The growing season is not too far around the corner! Witch hazel is already blooming and my flowering quince buds are days away from opening. If we can get a handle on some garden chores now, we’ll be in good shape to maximize the harvest from our homesteads this year.

When it comes to growing your own food, here is my short list of what to get busy working on over the next couple weeks:

  • Finalize your planting plan
  • Prune your fruit trees
  • Cut and divide any perennials
  • Organize a seed swap with pals
  • Get your indoor seed growing operation ready
  • Plant new trees (now while they are dormant)
  • Build row covers to extend the growing season

If you are planning to start seeds indoors, check out my tutorials on making your own seed pots from newspaper. I even put up a YouTube video a year or two ago walking you through it.

Photo by Isaac Viel

When it comes to raising livestock, there are also several ways for you to get busy and prepare now for the critters:

  • Research breeds
  • Meet your neighbors
  • Plan and construct housing

Even if livestock is legal in your city, knowing your neighbors and sharing your plans with them opens up a communication line before any potential problems crop up. If they are worried about the noise or smell, it’s better to have those conversations now and reassure them, rather than have them call the city. Periodically bringing over eggs or honey is a great way to check in with them later and give them a little perk from helping your homestead.

I’m not sure about you, but my to-do list is already getting pretty long and it’s only January! My plans for new fruit trees, honeybees and a packed veggie garden is going to be challenging with our other plans this spring (i.e. this baby in my belly). But getting some of the legwork done now means I may just be able to manage new additions better this Spring.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson