Thursday, December 24, 2009

Journal it!

As I mentioned in the previous post about the geese and their migration patterns, keeping a journal of your activities is an incredibly helpful tool. We keep a garden journal and a chicken journal. We keep financial ledgers for the chickens, garden, and capital farm expenses. We also keep journals for hunting and fishing, and one for outdoor recreation.

The garden journal gives us a reference point from the time we plant seedlings indoors in February to the point of harvest in fall. This year I was panicking that I was planting the garlic too late, until I checked the journal and realized that I had planted this late in some years past and done fine. We know that if we plant tomatoes too early indoors, the get leggy by last frost. We know what pest control methods that have worked and not worked. We know when we planted indoors, when the last frost came, when we planted outdoors for each vegetable, and when last frost and harvest was. This will help keep us organized in our endeavor to make money at the farmer's market.

The chicken journal and chicken ledger tell us how much we are spending on feed and fencing compared to how much we are making selling eggs. It tells us when we can expect eggs from chicks hatched in Spring. It chronicles loss from disease and what we have done to prevent disease and predation.

The hunting and fishing journals tell us when the ducks and geese have migrated in the past. It tells us when the deer go into rut. We know where we have seen them at different times of year. We can see when the steelhead have come into the river and what patterns they have been biting on. The journal tells us what flies have worked on what lakes and streams for trout in the summer.

We have three years of journals for the Palouse. We are getting to know the seasons and the cycles of our bio-region. Life moves in seasonal circles.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8


  1. Well said. Merry Christmas, Russ and Colleen! Rachel and Family

  2. Awww, thanks. Bring a smile to my face.