The weather here is still yo-yoing between winter and spring…but I have little doubt that we will turn around twice and spring will be passing us by, with summer setting in strongly. Which makes me turn to thoughts about our garden, our hopes of growing all our own produce one day and all the work that still needs to be done back there and around the house in general. And let’s not forget the INSANE number of newspaper pots I will still need to fold in order to start seeds for the crazy number of veggies and herbs I now have.

So then reality sits in and I realize that we still have WAY too much work to do in the garden and around the rest of the farm to really put our full focus on growing stuff in the garden. That doesn’t mean we won’t be growing anything at all, because we will be setting up a significant container garden in our courtyard and have some things in our greenhouse still…but I think we’re going to keep most of our beds empty this year.

We still have insane problems with weeds, slugs and snails…and have a long way to go before we can handle those issues. And we also haven’t been able to lay any of the paths in our garden which is a task we really want to do this year when the weather isn’t quite so chilly, rainy or insanely hot…but also don’t want to worry about trampling plants as we’re trying to get around everything. We have hardly any idea what and where the flower bulbs are in our garden…nor can we say with certainly where the chives are either. All these things were planted by the previous owner and they still thrive every year, but we don’t know where they are until they start coming out of the ground. That makes it really hard for us to plan where we’ll put new bushes and trees. And we want to take out a bunch of roses bushes that are mostly dead as well as some trees that have popped up randomly around the yard in the last could years. Oh, and did I mention that the ivy on the barn is not yet dead so it’ll be needing a few treatments of vinegar and salt.

Then we move up to the courtyard where we need to get a grip on our grapevines before they just grow all over the place…and maybe this year we can prevent them from all being lost to fungus. Otherwise the vine just has to go. Keeping the courtyard tidy is another task that we struggle with and we really want to make it a whole lot nicer, greener and happier during the summer instead of rather sterile and sometimes cluttered with junk as it is now. We’ve got a few water traps like the former compost hole and the tiny duck pond to contend with. The last thing we need is Mack falling into either of these…and you don’t want the dog in there either because wow do they smell bad!

And let us not forget our window boxes on the front of the house and the planters out by the street which need some sort of flowers in them constantly (and lots of water) or they just look depressing. I’m hoping to use up some of the flower seeds I’ve purchased over the years in there since nothing survives the winter out there.

Oh, did I forget the orchard too? Lots of trimming to be done, dead wood to remove and shaping to be done…much of which can’t be done until summer or the coming fall (thank God ’cause the last thing we need is more stuff on our to do list!) Mowing the thing is a nearly impossible task and we can’t even get to the river during the summer because everything becomes totally overgrown. Chaos. Total chaos.

At this stage, it’s basically just a question of our resources. We have bitten off a bit more than we can actually chew and filled our plates to overflowing. So our goal this year is to really streamline everything, get our garden looking pretty for next year (including putting up the plexiglass on the greenhouse, laying the paths, building supports for the raspberries and planning areas for future fruit trees and bushes) and really just focus on finishing up some things around the farm.

We are only two people and we really only have weekends to work on anything. So that leaves us with very little time to do most projects. I do as much as I can around the house during the day, but with a toddler in tow, you can only get so much accomplished. She’s still mostly crawling and I’m not crazy about her crawling on the ground now while it’s still so cold. And unfortunately she’s not really prepared to hold the ladder against the wall while I spackle cracks in the mudroom or trim the grape vines. That’s aside from the fact that I’m blogging and working on a few other projects at the same time so something is always left unfinished.

Some of the things we want to accomplish now in 2010 include:

  • Get rid of some of the excess stuff we have around here. Anyone need an antique Singer sewing machine?
  • Make better use of the stuff we already have (including refinishing items in the barn to make them usable in the house and eventually building some furniture to help us store what we have)
  • Make things prettier and easier to maintain. I hope to achieve some time cutting tasks down at the orchard with the use of a few permaculture techniques.
  • Get projects like our mudroom and the closet in our guest house finished up, as well as start organizing in our barn so we can actually find our stuff again. We’ve moved everything so many times from place to place that stuff is just all over the barn now.

We can’t be happy in a house where we can’t find anything, always have unfinished rooms and projects looming over our heads, and generally just feel overwhelmed. 2010 has started off well for most of our business ventures…so now it’s time to let it work some magic around our home.

Have you revised any of your plans for 2010 already? I mean we’re barely even 3 months in but sometimes you just hit a wall and realize you were kinda crazy before. 😉

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