Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

Looking Back at 2013

Monday, January 20, 2014

I just realized that we're halfway through January, so I really need to get off my rear and take a look at how we did on our goals for 2013 and start planning for this new year.

This year's garden fared much better than in 2012, since we didn't have all that oppressive heat and drought.  But I couldn't grow a pepper or jalapeno this year to save my life.  This year, we'll be moving those into the concrete containers next to the garage since I accidentally discovered that they LOVE the heat reflected off the garage and retained by the concrete planters.  Hey...gardening is an art, right?  Sometimes you discover you're a Picasso and didn't know it.

Looking at the list of goals from last year, I think I may have been just a tad bit over-ambitious.  Look at how long that list is!  I mean, was I trying to plan out our entire year in one day?

We did accomplish some biggies:

  1. Selling the 1893 Victorian that we lovingly restored.
  2. Paying off the farm.  It's all ours now!
  3. We didn't just replace the leaky roof on the addition.  We had professionals replace the entire roof for just the cost of materials + they put a membrane roof over the almost-flat addition.  No more leaks!
  4. The garden beds are no more.  We bulldozed them over in favor of a much bigger garden in 2014.  I gave us a "D" on this only because I wanted to get a whole mess of horse manure dumped on it before winter and that didn't happen. 
  5. There are some new additions to the garden:  2 new dwarf cherry trees and 3 new semi-dwarf apple trees.  And a crap load of blackberries.

Even though not everything on the list got accomplished, I still feel really good about what we were able to do in 2013.  And I feel even more excited about 2014. 

Speaking of 2014, how about some goals, girl?  And keep it light, would ya?

  • Develop a plan for our much bigger garden.  Oh, the seed catalogs are a-flying.  More on that to come!
  • Install solar panels to power our house.  I've been doing a ton of research on this and you wouldn't believe how easy this is to DIY.  Stay tuned and find out how to do this for FREE here in the KC area.
  • Finish up renovations on the travel trailer and get it moved to the farm to make room for...
  • Build a garage in the backyard.  We need space to store and work on tractors, etc.
  • Successfully grow tomato from seed.  Last year’s try was pretty pitiful and the seedlings ended up VERY leggy.  I’d really love to experiment with soil blocking and grafting.
  • Re-establish the strawberry bed. (Ahem..I may have let it the rye grass overtake the bed and kill it last year.)
  • Grow corn and\or other edibles specifically for the chickens.  I’d like to see if I can cut down on the amount of chicken feed that we’re buying.  This one was on my list for last year.
  • Finish the rain barrel project.  This will be expanded to include a water capture system for the new solar panels. 
  • Build at least one compost bin. 
  • Learn beekeeping.  I've already signed up for an all-day class from the Midwestern Beekeepers Association in February. 
  • Become proficient in playing the 5-string banjo.
  • Start an herb garden and learn how to dry and store them.  And, while I’m at it, learn how they can be used in herbal remedies and medicines.
  • Enjoy every minute.
I think that's a pretty good do-able list and, as is typical when it's cold outside, I am now *chompin' at the bit* to get out there and get started.

How about you?  What’s on your project list for 2014?

1 comment:

  1. You forgot to add "kill a chicken" back on for this year. I'll expect you at our next chicken culling. We're buying the hybrid chicks end of March/early April and will be "doing the deed" in late June/early July. Be there or be square!...or are you too CHICKEN?! ;->


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