Now I am not one for New Years Resolutions per se (this is largely the result of a complete inability to ever stick to any), so these are certainly not resolutions. Instead I’m calling them statements of intent. The things I will work towards in 2013 in my kitchen and garden during the coming year.
Look after my garden beds better. I know I should look after my soil better. I know the plants will grow better if I do. I know that lots of manure and organic matter will mean far better crops. I know all this and yet all too often I pull one crop then simply sprinkle some Dynamic Lifter (or other brand pelletised chook manure) around and plant something else. This year though I will try harder. I will source more manure, having chooks will help in this respect and why I’ve never collected sheep manure from mum & dads paddocks I don’t know. I will spread compost around liberally and I will mulch thickly and dig that in as well. I will also grow more broad beans and possibly even a green manure crop or two.
Preserve more. I bought a Fowlers preserving kit recently on eBay so I have great preservation plans for the coming year. I already preserve some of these things but this year my aim is not to have to buy or run out of any of the following:
- Bread and Butter Pickles
For the record this year I managed not to buy or run out of both sambal and chutney but they were the only ones. I had to resort to buying either a tin or jar of each of the others at least once (particularly unforgivable in the case of jam and beetroot I think).
Cook new things more often. I admit to borrowing this from the New Goodlife’s goals for 2012. I have a huge collection of cookbooks. I spend a lot of time reading about food on the net. Yet I have to admit to rarely cooking anything new. This is partially because the kids might reject it, but mostly it is pure laziness on my part. With this is in mind I’m thinking a new recipe a week shouldn’t be too taxing – especially as I plan to try a new Thai dish tomorrow so that’s this week sorted…
Grow peas successfully. For the last two years I’ve germinated peas and then stood idly by while almost every single one is eaten by either slugs or snails. This year will be different. I will protect my pea seedlings. I will ring them with coffee grounds. Grow them next to beer traps. Place plastic bottles over them. Whatever it takes to actually grow some peas to maturity. Oooo I can taste them already…YUM.
Keep better records. I love Harvest Monday posts as they serve as a good record of what came out of the garden for that week. Unfortunately Monday Harvest posts are about as far as much of my record keeping goes. I did keep harvest weight records for much of the year but I wasn’t really as diligent about weighing things as I should have been and….well I could make excuses but suffice to say I could improve in this area. But even more importantly than harvest weights I need to get much better at recording dates for sowing. I do write it on the seed label but these are often moved, lost or generally forgotten so much of the information is missed. With this is mind this year I have bought a diary to record both weights of harvests but also sowing, potting up and planting out dates so that I will improve my knowledge about what works best for my micro climate.
And those are the Top 5 things I plan to improve this year, the things I think will make the biggest impact to how I garden and cook. I’m quite excited about all of them. The next thing now is of course to remember that I intend to do them which could be something of a challenge in itself…