Sunday, February 15, 2015

2015 Homestead Objectives

This photo was taken on January 27th, during the first major snowfall that we've had recently.  Since then we've basically been bombed by snow, with a total of 200 cm since January 27th--that is six and a half feet in under three weeks!

As the snow continues to pile up outside our windows and to bury our future vegetable garden beneath what now seems to be is metres of glistening white, I like to spend my indoor time daydreaming about our property and what we'll do this year.  Most of this daydreaming occurs while washing dishes, changing bums, and in particular, while nursing Ellen, since I can have the latest library book about gardening open on my lap just beyond her sweet, fuzzy little head.

I'm realistic about what we'll accomplish, because I want to enjoy time at the beach with my family during the summer.  There are chores to do inside and kids to cuddle and meals to make.  I don't want to try to do too much, get burned out and cranky, and end up feeling disappointed that I didn't end up checking very much off the list.  So this year's list of homestead objectives will be less ambitious, but hopefully that will mean that we can review it at the end of this year and feel a sense of satisfaction for having accomplished many of our goals.

So, here goes!

  1. Relocate the current perennials that we'd like to keep to new homes before commencing any work on the garden.
  2. Start seeds indoors for the vegetables and flowers that need an early start to the season.
  3. Obtain enough materials to start a lasagne garden where we will plant vegetables for this coming year.
  4. Build tomato trellises that can be used year to year for at least a few seasons.
  5. Confer with neighbours about our hopes for backyard animals and put a proposal into the town to amend bylaws to allow for chickens and goats within certain parameters.
  6. Build a little trail through the woods for the kids to run along without tripping over roots and branches (this is really for Susannah, the accident prone wonder child!)
  7. Plant a few fruiting shrubs/trees/vines.
  8. Establish a perennial flowering herb garden with pretty and medicinal species.
  9. Try to make even a minute amount of maple syrup from our trees.
  10. Resume canning!  I really miss our own tomato sauce and jams this year.
  11. Spend time on a friend's farm getting to know more about goats.
Eleven objectives looks like a lot, but most of them have to do with the garden and are really just steps on the way to establishing vegetable beds where our current perennials were planted by the previous owners.  It seems sad to remove their hard work and beautiful beds, but I've experienced large perennial beds before and found that I was clearly and woefully not up to the task of maintaining them.  I have a bigger drive to maintain gardens when they feed me.  Obviously I think with my stomach...

I really just want to start dabbling again with different things.  If we are able to harvest a few basketfuls of veggies, try one pancake breakfast's worth of homemade maple syrup, and have a chance to meet with town officials about my hopes for chickens and goats, I'll consider that a success.  As the children grow, I know I'll have more time for these hobbies and that with each year comes more experience and more opportunities to try new things.  For now, I know I can fall back on my awesome CSA veggie boxes and I can visit goats and chickens elsewhere.  Mostly, I want to spend as much time as possible with our children outside in the yard, the woods and the soil, discovering and trying new things and having fun together in the fresh air.


  1. "I have a bigger drive to maintain gardens when they feed me. Obviously I think with my stomach..."

    I'm pretty sure I've had the exact same experience. My flowers have turned into pots, and as we've talked about my veggie garden is a work in progress, but one I'm willing to keep making an effort on.


    1. I'm excited to hear about each stage! Now if we could get rid of the 2 1/2 metres of snow that are currently lying over the veggie beds, it'd be great!

  2. What a beautiful home. Congratulations!