January is the perfect time to get your garden planned out for the coming season. To prepare, I write out a detailed calendar, a planting schedule, a checklist for chores on the farm, and a list of things that I need to purchase to help the season go smoothly. In Spokane, we are in Zone 6b and so I have written my schedule for our area. You can add or subtract roughly a week from the planting times depending on the latitude in your area- for example if you are one degree south of Spokane, you would be a week ahead of me (lucky!).
If you are unsure of your hardiness zone, this link is a helpful guide to figure it out: https://garden.org/nga/zipzone/
Since I raise livestock in addition to growing plants, I also keep a written paper calendar to remind me of important dates in relation to animal care and harvest. It's tacked to my refrigerator so that I see it every day and know when things are approaching so that I can plan accordingly.
To stay on task in the field, I wrote up a chore list for things that I anticipate will need to be done regularly on the farm. Since I work with my young daughters, it's helpful to have things written down like this for reference so that I don't drive myself insane by repeating myself constantly. It's the little things that can add to a harmonious farm life! Am I going to say "check the list!" every day? Of course I am.
My list of things needed for the farm is part must-have-immediately and part wow-this-would be-so-awesome. I am not distinguishing between the two on the list so that I can pretend that I am going to purchase everything instead of throwing things together that work for now. Here's hoping!
Now is also the time to get your seed orders in. Many of the popular seed companies are swamped with orders this year, so plan for delays and things being unavailable. Look up seed companies that are in your area and purchase from them. There are so many wonderful small seed companies out there with excellent customer service. Purchasing from a local company means that the seeds are grown from plants that are acclimated for your climate- major bonus for plant hardiness!
I am only a few weeks away from getting into the greenhouse and lambs being born and I am so very excited. I'm already dreaming of packed tables covered in seedlings and tender spring grass with sheep bouncing around happily.