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Homestead planning for 2017

Happy New Year everyone!

As most of the homestead is asleep for the winter, we have been sitting back over the holidays and planning what we want to focus on for 2017. Before we jump into what we want to do different or better in the coming year, we decided to first reflect on what went well this year.

Homestead asleep for winter

So here are a few things that we were happy about this year:

  • The #backyardhoophouse worked really well this year for our tomatoes and peppers (at least until it snowed).

  • Inoculated mushroom logs for the first time.

  • Had a great kale crop, protected under row cover.

  • Did better (not great) protecting our crops from deer and other critters .

  • Mulched the entire orchard (with free mulch).

  • Tried, and liked, a new breed of meat chickens (Nova Free Rangers).

  • Built a homemade biofilter for the duck pond. A miracle in keeping the pond clean.

  • Dried lots of herbs.

  • Started seeds using the winter sowing method. Loved it.

  • Ducks raised their own ducklings.

  • Grew strawberries in pots.

  • Pruned and began shaping our fruit trees based on the methods shown in The Permaculture Orchard: Beyond Organic.

  • Donna became a Certified Culinary Nutrition Expert through the Academy of Culinary Nutrition.

  • Instagram! We started posting for the first time this year and managed 140 posts.

Here are some things we would like to do differently, or add into the coming year:

  • More robust deer protection in the vegetable garden.

  • Actually harvest fruit from the new orchard and not give it all to the deer.

  • Redesign and improve the #backyardhoophouse so that it will over winter.

  • Harvest asparagus from our new patch.

  • Increase our number of strawberry pots.

  • Enhance a variety of things about our raspberry patch (including deer protection) to get a better crop.

  • Lots more deep mulching (hopefully with more free mulch) in the forest garden and orchard

  • Layering in plants in the orchard creating a more permaculture inspired space.

  • Bees again? We will definitely put up more swarm traps.

  • Cultivate and dry and even larger collection of herbs (for teas and our "farmacy").

  • More mushroom logs.

And of course, we plan to share more about what we are doing here on this blog.

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