Happy New Year, everyone! Hope you had a great time last night and that you’re not too bleary to get focused on some goals.
I’d like to hear your goals and resolutions for the New Year in the comments, so I’ll start by sharing some of mine:
Goals for 2016
1. Write Two New Books
Since I will eventually be the top gardening writer in the world, it’s important that I keep writing new books and getting my name out there. I have a five-book deal with Castalia House and we’re only two books into it so far. I hope to publish at least two more for them this year. Actually, the next book I’m submitting is so insane that it might get me into trouble… I think you’re going to love it.
Spoiler Alert: the new book will contain a section on terrifying death hedges.
After writing those two books, I was thinking of revising and expanding Create Your Own Florida Food Forest in order to make it a definitive resource on growing food forests in Florida. More species, guilds, more on growing in sand, native plant communities, etc. I’m thinking I’ll triple the size of the book or so to reflect my continuing research and input from other projects in the state. What do you think?
2. Find a New and Warmer Homestead
One of the big decisions of 2015 was to sell our house and seek out a warmer location so I can experiment with more tropical species such as mangoes, plantains, coffee, etc. Some place like this would be perfect:
You know, south Florida used to be mostly rainforest. If you live down there, it doesn’t take that much effort to get it back… just go wandering around a shady Miami neighborhood and you’ll see what I mean.
Once my place here closes, we’ll be trying to nail something down further south… so you should be hearing quite a bit more on The Great South Florida Food Project in 2016. Stay tuned!
3. Record 100 New YouTube Videos
As I posted yesterday, I managed to create 92 videos in 2015. Some of them were a lot better than others, of course – and the quality went up over the course of the year as I improved my editing skills and learned to think more like a videographer and less like the stiff subject of an amateur documentary. So hey – why not record 100 more?
I realized also: I’m not a serious garden teacher. I’m a ridiculous garden teacher. My videos need to be entertaining, not just have informational content.
When I try to play it straight like I did in the first episode of Crash Gardening, I have less fun… so why not go with being funny?
4. Obtain 5,000 YouTube Subscribers
This ties in with #3, since more videos leads directly to more viewers and subscribers, provided the videos share useful information or are entertaining. I’m at 1,951 subscribers right now and have been picking up a few more every day. As I posted yesterday, I ended last year with 465 subscribers. That means I grew the channel more than 400% in 2015. Hitting 5,000 should be MORE than possible, particularly if my readers keep sharing videos to their Facebook pages and in various gardening forums. The more people that learn to grow their own food, the better the world will be. My ultimate goal is to catch up with John Kohler.
5. Reach 5,000 Newsletter Subscribers
My newsletter is where I post some more personal thoughts, plus cool videos, etc. I also use it to tell people about book releases and do giveaways. Multiple people got the Create Your Own Florida Food Forest audiobook for free one time, and in November I shared the informative videos my friend Justin at AbundantPermaculture.com created for his new Permaculture Chickens video. The problem with just having the blog is that you never really know who’s reading or if they’ll be back. Sending out a newsletter gathers folks back together again and lets me stay in touch. I’m almost at 2,000 subscribers now, so 5,000 isn’t all that far off.
6. Continue the Seminole Pumpkin Breeding Project
I had a lot of fun mixing up various lines of Seminole Pumpkins in 2015 – but the REALLY fun part starts this year as I’ll be planting again and then starting to select for interesting characteristics I’d like to preserve. I was really sloppy with the genetics I allowed into the line, since I grew some calabazas right along with the Seminoles.
All of these interbred. Who knows what’ll happen?
I have absolutely no idea what’s going to result from the crosses and I’m expecting some serious hybrid vigor. Hopefully I make it down south in time to have a good spring garden. I’ll continue updating the Seminole Pumpkin Project page, too, as more photos come in. I just added a few more images and notes the other day from a reader in South Carolina.
7. Finish Audiobook Versions of Existing Books
I mentioned above that I released an audiobook version of Create Your Own Florida Food Forest in 2015. Thus far, it’s sold an astounding 17 copies! (snicker)
That less-than-incredible number aside, I’m also hoping to voice Grow or Die, Compost Everything and Totally Crazy Easy Florida Gardening in 2016. I’m actually half way through the audiobook version of Grow or Die, so stay tuned. I think sales on the Castalia House releases will be worth the effort it takes to read and edit them.
8. Resume a Regular Lifting Routine
I injured my shoulder a few months ago and had to quit some of my harder lifting routines and trade them instead for long walks around the neighborhood and random garden work. P. D. Mangan’s book Muscle Up (which I reviewed here) continues to be a source of inspiration and I think my shoulder is almost better. Time to get back to KILLING IT!
9. Test Totally New Crops
This is pretty much a goal for me every year, though sometimes I try more new things than others. If I really wanted to show off how high I can get the yields from my garden, I’d grow tried and true heavily producing staples like yams, Seminole pumpkins and sweet potatoes; however, I think it’s also important to keep testing a variety of vegetables and fruits that aren’t well known. It’s good for my writing and it’s fun. I’m also a sucker for old-fashioned grain corns, so I’ve already bought a couple of types I’m dying to try – including one grown primarily as a source of good cobs for corncob pipes!
10. Release More “Survival Gardener’s Guide” Booklets
I put out this little $1.99 ebook guide to growing tobacco earlier this year. Despite its small size, I packed in many years worth of growing experience and included some info on curing and using the tobacco you grow.
I’d like to write more booklets on other niche crops, such as caffeine sources, sugarcane, etc.
I make a buck every couple of days from the first one, plus it’s gotten some nice reviews.
Rather than putting a bunch of ads up here, I’m happier putting some useful info up for sale on Amazon. Hey – it pays for seeds!
So – what are your goals or resolutions for 2016?
Whew. That was a long post.
So what are YOU planning in 2016? Let me know!
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