January 7, 2021
New Year's Resolutions
Welcome 2021, we have been waiting for you. With the new year comes new year's resolutions. I like new year's resolutions, but according to a recent study, only around 12% of people who make them felt that they were successful in achieving their goals. But there is good news too; those folks who do set new year's resolutions are 10 times more likely to really change their behavior compared to people who do not make these yearly goals. I've got a life hack for you — if your goals are gardening goals, it is a little easier to keep those resolutions.
My first goal for this year is to compost more. My composting skills have gotten a bit rusty, so I have been enjoying our new Master Gardener Volunteer book club read, "Composting for a New Generation" by Michelle Balz. This book is very inspiring and has got me excited about composting again. It really is as simple of combining kitchen scraps, landscaping trimmings, and leaves and turning them on the regular. I hope to use my 2021 compost to improve the soil in my perennial and edible beds.
My second resolution is to grow and share more plants with friends. This hobby started during the "stay at home times" of 2020, but I want to expand it and propagate even more plants for sharing. Those trimmings are becoming cuttings and seeds are being sprouted. As Master Gardener Volunteers, you all have modeled this behavior for me but it has finally taken hold and I am enjoying growing and sharing plants for people. It is also a nice way to make new friends.
My final gardening goal is to eat more seasonally by growing more of my own edibles and buying my produce from local sources. Greens, herbs, lettuces, cherry tomatoes, peppers, and radishes are relatively easy to grow in the garden. The convenience of having fresh veggies right outside the kitchen cannot be beat. What I can't grow I am going to try to source locally at farmer's markets, grocery stores that specialize in local produce, and I am considering a share in a CSA (community supported agriculture). When you eat locally you are supporting farmers in your community. If you are wanting to grow more edibles and eat locally in 2021 and beyond, a revised UF/IFAS web tool called Florida Fresh at floridafresh.ifas.ufl.edu. This web tool offers a quick resource for deciding what to plant when, and what foods are in season in your area. The webpage also had great information on each individual crop and allows you to customize the food list according to your zip code.
I hope all your new year's resolutions are successful, but especially your gardening goals.
-- Wendy Wilber