NEW BEGINNINGS 2017

A year has gone by since my last post. I wonder if I accomplished anything on my wish list from 2016. Here it is:

  • Sell more plants at the Farmers Market. In years past, I’ve sold the supporting cast of an orchard, but not the stars. This year I will have apples, plums and other fruit trees for sale at the Farmers Market in Friday Harbor. It didn’t happen in 2016, but I do have those plants on order for 2017. Really.
  • Grow more of the feed for my laying flock. The girls have taken well to sunchokes, so I will be planting more of them. I expect to be growing more peas as well. The sunchokes were a big success. And I mean big! I grew them alongside a chicken run and the tubers were enormous. Peas, as usual, failed to produce. I blame the birds.
  • Grow more cider apples. My first experiment in hard cider worked well, so I might as well do more. I planted 5 cider apples in 2016, made more good cider, and some apple wine last year.
  • Offer more fresh produce and preserves at the Market. As my food forest matures and produces more than Anita and I can eat, I will offer more choices at my market booth. The kale and chard did not sell. I’m looking forward to selling fruit. We did sell a lot of apples at the Grange Booth, but none were mine. Mine went to cider. Maybe I will have enough for both in 2017.
  • Get ahead of the firewood supply. I’m designing a firewood drying kiln to speed up seasoning and ensure that I have hot smokeless fires. Yup, I have a few really nice designs. I also redid the railroad track at the site of the kiln, so I am now ready. I did not exactly get ahead of the year, mostly because I hosted two events at the farm last year, and that meant a lot of cleaning up! The other time suck was defending my forest owner’s tax break with the county. They needed a lot of detailed proof that my pruning, thinning, trail making, brush clearing and other serious work in order to get ready to harvest some trees really counted as forestry. The jury is still out. I’ll post a proper rant later.
  • Produce more biochar. Yup. Did that. In fact, I’m planning to make a lot more as a by-product of my sawlog harvesting and sell it at the Farmers Market.
  • Extend the railway to the house. Not quite yet. I got it firmed up very nicely where the firewood kiln will be. Maybe in 2017?
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