My 2014 Calendar (Gardening, Preserving, Liturgical Holidays, Solar Festivals and More!)

My 2014 Calendar. Includes printable Monthly Overview Sheets, to keep track of gardening, preserving, liturgical, and solstice/equinox dates

For the last few years, I have been using a homemade analog daily planner to help me organize my life. (Some might call it a “homemaking binder.” I just call it a planner. Whatever.) I depend on it every day to help me focus on what needs to get done, keep track of important dates, and keep track of important homesteading activities. Every year, my planner evolves and improves as I learn what works and what doesn’t.

I thought I’d share a few resources, and enable you to skip a few steps if you, too, are interested in gardening, food preservation, celebrating the liturgical year and solar festivals (i.e. solstices and equinoxes), lunar phases, etc. I’ll provide you with some important dates to note, some ideas for monthly household deep-cleaning, etc.

(I had hoped to share this with you before January started, but you know — Life. It’s okay though because not much happens in January, anyway.)

In my binder, I keep track of what and how much food I preserve, how much meat I freeze, gift ideas, and keep track of bigger life goals. But most of the space is devoted to my daily/weekly planner.

My Planner

I use the one-page weekly planner from Organized Home to keep track of daily tasks and to-do lists. I print it out on one side of paper, so that the back of the previous week is always blank for me to keep track of bigger-picture projects. It looks like this:

weekly planner page

When I’m done with a week, I just rip that page out and recycle it.

If you’re interested in keeping track of the phases of the moon, I found this lunar calendar. I just went through my calendar and drew in the major phases (New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon, Last Quarter) throughout the year. It only took about 15 minutes. I did this last year and I loved always knowing where we were in the lunar phases. It feels good to have this heightened awareness with the natural world.

Starting last year, I also divide each month with a Monthly Overview Sheet. On my overview sheet, I keep track of my monthly deep-clean project, upcoming gardening and preserving work that needs to be done, and upcoming holidays that need to be prepared for. That way, whenever I’m about to start a new month, I can look over my sheet and see what I have coming up, and start thinking about it. Just to get the wheels turning.

monthly overview sheet

(I also put tabs on them so they act as dividers.)

I thought I’d share what I’ve got on each of my monthly overview sheets, in case you would like to follow along.

You can download the PDF and print out your own overview sheets, if you’d like; but I’m also sharing the contents below for you to look at. Take what you want; leave what you don’t.

Download 2014 Monthly Overview Sheets (Becoming Peculiar).

A few Explanations/Definitions:

Household Deep-Clean

Each month, I try to seriously clean one part of the house — something that tends to get neglected. Things like purging closets and shampooing carpets. Sometimes I focus on a particular room. Feel free to borrow ideas.

Pantry/Freezer

This section is referring to using up last-year’s preserved foods, to make room for new stuff. A month before the fresh fruits and vegetables are due to be ripe and ready for harvest, I make sure to clear out my freezer and pantry of the old stuff.

Garden

This section only refers to planning and planting that needs to be done (i.e. not harvesting. That’s the next section).  The exact dates will only really be relevant to you if you live in the same growing zone as me (I live in Southern Ontario), of course; but even in a similar climate, my notes might help give a general sense of when things are planted.

Preservation

Here, I list what fruits and vegetables are in season, and make plans to harvest and/or buy them, and preserve them in my favourite ways (freezing, canning, etc).

Holidays

Here I keep track of both Christian holidays (including some of the lesser-known ones, like Epiphany and Pentecost), as well as the solar festivals (i.e Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, etc).

Here We Go! My Monthly Overview Sheets, At a Glance

_____

January

 Household Deep Clean

  • Purge and organize closets (one floor each week)

Pantry/Freezer

  • (N/A)

Garden

  • (N/A)

Preservation

  • (N/A)

Holidays

  • Epiphany/Women’s Christmas – Jan 6

 

 February

 Household Deep Clean

  • Blinds and curtains

Pantry/Freezer

  • (N/A)

Garden

  • Plan garden, buy seeds
  • Some indoor sowing – onions and leeks (Feb 15)

Preservation

  • (N/A)

Holidays

  • (N/A)

March

Household Deep Clean

  • Ceiling fans and light fixtures

Pantry/Freezer

  • (N/A)

