The Year in Review

It’s been a memorable and mostly good year here at Small Wonder Farm.  Here are some of the highlights (click on the links throughout and you will see all the posts on that topic):

It was our first spring and summer growing in the high tunnel.   Verdict–those poor souls growing in flat open ground are to be pitied.  Raised beds are a must and many crops love the high tunnel. Especially with our always extreme man-made weather.

We lost our dear Pepita in March.  I still think of her everyday and she was a true lesson in perseverance, dedication, and loyalty.  I hate that we live in a world where animals are thought of as less than when they are often more than.

We quadrupled our produce output going to the restaurant.  There were a number of factors at play:

  • I am a better garden planner
  • I have learned much more about soil and we layer on the compost
  • We no longer till–Using only hand-tools and lots of organic matter
  • I am better at companion planting and organic problem-solving
  • We added the high tunnel
  • I am better at fulfilling restaurant needs through crop choices and timing
  • I had a part-time employee (aka The Chef)

This was the year of extreme heat.  It was near 100 for the entire month of July.  Despite being more careful than normal, I became dehydrated enough to have hallucinations.  The heat was awful.  I hate extreme heat.  Still, I would rather be sweating and picking than trapped inside.  Extreme conditions also made my pain worse.  A lot of the picking was of currant tomatoes, which were a big hit at the restaurant. With over an hour of picking time per plant however, we will not grow them this coming year (ok, maybe 1).

It was a year of big birthdays. Lily turned 7, I turned 40, and the Chef just turned 45.  My birthday wish was a trip to the Mother Earth News Fair.  It was everything I wished for and then some. It was a great recharge for the turning point of 40.  I am very lucky and wise to be already doing the things in my life that bring me joy, knowledge, and fulfillment.

It was the year of many firsts.  I strive to try and make many things new each year.  I know the meaning of life is loving and learning, so I do my best to fill my life with both.  Some firsts:

New Crops:

New Skills:

I finished my first school year of volunteer teaching at NCS and started my second.  Year one included three K and K/1 classrooms and I now work with 6 classrooms-ranging from K to 2nd grade kids.  It is an honor to teach these kids about gardening, the environment, and nutrition.  I’ve learned a great deal and have a long way to go, but I love my kids and feel what I am teaching them is of utmost importance.  We have a lot of fun.  It was so great to start this second year and and see how much last years kids retained from year 1.

The 2 major stories that round out the year-end are our non-winter and our new puppy.   So far, winter has not come.  Temps have been mild and we have had only 2 short-lived snows.  In a way, I am relieved since the cold is hard on my fibro, but some winter would be nice.  Knowing that the source of our always strange weather is man-made has me wishing for a normal season.

Frida, a 7 month old Boston Terrier, came home on December 22.  I knew I would eventually want another lap dog after loosing Pepita, but it took awhile.  I searched for rescued pups on Petfinder for about a month before Frida and I found each other.  I have always wanted a Boston Terrier and Frida is the pup for us.  At 7 months, she is a preschooler.  She loves to cuddle in bed more than anything in the world.  She is the last to get up and is always up for a nap.

Here are some of my favorite pics from the year. 

"Tom Pepper" tomatoes--tomatoes as big as your head and a canning marvelRed Floriani Flint Corn as compared to a 7 year old

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