Happy New Year! I’m going into 2018 with a list of personal allotment resolutions – eek! Let me make it clear that resolutions aren’t normally my thing. To be honest, I don’t see the point in striving for unrealistic personal goals, putting pressure on yourself to live a certain way, only to forget all about the #NEWYEARNEWME by the 4th January *rolls eyes*. It just isn’t me. With all that said, I was reflecting on my allotment progress and realised how I could make things better for myself, my land and hopefully for others too. Some of my resolutions I have started already, because they aren’t just for a new year remember! It’s never a bad time to make a few changes to your lifestyle or future plans.
1. Care For My Compost
I started my pallet compost bin in 2015 (I think) and not once had I turned it. I would throw things in without too much thought and hoped that it would magically give me crumbly, rich compost. I was wrong and it’s time for me to stop treating it like a bin and actually put in the little effort required to actually MAKE my own compost!
Not only do I want to make my own compost, but I want to be more self sufficient and do things more sustainably on my patch of earth. I don’t generate a huge amount of green/brown waste materials on my little plot and I have already already started to take better care of my compost heap and recycling my kitchen scraps using a cute new bin. You can expect to read more about my compost activity soon!
2. Read More Books
Growing up, I was never much of a bookworm. Even now I would rather be outdoors or doing something hands-on, than sitting still for long periods of time. In the last few months though, I became quite addicted to visiting a local charity shop, flicking through a huge range of gardening books on my lunch break and inevitably taking some home. I now have a huge stack of them to get through! Of course the internet is a great place to find information but reading a book is, in my opinion, a totally different learning experience. I know that I’m much more likely to make notes, draw up a plan or work on a new idea after reading about it.
3. Do More DIY Projects
I’ve always been a bit of a crafter. I love to make things with my hands and DIY projects are just as fun. The only thing that sets me back is that I know hardly anything about joining two pieces of wood together, which drill bit to use or how best to even plan out a project. I wander around Homebase and B&Q looking at all the different hinges, bolts and screws absolutely clueless on how to use any of it! Sure I know a few basics. I even built two strawberry cages this year (with a lot of help from my boyfriend!). I want to do more projects like this, not only to build up my skills but to share with others how easy it can be for a complete novice to build on a budget.
4. Volunteer & Learn
This is quite a biggy for me. I really want to take my love for gardening more seriously with academic studying. I’ve got this niggling ‘now or never feeling’ that I just can’t shake. So, if I can save up enough money in time, I hope to start a part time RHS Horticulture course in September this year! In the mean time, I plan to get involved with community projects or volunteering at public gardens like National Trust’s Clumber Park to maintain and help develop them for other people to enjoy. It would also be great opportunity to meet and get to know people who share a love for gardening and growing your own food.
5. Shoot More Video
I’m not saying I’m going to start a YouTube channel (or maybe I should…?) but I love to look back on the videos I’ve captured at the allotment. It’s a great way of documenting the seasons and the wildlife, they’re also ideal for sharing and reflecting on progress and changes to the plot like my polytunnel video posts.
I simply don’t shoot enough and I really should! So expect to see more videos in 2018. I could even combine this resolution with my DIY resolution for some budget build tutorials?! Ha, we’ll see about that one. I’m still a little camera shy!
7. Be Mindful of My Time
Going forward I hope to be more mindful of my time. I currently have two jobs which sometimes sees me work 6 days a week and I often feel overwhelmed with thoughts of things I need/should be doing, as I’m sure a lot of other people do too.
I already make allotment jobs lists to help me keep on track when I’m on the plot but I should remember that it’s ok not to do any jobs at all sometimes. To instead take a break from a busy week and enjoy a few quiet moments for myself.
I love being part of the social media gardening community and taking part in Twitter’s #gardenhour, but I’ve come to realise that social media can take up a lot of my personal time. I enjoy it and I don’t realise how just much I use it, but sometimes I just need to put the phone down and pick up a book, plan a blog post or write a new recipe instead.
8. Be More Organised
It’s easy to write those words, but in reality it can be hard to put into practise. One of my main areas for organisation is actually on the plot. My shed is a complete mess. I hope to complete turn it around before spring and have the tools in place for helping me stay on top of the clutter that soon builds up!
I’ll make sure I take my Moleskin notebook out with me more for jotting down observations, thoughts, ideas and plans. Apps like Evernote and Omnifocus are great for digital planning too. A calendar or diary would also come in handy for key dates in the gardener’s year like when to sow seeds, prune fruit bushes, trees etc. If I put any of these into action then I’m far less likely to fall behind this year!
There you have it, my 8 allotment resolutions for 2018. These subjects will be very close to my heart, blog and ethos throughout the year, so expect to see more focus on them across my social media platforms – especially on my Instagram page! Do you have any garden-related resolutions for the year?
I just want to say a special thank you for reading my blog and supporting homegrown.garden with your comments, advice and messages throughout the year! I re-started this blog in March 2017 (after abandoning it after 3 months in 2015!) and it’s been a wonderful year! I have lots more posts lines up for 2018 with a mix of diary-like updates with useful videos, recipes and allotment projects too! If there is anything in particular that you would like to see me cover, feel free to drop a suggestion into the comments below.
Thanks for reading!