The New Year is always a time for reflection and reinvigoration. Looking back over the past year, there were a number of changes that I had intended on making for myself in the garden. Some items always fall through the cracks leaving room for improvement during the following year. That is the beauty of gardening, there is always a new season to try again.
This past year, I had hoped to begin doing some variety trialing of spinach and broccoli at the farm in a concerted sort of way. Unfortunately, I made my decision to do this just as the season was getting busy and it ended up getting shelved in favor of maintaining the status quo. Each time I walked past the rows of broccoli or spinach I was reminded about how improper planning was setting my project back another year. So this season, I am resolving to go into the spring with a plan for my trials before the seeds are already in the ground. I am resolving to be prepared.
Another resolution I had intended on making last year was to learn more about cultivating various types of grain crops including northern dry-land rice. I had purchased a book about growing grains last summer on a whim and it never got read and still lays unopened on my coffee table. I am resolving to at least read this book so that next year, I can resolve to start planting a few test plots.
I have the open-ended resolution to stay in tune with our changing climate and to learn to interpret what it will mean to our gardening season. This year brought a number of bird species to the farm that have never been present before. The same was true for my parents in Northern Wisconsin and for friends living elsewhere around the country. This migration of species is the fore-runner to subtle shifts in climate and food availability. It is worth paying attention to the patterns of wildlife so that we ourselves are not caught unaware. I resolve to remain observant.
I am resolving to stop lifting so many heavy objects. Seriously, my back is killing me. I have older friends who spent their younger lives refusing to pace themselves while gardening and now suffer from chronic injuries that nearly prevent them from gardening altogether. I am resolving to be smarter than I am stubborn so that I can continue to do this activity that I love for many years to come.
And I am resolving to continue to be open to teaching others. I often feel like a novice who has nothing of value to pass along in the way of gardening knowledge. What I conveniently forget are the years I have spent making mistakes and learning from them. If nothing else, I can teach others how to avoid the same mistakes. We all have some kernel of knowledge worth sharing...don’t be afraid to pass it along. Resolve to be a teacher.
May the New Year bring you closer to the fulfillment of your own gardening resolutions and as always, Happy Gardening.