We've got a short list of ideas on what the next year holds for the Cabin in terms of homestead improvements ... of course, the challenge is actually carrying them out (especially in these tough economic times). Drum roll, please ....
1) The Greenhouse: yes, we've wanted this in the past ... and got as far as revamping the potting shed. But now we're talking an actual structure of glass, capable of wintertime flowers, small exotic trees, and veggies for the off-season. We've got the glass, now all we need is time and willpower. We want at least a sketch and a piece of property selected, if not an actual frame in the works...
2) The Smokehouse: we've been talking about this one for years, too. The ability to cure hams, make bacon, and even experiment with beef or venison using the techniques of our ancestors (and some modern food safety measures made since the good ol' days). For the pride of doing it ourselves, as well as some tasty results.
3) The Drying House: The little stone building and wood-burning stove are just waiting for a few finishing steps to be a haven for drying flowers, fruit, and other small items. Right now, it just serves as a stone wall for propping up chicory stalks. But soon, maybe it will actually get a little tin roof and an actual drying space framed up.
4) The Orchard: Fruit and nut trees desperately need replanted after the harsh ice storm of a few years ago. Now that the ground has been cleared of stumps, we're ready for the new trees to be installed. From cherry and apple to pear and plum, we're weighing all the different kinds of fruit and nut trees that promise long-term harvests.
5) Tree Lots: We've been meaning to clear a little space for cultivating some trees, especially light, fast-growing woods meant for crafts, like basswood. Plus some ornamental favorites, like maples and Osage orange shrubs for landscaping and whimsy.
6) The Junk Pile: Everybody has one, but ours includes a small outdoor lot which houses leftover fencing and scrap metal. It was originally meant as a temporary storage site full of odds and ends with useful or creative appeal ... but it's time to weed out some of the less useful items and store the others for future use.
That's it for now -- although I'm sure we'll think of other things to add by the first of the year. Hopefully, we'll have some actual progress to report before the next round of New Year's Resolution are made.