Sunday, March 31, 2013

2013 To-Do List Update #1

Since we are already 1/4 of the way through 2013 I thought it would be a good idea to revisit my To-Do list to see how things are going. Unfortunately I have made very little progress towards my goals. There are a couple of these tasks that I should have completed during the winter, but I let a lack of motivation keep me from accomplishing a whole lot.

Build a chicken coop and acquire chickens
As I discussed a few days ago, we have decided to delay our plans to acquire chickens. This means that acquiring chickens is no longer a goal for 2013, although building the chicken coop still is. No progress has been made towards this goal, aside from a bit of work prepping the spot where the coop will eventually go.

Build a hugelkultur bed
I have decided to abandon the hugelkultur bed that is currently in progress. I really only started it as an excuse to practice with the tractor.  I plan to fill the hole back in soon. This doesn't mean, however, that I'm abandoning the plan to build a hugelkultur bed completely. I just need to find a better location for the bed, and better plan how it will be used. This is still a 2013 goal.

Repair the ditches and re-gravel the driveway
I have made some small progress towards this goal. I have improved the ditch along the upper side of the driveway, and applied some gravel to one spot where water was regularly standing. The bulk of the work still remains to be done, however, and will hopefully happen during the dry summer months.

Complete the expansion of the herb bed
I have been collecting rocks to use for the stepping stones and border of the herb bed. I have also started pulling the grass that is growing in the new part of the bed, in preparation for starting to plant later in the Spring. There is still a lot of work to be done, however, including placing the rock and installing the trellis.

Make and install rain barrels
I have done no work towards this goal. The time for installing the rain barrels is nearing, so I need to start seriously thinking about getting this on the schedule.

Buy and start using a lawn sweeper
At this point I am considering alternatives to a lawn sweeper. I think that buying a tractor implement to do the job might make more sense. I have been looking at both lawn rakes and pine straw rakes, and hope to do a blog post at some point to discuss the pros and cons of each, as well as how they compare to the lawn sweeper for my needs.

Finish clearing along the front edge of the yard and plant bushes
Nothing has been done on this project either. I need to work on it soon, however, before the weeds start growing back.

Purchase or build shelter for the tractor
This project is near the top of our priority list at the moment. I've been working on leveling an area, and have been looking at options for shelters to buy. I have one in mind at the moment, but would like to look at another option before making a decision. Ideally I'd like to get this project taken care of within the next couple of months.

Fix a route to get across the road with the tractor
I started working on this earlier in the week. I moved several loads of rock there were piled up in the area where I want the crossing to be. My plan is to see how the crossing looks without filling in with rocks or dirt, then doing on the minimal required to make a fairly easy crossing. I see no point in building the road up a lot if I can get by with doing less.

Build the pallet compost bin
This is one of those projects that I'm often reminded of, but just haven't started on. I need to take a few measurements and use Sketchup to plan the bin. I thought I already had that figured out, but may want to make some adjustments to make it easier to dump material from the RTV into the bin.

Make a worm bin and start vermicomposting
I thought that this would likely be completed in January or February at the latest. We've yet to make any real progress, though. I have put together the basic materials that I need, but just haven't taken the time to assemble everything. I need to make this a priority soon. In addition to the worm bins we are also considering the installation of some worm tubes in the herb garden, and possibly main garden.

Install solar panels on the shed
I worked on planning for this project back in January, but haven't done anything since. It has dropped down on my priority list lately, especially since the money for this project could be better spent on some of the other projects on the list. I am also considering altering the project to include a DIY solar panel, rather than purchasing commercial panels. If I take this route, I suspect that it will delay the project, possibly even into 2014.

Replace the siding on the shed
I would like to get this project completed this year, along with also adding an overhang to the roof of the shed. My Dad usually comes down a few times during Spring to help me, so I might try to schedule the work on the shed for sometime during April. Since I already have the siding on hand I don't expect the work to the shed to cost very much.

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