Looking back at my list of planned projects last year, I actually didn't do half bad. I'd give myself maybe a B-.
The new raised bed were a substantial accomplishment as they significantly increased both the size and quality of my growing space. Similarly the lattice/ trellis wall along the parking lot side of the garden was a serious improvement and a welcome addition. The added privacy is great, and I am hoping to better utilize the additional vertical growing space this year.
The compost pile did not see much activity and still looks more or less the same as last year, although at the end of the season I did acquire a nice sized shipping pallet that I am hoping to use to better define the area. I did follow through on my plans to plant perennial vegetables, in this case Asparagus and Rhubarb. Although neither yielded a harvest the first year (which is expected) they both showed signs of vigour and life- the Rhubarb in particular was strong. I am going to try to be as attentive as possible to the Asparagus this year in hopes of getting it well established for the years to come. My final project (chicken acquisition) never materialized. Unfortunately this one simply fell by the wayside.
Now, looking ahead to planned projects for the 2011 season:
Compost Heap: This needs to happen. Right now my derelict pile of old leaves and garden waste takes up maximum space while providing minimal finished, usable compost. My goal is a neat, compact, active and effective pile to provide the beds with a continually renewing source of garden fertility.
Ducks: My ideal backyard bird has always been a duck. One of my farming hero's Eliott Coleman is a champion of ducks in the garden saying that not only do they lay eggs, eat bugs, and provide fertilizer as well (or better than) chickens, they also are generally more amicable and pleasant to be around. I am hoping to get 3-4 Khaki Cambell ducks, probably from here.
Season Extension: I am already doing this in a rudimentary way by starting seedlings indoors on a windowsill, and outside in my "mini greenhouse" pots. My hope though is to develop a system of low hoop plastic tunnels to fit over the raised beds frames so that I can continue growing longer into the cold fall and winter months. I am again looking to Eliot Coleman, specifically his book "Four Season Harvest" for inspiration and instruction on this one.
Vertical Expansion: This is always an ongoing work in progress, but I am hoping this year to find more ways to use vertical space for growing. I have the large lattice wall in place, but additionally I'll have access this year to a nearly unlimited supply of good quality long bamboo poles, so the possibilities for trellis and tee pee building are endless.