Monday, November 24, 2014

A new pond, patio, preserving a small harvest, quilting

 Pumpkins!  There were two, both this size.  One is already cooked and pureed, in the freezer.  This one is on the counter, still.

Also notice the last of the green tomatoes in the photo above;  there are also now picked and made into green tomato relish, according to a recipe in the Joy of Cooking (though it's more salsa-y to my palate).  Seriously tasty.  I made a larger batch previously, and have made a final, smaller batch with the last of them. 
 Something else we still have a small harvest of:  baby carrots in a pot.  Growing in the ground was a dismal failure for most my veg, carrots no exception.  These in a pot (there are actually two pots) at least grew roots, unlike the ones in the veg beds, which were demolished by slugs. 
This is the brick patio that I built.  It's not finished.  It's right next to our new, bigger pond, an extension to our smaller frog pond.  The barrel behind it contains a filter--not pretty, I know, but we have plans to beautify it.  The pond is on the site of our old vegetable plot, which I am transforming into a more perennial and ornamental patch.  It has some fruit bushes and a couple of dwarf trees, but I'd like it to be a little more shrubby and flowery, too. 

The veg patch, meanwhile, is now designated closest to the house, and this space will also have extra special flowers and plants.  I fenced it off from the chickens, and built a ramshackle gate.  The temporary raised bed is still producing, as are some of the pots on the patio, but the majority of these beds have been covered in a thick layer of chicken manure/straw to break down over winter, ready for spring planting.
My Sparta apple tree really outdid itself this year!  All told, we got about 25 apples off this little tree (it's six feet tall).  My similar-sized Loxton Fortune apple tree (not pictured) didn't produce quite so many--about 10--but nearly all of them were damaged by birds, so we only had one apple ourselves.  I ate it, and it was the best apple I'd had all year.

We managed to pick some local-ish wild apples for two batches of cider this year, and I've been making sauerkraut, both with my own cabbage and storebought.  I also made a small batch of spiced plums from a wild tree (excellent as a plum sauce substitute), and a little bit of wild apple chutney. 

I'm also putting off quilting a big patchwork quilt I've made.  I've pieced the top together, mainly from some old clothing, but also just some scraps of other projects in my fabric stash;  it's not perfect--in fact it's pretty wonky--but I still like it.  I've also put together the quilt sandwich:  the middle layer is an old blanket, and the bottom layer is an old sheet, both bought from charity shops.  I've even hand-basted all the layers together, in readiness for quilting.  This quilt is pretty big--big enough to cover a double bed.  Now I just have to bite the bullet and quilt it!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Catching up again

All the following photos are from August.  I haven't been taking many pictures recently.  Here's a beautiful dragonfly on my pumpkin plant.
 And speaking of pumpkins...
 Here Franklin displays a "fun size" cucumber;  we also had an English cucumber which gave us a couple huge ones.  The two cucumber vines grow behind him on the trellis.  On the right are the two pumpkin vines;  now that it's October, we have two small pumpkins turning orange--and they're about cantaloupe size, I'd say.
Also in the photo above are two tomato plants which have yielded a very modest, though delicious harvest.  Last year's greenhouse tomatoes may have produced slightly more, but they didn't taste half as good as these ones.  I'm pleased and surprised by the difference;  they're in the exact same planters as last year's, and I didn't change the potting soil or even add anything new to it.  The only real difference is that I grew them on the patio instead of under glass.
And above is the raised bed I built from old fence posts (the was photo taken not long after planting in August).  Two months later the plants are Very Large and we've had several salads and stews off them.  The kale is especially big now (it has the smallest leaves in the above photo;  two of the kales are at the top of the bed, contrasted against the wood).  To fill it, I put down a thick layer of newspaper at the bottom of the bed, then about two weeks' worth of lawn clippings on top (I stirred them once or twice to keep them aerated),  and then finally a few shovelfuls of earth from the dead bed upon which the raised bed sits;  I then planted it up with mizuna, pak choi, chard, and kale.  And put down a good layer of crushed eggshells to deter slugs--and chicken wire to repel our feathered friends. 

And we now have ten chickens out back.  Ten is a lot to keep track of!  The newest four have settled in fairly painlessly with the old six, and have learned to come when called, as the others do.

