2019: Resolutions For You and More
As we jump head first into 2019, I wanted to take a moment to talk about the tradition of New Year’s Resolutions and why we make them at the beginning of the year. My hope is to inspire you with some history and maybe a slightly different perspective.
I also am sneaking a peek ahead to things that are coming up for all of you here at Shell’s Feed & Garden Supply. We’re excited to be adding or expanding upon some new things that we know you’ll enjoy, and that will help you. I also wanted to highlight some of the great resources we already offer you, in case you haven’t discovered them yet.
Speaking of traditions, are you making Hoppin’ John to eat on 1/1/19? That simple tasty dish of black-eyed peas is said to bring you good fortune all year if eaten New Year’s Day. I know I’ll be making some.
What other New Year’s traditions do you have in your family?
Resolutions: Why do we make them?
The practice of resolutions is taken from the concept that the year represents the span of one lifetime of “Father Time” – he is a baby on New Year’s Day, and an Old Man on December 31st, who passes on at Midnight to be replaced by the New Year Babe. Each year is the lifetime of the “Brothers of Time”, as the years are all “related”, in a sense. Considering that, could you imagine having 2,018 brothers? Fun to think about.
Celebrating New Year’s Eve & New Year’s Day is a tradition passed from our pagan ancestors, who made material offerings to the god Janus for a prosperous and healthy year. The month of January is named after this ancient deity.
On New Year’s Day, think of your life as being renewed, like a newborn baby. Being newly born means that you have your whole life ahead of you, and you can make anything happen during the time that we have on this Earth from here forward. The concept, really this frame of mind, allows you a new chance to define yourself, be “resolved” to change things about yourself that you want to be better about, and to release the bonds that hold you back from anything you want to accomplish. At the New Year you can decide to shed your past, shrug off grief and malaise, take a deep breath, and truly walk forward again, in full control of your own destiny.
How cool is that?
People joke about resolutions, and how nobody actually achieves them, they’re just a way for advertisers to make money off of your vulnerability at the passage of time. I think that if you are determined, and really put your mind to it, nothing can stop the human spirit. And I love nothing more than rising above the status quo and popular opinion. Being average isn’t any fun.
Another tick on the date calendar reminds us of how fast time goes by rather pointedly, and poignantly, this time of year. But really, the creation of resolutions are based on a kind of magic from our pagan ancestors who believed in the inner power of themselves and their spirit relationships to the earth, elements, and sky. So when you achieve something you resolved to do, you are, by proxy, a magical being! (OK, maybe I’m stretching a bit – but I’ve always wanted to have a bit of magic working for me…haven’t you?)
My point is, I know I have never underestimated the power of a determined child. As it is a new year, and you are “reborn,” you now have another chance to be that determined child and follow your own path.
I’ll share my resolutions with you, and I hope you’ll share yours with me. My path this year – aside from doing work for the store and making us better equipped for the digital age, is for me to actively spend time creating things that I love. Sewing, crochet, and crafting is one way I do that, writing is another. I really enjoy making something useful out of the materials around me.
Also this year I’m going to do more of something that I shared with my father, who passed on many years ago. I want to spend significant time doing the work to grow food to provide for my family and share with my friends. If you’ve read my blog from the beginning, you know that my father was a subsistence farmer in North Florida, grew what he ate and ate what he grew, traded the rest to a neighbor who raised pigs and chickens for meat, eggs, and composted manure. He also raised worms and fished the plentiful lakes up there. So I will be making efforts to spend time in the dirt every day, doing what needs to be done to have a garden flourish. I’m excited and anticipate having lots to share with you, I hope you’ll share your adventures with me too.
Join me in growing something of your own – even if it’s just one tomato plant, or one sunflower. Growing something yourself has a sense of satisfaction that is hard to find anywhere else. It acknowledges the beauty of new life and the cycle of living things as it sprouts, grows, matures, fruits, and eventually is spent and returns to the Earth to start the cycle all over again.
