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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Garden Journals

At least once a week I have a conversation like this in my brain:
brain: "That's good information, you should write it down..."

me: "No, there is no way I'll forget that - that's totally in there and impossible to forget."

brain: "I've heard that one before. I really think you should write it down somewhere..."

me: "No, see, I'll repeat it three times or something, don't they say if you repeat it three times you'll never forget it? Or I'll make up a rhyme for it..."
And then, of course, I TOTALLY forget it. The worst is with directions. For some reason I always think - I'll remember that address - and then three minutes later when I'm driving around the neighborhood in circles I kick myself because I haven't a clue what the address was. While I may have a particularly bad memory, I'm willing to bet I'm not alone in this habit. Marisa and I talk about how it totally happens every year with our gardens. Each spring we start seeds or plant transplants and fail to write down when or how and then the next year we can't remember any of it and have to start at square one again. Well, not this year! This year we are starting gardening journals.

Now, garden journals vary from simple folders where you save seed packets and papers with notes jotted down, to elaborate books filled with actual seeds, before and after photos, and your personal thoughts on the whole process. Since this is our first attempt and we don't want to be overwhelmed by the whole thing we are starting simple. This year I am going to focus on:
  • Keeping all of my seeds packets together in a dry place by gluing them in - cut apart so you can see the front and back
  • Dates - planting dates, maturation dates, and end of season dates.
  • Methods - fertilizers(if any), watering times, pruning, etc.
  • Amount of Harvest - notes on how many tomatoes per plant we got and then how many we actually used!
  • Miscellaneous notes - problems encountered, plants that fared particularly well, and plants that we hated.
You could use a spiral notebook or a simple binder but it's always easier to write in something that's cute so here's our idea (click on each image to take a closer look if needed):

Here's what you'll need:
  • (1) Mead composition book
  • (2) sheets of decorative paper measuring at least 7 1/2" x 10 3/8"
  • (1) sheet of heavy weight paper - we used card stock(for the binding)
  • (2) sheets of heavy weight paper in an alternate color - for the interior of the cover.
  • (1) glue stick - we used Elmer's Purple School Glue Stick
  • Scissors or paper cutter

Cut your decorative paper to 7 1/2" x 10 3/8" and paste each piece to the front and back - leaving a little lip to wrap around to the inside.

Because our composition notebook has rounded corners we needed to trim it to fit. Cut three small slits in the paper at each corner so it looks like this. Then glue each individual piece down - overlapping one another.

Now get your card stock and cut it to 9 5/8"x 4 1/4" and glue it to the outer edge to create a binding. (You can cut it smaller if you like that look better.)

For your inner paper cut each piece it to 9 3/8" x 7 1/4" and glue it inside each cover - overlapping the outer paper.

And voila! You've got one personalized and cute garden journal. We added some letters that we got from the craft store on the side just for fun.

I hope this all makes sense - it's a really simple project and should be pretty easy to figure out once you get going!



Dale Johnson said...

This is a great Idea. Garden journals are a must for the serious backyard farmers. I would encourage everyone to do a journal each year, and start with a new journal each year. Put the year on the spine. They will become a great resource and a personal history.

I use a view cover three ring binder. I put pictures of my farm in the view cover. I keep the hole puncher close by because I am constantly adding thing to my binder.

Sarah said...

i love it. i am soooo doing one!

Sarah said...
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