Happy New Year! I’m always glad to welcome a new year, and I’m excited to see what 2022 has in store. To that end, I’m making my resolutions for farming projects I intend to tackle during the next 12 months.
I suppose you could call them New Year’s resolutions, but I think of them more as inspiration, both for myself and (hopefully) for readers. The goal of this annual exercise isn’t to compile a list of resolutions that must be followed at all costs. Rather, I hope to encourage proactive thinking about fun projects to accomplish during the coming year.
With this goal in mind, here are five of my 2022 New Year’s farming resolutions.
Dramatically Expand Garden Space
It’s safe to say 2021 was a spectacular year for the farm garden. We planted more beds than ever and enjoyed fresh produce throughout the summer and well into fall. Among the highlights were tomatoes (which stayed productive for months) and sweet corn (which received universal praise from all who tasted the freshly picked ears).
We plan to expand the garden even more in 2022. We’ve already constructed 19 new raised beds. We laid these in place during the fall.
As soon as spring arrives, I’ll move wagonloads of compost to fill the beds. And we’ll hopefully be set for another banner year of garden productivity. I can’t wait!
Invest in a Wood Chipper
In mid-December, a powerful thunderstorm brought high winds to our farm. While I’m thankful our buildings escaped damage, we lost a large number of towering conifers from our windbreak rows. So storm cleanup will be high on my spring 2022 agenda.
With this in mind, I may need to invest in a quality wood chipper to handle the debris. I normally stash branches in brush piles at remote locations across the farm. But the sheer volume I’ll have to tackle in 2022 has me concerned about running out of suitable space.
A wood chipper will reduce the volume of material to a more manageable size and simultaneously provide me with a useful product: wood chips. That sounds like a win-win situation!
Plant New Trees
Having lost so many trees to the winter storm, I’m tempted to plant replacements in 2022. Perhaps I can use this damaging storm as an opportunity to shake up the farm’s appearance with some fresh plantings.
The windbreak rows are largely compromised of red pines. But maybe I’ll replace them with white pines. I love the fluffy appearance of their five-needle clumps.
And of course, I’ll aim to plant more fruit trees as well, expanding on my young orchard project. Black Ice plums are an annual harvest highlight. A few more trees would boost productivity and help ensure consistently high yields, and planting more is definitely high on my list of farming resolutions for 2022.
Repair or Replace Worn-out Tools & Items
I’m definitely not one to replace tried-and-true tools prematurely. I try to keep them in use as long as possible. Why not squeeze out as much productivity as they can provide?
There’s no need to replace a tool with lots of life left.
But sometimes, even I have to admit an item has reached the end of its useful life. My favorite pair of safety glasses, for example, has become so scratched and fogged I’ll need to replace it before spring.
My trusty pruning loppers still serve faithfully. But I’ll admit their cutting blades have significantly dulled over the course of eight years.
So for 2022, I’m resolving to repair or replace worn-out tools and items. There’s no need to struggle unnecessarily.
Spend More Time Taking in the Scenery
I was grateful to spend some time during the fall sitting in an Adirondack chair at the top of my orchard hill, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of lovely autumn days. It was relaxing and uplifting to slow down a little and appreciate the beauty of the farm without worrying about which project to tackle next.
I hope to spend more sunny afternoons enjoying the orchard in 2022. Stopping to count your blessings is always time well spent.
What are your New Year’s farming resolutions for 2022?