Well, this is the time of year when we all start thinking about those darn New Years resolutions, right? What can I make a resolution about that is practical, doable? Do I even want to make one? Most people fall off the proverbial wagon a month into it or so, right? What’s the point? Why can’t I just focus on making good decisions one day at a time?
Well, you can. And it’s true. Most people do fall off the wagon. In fact, I can’t even remember just about any of my previous New Years resolutions. I usually don’t like making them simply because the only reason I do is because I feel obligated by tradition to do it.
However, last year I did do some thinking and tried to come up with something that was reasonable for a New Years resolution. Because, after all, in theory, it’s a great idea. A time to start fresh. A time to make a change in your life with a built in marker of time by which to measure and everyone else is trying their best to better themselves at the same time. My resolution last year was simple. Do what I say, and say what I mean. Be a man of my word. Be a man of integrity. That seems to be a lost word in the modern man’s vocabulary. Integrity. It means have some backbone. Don’t say, “I’m going to do A, B, and C this year” and after half-way completing A lose interest or motivation or discipline to follow through. So that was it. Be a man of my word. Follow through. For the most part, I think I have done a pretty decent job at this. But I’m always tested when I get involved in a project like the one I’m in now with my garden.
Good news though. I have my garden about 75% built! I’m really excited about this because this could have easily become one of those things that in my mind was a fantastic idea, but in reality is a bigger commitment than I imagined. Over the past weekend and a little bit today I have worked on this garden and accomplished quite a bit. The best part is, completing this much of it makes me even that much more excited to continue working on it.
This is what is complete:
I built the fence out of pallets (leaving two panels off to allow the truck to back up when I want to fill the raised bed) and have two gates, one on the east side and one on the south side.
I built the raised bed. It is a 112 square foot raised bed kind of in the shape of a giant “C” or if you can imaging a capital “E” without the little middle part.
This is what remains:
Fill the bed. Just dumping dirt in there would require a ton of dirt. So, I am going to stack pallets in the bottom of the bed to take up room (laying flat, two or three pallets high), fill the gaps in with sand, put a layer of newspaper on top of that (the idea is that over time the pallets, sand, and newspaper will decompose into rich soil), and finally top it off with a half and half mixture of chocolate sandy loam and compost. I will have to buy compost to begin with, but hopefully my compost bin will be up and fully functional by spring time.
Once the bed has been filled, I have to put up the last two panels of fence.
Mulch the footpath that goes around the bed.
Install my soaker hose with a battery-operated timer from the hose bib.
I realize that I have a ways to go before I’m eating food that came from the back yard, but the progress that has been made has been great. In fact, I feel like the progress I’ve made has actually reinforced my resolve to continue. Funny how that works.
Also, I spent about 45 minutes on the internet the other night researching seed catalogs and ordered a handful of them so that I can start selecting my seeds for the spring. They should come in a couple of weeks to a month. I will definitely keep you posted on those, I’m excited.
So, as you start thinking about your New Years resolutions, let me give you some advice. First of all, don’t feel pressure to make one at all. Sure, they are a good idea in theory. But, let’s be honest. How many resolutions have you made that by March you don’t even remember what it was? Second, if you are going to make a resolution, make it something realistic that will be involved in your life often. For example, my decision to be a man of my word was good because every time I made a decision or said I would or would not do something, that resolution was tested. And third, take it from me, when you make a resolution, follow though on it. You can look back at the end of the year, and, just maybe, you will be doing something that is a direct result of your resolution that last New Years.
…and more to come on the garden.