Looking Back on 2018 and Looking Forward to 2019

Looking Back on 2018 and Looking Forward to 2019

2018 is over, and it's time to start planning new tasks to cultivate abundance in the new year. But you can’t really do this without understanding what worked—and what didn’t—on your property over the last year.


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So, what worked on your property, and what didn’t?

Keep that question in mind.

I’m going to share what worked and what didn’t on my property in 2018, and what I’m looking forward to in the year ahead.

What about you? Share what worked and what didn’t at your place in the comments.

How did things go for me?

Well, in 2018, life on our property could be defined by 3 words—Not Enough Time.

Working a full-time job, launching this site, supporting and being present with my family, does not leave much time for cultivating abundance. Sometimes it felt like if one thing went wrong, it could set me back weeks trying to catch up to where I thought I *should* have been.

But I did accomplish a lot on the land in 2018 (with some misadventures along the way). In this blog post I’m going to share one thing that worked and one that didn’t.

If you have yet to start cultivating abundance, or if you're just starting out, don’t miss my blog post on what you need to know before you get started.

Don’t forget to share your answer to these questions in the comments!

One Thing That Worked in 2018

The pond worked in 2018

This pond is a brand new part of my property, and one of my big successes in 2018.

I struggled to pick one thing that worked in 2018 on my property. There are several things that worked out well.

But the one thing that I’m really happy with is building my first pond.

This pond was built along a seasonal stream that flows through some old pastureland on our property. I built it using a technique that mimics how beavers build their dams.

Water is life.

My goal with the pond is to slow down water to retain more moisture in the soil and reduce the amount of water I need to use on my plants. It will also attract wildlife that will help transform my property into a thriving ecosystem.

It also adds beauty and creates peaceful spaces to unwind.

I love working with water, and having water features on my property has been a dream of mine for a long time. This first pond is a proof of concept, and I hope to expand it in 2019.

You can read more about water in my blog post on how to reduce how much watering your garden needs.

What’s something that worked for you on your property in 2018?

One Thing That Did Not Work in 2018

What did not work? Time management.

Family is very important to me - here my son and I are playing in his sandbox that I built for him in 2018. While we had lots of good times in 2018, I need to better balance my cultivation projects to have more time with my family.

So, what did not work in 2018 on my property? I think the biggest failure I had in 2018 was time management.

While I got a lot done, I don’t feel like I did a good job balancing family, work, and cultivating abundance. I took on too many projects, and, combined with unexpected events (such as a deer breaking through the deer fence!), I did not have enough time to be with my family.

The lesson I learned is to take on fewer projects so I can have more time with my family and less stress.

What did you struggle with in 2018 on your property?

Looking Forward to 2019

Looking forward to 2019 and having a new garden.

This view has already changed with the new pond and the growth of some plants. But in 2019 this area will feature a brand new garden just outside my backdoor.

Now it is time to get excited about 2019! What are you excited about in 2019?

I’m most excited about welcoming my new baby to the world! My wife and I are expecting a little girl to add to our wild bunch in May.

But as far as projects to cultivate abundance, I’m most excited about finishing setting up the area around my house. This will include a new garden area, planting berries and fruit trees, and eliminating a lot of grass to make room for future plantings.

I got a lot of land preparation to do and I’m going to be setting it all up to minimize garden pests by working with nature.

How does this fit with the lesson I learned in 2018?

This project is made up of lots of small tasks that lets me work in small bursts instead of needing days of uninterrupted outdoor work time. I can plant a few fruit trees at a time and then take a break to spend time with family.

My hope is that these smaller tasks will let me have a better balance between family, work, and cultivating abundance in 2019.

What about you? What are you excited about in 2019?

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Daron is a restoration ecologist, lifelong gardener, and founder of Growing with Nature. He created this site to help people enjoy wildlife, grow food, and help heal our living world. He has managed the restoration program for a local non-profit, and he’s applying principles of restoration and permaculture to transform his property in western Washington to forests, wetlands, hedgerows, food forests, and permaculture gardens. He holds a Masters in Environmental Studies and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Water Resources. He loves sharing the joy of growing food with his two beautiful children.

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