Sustainability, low-waste and better planting: 2019 New Year’s resolutions

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The New Year is a great time to reflect on your accomplishments from the previous year and think about your goals for the next. Here are some 2019 goals from our staff and some of our favorite homesteading bloggers to inspire you to make your own.

A baby goat because, well, newness. New Year’s resolutions are all about a fresh start. | Gabor Degre

Create a zero-waste garden

“Among my resolutions is to make our food gardens as close to zero waste as we can. We’ll be planting with storing food for winter in mind, and focusing heavily on how to use as much of our plants as we can — such as making chimichurri and pesto with carrot tops to freeze for winter, fermenting excess vegetables, transforming beet greens into canned bruschetta and composting anything we don’t want to consume (spiky radish greens, for instance, are not my favorite), in addition to eating them fresh (carrot tops and beet greens in salads are delicious).”

— Sarah Walker Caron, editor of Hello Homestead and blogger at Sarah’s Cucina Bella

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Add new livestock and foster good gardening habits

“My resolution is to convince my husband that he needs horses again. We had them in Virginia and he enjoyed trail riding. I also resolve to pay more attention to garden maintenance. I’m great at the planning, purchasing seeds and planting aspects, but the weeding and all that sort of gets away from me.”

— Lisa Steele, blogger at Fresh Eggs Daily

Grow more indoors

“My new apartment is blessed with not one, not two, but three south-facing windows. My New Year’s resolution is to take advantage of all that natural light and do more indoor gardening. I cook a lot, so I am especially interested in expanding my windowsill herb garden (and, perhaps, finally taming a finicky basil plant). I’m even considering experimenting with hydroponics … we’ll see!”

— Sam Schipani, staff writer for Hello Homestead

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Become more self-sustaining

“I’d like to be more focused on food to sustain me through the year … I grew up in Montana where we raised most of our own food. But when I moved to the city and tried to grow my own food and raise chickens, I had to be more selective about what I chose to grow because of space limitations. Now that I’m on 38 acres, it’s taken my mind a couple years to expand to the possibility that here, if I do it right, I can provide the majority of my food. And that’s pretty exciting me to me!”

— Kerrie Hubbard, blogger at City Girl Farming

Get physical and pay attention to waste

“I am setting a personal goal of doing something physical every day and not worrying about times, distance or duration. Just having fun! I also intend to work harder in reducing my contributions to the waste stream. I want to pay more attention to excess packaging, needless bags when shopping and recycling.”

— Julia Bayly, staff writer for Hello Homestead and blogger at Travels with Chiclet

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Revamp existing farm infrastructure

“We’re planning on taking some of the infrastructure we’ve had for a long time and improving it. We are going to be completely re-doing our corral and animal pens, and also rethinking our barn and chicken coop. They have worked as-is for a while now, but it’s time to improve on their flow and functionality. So for us this year, it’s less about building new, and more about maximizing what we have.” 

Jill Winger, blogger at The Prairie Homestead

Make your yard a happening habitat

“This year, I’m going to stop making the excuse that my property is too rocky and shady, and I’m going to work to expand my gardens and introduce a greater variety of native plants to my property. I’d also like to inoculate some logs to grow mushrooms. While some of the plants we grow will be for our own use and consumption, I plan for much of it to be for local wildlife. For example, I’d like to plant a variety of bushes that shelter and feed birds, and I’d like to dedicate at least part of our yard to pollinators and ground-nesting birds by spreading a variety of wildflower seeds and allowing it to grow throughout the spring and well into summer.”

— Aislinn Sarnacki, staff writer for Hello Homestead and blogger at Act Out with Aislinn

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