On the first day of 2023, it’s time to set some goals.
Last year we hit 4.5 out of 8 goals, along with a goal I didn’t dare voice: that of buying a new homestead!
Now that we are on our new land, let’s set up some targets to hit
PLANT AN APPLE ORCHARD
I have ordered 16 Southern apple varieties from Century Farm Orchards to test in Lower Alabama, and should be planting an orchard some time in January. That’s the goal! I also have another four apple trees in pots, waiting to join them.
The varieties from Century Orchards are:
Shell, Hackworth, Cauley, Yates, Pomme Gris, Carolina Red, Roxbury Russet, Shockley, Little Benny, St. Clair, Jakes Seedling, Keener Seedling, Horse, Orleans, Pound, Rev. Morgan
The ones in pots are HoneyCrisp, Red Delicious, Pink Lady and Cortland. I’d also like to add Shell, Ein Shemer, Anna, Golden Dorsett, Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji and King David, along with some seedlings and perhaps some of Steven Edholm’s varieties.
BUILD A BIG CHICKEN COOP
The chicken coop we currently have isn’t ideal. I’m picturing something larger at the edge of the garden, with a big run and perhaps some tunnels we could run through beds. Getting more birds would be good, as egg and meat prices are soaring, plus there’s nothing better than home-raised.
HIT 500,000 SUBSCRIBERS ON YOUTUBE
We hit 250,000 in 2022. Why not go for double? We should have plenty to film when the weather warms up and the new Grocery Row Gardens and food forest get going.
WRITE A POST FOR EVERY WEEKDAY IN 2023
There are 260 weekdays in 2023, so we must write 260 posts. We were 39 posts shy of hitting a post for every weekday last year. We can beat that, especially if I do more garden photography and build my posts around the pictures.
FINISH WRITING MINIMALIST GARDENING
Minimalist Gardening has 32,934 words completed, which is getting close to Good Guide length. Another 10,000 words should wrap it up.
FINISH WRITING ALABAMA SURVIVAL GARDENING
Noah Sanders and I are working on this book together, and his portion of it is mostly done. Now I need to write my half, on the warm parts of Alabama. This book should be very useful to gardeners here, as Florida Survival Gardening was for Floridians.
LAUNCH THE TACTICAL GARDENING KICKSTARTER
I hope to start Tactical Gardening this year, with the help of illustrator Tom Sensible. It’s going to be my epic work on death hedges, hidden food, weaponizing plants, and more. The idea has been kicking around in my head for almost 8 years, but I want to make sure there’s a demand for it. Hence the Kickstarter. If it raises enough support, I’ll run with it. The book will be BIG, so it needs to be worth creating.
GROW 1,000 POUNDS OF FOOD
Isn’t it about time to hit some good numbers again? We now have decent soil and lots of cow manure. I think it has to happen.
We’d like to continue our landrace experiments and get back to breeding a vigorous and diverse Moschata pumpkin, as well as our own corn variety. 2022 was an absolute fail on those projects as the weather was a wreck, which was compounded by the awful soil at The Sand Pit of Death.
We’re mixing radishes, squash, corn, pumpkins, cucumber and okras together in various seedlines I’m saving right now. By the end of the year, I hope to have some good collections of mixed-up seeds we may be able to offer small amounts of through Daisy’s Good Gardens Seed Store.
I was working with lots of cassava types, too, but I think our last huge freeze may have frozen all my cane cuttings for this year. It might just be too far to push regularly.
GRAFT ALL THE BRADFORD PEARS
There are Bradford pear seedlings all over our land. I’d like to cut down all the popcorn trees around them, then cut the pears back and overgraft all of them with better varieties in the spring.
HARVEST A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF FIREWOOD
Ideally, we’ll be able to cut enough wood this year that we can easily heat the house in the winter. This is a new one for us!
MAKE THE COTTAGE A GUEST HOUSE
We have a servant’s house on our property that needs a lot of care. It’s currently stuffed with junk and has a broken chimney and broken water pipes. With some work, it could be a lovely little cottage for visiting family.
PLANT A DEATH HEDGE
We need to figure out exactly where the front edge of the property lies, then plant it with a dense hedge.
FINISH READING THE DECLINE AND FALL
I’m over half-way through The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire but the rest of the series is hiding in a box somewhere. I’d like to finish it in 2023. This ties into our need to…
BUILD A GIANT WALL OF BOOKSHELVES
Randall and I cut wood for this purpose. Now that pine needs to be planed and turned into a big wall of shelves. Then, hopefully, we can empty boxes of books until I find the rest of Gibbon.
…and I think that’s it.
What are your goals?