Garden

  • Sow lettuce indoors (March 1-15)
  • Sow eggplant indoors (March 20-25)
  • Sow cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts (March 25)
  • Sow tomatoes indoors (March 30)

Preservation

  • (N/A)

Holidays

  • Spring Equinox  – March 20
  • Lent – starts March 5

seeds

April

 Household Deep Clean

  • Windows (one floor a week)

 Pantry/Freezer

Use up:

  • rhubarb
  • asparagus

 Garden

Apr 1-15 – sowing and planting:

  • peas
  • garlic
  • onions
  • leeks (seedlings)

Apr 15-20

  • radishes
  • beets
  • swiss chard
  • lettuce
  • sweet potato slips

Preservation

  • (N/A)

Holidays

  • Easter – April 20

 

May

 Household Deep Clean

  • Bedroom (dust trim and vents; go through closets; move furniture to sweep; etc)

Pantry/Freezer

Use up:

  • Frozen strawberries
  • Strawberry jam
  • asparagus

Garden

May 1-10: plant cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, parsley, beans celery, potatoes, corn

May 15-20 – plant peppers, tomatoes, cukes, squash, basil; transplant new lettuce

 Preservation

  • Rhubarb – can sauce; freeze
  • Asparagus — freeze

Holidays

  • (N/A)

June

 Household Deep Clean

  • Carpet and floors (i.e. shampoo carpets)

Pantry/Freezer

Use up:

  • frozen zucchini
  • frozen peaches
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • green beans
  • canned peaches
  • all jams/jellies

 Garden

  • Sowing and planting for fall: greens, lettuce
  • Plant sweet potatoes  in ground

 Preservation

  • Strawberries  freeze, jam, dehydrate
  • Strawberry-rhubarb pie filling
  • Freeze peas?

Holidays

  • Pentecost – June 8
  • Father’s Day – June 15
  • Summer Solstice – June 21

July

Household Deep Clean

  • Bathroom

Pantry/Freezer

Use up:

  • Canned tomatoes/tomato sauce
  • Salsa
  • Frozen peppers
  • Sundried tomatoes

Garden

Fall crop:

  • 1st week – greens, lettuce, carrots, beets, cabbage, kale, collards, broccoli
  • Mid-month: root crops (beets, etc)

Preservation

  • Zucchini – freeze grated and chunks
  • Blueberries – freeze, dehydrate
  • Peaches – freeze, can
  • Raspberries – freeze, jelly
  • Green beans – freeze, pickle
  • Dry garlic

 Holidays

  • (N/A)

peppers

August

 Household Deep Clean

(None – too busy with garden/preserving!!)

Pantry/Freezer

  • (N/A)

Garden

  • Fall crops: greens, peas, spinach

Preservation

  • Can tomatoes and salsa
  • Dehydrate tomatoes
  • Freeze peppers (sweet, jalepeno)
  • Pickle/dehydrate/freeze hot peppers
  • Fermented salsa
  • Fermented cole slaw, kimchi
  • Make sriracha from jalepenos

Holidays

  • (N/A)

 

September

 Household Deep Clean

  • Cleans vents and trim (one floor a week)

 Pantry/Freezer

  • (N/A)

Garden

  • (N/A)

Preservation

  • Can apple sauce
  • Dehydrate apples
  • More tomatoes and peppers
  • Fermented cole slaw

Holidays/Festivals

  • Fall Equinox – Sept 23

 

October

Household Deep Clean

Kitchen. One thing a week:

  • Move appliances to clean floors and scrub sides
  • Vacuum/dust insides of cabinets/drawers
  • Scrub sinks

Pantry/Freezer

  • (N/A)

Garden

  • plant garlic

Preservation

  • remaining apples, tomatoes, peppers, cabbage
  • root cellaring: squash, potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic

Holidays

  • Canadian Thanksgiving – Oct 13
  • Halloween – Oct 31

November

Household Deep Clean

  • Laundry Room

Pantry/Freezer

  • (N/A)

Garden

  • Season extension
  • Cover crops to remain in ground

Preservation

More root cellaring – carrots, potatoes, onions

Holidays

  • Start preparing for Advent (Nov 30) and Christmas

 

December

 Household Deep Clean

  • Furniture (vacuum couch cushions, wipe down chairs, etc)

Pantry/Freezer

  • (N/A)

Garden

  • Harvest remaining leeks

 Preservation

  • (N/A)

Holidays

  • Advent and Christmas
  • Holy Innocents Day – Dec 28

 Again, you can download the Overview Sheets here!

