Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Anyway project

If you have been following this blog for a while you know that I have participated in the Independence Days Challenge(IDC) started by that very smart woman, Sharon Asytk. The basic premise of this challenge was to follow the wise words of Carla Emery;from her book Encyclopedia of Country Living, every day during planting season, plant something, and then every day put something up. Sharon extended the the challenge to include ways to support our local food systems, reduce waste, basic preparedness. The IDC began at the beginning of my homesteading adventure and has been a valuable guide during the growing and food preserving season.

Sharon Astyk has a new project now. A very timely challenge for our homestead again. The project is called the Anyway Project. It is the sort of project that challenges us to take long dreamed of plans and goals and put them into action. The project also helps us strengthen those elements of life that will build in resiliency: community, home infrastructure, economic security.

The categories are Domestic Infrastructure, Household Economy, Cottage Industry and subsistence, Resource Consumption, Family and Community, Outside work, time and happiness. It is a monthly challenge. At the beginning of the month I will post goals and later in the month I will post an update. Since tomorrow is the beginning of the month now is a good time to start.

Domestic Infrastructure: Mark has been working on building a shed to keep our tools undercover for the winter. He will get that finished. Our local lumber supply store has tarps that are used in transporting lumber. They give these away for free. I will see if we can get one for the door of the shed. I need to get a thermometer for our cold room and keep a log on the temps in the room three times a day for a week. I would like to use this room more efficiently. I hope to post on our cold room and how we are using it.

Household economy: ugh money. Times are tight right now. We need to start tracking our expenses to see if we can squeeze a few more pennies. So for December we will write down every penny we spend to see where it is all going. Working to have our handmade Christmas.

Cottage Industry and Subsistence: I am taking pictures today and opening a separate checking account for the etsy shop. Everything is made but we have been so busy it has been hard to get our act together. Enough excuses. Also we need to think about more firewood for the winter. The kids and I are going to get some fresh air and find more dead trees to cut.

Resource Consumption: Our electric bill is a lot more expensive at the new house than at our old house. It used to be 30 a month for a family of four and now it is closer to 80.00 a month. We have an electric water heater in our cold room. Insulating the water heater has been on our to-do list for a while now. We need to get an aerator for our kitchen sink. We've been taking baths since moving in the house. We need to think about installing a shower head so that we use less water to bath. We need to fill the propane tank for the cookstove this month as well. Since we will not be plowing our drive or the bit of road to our home his winter we need to get really conservative with our LP use because the truck will not be able to get in till April.

Family and Community: This has been a tough one for me lately.We have been trying to find a new church since moving. There is no Unitarian church in our immediate community. One church was over an hour away. Another church was larger than the church we had come from and I found it a little overwhelming. Our former church was where we found community and well we like to sing. I have been considering joining a Time Bank and there is also a local food coop that is serviced by Crown of Maine Food coop.

Time and Happiness: Many of our holiday traditions have been centered around our friends from our old church and the services that were held around the holiday. We need to find new traditions this year. I am going to have to think on this one for a bit.

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Ugh! Electricity! It's the most difficult area of our usage to control, for us.

And I hear you about the firewood. Our neighbor just cut down three hardwood trees, and so we'll have several cords for next year (or the year after, as one of the trees was oak, which really needs an extra year to season properly), but this year, we're burning almost all pine, which is great for getting a hot fire, but not so great for having a lasting fire ;).

I'll look forward to following your "anyway" progress ;). The things you guys are doing are always so inspirational to get me off of my duff and get busy doing something useful ;).