I have also recently taken the final exam for the final class required for my BSc.  I should find out if I passed by December, but hopefully earlier.  And what am I going to do now?  When I first started my degree, I wanted to focus on a career in my chosen field;  but since having Franklin my outlook has completely changed.  I don't want to be a career woman;  I want to be a mother and a gardener!   But despite all that, I may have to be a career woman whether I like it or not;  our finances don't allow for me to give up paid occupation just yet. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Patio gardening

 I put together a rickety raised bed from some old fence posts I had.  It's only a temporary solution, to go on the dead bed next to the neighbor's new fence.  I've got some winter greens sprouting in my garage now, to be transplanted later.  I also sowed a couple more large-ish pots with greens and carrots on the patio.  It's a little late for carrots, but hopefully I'll get some baby ones.
 Lilies are looking--and smelling--great now. 
 Franklin stands in front of most of my vegetable garden for this year.  Pictured, from left to right:  two tomatoes, two cucumber vines (in one planter) climbing up a trellis, and two pumpkin vines also climbing.  I'm not too hopeful for the pumpkins, truthfully.  They aren't really producing female flowers.  You can't really see it in the photo, but one of the tomato pots has a nice big chard plant in it too.  I have three other patio planters, not shown, also with chard. 
 My two other raised beds on the patio (pictured above and below).  The pansies are doing well, considering. I bought them early in the spring, at reduced price because they were half dead.
My little fig tree cutting!  It has little figs!  I think it might be too late in the season for them now, but just look at them!  I'll be planting out this tree next spring, I think;  right now it's happy in a big planter on the patio. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sad in the garden, another new dress

 The above picture is of my biggest bed next to the house.  If you think that looks bad, you should see it now!  We surmise that the lime in the concrete from our neighbor's new fence has altered the pH of the soil and killed almost everything.  Things I planted--both before and after his new fence went up this spring--have died.  It was a mixture of both edibles and ornamentals, and even the weeds are dead now;  it's just a patch of bare soil.  I already salvaged what I could (chives, oregano, garlic).  I've written off that bed for this year;  it's a sorry, sorry loss. 

Speaking of losses, I'm also sad about the amount of slug damage this year.  I've lost almost all the seeds I sowed directly into the garden, and many of the seedlings I transplanted out.  I even bought large-ish plants from the garden center to replace ones I grew myself, only to lose them.  I would estimate losses due to slugs at around 75%.  I've tried beer traps (caught slugs, but didn't stop the damage), eggshells, coffee grounds, bran, and going out at night with a light and a pair of scissors (so gross!!). 

The eggshells seem to be the most effective, but are a limited resource.  I even bring them home from work (a restaurant), but just don't have enough to spread everywhere, particularly as I have to reapply after rain.  Slugs seem to like eating the bran, which means I can locate them easily at night if I sprinkle a perimeter of the stuff around my beds.  Not sure if this has an effect on the plant damage, though.  Coffee didn't seem to make any difference at all. 

I put in a lot of work this year, and to lose so much is tough.  Still growing:  peas and lettuce (nearing end);  a couple chard, two tomatoes, two cucumbers, and two squash, each in containers on the patio;  last year's cabbages (a few);  and potatoes.  It's a good year for potatoes, at least--I planted some seed potatoes, and also have at least as many volunteers, despite the fact I didn't plant any last year.  Still growing, but for just for seeds now:  sprouting broccoli, onions, leeks, fennel. 

We harvested about half a kilo of pie cherries for the freezer, and maybe 2 weeks' worth of strawberries for eating out of hand;  there are a couple raspberries on the newly planted canes (one or two a day), and a similar amount of blackcurrants (tart!).  The apple trees have plenty of fruit, particularly the red Sparta, but both are very close to the new fence, so I'm keeping a careful eye on them.  They won't ripen for another two months at least.
I made this dress last month, out of three men's identical t-shirts;  I copied the design from a dress I already own.  I like this one a lot--the old one was a bit worn and holey.  I've got another dress in the works, and one in the planning stages too.  Trying to console myself for the state of affairs in the garden. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Two dresses, frog and fish

 I've done some sewing recently;  I made myself two dresses.  The first above, is a copy of a dress I already own and love.  It's a fairly simple shift dress with pockets, and it just slips over my head, with no fastenings.
This second dress is inspired by a vintage style dress;  I took a commercial bodice pattern I own and modified it (to be shorter, have a deeper back, and to have a zipper) and then I attached a full circle skirt to complete the dress.  Even though I cut out the smallest size bodice pattern, it's still a little big on me.  The last time I used this pattern it fit me just fine!

