First we’d like to wish everyone a very happy new year! It feels like it’s going to be a great year and I dream of when the days start to stretch out and Spring delivers those first rays of warm sunshine.We received literally hundreds of emails in 2013 from those of you that want to learn more about how we manage our little patch of the Hampshire countryside and for that we are most grateful. It makes it all worthwhile!
It seems there are a lot of you out there that also want to ease the pressure on their family life and find a more sustainable lifestyle … for a whole bunch of reasons. Well, my goal in 2014 is to help you achieve that change in lifestyle by sharing as much our knowledge and experience as we can through the pages of the blog.
It’s usually about this time I post plans for the new year and I must say we’re both really excited about the projects we have planned in 2014.
My son Tom (electrician) is starting his own electrical services business this year, which is a brave move in these challenging times. We wish him well with his new enterprise.
I do like to Plan!
Not sure about you but I like to put some thoughts together on paper right about this time. Apart from making me more organised the results give me something to look forward too and something other than the ironing to focus on during these short days and long nights.
Everyone plans in different ways. I like my plans to be rich and visual, as well as informative. I include a few pictures alongside each project to remind me of what all the effort is about. I find pictures also help me to focus, to be motivated on the outcome.
More Ebooks planned for 2014!
After the success of our first Ebook “An Introduction To Frugal Gardening’ I thought it might be nice to share some more stuff so will be releasing an update to Frugal Gardening along with a new idea centred around reducing spend and increasing income. It’s as a result of a couple of things we experienced earlier this year which led to an unexpected windfall.
I’ve already started typing up the first draft so should be ready to share fairly soon.
Cut flower garden.
Two years ago I planted a cut flower garden which was absolutely beautiful. I planned to do the same in 2013 but didn’t get my act together in time and so missed out. 😦
So this year the cut flower garden will be back, even bigger and more lush than before … at least that’s the plan. 🙂
New Building projects planned for 2014
Although we constructed a fence and gate soon after we moved in we always wanted to make more of it. Original plan was to build a barn, come food store, come office, come weekend hideaway … But it never really came together due to other commitments.
John and I have agreed it’s key to our plans and really needs to happen the year, so looks like it’s going to really happen this time.
We plan to start in early April and will be a timber building and entirely self build. If you’re interested in timber frame building we will be posting progress reports on the blog, so if you I recommend subscribing to the blog and subscribing to the RG You Tube Channel.
Whilst we’re on the subject of timber buildings … when we blogged details of our home built workshop and wood store we received several emails requesting dimensional plans. As with many of our projects the design and construction is in John’s head … but he’s promised to draft something and post some measured drawings early in the new year.
‘Blackbirds Tiny Plant Nursery’
Our modest little plant nursery continues to grow and we will be posting progress updates throughout the year. Phase 1 was all about learning and getting the plant production side of the venture up and running. Phase two is going to be all about creating a professional looking space and generally getting more organised on the selling side.
We’ll post progress updates throughout they year and will definitely be posting more videos on the You Tube channel.
A Brand New Kitchen Salad Garden
If you’ve ever wondered how to build your own raised beds or perhaps you are new to vegetable gardening and stumbled across our little blog, then there is some good news!
One of the projects we have planned is a brand new salad garden. It will be located outside the kitchen which will be really convenient for the BBQ season. John will be in charge of construction and I will be selecting the varieties and growing some gorgeous produce.
We plan to grow all manner of salad veg from the good old standards through to some of the more exotic varieties. I can’t wait to get started!
Weekend courses at Blackbirds?
I wanted to canvas opinion on an idea we’ve been discussing for this year.
Gauging the reaction we’ve had from our readers we’re thinking of offering a couple of weekend courses over the summer. We’re thinking practical courses in gardening, basic timber frame construction, plant propagation, that kind of thing.
General idea is to share our experiences and pass on the skills and knowledge we’ve acquired along the way. I know when we started on our lifestyle change I could have done with a little help and guidance along the way.
What do you think? … Would it be something anyone would be interested in?
The weather is gorgeous down here pretty much from late May through to the end of August. Should be fun!
Well that’s a brief taster of what’s to come this year and I’m sure you’ll agree there is much to get excited about.
We’d love to know what you have planned for 2014.