4 Farming Successes I’m Thankful For In 2021

Since we can never spend too much time counting our blessings, I’m eager to share a handful of farming-related successes I’m thankful for in 2021.

by J. Keeler Johnson
PHOTO: Daniel Johnson

Happy Thanksgiving, hobby farmers! I’m delighted to say 2021 has been a memorable year on my farm, and since we can never spend too much time counting our blessings, I’m eager to share a handful of farming successes I’m thankful for in 2021. If you feel like joining in, please do so and share your lists with us online!

To start the ball rolling, I’m thankful for…

My Successful Corn Crop

Just for fun, I experimented with planting a raised garden bed full of corn this year. I’m happy to report the project was a resounding success. The corn grew beautifully, ripened to perfection, and provided my family with all we could eat for four days.

It was absolutely delicious!

I had never previously grown corn, so I enjoyed watering the plants diligently and watching them develop over the course of summer. I’ve since built four more raised beds and plan to plant significantly more corn in 2022, staggering the plantings so they ripen over the course of several weeks. It’s hard to beat the taste of freshly picked corn!

Read more: Ready to build a raised garden bed? Here’s how!

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Effective Deer Fencing

Effective deer fencing can be hard to come by, since it requires a combination of serious construction efforts and at least a little cooperation from the local deer population. But I’m thankful the perimeter deer fence surrounding my young orchard withstood all challenges in 2021.

It protected 35 fruit trees and a couple of tiny chestnuts from deer damage.

Since constructing the fence in 2019, I’ve steadily made improvements. This year, I reinforced the weakest points with additional T-posts and multiple layers of black plastic fencing.

At this point, I’m confident in its durability, so I was able to remove the temporary fencing from around each individual tree this summer. This improved the appearance of the orchard and made it easier to care for the trees.

It’s always encouraging when farming successes turn out exactly like you hope!

Professional Repairmen

I love a good DIY project. And through the years I’ve surely accumulated meaningful savings by performing my own maintenance and repairs and machinery.

But once in a while, it makes more sense to let professionals take over.

During the summer, I took a small riding lawn mower into town for repairs and a complete tune-up. It was a super-busy time of year, and I was impressed when I reviewed the bill and noted the repair person had completed all the required work in just 2 1/2 hours.

It would have taken me far longer just to research and purchase all of the necessary parts and fluids. And I don’t even know how long I would have spent actually performing the maintenance and repairs.

Under the circumstances, I thought the bill was a great tradeoff for the time I saved and spent on other high-priority farm projects. The lawn mower has been in perfect working order ever since. Let’s give a big “thank you” to professional repair people!

Read more: Read how the author finally decided to let a professional handle his repair.

Quiet Days in My Orchard

It’s great to stay busy and productive. But once in a while, it’s also nice to slow down and enjoy the view.

When fall rolled around and things began to quiet down on my farm, I spent several afternoons relaxing in an Adirondack chair at the top of my orchard, looking downhill upon the young fruit trees.

I watched wildlife. I worked on writing projects. And I enjoyed the perfect autumn weather. Talk about times to be thankful for!

Are there any farming successes you’re thankful for this year? let us know!

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