Your seasonal journal is essential if you’d like to grow, make, cook and live seasonally. It is time to start observing. Sure, take the four common seasons as a starting point, but be prepared to quickly adapt and change them based on what you experience happening – you can give your seasonal adaptation names, or even better, do some research of indigenous seasons in your area and match them to how it feels where you live.
If you are keen on crop rotation, then a seasonal journal such as this which will last years and years is essential to keep track of alterations, experiments and observations. We made a start with great beginner information from our favourite Organic Vegetable Gardening book, and track changes and details in this seasonal journal, year on year.
We dedicate a section of our journal to each month, rather than calling it a season, so if the climate as a whole moves and evolves, we can track that movement across the year. Start your journal in any month you like. It isn’t a diary as such, but a perpetual record that tracks each week in each month. Your weekly notes can be one line, or a whole page – it doesn’t matter.
July, Week 1
HERONS BEGIN NESTING – no eggs yet, but renovating the nest~ weekly notes
This particular seasonal journal is made by the SAGO ON TUESDAYS bookbinder.
It is called the Atlanticus 365, and really is perfect for this purpose. This journal will hold about 10 years of continuous notes, and is made from very simple materials that last a lifetime and beyond – linen thread, laid-line paper, and local hide leather – and is designed to be repaired, not replaced. It opens flat and has a gentle ease to allow things to be pasted in without becoming bulky.
One day my kids will use it to learn about how we make and grow, as I have from my dad. Hopefully, they will have their own garden, and a journal too.
Lots of great detail can help to shape and grow your garden..
- What is blooming? fruiting? seeding?
- How is the weather changing and when does it begin to get lighter, darker, warmer, wetter.. What months are you wary of frost, of burn, of heat..
- When do your local birds arrive, and then move on; how do they use your garden?
- What pollinators do you notice – bees, hover flies…
- When do pests and diseases take hold? What adjustments and home remedies can you use to gently move them on rather than spray.
- Are you inspired to draw?
~ you could write a haiku ~
This is not only your record of making and growing, but also a legacy of love with your garden, and the place where you live. It will develop over the years as you do – your knowledge, tips and tricks, the wisdom of friends and older folks who have done it all before in your area, and perhaps indigenous folks who have known your place for longer still.
The disappointments and the celebrations, the messy writing and the crossings and jottings.. embrace them all. Future generations won’t care that it is not your best writing, only that it is written in your hand.
This is your essential seasonal journal, and is one of the keys of success to making, growing and closing the loop at your place.