We've had a week of warm sunny weather (unheard of, particularly for this time of year), and I've been sunbathing every day.  Just in my normal clothing, mind you.  I don't go for full body sunbathing any more;  the last time I did that was the summer of my wedding, and I religiously sunbathed every day in nothing but a thong, and put suncream on for the rest of the day so as not to get any tan lines.  My wedding dress was strapless and backless, and my tan was flawless.  The weekend after the wedding, I hid the suncream and went to the beach with a clear conscience.

My new little frog pond has a frog!  She's been sighted regularly for a few weeks now, so we think she's here to stay.  She's recently been joined by two goldfish from the pet shop, to help keep insect larvae at bay.  The pond is a bit bigger than their tank at the shop, though not by much.  Still, at least they get insects and some privacy.  We also got a couple oxygenating plants for them.  The frog looks nice and fat;  hopefully this means she's full of slugs.

Most of my seedlings are planted out by now;  the runner beans went in yesterday, and there are just a few cabbages, broccoli, and cosmos to go out now.  We're still eating purple sprouting broccoli from the garden, though the sprouting heads are pretty small now!  Also eating some kale still, and a cabbage or two from last year.  I made the most amazing garlic and rhubarb pickles a couple weeks ago, using this recipe;  it was so crispy and garlicky and delicious!  Too bad my rhubarb is still only small;  I hope it grows quickly so I can make another batch.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Another cardigan, more garden projects

 Here's my newest cardigan, knit from a lambswool/angora blend yarn.  It has 3/4 sleeves, and I've been wearing it almost every day now. 
 Partner rebuilt the chicken house;  it used to be six straw bales stacked in a U-shape, two bales high.  He added another layer of bales and made a front from some old fence posts and an ancient plastic table top--classy, I know!  But it works great, and the chickens have perches on two levels now, which they take full advantage of at night.  I've put in a request for another four chickens from our favorite hen charity--hoping to pick them up within the next month. 
I have built/rebuilt three raised beds in the veg patch now, and all three have seedlings coming up.  I laid a criss-cross of sticks on top of each, mostly to keep stray chickens and neighborhood cats off them. 

I've also sheet mulched three existing veg beds, and planted up two of them.  The first got various brassicas, leeks, and a few flowers.  The second got potatoes, as an experiment  (Partner and Franklin also planted some potatoes the usual way).  I'll plant what leftover seedlings I've got in the third, but I'll give it a couple of days--I put a load of fresh weed clippings on top as mulch, and I want them to wilt down before I plant. 

I built another raised bed on the patio, using some paving bricks we had lying around;  that makes three brick raised beds on the patio, although this one is partially on top of a flowerbed, too.  I put in a layer of well-seasoned branches, then filled it up with a mixture of topsoil and sand, and sowed some carrot and shallot seeds.  I edged it with some scented geranium cuttings as well.  Geraniums are really easy to grow from a cutting:  I just snap off a small branch, pull off all but the top two or three leaves, and stick it in some soil.  Then treat it like a normal plant--water it when it's dry, and it'll grow some roots.  I've had almost 100% success with my scented geranium cuttings. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

New arrivals and experiments

 Welcome to the farm, four new rescue chickens!  European law has changed to outlaw battery cages for chickens;  legally they now have a much larger space, meaning these new chickens grew up able to walk around, flap their wings, and even roost--unlike our old chickens who grew up under the old single cage battery regime.  These new chickens came to us much stronger than the original ones were, though they look just as terrible:  bald patches and sorry white skin and combs.  No dedicated names for the newbies, yet, though Franklin randomly calls them Dottie, Scary, and Chicken. 

