As a new year comes into full circle (how are we already coming into February already?!?) we have been doing lots of evaluating for the upcoming year. With new baby on the way we are trying to be realistic while also making progress forward in line with our values. Last year was really a preparation year on the farm which we knew going into it. This year we are already seeing great results from our patience. It can be a little discouraging to see how much work we still have to do so I thought it would be fun to take some time and recap some of our successes this year too.
2012 Goals We Accomplished!!
Turns out this was no small feat in Georgia. We lost two of our first rabbits to the neighbors dogs. Two to heat stroke.
Daily frozen two liter water bottles and plenty of shade turned out to be the trick to keeping our last rabbit alive through summer. Oh and hauling the neighbors dog to the local shelter.
We will have an in depth post up tomorrow on our experience! I’ll be sure to link it up for late comers here.
Read about hatching duck eggs here and here and here. We probably will not do that again anytime soon, it was nerve wracking and exhausting not to mention we borrowed the incubator. If we need more specialty breed ducklings we may ask some friends who have a commercial cabinet incubator to hatch them for us.
Our ducks went into molt right when they were supposed to start laying. We didn’t realize this though because I thought a duck molt would look like a chicken molt (they look terrifying and loose clumps of feathers everywhere). What it ended up being was just duck down floating all over our yard. Once this stopped they started laying for us. We currently have 3 out of the 4 laying right now.
We found out that we LOVE lasagna gardening. We will be doing several updates soon about how to go about setting up your own lasagna (aka sheet composting) beds and what we will be changing this year.
Though we are doing a bit of re-configuring this year to accommodate the watering system and adding one new bed to maximize our sun loving plants homes we got the primary beds installed this year.
We took an amazing trip to see our friends Ian and Alishia up at Renew Farms in Newnan, GA and tour their first year CSA. We also got to help inspect their primary hive and their new hive that swarmed and was captured. Check it out (including videos with their bee mentor here)
We logged a couple weekends clearing out the back area and finally reached the old chicken coop! We discovered that there was actually a pen there as well that is in pretty good condition.
We found a source for pallets locally where we can pick up 1-4 pallets at a time which is perfect as that’s all I can strap to our Subaru’s roof rack. I’m sure I get some weird looks as I drive by with them strapped to my car but whatever, they are an amazing source of free wood!
We made a very basic compost bin with 3 and a piece of scrap wood. We drove some stakes down into the ground to support the sides.
It’s pretty exciting that we are only a little under a month into 2013 and we have already knocked so many things off of our goals list for this year! Here’s to a great season!
Drastically increase garden’s productivity by improving:
We have sourced local mulch through our landfill, gotten on the list for wood chip drop off from our electric company and found sources for horse and rabbit manure.
Our new gardening help have a truck available that we can use.
After trying to coordinate a truck and a trailer we realized this is a huge inconvenience, not to mention that none of our contacts had a trailer with sides. After a bit of looking we managed to add this beauty to our repertoire of tools for a great price of $275:
We have decided to use a drip tape setup. We used www.dripworks.com and Youtube to help learn how the systems work. We have not decided if we will order through them or try to find a less expensive vendor yet.
We did a lot of research and finally decided that purchasing a 10 x 10 x 8 Shelter Logic Grow-It Greenhouse was our best deal. It was very nice not to have to think too hard to get it up and installed. We installed it over the course of a work weekend, total of maybe 4 hours total.
We are so excited that our good friends Michael and Leah will be coming on as part of our gardening team this year! As an added bonus Michael has a nice big truck which together with our new trailer should make us basically unstoppable this year!
We have found a source for rabbit manure about 30 minutes from us who should have several truck loads available every month.
Consistently save and take out our scraps to the compost bin daily
We started picking up compost last week and already scored a few boxes of compost material and this box of stuff that was in good enough shape to be processed immediately into a few meals and some frozen.
Expand heirloom/open pollinated seed stock:
Add Bees To The Farm: