Monday, January 6, 2014

Farm and Family Goals for 2014

Isn't that a great picture? Ahhhh, summer! Such a distant memory.

It's that time of year when Canadian gardeners, in fact most gardeners I think, sit around the fire with seed catalogues and dream of green grass and warmer weather. And I am certainly no different. My tomato wish list is already done and I'm just waiting for Annapolis Seeds to get their listings up for this year. Probably in a few days. Veseys and West Coast seeds have theirs up so my fingers are itching to get into some potting compost mix and get seeds going. But realistically I've got over 2 months before I can get anything in the ground or greenhouse so I have to be patient for just a couple more weeks. It's better to have healthy younger seedlings than tall leggy ones. Younger plants tend to be hardier and more adaptable to change. And there's just not enough natural light yet. It may have been warmer today (+2) but it was -33 just a few days ago. This is a photo Steve took early Christmas morning between snow storms. Winter is just beginning. And I have to be patient. I'll tell you one thing though, I'm VERY glad we decided to move our lambing dates this year to March/April and not now in the bitter cold and blowing snow. We'll have the sheep moved back up to the farm when we move in March before lambing and hopefully the grass will have started to grow and the snow will be gone by then.

Our goals for 2014 include:

* Getting the garden plots for the community garden all dug and ready for planting and families found to use them. Each plot is 25x25 feet. Would you like one? We'll provide the plot with the soil already tilled and hoses for watering. You provide seeds, weeding and you harvest your veggies :) We have applied for a grant from Kitchen Gardens International and if we get approved we'll have resources for building raised beds and communal tools. Wish us luck!

* Build a movable 40 foot greenhouse with an aquaponic grow system in it for tomatoes, cucumbers and greens. The first year the plan is to keep goldfish and monitor the water temperatures in the fish pool and then if suitable we'll introduce trout the second year to give us a harvest of both fish and vegetables. We may be able to introduce trout in the fall so we'll keep you posted of course.

* Continue to grow our flocks of chickens, sheep and turkeys.

* Build two additions to our mobile, finish the wiring and septic, and MOVE IN!! Ok, that's the biggest goal for 2014. We should be in permanently in April. And if not, we'll be tenting it!

* Finish the siding on the barn and add some insulation and a new door on the south wall into the greenhouse we're going to build there.

* Plant a permanent orchard with both trees and fruit bushes and plants.

* Plant some flowers. Because flowers make the world a more beautiful place.

* Plant more pumpkins including white, plus vegetables for market.

* Make $10,000 from the market garden and livestock.  Ok this one is a stretch but if we don't aim high then why bother. Of course we'll keep you posted and give a final accounting at the end of the year.

Well there you have it. Some of our goals for 2014. I'm sure that some will change and new ones will be added as we go along but this is a good start.

I hope that you all have a wonderful year too!

Elizabeth & Stephen

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