I’m sure this is difficult to imagine, but there is a lot of, like, random shit rattling around in my head. For example, I know the proper spacing for fasteners on a piece of roof sheathing, where all the warp zones are located in the original Super Mario Bros. game, the technical terms for over 100 different configurations of concrete block, and more obscure Star Trek references than any given person should know. These are the pieces of obviously important information that have taken up permanent residence in my brain, leaving little room for things like, oh, all of the shit I need to get done this year.
Which is why I had to build a very, very large chalkboard.
For the last six weeks I’ve been slowly putting together my plan for 2014. One might argue that I should have done this before actual 2014 hit, but listen, I’m lucky if I’m only running six weeks behind at this point and, as my grandpa says, it is what it is.
The important thing is that I have a plan. Ish. Kind of a plan. Kind of a really big effing list that stares me right in the face whenever I walk into my house.
The bigass chalkboard consists of a few different parts.
1.) My usual “Five Projects” list
2.) My “To Plant” List
On the surface this seems like just a list of things I want to plant this year. Which… it is. But I also have a lot of thoughts surrounding the planting of these things, and having them listed out helps me remember that. For example, I know if I want to do peas I’m going to have to build another vertical bed in the garden, or to plant to berry bushes I’m going to need to have the garden fence up. And I’m also hoping it will help when it comes time to start seedlings indoors, etc.
3.) The seasonal list
This is the big one. While I haven’t separated things out into weeks or months, I did list them in somewhat chronological order, so things at the top of the lists should happen in the early part of the season, and things at the bottom in the later part of the season.
I’m trying to be very realistic with what I’ll be able to get done this year, especially with the farming and ever-increasing number of animals to take care of. (There may or may not be more chickens in my immediate future… just saying.)
Here’s how I broke down my projects for this year:
- Finish-residing and paint garage
- Install garden fence
- Run electric to barn(s)
- Build chicken run
- Finish master bed/bath
- Finish kitchen (floor, at least) => woodburner for next winter
- Fix up workshop
- Build pergola off of garage
- Finish stairwell
- Finish entry floors
- Make front porch awesome
- Re-do laundry room
Not-a-chances (but someday)
- Tear up driveway, fix plumbing to barn
- Reside addition
- Rebuild back porch
- Add on to patio (outdoor fireplace)
- Build greenhouse in garden
- Water collection off barn
There are also some maintenance items on the list (like spraying the driveways for weeds, etc.) but one of the big ones is that I’m planning to have my first real “open house” at the farm in early fall. In the two years I’ve been here, I haven’t formally invited my friends and family up to the house, because it’s been in a fairly constant state of disarray.
This year I’d like to throw the “big party” and if I’m lucky enough with my planting and harvesting it will be a kind of “Farm to Fork” party, where much of what we eat will come straight from the land here (or nearby.) That alone will create a lot of projects (building half a dozen picnic tables, anyone?) and be a huge motivation for getting things done.
All in all, I’m looking forward to 2014, all of the projects, all of the work that will get done, and–when it’s over– the napping.