Since my last post we have lost another of the original chickens:  goodbye to Speckles;  we're glad you came to us, and we'll miss you.  Our chicken cemetary is beginning to get a bit crowded. 
 My tulips are in full force now, like vibrant goblets, and Franklin wants to open them to see what's inside. 
 Incidentally, he's wearing his newest knit pullover.  I've since finished knitting a cardigan for myself, a shawl, and am presently working on a cotton afghan.
 My spring flowers extend to purple honesty and orange calendula,
 and blossoming fruit trees, such as the Sparta apple above, and (not pictured) the Morello cherry and Loxton Fortune apple.  The newly planted fruit trees from this winter--pear, sweet cherry, plum--have put out leaves but no flowers.  I'm happy with that;  they'll establish nicely this year and produce next.  Did I mention I also have a tiny fig cutting growing, and three grape cuttings putting out leaves?
 Another member of the team, hard at work.
 This log with wax drippings has been innoculated with mushroom spores, a new experiment of mine.  It's hawthorn, cut from the overgrown hedge at the back.  There's another similar log and two elder logs with the same treatment, all in a quiet shady place in the back corner.  An innoculated straw bale is also in the works. 
Continuing to harvest purple sprouting broccoli, leeks, and kale.  A few spring cabbages are looking likely, too. 

A couple more cheap acquisitions from the local garden center:  a redcurrant and a ceanothus (not edible, but lovely flowers and nitrogen-fixing).

It's about time to start planting out new seedlings--I have about five trays on my patio and the same amount in the garage.  I sheet mulched one of the the big veg beds--it was full of dandelions and to be honest, I can't be bothered weeding.  I'm over it.  I chopped and dropped some of the dandelion foliage, covered the bed with grass clippings, then covered it all with some big paper feed sacks.  I wet the feed sacks, and threw some weed clippings and sticks on top.  Ideally it should have a couple inches of clippings/mulch on top, but I used what I had at the time.  Partner promised to cover it with the next batch of grass clippings, which ought to do it.  When it's time to plant, I'll move aside a tiny patch of top mulch, puncture a small hole in the paper underneath, fill it with compost and plant a seedling in it.  Or I could sow a seed there.

The paper should smother the weeds, and also break down over the course of the year.  This keeps the soil structure intact, reduces compaction, adds organic matter, feeds my worms and other soil critters--and requires almost no labor from me.  Win-win! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Birthday jumper, maniacal gardening

 I knitted this v-neck pullover for Franklin for his birthday.  He wore it for a full week before he let me wash it♥  It's my own pattern and is made from a nice lambswool/nylon blend yarn.  I'm trying to replicate the pattern with merino yarn but this one's taking me ages--I'm not quite as dedicated to my knitting now there's outdoorsy stuff to do.
 I remade two adjacent raised bed into one big u-shaped bed, using the hugelkultur technique: that is, logs and sticks piled underneath, soil on top.  I moved most of the strawberries onto the new bed, plus some other random self-seeded plants from various places around the garden including a foxglove, some daisies, and a feverfew or two.  That glass shower door against the garage wall is my cold frame, but nothing's growing under it at the moment. 
 My cute little almond tree blossoms.  The photo shows pretty much all the flowers on the tree.  It has a couple leaves poking out too.
My tiny pond, southeast of the almond tree by about two feet.  The wire guard on it used to be a little greenhouse shelf/rack. 

For the past week we've been eating the last of the winter cabbages;  I picked about 7 for the fridge and let the chickens into the vegetable patch to tidy it up for me.  After a week, it's looking a little more bare;  I think I'll give them one more week inside, and then I'll move them out and start planting stuff.  Well, start planting more stuff, anyway--I began in January really.

I sowed about ten trays of seeds earlier in the month, both vegetable and flower; planted a tiny blue false indigo (crossing my fingers for this one--very small); planted some bamboo rhizomes and a hydrangea sourced from the local freecycle network; got delivered a flowering quince, a baby rooted fig cutting, and three itsy Chilean guavas (even tinier than the blue false indigo) which need to grow a little longer before planting.  Partner thinks there isn't enough room for it all, but there is.  And more (cue maniacal laugh)! 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Garden, chickens, quiet birthday

 The view from my dining room.  We've had several warm days in a row, and the grass is growing again.  I can tell because we cycle the chickens through the different sections of the lawn, and all winter it's been pretty sparse!  Though it's grown slowly through the winter, its picked up suddenly this week and is actually green again.
 The ladies, all watching me!  You can see the orange temporary fence;  we move it every one or two weeks (depending on the size of the current area).  We don't want them to destroy everything--just give things a good trim.  I've noticed that when they return to an area, usually after 4-6 weeks, those trimmed plants/grass/weeds/etc are back to the original size, or if it's summer, even bigger.  Free chicken feed, and they harvest (and fertilize) it themselves.
I don't have a photo at the moment, but my almond tree is now in flower:  so pretty!  Since the sky was clear at sunset tonight, I decided to play things safe and cover the blossoms in case of frost;  I took a pillowcase and slipped it over the flowering branches and clipped it on with a few clothes pegs.  The tree is still small, so only one pillowcase was necessary.  I'll take it off in the morning so insects can get to the blooms.

