Besides laying out my raised beds, ordering seeds and planning from which unsuspecting friends I will wheedle plants, I have placed my Spring poultry order and am putting together my bee order. From the looks of it, it will be a busy season. This winter was pretty hard on the homestead and, besides the usual clean-up, I will have to take down what little remains of the greenhouse structure off the back of the house. And clean up a lot of broken glass. I also will have to finish the lattice house so the rabbits will enjoy a more secure three-season abode. Hey, let's make a list!
* Take down greenhouse structure (rebuild same)
* Finish roof on lattice house
* Replace/repair roof of shed
* Sell red angora rabbits
* Move other rabbits to lattice house
* Set up big brooder by week of 4/18
* Build tractor for meat chicks/or find other solutions ;o)
* Check hive for signs of life/set up second hive/repopulate both if necessary
* Clean out hoop houses
* Clean/fill/plant raised beds
* Turn over compost piles (all 50 of them)
* Remodel small coop so it works better
* Cull chickens
* Finish bathroom remodel
I've decided to make my list in parts so I don't give up all hope. I'll be selling two of my four rabbits, so that will make my life a bit easier. Blue has to be groomed, but I can handle one. Three? Nope. I am hoping to breed Chamomile this summer, if I get caught up. I'm raising a few chickens for my sister in New Hampshire, I'll keep some, although I plan on downsizing my flock, and the rest I will sell. I am planning on raising Red Rangers for meat, after the fiasco of last year's attempt. No more feed store chicks! This year I will be planting potatoes and onions in my quest to be more self-sufficient. I'll plant a couple heirloom good eating tomatoes and a cherry tomato. There is a farm north of me (Moses Farm, as in Grandma Moses) that grows acres of tomatoes and peppers that you can pick yourself. Their Romas are to die for and it's only $18/bushel. That's what gets me through the year. I use a lot of canned tomatoes. I am still experimenting with what grows well, what stores well, what makes sense. Since this is only my second year of full-fledged gardening, I have a lot to learn. I am lucky that I have skilled friends.
Jasmine is due to freshen next month, so I will be up to my elbows in milk every weekend (poor me...snort). I have had spotty success with cheesemaking, but I am determined to get it right. Luckily for everyone, Marianne will have a whole passel of piglets to take advantage of my mistakes - and the whey when I have success. It's going to be a very full year!