Over the last few years I have set myself some new years resolutions, birthday goals. Some were wildly overly ambitious and fell far short and others were accomplished. The lesson derived from both approaches is that I do what I can. But if I don't set the goal then, well then I never know if I can.
This is the year that we try to get as self-sufficient as possible. The primary areas I would like to focus on is food, fodder and cooking.
- Food. We are finally in a spot where we have incredible soil. BIG garden. I would like to get the orchard in good shape this coming year with proper management. Grow a pig. Get chickens again. Provide all our own maple syrup this year. I will be taking some wild food classes this year.
- Fodder. Will be growing Mangle-Wurzle Beets for our sheep, chickens, pig and beer. I would like to have our sheep eating on pasture all summer this year. I would also like to find a small field that we could scythe a couple of times this summer so we could at least provide some of our own hay for the winter. We plan to build a few more cold frames for season extenders.
- Cooking. This is the exciting bit for me. We cook with propane gas. We live at the very end of a dirt road. The part of the dirt road that we live on is not maintained by the town. So large trucks are unwilling and unable to drive down to our home during mud season. This means that the propane delivery guy will not be down for at least 5 more months. We need to conserve the gas we do have. Ideally, it would be great to get to a degree of independence with cooking fuels that we do not need to use propane ,except maybe during canning season. We plan to do this by first using our woodstove more for slow cooking. We do this already but we could do it a bit more. The other thing we plan to do this year is build a solar cooker. Tristan is taking a welding class this coming spring so we have asked him to make the reflective box for the top of the oven. In the meanwhile I have been experimenting with a small, homemade fireless cooker. I'll have more on this later this week and maybe even a tutorial on how I made mine.
These are my homestead goals. But I have a few personal goals as well. For my age, I am in pretty good shape. Good Cholesterol, good weight, good bone density for someone who is occasionally on steroids. But man, I can not get my butt in gear for any sort of regular exercise. This time of year I like to sit on my butt and knit. So, I really need to just think about doing some kind of moving everyday. I don't want to commit to so many miles walked everyday, or a certain numbers of sit ups (ugh!). Unless the I feel inspired. When I lived in the city my exercise came easily as a result of living in a city. I walked everywhere. So I need to think about what I can do in my everyday life that will help me to move. I like the idea of chopping wood, hauling wood, heavy gardening work. But this time of year there is not enough to keep me going.
And finally, I want to build up the knitting business. I want to get back to doing some craft fairs. I also think I want to explore some free-lance writing. My ideal goal is to be able to earn income for my family without having to leave my home to do it. So guess I gotta get to work:)