Recently, while reading through the archives of The Walden Effect I ran across a couple of posts in which Anna detailed their progress towards the previous years goals, and then listed out the goal for the coming year. Since today is the start of 2013, I thought it would be a good time to start a similar list. My hope is that keeping such a list will increase the likelihood of the included tasks being completed. Andrea and I discussed the tasks we hope to accomplish this year, and came up with the following list.
Build a chicken coop and acquire chickens
As I discussed previously in the Chickens or Bees post, Andrea and I decided several months ago that in 2013 we would add either chickens or bees to our endeavors. We have since decided that we want to begin with chickens, so that is one of our top priorities for 2013. We plan to acquire chickens this spring, so will need to have a chicken coop built by then. I suspect this goal is going to be one of the more time-consuming tasks on the list, but also one of the more rewarding ones.
Build a hugelkultur bed
Long time readers may recall that shortly after buying the tractor I started digging a hole which I plan to turn into a hugelkultur bed. I've yet to finish the project, but plan to do so in 2013. I'd like to experiment this year to determine if we'd like to build more beds next year and use them for some of the plants we would normally put in the traditional garden.
Repair the ditches and re-gravel the driveway
Shortly after moving here we realized that we needed to dig a ditch along the upper side of the driveway to re-route runoff during hard rains. I've not been very diligent about keeping the ditches clean, however, and so now the parking area stays muddy most of the time. I need to repair the ditches, and maybe dig a couple more, then apply more gravel to the driveway and parking area to fix the damage that has been done over the past couple of years.
Complete the expansion of the herb bed
As I've mentioned a couple of times we plan to significantly expand the herb garden this year. I've provided details in the Herb Garden - The Plan post. We've done some work on the her garden, but still have quite a bit of work to do. We plan to have this project finished before time to start planting the herbs this Spring, so its near the top of our priorities for the year.
Make and install rain barrels
I want to make four rain barrels and install them at the corners of the trailer. I also need to install the rain barrel I made at the 2012 Field to Fork Festival at the shed as well. We want to be able to use rainwater for water the garden this year, so I need to get the rain barrels finished and installed by Spring. I don't want to install them, though, until after the danger of a hard freeze has passed, but I can still work on making them during the winter.
Buy and start using a lawn sweeper
I considered buying a lawn sweeper this summer, but never got around to doing it. I'm determined to get one this year, though, so hope that putting it on the list will help to ensure I actually do it. My biggest reason for wanting a lawn sweeper is to collect grass clippings and laves to use as mulch.
Finish clearing along the front edge of the yard and plant bushes
When we bought the property there was a wire fence along the bottom edge of the property, above the road. We cleared quite a bit of the area earlier in the year, but didn't get it finished. We want to finish clearing the area this year, and then plant bushes to use as a natural hedge and privacy screen.
Purchase or build shelter for the tractor
Right now the tractor is covered by a large tarp, which is keeping it dry, but is annoying to take off and put back on. I planned to build a shed to park the tractor under, but Andrea has suggested buying one of the metal carports that are quite common in the area. After looking at some options I'm starting to lean in the direction of buying one of the carports that is two or three times as big as needed for the tractor, so we can also store some other equipment under it and maybe also use it for storing straw.
Fix a route to get across the road with the tractor
I have a trail to access our property on the other side of the road, but is isn't suitable for the tractor. Being able to get the tractor over there, though, will make several tasks easier, including finishing the clearing work that needs to be done. I don't think that a lot of work will be required to be able to access that part of the property with the tractor, but I won't know for sure until I actually get started.
Build the pallet compost bin
I picked up some pallets back in August to use for the Pallet Compost Bin, but have yet to start on it. This is one of those projects that I tend to forget about until I'm over near the garden where it will go, and usually them I'm involved in another project. I don't think it'll take very long to actually construct the bin. I just need to set aside some time to actually do the work. I'm determined to get it done sometime in 2013, hopefully early in the year.
Make a worm bin and start vermicomposting
In the Pallet Compost Bin - A Logistical Error post I mentioned that the original plan was to start using a worm bin for kitchen waste after we moved the compost pile to the new location near the garden. I relocated the compost pile a couple of months ago, but we haven't gotten around to starting the worm bin yet. Its too cold to put it outside, so we've decided to start it in doors and then move it outside this Spring. Today we decided on and cleared out a spot for the bin, so just need to get it ready and buy worms. It should be easy to complete this in 2013, since we hope to do it within the next couple of weeks, but I still wanted to put it on the list.
Install solar panels on the shed
I've been throwing around the idea of installing solar panels on the shed since this Summer. I talked about this in the Solar Powered Shed - The Idea post back in July. I'd like to start buying some components this winter, and do the installation either this Winter or Early Spring. It will certainly be nice to have access to electricity at the shed, and the experience I get from the project will be very beneficial.
Replace the siding on the shed
The siding on the shed is in pretty bad condition. I have some used siding to replace it with, but just haven't gotten around to doing it yet. I want to replace the siding this year, and install a window in the shed to allow natural light in and improve airflow. I'll probably also install a work bench at the same time, and do a few other small tasks that will make the shed a much better place to work.