As a New Year's strategy, I was introduced to reviewing the following year to decide what should be cut, kept, and improved. I love the idea of reflecting for improvement, but finding an accurate record of the year was a little more difficult. I checked multiple calenders; however, those only highlighted the kid's doctors and dentists appointments. Then I looked through my Google pictures. Since I'm a fanatic about taking pictures, I captured most of 2019 with the great detail. It took me so long to go through all the pictures with multiple starts and stops it's already the middle of February. So here is my reflection on 2019: January: Took last 5 pigs to market. I wouldn't do that again. It was far too cold for those pigs and loading pigs in January was terrible. Science experiments with the kids. This is the month that we ramped up the indoor science activities: volcanoes, snowflakes under the microscope, grapes in the microwave. I would like these activities to be all year round, not just January. February: Detailed farm plan. A plan with planting dates and drawings was so helpful, but we need to stick to the dates and plan more into the fall. Chickens laid more than 2 eggs. I would continue to allow the chickens to go through their annual molting stage. We can give the ladies a break. March: Tapped maple trees. I think we will cut this out for 2020. We love the maple syrup, but we don't have any Maple trees on our property. We also have left over maple syrup. 100 chicks arrived. That was tough because the weather was cold and wet. Depending on the weather, it might have to be later this year. Planted radish seeds. I created a hot house in the garden, which I'm already planning for this year. April: Lard soap. We continue to regularly make lard soap. It's a regular at our farmer's market stand. We have also eliminated the use of purchased body soap. Boys took chickens to school for sharing, a baby chick and a laying hen. I would gladly take a baby chick, but the laying hen did not appreciate it. Opening day at Adventureland. This will definitely be cut. It was 30 degrees. The roller coasters weren't running because the tracks were frozen. However, our 6-year old loved it for his birthday. Planted potatoes in the garden. I'm already making plans to plant potatoes earlier. May: Started the farmers market. We will continue to be part of the farmers market family, it was a great way to meet customers. Went on vacation. Family vacations are my favorite. This year we are planning a trip to Seattle. Released the Painted Lady butterflies. Raising the caterpillars into butterflies is a fun experiment for the kids that we all look forward to. Finished planting in the garden. I would change the dates to plant everything earlier, but that all depends on the weather. Chickens to the butcher. I would move this time earlier to have smaller chickens. June: Second set of 100 broiler chicks arrived. I would adjust this date to have the first batch overlap the second batch. First set of pigs arrived on the farm. I would move this date earlier in the spring and put them directly into a pig tractor. Second set of pigs arrived into the pig tractor. I would move this date earlier too. July: Made new chicken tractor. I would make more chicken tractors like the new design. The turkey's arrived. I would get turkeys again, but raise them to be only 12lbs instead of 20lbs. August: Last 5 pigs arrived into the second pig tractor. I would move this date earlier in the year to avoid cold weather. Transported parts of a greenhouse. We are assembling the greenhouse now. Harvested potatoes and replanted. I would continue to double crop the veggies that we consume the most. Our chickens went off to be butchered, and our third batch of 100 broilers arrived. I would time the departure and arrival better. Either overlapped or separated by a week, but not in the same week. September: Butchered the turkeys. The turkeys were way too big! Canned salsa, green beans, and apple sauce. I would plan better to provide enough for the entire year.
October: Chickens and pigs went to the butcher. I would get pigs sooner to get them butchered sooner. Garden dug. I would keep radishes and carrots going through December. Harvested the pumpkins. I would plant them earlier. The last day of the farmers market was on the 30th. I would probably plan to end our booth sooner. November: Winter housing for pigs. I would get the pigs earlier to avoid winter weather. Cooked up one of our turkeys for Thanksgiving. We grew almost all of our Thanksgiving meal this year, and it was such a great reward. December: Our last batch of pigs went to the locker. I would move the date earlier to avoid winter. 2019 marked the second full year on our farm, and we are so grateful to be here.