For my first year of full on, somewhat purposeful and completely intentional gardening and homesteading, this has been a somewhat miraculous experience. I’ve had very little naysaying, mocking or any other negative advice. My family and friends have been indulgent and supportive, and my neighbors lovely. Mind you I don’t have the chickens yet.
On a purely quantitative front I’ve been lucky. I started late with the infrastructure but early with (some of) the plants. Considering that in February we still had a giant bin and the tree-that-shaded-all, it’s amazing I have any garden at all… In fact though I have had spinach and cilantro in spades, and frozen for later. I have peas, 6 types of lettuce, kale, strawberries, raspberries and rhubarb now. I could definitely double the berries for next year, and halve the lettuce. I’d also love more rhubarb. The kale is perfect, in fact so far the polycultural bed I tried (from Kelly and Eric’s first book) has been the crowning glory for me. I haven’t seen the carrots produce yet of course, but the lettuce and kale is great, and the broccoli is advancing nicely.
I’ve made many mistakes (search the mistakes category for more) and learned a lot about what I want – for example to me the spinach wasn’t worth the space. I’m surprised by how well so much of it has gone, actually. I think I’ve had such good luck because the soil is new, and in raised beds… So far I haven’t done anything I should have done in terms of pests or disease. I’ll be honest I haven’t done much more than the basics of getting stuff in the ground and watering it.
Next year my focus is going to be on learning more about the plants themselves and their specific needs. I won’t be spending so much time on infrastructure per se so hopefully a winter of reading and a less insane spring will mean I’ll actually pay attention to spacing, pinching out etc.
The good news is I’m half way in and I still want to do this again next year.