We celebrated Franklin's birthday fairly low key this year;  I had to work on his birthday so we did it all on the day before instead.  My mother had a tradition of hiding our presents around the house, with a long string showing the way from one to the next;  I did this for Franklin last year and again this year, and he had a great time following the string to find all the gifts.  I made a vanilla and plum cheesecake, and he ate almost all of it himself--he loves cheesecake.  He also had drinks and a brownie at the Leeds Museum tea room, and got to explore the museum. 

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Lots of garden photos, more shrubs

 One of five Brussels sprouts in my garden this winter;  they're much less pungent than store-bought ones!
 Franklin showing off his new scarf and gloves I made.  He chose the colors.  Both are made from cashmere/silk blend yarn:  super soft and warm.
 My tiny new pond, unfilled.  It now has water and a wire cover over 2/3 of it (so small people don't fall in).  The two large stones inside are to help amphibians or any other small creatures get out of it. 
 My new almond tree has buds with the bright pink petals just showing.  It won't be long before it flowers, I think.  Excited!
 New growth coming out all over, including this yellow peony
 and plenty of daffodils.
 I planted this window box up last spring and (from left to right) lobelia, parsley, and calendula are still going strong.  I was hoping to replant this spring, but it looks like I'm stuck with it!
This white hellebore, along with a pink counterpart, snuck under the fence from the neighbor's garden.  It's a nice big one, too.  Free plants!

Partner dug up some rooted lilac branches from the hidden lilac and I've potted some up to grow them on, but two were planted straight in the ground:  one in front and one in back.  Hopefully they continue to grow.  If the potted ones survive I may transplant them, or possibly give them away/sell them.  I've not decided.

I also planted another alder and two broom plants this week.  Broom is nitrogen-fixing, like alder.  And it's a nice little shrub with pretty yellow flowers.  Apparently it's classed as an invasive in some parts of the world, but it's a native plant here.  When it comes to natives, the more the merrier:  at least I know they'll grow!

My permaculture plan to plant more perennials is plodding along perfectly.  I hope to get even more things planted this spring.  I sold my fabulous faux fur coat for a nice sum on ebay, and I'm spending it all on plants!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New trees again, pond, Franklin

So since my last post I've received my order of six shrubs/trees, and I've bought a further three fruit trees (a kordia cherry, a williams pear, and an opal plum) going cheap.  And a couple other non-edible ornamentals going cheap.  I've been planting up a storm this month.  Even sowed some seeds while I was at it.

And I put in a very small pond in the corner next to the new almond tree.  It's the bottom third of a 50 gallon steel drum that Partner cut down for me.  I dug a big hole and placed the drum in it and surrounded it with large stones (and put a couple in, as well).  I hope it tempts a few frogs back.  I still feel guilty about all those poor frogs we displaced when we filled in the old pond two years ago.  I kept finding them hopping around the garden, looking confused.  Even last spring there were still a determined few, searching for their lost home.

Franklin had a week off school, and Partner and I took a few days off work too, so we had a visit to London to see the grandparents.  Franklin loves London and he got to play all day with his cousin Grace there, and then all day for several days with his grandad.  We didn't really go anywhere;  we just hung out and socialized at their house, ate their food, and enjoyed having someone else entertain the 3 year old. 

Actually, Franklin's 4th birthday is approaching very soon!  In some ways it seems like we've always had him, and in others, I can hardly believe he's not still a tiny baby.  My life changed so much when I had him;  those pre-Franklin days seem so distant and uninteresting.  What did I do for fun before Franklin?  Sat around and stared at the walls, I think.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Permaculture plans

So far this year I have planted three trees out back in the garden:  one almond tree and two alder seedlings.  Alders are nitrogen-fixing trees, and one of the seedlings went right next to the almond to act as a nurse tree and windbreak.   The almond tree has formed buds since I planted it last month, but as for the alders I'm not sure yet if they survived the transplant.

