I've managed to let time get away from me, and am a few weeks late doing the second update on our progress for the to-do list. We're just over half way through the year and less than half way through the list. Out of thirteen items on the list, only four have been completed. Two others are half complete, and one, at least, is going to be postponed until 2014. I think its clear that I need to start focusing on this list if I'm going to complete it before the end of the year.
Build a chicken coop
No progress has been made towards this goal. I have a coop design, but have not started construction. In fact, I still need to do some work to prep the area where the coop will be located.
Build a hugelkultur bed
The only progress I have made here is to partially fill in the initial hole that I dug. I still haven't figured out where the best place will be for a hugelkultur bed, but am hoping that this will become apparent when we do an overall garden plan.
Repair the ditches and gravel the driveway
I have made further repair to the ditches, and am seeing a big improvement. It is now possible to walk through the backyard following a heavy rain, which was impossible before. I still need to get a load of gravel for the driveway, which I hope to do within the next couple of months.
Complete the expansion of the herb bed
This project is complete. We didn't get everything planted that we had hoped, but the herb garden itself is finished. There is a bit of finishing work that can still be done, such as installing the rock border for the section in front of the porch, but for now we have a temporary border of landscape timbers. We did not install a trellis, since we did nott plant the hops that require it.
Make and install rain barrels
This goal is roughly half finished. I have installed two rain barrels, and have two left to construct. I also still need to install gutter and downspouts on the front porch and shed. I have the gutter, now I just need to install it.
Buy and start using a lawn sweeper
As discussed in Lawn Sweeper vs Landscape Rake vs Pine Straw Rake I was considering alternatives to the lawn sweeper. I did end up buying a landscape rake, but then found that it wasn't as good of an option a I had thought it would be. I eventually gave in and bought a lawn sweeper as well, and have found that to work much better for collecting grass clippings. I'll be doing a post about that, once I test it in taller grass. Since I've now bought two pieces of equipment for this task, I think its safe to say it is complete.
Finish clearing along the front edge of the yard and plant bushes
This project is complete. We have planted twenty-five bushes along with a green mulch of clover. It appears that some of the bushes may have to be replaced, but that should be relatively easy compared to the process of getting the area ready for the planting.
Purchase or build a shelter for the tractor
We had decided to purchase a metal carport to use as shelter for the tractor. Recently, though, we've started to think it might be better to build something. Both my dad and uncle suggested this, and gave some good reasons for going that route. What really made me think about it, though, was my recent visit to HomeGrown HideAways for the Whippoorwill Festival. I had the opportunity to look at one of the sheds there, and see how simple the construction was, which has made me realize that building one is definitely something we could do.
Fix a route to get across the road with the tractor
I haven't done any work on this since the last update, but am now considering it complete. I have had the tractor over there several times, and have not had any problems. I worried that an implement attached to the tractor might drag, due to the steepness of the road, but that turned out not to be an issue.
Build the pallet compost bin
I have made no progress on this project. For a while I was thinking that my plans to build such a large compost bin were unnecessary, but I've now realized that it is going to be needed after all. Between the compost pile and the piles of straw and grass clippings, I will need a large bin to keep it all contained.
Make a worm bin and start vermicomposting
We have made no progress towards this, and have actually started to question whether we want to do it or not. I think, though, that it is worth doing, if for no other reason, to have the worm castings to use for seed starting in the spring.
Install solar panels on the shed
Still no progress here, and as mentioned before, this will likely get pushed back to a 2014 goal.
Replace the siding on the shed
No progress has been made towards this goal. I think this is a task we can complete in a day, once we actually get started. I keep thinking of other tasks to get my Dad's help with, but should probably try to make this one a priority and get it knocked off of the list.