A New Year Brings New Things

Happy New Year!

This year, I have set some lofty goals for both my garden and my business. Both are going to require some changes to the way I've been doing things. But the possible outcomes have me incredibly excited!

Starting with my garden...ah, the garden. It is my absolute favorite place to be. While I love sewing, there is something incredibly peaceful about being in the garden. I don't mind the normal garden chores - I covet that time to myself. Threatening to make other people help weed the garden sure buys you some peace.

Last year, I had some pretty miserable crop failures across the board. We had a long, cold and wet spring followed by a summer that never really got "hot". Sure, it got into the 80s, but we normally have stretches of seriously hot weather, with temps in the upper 90s. By July, we can normally guarantee that water restrictions have started. Not this past year. It rained practically every.single.day.

My garden is right next to a bog that developed over a period of years. We've talked about installing a french drain to help alleviate the problem, but the toads lay their eggs in the bog in the spring. I don't want to mess around with their habitat, so I am working around the bog instead of draining it.

My goal last year was to grow 500 pounds of food. I barely grew 1/5th of that goal. The cold weather and constant rain brought fungus and root rot, and a late visit by another groundhog finished off the fall crops.

So this year, it is ON. 

I reinforced the fencing around the garden to prevent it from getting back in. We're clearing some of the brush behind the fence to keep it from climbing into the garden as well. 

I decided to also give sweet potatoes a whirl this year. I couldn't get them to sprout to save my life last year, so I started them super early. I have no idea where I'm going to put them yet, though. They're related to the morning glory, and the vines can be quite invasive.

I've also got the beginnings of my spring crops started. They'll be going out under a row cover in a few weeks. I have 20 broccoli plants and 20 swiss chard plants growing strong.

I also want to give leeks a go this year. I just sowed them a couple of days ago, so not much to see there yet.

Quite possibly the most exciting news - the worm castings were ready to harvest! I got 6 pounds 8 oz of worm castings in 5 weeks. Snowflakes are all MUCH happier. There were a TON of eggs and wee tiny baby worms. Production of castings should speed up now that there is a population boom.

6 pounds 8 oz of worm castings

Wee baby worms!

I spent the day outside in the garden cutting honey suckle vines off the blackberries and I uncovered the strawberry plants. They're showing signs of new growth, and I didn't want to suffocate them with the mulch. 

Garden in January

Have you started prepping your garden for spring?