven’t done before to develop up my “toolkit” of skills. They have a few chickens, ducks and geese, a couple of ewes from heritage breeds they have bred yearly, three pigs they raise for fall slaughtering, a couple of unheated but good sized greenhouses where they grow grapes, and ample garden bed space. They also have a stream running through the property and various fruit trees. All sorts of things I haven’t done before!

    Kerri in AK

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