Just like Father Time on New Year’s Eve night.
So let’s look at some resources we have for you right now that can help you on your own journeys through this next year, especially if you have resolutions to garden, raise chickens, or take better care of your pets.
The Chicken Report
I post the chickens we get in each week on our website. The post is made on Saturday mornings because we usually don’t get our chickens until Thursday or Friday during the week. The link is: shellsfeed.com/chicken-report. Make sure to bookmark it and check every week to see what’s new! I also post a reminder message on social media about the list update – usually with a cute picture of chickens – first thing Saturday morning. Make sure you join us on Social media so you don’t miss an announcement!
We publish garden guides in-store throughout most of the year that tell you what to grow when, as well as what maintenance and feeding need to be done to maintain your lawn, landscape, and gardens. They are based on information from UF/IFAS and county extension offices for the areas we serve as well as the USDA Agricultural Zone (which we serve areas considered 9a, 9b, 10a). Our next one comes out in Spring, but we still have copies available for previous months. They’re great to have for your garden notebook to refer to when you’re planning your garden. They are a free resource, ask for them when you come in.
Free Community Seed Swaps
We took a break for the Winter, but the free Community Seed Swaps will be back, starting in February. We started doing these in August of 2018, and the community really responded! Bring something to trade – seeds, cuttings, seedlings, potted plants – whatever grows! – and leave with new goodies that you trade with other gardeners. We hold it on a Saturday morning from 8:30am – 10:30am once a month. Keep a lookout for flyers in the store, online social media messages, and join our Facebook group for the swappers so that we can all talk to each other! More information about how a seed swap works is here: https://shellsfeed.com/monthly-community-seed-swap/ They are a great place to meet with your friends and neighbors who garden, you can get advice, swap stories, and have coffee and treats too.
Shell’s Workshop Series
Also in August, we started offering workshops at the store for various things. I want to bring you great content that you’ll be interested in, and engage with. Our most successful class was the How To Plant an Earthbox class, and it was wonderful. We plan on doing another one in February, so don’t miss that! Stay tuned for dates. Everyone had a fabulous time – our teacher, Susan, is a real hoot! More details to come soon for the Spring 2019 class, and other classes to come.
The Learning Center
I created this area on our website quite awhile ago, and it’s constantly “under construction” because really, when do we ever stop learning? There’s some useful stuff in here, so check it out! The Learning Center
Buy Online, Pick Up In Store
We are working to add all of our inventory to our online store so that you can order and have it waiting for you to pick up. Currently our selection in the webstore is limited, but by the end of January my goal is to have all inventory appear there, along with an upgrade to our webstore payment system. Initially, all products will only be available as a “buy online pickup in store” option, which can be super helpful – you can place an order on your lunch break and swing by on your way home to pick up!
I’ll be posting a bit about my adventures here on the blog throughout the year, so I’ll update you as progress happens with that. In the meantime, tell me what you’re looking for from us in terms of learning opportunities, workshops, etc., that we can do for you! I’m listening.
Thanks, and Happy New Year to all of you! We are entering our 58th year serving Tampa, and we couldn’t have made it this far without you!
Marissa – Writer for Shell's Feed & Garden Supply
I'm an over-educated, passionate, gardening and pet enthusiast, and I have found the perfect job! My writing is based on my studies in Biology and Health, and my experiences from gardening with my family as a child.
The great thing about gardening is that it is a life-long learning process. The many blunders and successes of my own gardening projects over the years have been invaluable to me. The late, great, J.C. Raulston once said, "If you're not killing plants, you're not stretching yourself as a gardener." Learn by doing, gain knowledge from the failures, but more importantly, relish the successes, (because they're delicious!) Thanks for reading!
Special thank you to Abby's Farms, where the photo on the left was taken. Shell's Feed & Garden Supply sponsors the chickens and chicken coops there. Visit their website here.