Garden Goals:

1. Move raised bed planter. Replant asparagus that is in the bed. Move water lines/rerun water lines.
2. Plant lettuce, spinach, arugula, turnips, radishes, beets, mache in raised bed.
3. Plant johnny jump-up seeds and poppy seeds.
4. PruneThe Shepherdess” rose bushes and strip the leaves (stripping the leaves is recommended here to force them to go dormant for 2-3 weeks)
5. Fertilize roses
6. Remove dead cherry tree and replace it with a new one
7. Plant sugar snap peas (to replace those that didn’t grow/were eaten by bugs)
8. Finish pruning grape vines
9. Add manure to beds

Organizational Goals:

1. Organize the pantry
2. Photograph the pantry

Sewing Goals:

1. Cut out and complete one project

Website Goals:

1. Make and photograph cracker recipe for the website. Edit pictures and publish it.

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  1. We only get 2-4″ a YEAR of rain here, so a rain barrel wouldn’t do any good. Our house, like most in town, doesn’t even have gutters.I tried composting, but it blew all around the yard with the high winds that we have all the time, and it didn’t break down, because it wasn’t wet enough. I would have to go outside and put water on it every day with a hose, or run a drip line to it. In the summer it’s 116º out–104º in the early mornings–and it just dries up. I don’t really have a place to put a compost pile, either. After it blew all over the yeard last time, my husband said no more 🙂

  2. I’m excited to see your pantry! Maybe it will give me more ideas for how to set my new one up. The new house has two cold storage rooms- a small on under the front porch and a big one under the back porch. I think the small one will be for food, and the big one will be for everything else, including the chest freezer.My current asparagus patch is in my mom’s garden, and I’ve been debating whether to move it or just leave it and tell her she still has to share with me- this year was the first year we could actually cut any, so I’m interested in how moving it works out.

  3. Asparagus isn’t supposed to be moved, so it’s a risk, but it needs to be done because we are moving the bed. I planted 1-year-old starts last year in that bed, but a couple of them are older than that and I already had a couple of shoots just starting when I went to dig some of it up on Saturday.

  4. Good grief, I can’t imagine that! We had that much rain last night!!! I need to replace my guttering this year – its worn out! This year is going to be about increasing our self sufficiency. We have new vegetable patch / childrens garden to cultivate and chickens to get! We can’t grow anything like what you do, but am certainly going to try and push the limits, just to see what we can manage! I haven’t quite worked out what my other plans are for this year, but taking things more slowly, living more ethically and frugally and enjoying this blog (and undertaking some of the things you post) will feature!! Happy New Year to you all! Jane

  5. There are more friendly versions of composters a simple one we have used here is a barrel with a lid. You put your composting material in the barrel add a bit of water lay the barrel on its side and let the kids roll it around the yard every so often to turn it the lid keeps the moisture in and your heat will cause it to break down faster its all contained in the barrel so it doesn’t blow all over the yard in the wind.Is there rules there against using grey water??? A several people from church here use grey water (the water from their washing machine etc.) to water their gardens. Amy L.

  6. I don’t know how tall your raised beds are, but mine are 3 feet tall, 10 feet long and 4 feet wide. I have 6 of them, built over 7 years. Each yar I build one and leave it empty. All summer I put our compost in there—no watering, no turning, nothing. The following spring I top it off with soil. It sinks for a few years as the materials compost, so I need to add a bit more soil each spring, but eventually it settles down. This enriches the soil, reduces the amount of soil I need to use in each bed, thus saving me money. Just something you may want to consider…

  7. It sounds like you have a lot more garden space than I do! I just have one raised bed, with 10 inches of dirt in it. I only have a .24 acre suburban lot, and I garden around the edges. The middle is where the children play. It sounds like your raised beds are huge!

  8. My goal this year is to become a certified alternative medicine consultant so that we are self sufficient for healthcare other than an accident. I have already studied and learned much but I have a lot of nose in the books work to do now. We are very uncomfortable with where our healthcare system is headed and all of the meds being pushed. We are supposed to have a very cold winter so now is the time to get in my studying.

