Here are the things I need to address this winter:
- Bees- order 3lb package locally
- Chickens- decide on breed for flock expansion and set up brooders
- Garden- what to plant and where; seed start area
- Goats- build shelter; fencing; milking stand; water and feed; medical preparations; get goats
- Fermentation- start brewing ACV; kombucha; kefir
These are the things I’ve gotten to so far:
- Garden- did succession planting planner and basic layout
- Goats- put deposit on two potential doelings
- Fermentation- batch of kombucha, kefir, and ACV going
So I still have quite a few things on my list, but I’ve been prioritizing the things that my husband needs my help with (like the garden) over the things he can handle by himself (like building things and getting animals).
To start with I spent most of the day planning out the garden for this year.
The succession planting schedule lists the frost dates, planting dates, planting zones, and crops. Each crop has it’s planting date, harvest dates, number of weeks it occupies space, and following the calendar, can be successively planted weekly leading up to the last planting date marked on the chart. I came to find out that someone was brilliant enough to compile this planning method into a sliding chart and sell it… I guess I just like doing things the hard way. (And coloring the diagram was fun). This should keep us in veggies for the majority of the year.
And then I did a color diagram (for my benefit as much as my husband’s) so that we have a more visual record of which seeds gets planted where.
Zone B is resting this year. We will be laying the paper and mulch this spring so that we have a soil comparison from 1 year, 2 years, and 3 years of Back to Eden method.
I’ll probably plant a border of marigolds around the 3 sisters segment of garden for added pest control.
We will only be starting peppers and tomatoes indoors this year so we’ll have a total of about 7 flats under the grow light this year.
Not pictured is the swale which will be filled in with wood chips and on the hill, we’ll plant our pumpkins and watermelons this year. That will give them somewhere to spread out.
My husband put the deposit on our doelings yesterday! It was so exciting, it made the whole thing seem more real. We also emailed the farmers back and forth about the breedings expected this year, and got advice on housing and shelter structures. My husband has also been picking up found and given materials we can use in constructing the structures we need for our goats this spring. We plan on building a 3 sided shelter/milking parlor for them from pallets, old barn wood, and found lumber we already have on hand.
For the chickens, we plan on taking down their current run and using electrified poultry netting instead. The existing fence panels will be put to use around the garden to keep the neighborhood dogs from peeing on my veggies.
And most if not all of the structures will get a nice purple coat of paint to match our chicken coop. 😊
The fermentation station on the kitchen counter makes me feel a bit like a mad scientist with jars of various liquids at various stages of fermentation, but the kefir at least has proven a success, and the kombucha will be ready to go by January 28th. The ACV is about to get done in a massive batch so that we have plenty on hand when it’s time for the baby chicks to arrive.
Other than that, we’re still waiting on Baby #3, who keeps sending me into false labor contractions and has me on a razor thin edge of anticipation. With my son, I had PROM and 32 hours of labor that ended in an induction at 40w 1d, and with my daughter, I was induced because of low fluid levels at 37w 1d. So, at 36w 2d, I’m anticipating an early arrival and simultaneously doing all I can to stay mostly still and relaxed to stretch this pregnancy out as close to full term as possible. Everyone is a little jumpy what with the last hospital stay for premature labor, but we’re trusting God’s timing and taking it just one day at a time… Which is all anyone can ever do. And so I’ll get back to relaxing and consoling my uncomfortably pregnant self with teaching my 1 year old to walk (she’s getting it!!) Potty training my 2 year old (he’s doing it!!) And looking at just how tiny newborn socks are. I mean really… Look at these things!