My pal, L, and I are getting together next week to talk about our respective goals and objectives. So while I'm thinking about planning I wanted to note three projects that made a difference last year. I did this for the previous year here. Back then it was adding dairy goats, increasing our use of electric fencing, and completing the turkey house.
Here are the three projects that really made a difference last year:
1. Fenced in the upper garden, the front garden, and the square garden. I had already done some fencing but this new commitment to setting it up correctly really helped give the property some structure, define different production areas, and of course kept those chickens out of my darn radishes.
Gates, paths, and fencing did wonders to define these garden areas:
For me fencing is kind of arbitrary, I always feel like it can be ripped out and moved. And I like having gates, pathways, and poultry-free areas. We were able to use the front garden as the playground for The Meeps, which was tremendously helpful. Remember when they were so little?
And I don't think we need to talk any more about the Bad Neighbor's bad dog or all the fencing we had to do because of it.
Fencing Project Grade, B+
2. Mud management by gravel. I love gravel. Really. Its my favorite thing. There is nothing I like better than driving the big ol' truck into the quarry and tellin' that guy "I need a little over a ton of 8L." Pea sized limestone gravel makes my heart go pitter-pat. And I use it by the gross. My dream within a dream is one of those huge king sized dump trucks roll up with 10 tons of the stuff.
Creating gravel garden paths keeps weeds down and feet of all kinds dry.
Since we have the worst soil in recorded history -- which does not drain at all and we have all these little feet muddin' it up all over the place - we use gravel to make paths and help with the drainage. We especially use it to keep our stalls and coops dry. We put at least six inches in our duck garage, the goat house, the turkey house, and most recently in the goose house. The goose house was always wet and muddy no matter how much bedding we put down. I cleaned it out the other day and the gravel was nice and dry.
Gravel to improve critter quarters and pathways, Grade: A
3. This one is for Goodwife and I have to choke out these words...... the creepy meats. After all my complaining and carrying on I have to admit the meat chickens were a pretty good project. I'm still standing by my assertion that I like the Red Broilers from Meyers better. But this was a darn good project if you can get past the creepiness of these meats. The food value is very good, they are pretty easy, and we found that a fall/winter group really worked out well.
Creepy meat chickens, Grade B+ for me but I want to give a special "A+" to my pal AL who boldly marched out there, raised up some creepy meats, dressed them with some pals, and found out she can do it! Yay you!
And now onward to 2011 and beyond. Buckle up, friends, I have a feeling this is gonna be a heck of a year!