  9. I have several goals I’d like to accomplish in the next week or two.1) Do school with my daughters this week, except Tuesday, when we will have a big family birthday party for 3 family members at my house for about 20 people. We are behind where I want to be, and both my husband and I have the week off. Today was very productive, so we’re off to a good start.2) Clean a corner/junk pile in my bedroom. Things have been piling up in there and my husband made me a small shelf for Christmas to put the things on. Organize the shelf.3) I’ve decided to cook 2 weeks worth of meals for a trial. I want to plan them out, cook them, freeze them and use them up in January. Then I will see what I want to do for February. I want to use as many ingredients as I can from my stockpile of home-preserved and purchased foods. I have quite a bit stored up. I usually clean and organize freezers and shelves in the spring and fall, so need to be getting some of the items used up. Otherwise. it’s too hard to clean around it. Also, I want to be sure to have plenty of room come summer to put the garden’s goodies into. I want to plan the meals for the whole month, mixing the frozen ones with ones I will cook fresh. Usually, I only plan 1 week at a time. I want to spend as little money as possible. I will buy a lot of cheese if I find it for a cheap price, though, since I’m low on that. 4) I plan to sort out my bin of garden seeds and decide what I need to buy/order for spring.5) Make 1 sewing project. I want to either make an item for one of my daughters to wear, or a baby gift. I need to make a formal dinner dress for 1 daughter before Feb.1, they could each use a skirt, and the baby of a young friend is due tomorrow:) No pressure there. LOL I do have all the supplies, just having a hard time finding time for it all.If there is any time left, I want to clean out a couple of areas that are really messy, or sew more. I need to choose a new handwork project to work on while waiting for the girls to finish activities. i.e. Spanish class, etc. I often make embroidery projects, etc. for gifts while waiting. I’ll see how all this goes, and make more goals in a week or two, I think.Becky

  10. Hi! I will be checking out some Community Supported Agriculture programs in the area. The CSA I was in last year went out of business. The owner said it was to much work for a one person farm.I am thinking about using a larger farm called Mason farms this year.In Erie,PA there is a lot of rain.But I have noticed that the Lake Erie water level is down about a foot.Our neighbor uses a rain barrel. I do not.I am afraid of mosquitos breeding in the rain barrels.Pat

  11. Hi!I have been looking into switching health insurance companies.Due to changes in the health care system in PA a couple of the physicians I use for my family are no longer participating in health insurance programs and are strictly cash now.I like this idea because their rates are lower than when they were with insurance co.The physicians told me that their over head is lower now that they are not with the insurance co.Pat

  12. My goals for this year are:1. try to figure out why my 3.5 yo still does sleep tru the night ( keep a journal of what she eats and do after 5 pm).2. Be more frugal.3. Cut down on the grocery bill.4. Get healthier (weight and exercice).5. Get our finances in controle.6. See my family more often. Love when all the nieces and nephews are together.7. Gardening and freeze some of the veggiesLinda S.

  13. Brandi, I purchased a compost maker at SAMs for $99.00 a few years ago. It is wonderful because I live in a gated community and the compost maker is closed and all it needs is to be turned. Your kids would live taking turns turning it. I live in central Florida where oftentimes we go weeks without rain and I have produced wonderful compost.Happy new year and good luck with your garden.

  14. I’ve thought about these, but they are a lot of money. The people I know who have them here say that you still have to water them regularly or they don’t work here. We go most of the year without rain (usually there are less than 5 days of rain in a year, and each time it lasts just a few minutes), and it is very dry here, not humid like in Florida.

  15. I’m in Maine and I have a couple of rain barrels. I cover them with ordinary window screening anchored with bungie cords (the cords wrap around the barrels to tighten the screening). I’ve never had a problem with mosquitoes, and the rain drains from my gutters right through the screens. They get full after one or two rain showers.