Is there anything missing that I should totally be keeping track of?

 

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Comments

  1. You read my mind – I just got out my massive planner last night and was just thinking of adding a pantry section to go through the food we already have!

  2. PepperReed says:

    <3 !!! I've got THREE little planners: 3 !!! I just can't find one I like, that has spaces big enough for my lists and covers all the bases (home, creative, garden, volunteer/work). I'm going to swipe your idea and make my own.

  3. Looks like a good system! While I use a calendar on the computer, I also use a paper planner. It’s daily, but I’m thinking weekly might be better. I like the way you have your to-do’s on the opposite side– a weekly to-do list would I think make more sense for my calendar than a daily one. I like your idea of a reminder of when to use up frozen fruits and vegetables that are about to come in season.
    Mary @ Fit and Fed recently posted..Message from Coach Darin: Fighting Colon Cancer (or Better, Preventing It)My Profile

    • Thanks, Megan! Yeah, the week’s to-do’s on the facing page are new this year, and I’m really liking how it’s letting me see bigger-picture projects at the same time as daily tasks on my calendar.

  4. Thanks for sharing the work you’ve put into your planner. I love lists and have a few systems set up, but I have yet to make a fully seasonal one, although I need it to keep track of preserving especially! I love the deep clean focus each month too. Thanks again, I am definitely going to use some of this for my own routines.

  5. Ah!! I LOVE this! I’ve slid into a very deep disorganized hole in terms of my house and I’m slowly creeping my way out. Which will make everything like gardening and farming and preserving so much smoother. I’m definitely going to be taking some of your ideas!!
    Marissa recently posted..Penny (Our latest addition to the farm)My Profile

  6. Sarah Fleming says:

    I started taking note of “holidays” this year in an effort to be more connected. We recently moved to a place that does not have any Mennonite Churches nearby. The Mennonite Church we did attend before moving was really open about acknowledging some of these changing seasons celebrations, even if they didn’t call it by name. I loved that.
    Anyway…as I was searching the internet I noticed that many cultures have something on February 2. That is Groundhog Day for us…but it’s also Candelmas, St. Brigid, Feast of Torches, Imbolc. They all kinda have the same purpose. Feb 2 is halfway between winter solstice and the vernal equinox. We are halfway through winter and can start looking for signs of spring. I’m excited to have our neighbors over this weekend for a party to reflect on this and eat some of the food as is custom in cultures that celebrate this. (I hope they don’t think we are some pagan scary folk). I have made a circle calendar for my kids with these days (i checked out a lot waldorf stuff on pintrest). It really helps to visualize our revolving world and it’s seasons.

    • Hi Sarah! Thanks for mentioning Candlemas — a few of my Catholic friends have been talking about it, but I honestly never knew a thing about it. You’ve convinced me to dig deeper — it might be just what I need during this dismal time of year! Thanks!

  7. Hi Kathleen, You’ve mentioned this binder before and I was so curious as to what went into it. I love that you’ve taken a planner (usually associated with a business world or school for me) and put in it instead the rhythms and responsibilities of homemaking. I’ve struggled in my transition to being (mostly) at home with what to do with my time and what really needs to be done, and longed for a resource like this with wisdom of the ages that didn’t get passed down in my family. SO THANKS!
    Laura recently posted..Five Sense FridayMy Profile

  8. Thanks for sharing! I could never go with paper, I’d loose it or have too many things scratched out, etc but I really like your idea of one major deep clean a month. That makes it a lot more manageable!
    Michele recently posted..Motherhood with a Toddler, while ExpectingMy Profile

  9. Do you not celebrate Thanksgiving? Any reasons behind this?
    Rilig recently posted..Daily Jam: Finale by Funeral PartyMy Profile

    • Hi Rilig! We’re Canadian, so we celebrate Thanksgiving in October. I use the words “we” and “celebrate” loosely, though — it’s not a big thing in our family. Ben and I would probably just skip it altogether — it doesn’t have much meaning to us personally — but both of our parents do have us over for dinner that weekend.

  10. Do you have a calendar like this for 2015?

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