Lots of things sprouting and growing now--I can hardly believe it.  We have snowdrops, lots of daffodil and hyacinth buds (none open yet), daylily shoots which both Franklin and I like to munch, garlic (also tasty!), a few new tiny broccoli heads, a surprise lilac cutting with buds on it.  I cut back the overgrown lilac last fall and used some of the branches as temporary stakes;  it seems one is still alive.  Maybe I should check the others;  I love lilacs.

We did eat that cauliflower for Christmas, along with its greens, and a handful of Brussels sprouts. Then the week after Christmas, Partner persuaded me to buy another turkey from the butcher, on special.  It was even bigger than our Christmas one!  And at 2/3 the price, I didn't mind eating turkey for two weeks solid.  The Christmas plum pudding was also well-received;  I serve it with brandy butter (or hard sauce), which is really just flavored whipped butter, alcohol optional.  So good. 

Partner gave me two permaculture books for Christmas, and I've got lots of new things I to try.  Planting a nitrogen fixing tree next to a fruit tree was one of those things.  I also have six new shrubs/small trees on order--up until now, my garden food production has been mostly from annual vegetables;  I hope to plant more perennials, both food and non-food perennials. 

The food perennials I have now are:
  • Morello cherry 
  • Spartan and Loxton Fortune apples,
  • Herbs: rosemary, hyssop, oregano, sage, mint, lemon balm, chives, garlic
  • Almond
  • Blackcurrant
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberries
  • Nettle
  • Daylily
  • Nasturtium (technically an annual, but self seeds prolifically)
  • And the less palatable, but still edible: mallow, rose, dandelion, (I think Partner might put nettle in this category but I like it), campanula, passionfruit
I once had blueberries and asparagus too, but the chickens destroyed the former and the latter died out on its own with no apparent cause;  I never got a good harvest from it (or the blueberries).  And on order, hopefully to arrive by next week, if not sooner:  wild pear, crabapple, black mulberry bush, pea tree; and two non-edible natives: laburnum and broom.  I'm excited to get them in and growing!

Friday, January 10, 2014

A music video

I didn't share this when I first uploaded it: 

It's my final project for the short film class I took in 2013, and is a collaboration between myself and Partner (though the concept for both the song and video are my own, and I did the editing). And here's the behind the scenes video:

I wanted to remake my music video "Hopscotch" which I originally made with my family several years ago, but I wanted a new take on it. The original was a pop song; this is more of a soul sound, and the lyrics are mostly new. Franklin's been walking around singing "Pop pop pop popscotch; me and my sister" for the past month--too cute.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

2013 garden mini-review, goals for 2014

I can hardly believe it's a new year again.  I wrote down a comprehensive 2013 garden review in my own personal journal, of which the main points are: 
  • Almost no harvest of root crops:  no carrot, beet, winter radish, fennel, rutabaga, celeriac, onion.  Only turnips (small) and garlic (few).  Fennel and celeriac still growing, but no bulbous roots formed.
  • Fantastic year for leafy greens including kale and cabbage, particularly self seeded cabbage, but also lettuce and other salad greens.
  • Great yield on new strawberry plants, and 10 apples each on the two new apple trees.   Cherry tree covered in cherries this year (hilarious to watch chickens jumping up to grab cherries).
  • Tomatoes in garage produced enough fruits to eat, but not enough to preserve.  Flavor not worth the effort.  Cucumber and peppers in garage also gave small harvest, but better flavors.
  • Very nice roses again this year, lots of red peony flowers, nice clematis display, great lilacs.  A good year for flowering shrubs.
  • Lawn very lush with almost no weeds, and needing little mowing--thanks to chickens;  also fewer weeds in garden beds.  However, quite a few veg seedling losses due to chickens scratching.
Thinking about the coming year and new goals.  I admit, not many of last year's goals were accomplished.  Maybe I should set the bar a little lower!  But I'll carry over the same goal I've had for several years now:  to grow 100% of our vegetables on site.  Maybe this'll be the year!  Already we're eating greens--mostly cabbage, but some kale.  I also want to plant another two perennial food plants (fruit, veg, herb, or something!) this year and put up a windbreak hedge on the western border at the back. 

In non gardening goals, I want to finish my degree this year!  It's so close.  So so close.  I also want to get this house a bit more decluttered and redecorated.  Maybe I should start with my bedroom, the only room in the house I've never decorated (and I've lived here nearly 10 years). 

And even closer to home, I want to get more sleep and focus more on my personal relationships.  Let's go 2014!