  16. I did not sleep as a child and it always frustrated my parents. They did not realize how tired and frustrated I was too! A major reason for not being able to sleep in America today is electromagnetic fields. Wi-fi in our homes and all of the EMF producing equipment in our homes is robbing us of our sleep. We bought a plug-in whole house EMF protector from Safe Connect and we all sleep great now. It is very important not to sleep with a cell phone on your nightstand! For years I only slept a few hours each night and when we got the cell phones out of the bedroom it all changed. My daughter has a Safe Connect plug-in too and she has seen the same huge difference we did. It was as though our whole house just sighed and relaxed about 30 minutes after plugging it in. It is worth every penny.

  17. from Athanasia…We bought our composter about 16 years ago. The county was selling them out at their grounds area…they were only $20 and are a large, domed black plastic bin. Cars were lined up for blocks to pick one up…individuals could by one and businesses could buy more. The black plastic soaks up the heat, keeps everything from dying out, but they are ventilated. We can keep it going year round, we just need to keep a path beat to it in the winter. When spring comes my husband just lifts it up, as there is not bottom, and then rakes the finished pile of compost over the bed before he rototills. Then we start over.I keep a bowl next to the kitchen sink for collecting. I always shred a couple pages of newspaper to put in the bottom. Our paper uses soy ink. I add scraps, then cover with another sheet of shredded paper. The scraps stay ventilated by the paper , and they never smell or collect insects, not even fruit flies. We empty it about every other day.

  18. My yard is .19 acres, but most of it is in the back, which helps. When we first moved into this house, there was no garden. I turned a sloped area into 3 tiered beds, but did not have the funds for all the lodgestones needed, so I set the walls for the top 2 tiers, & only set the bottom row of stones, halfway across, for the bottom bed. For 2 years, I dumped all our compost there, topped with grass clippings, & every fall I added aged horse manure over a layer of leaves. The 3rd year, I had the money for the rest of the tier wall. That bottom tier was amazingly productive the first time we planted in it, I think due to all the composted kitchen scraps & the grass clippings. This past fall, I trenched the bottom 2 tiers with leaves, buried in sequential trenches down the row. Because of the apple tree & grape vines in the top tier, I cannot trench in the leaves there, but I did dig a number of holes & bury leaves, & I have a wide trench dug in the middle of the tier, where there are no trees or vines in the way, & that is where all the kitchen compostables are getting dumped over the winter. I keep a large yogurt container by the sink (with a lid) and all the peelings, egg shells, etc go in there. When it is full, I dump it in the trench. So far, composting “in ground” seems to work for us, & I just work my way around the perimeter & the raised beds, especially during canning season, digging holes around the plantings & burying the waste as I go. I don’t have to keep the buried kitchen waste watered, or do anything other than bury it. My raised beds are only about 10″ deep, too. -Marivene

  19. I use four 20 gallon rubbermaid trash cans as water barrels. They are not hooked up to the downspouts at all. In the winter, I have been known to fill them with snow. Since the cans are black, it tends to melt on warmer days. In heavy rains, I put buckets under the downspouts to fill, & dump them into the “barrels”. The lids keep the mosquitoes from being a problem, & when I remove the lids, I can immerse a watering can to fill it. In the early spring, when the garden plants are small, I can use the watering cans to water ONLY the plants, which helps keep down the weeds. This year I want to hook the barrels to a downspout diverter, so I don’t have to fill them by hand, but that depends on funds. In the meantime, our small 80-gallon storage system keeps me from having to pay for the water I use on the garden for about 2 months in the spring. I also have one green rubbermaid trash can that holds aged horse manure, handy whenever I need it. I refill it from a stable where I have “privileges” whenever it gets low.-Marivene

  20. from Athanasia…I used to use this method at my old house, 20 years ago. It works very well. You wouldn’t want to pack dirt down on it as does need some air, but possible that would keep your (Brandi) stuff from blowing around the yard as you had problems with.

  21. from Athanasia…Hmm, I don’t know why the overhead would be lower. Unless they were having to pay to belong to some of the PPOs or HMOs etc. I work in a small solo family medicine office and I just can’t see what would make them be able to charge less due to a claim of lower overhead.

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