I don’t make new years resolutions. I don’t make arbitrary promises to myself that I MUST start on January 1st. The whole concept of a new year’s resolution just seems like the most difficult way to accomplish a goal. It’s cold, It’s winter, and our brains are naturally geared towards settling down into established routines, eating too much, and napping. This is not the time to force yourself to run every day no matter what. One failure, one nap instead of a jog will be so disheartening that you might just give up your whole plan.
Instead, I’m going to do like my forefathers. I’m going to sit by my fireplace,and ponder what comes next. For weeks now I’ve been sitting, warming my toes, and reading. Since the farmer’s market season is over, We’ve taken this opportunity to review the 2013 bread production from our small business. I’ve been reviewing sales lists, pricing structures, and marketing ideas, and coming up with some new ideas which, I hope, will work! I’ve been reviewing our garden map, plant output, and pouring over seed catalogs.. I’ve bought a collection of books on making cheese, root cellaring, homesteading, and of course, I received Joel Salatin’s new book for Christmas.
2013 was a rebuilding year. 2014 is going to be the year of food. In 2014 I would like to significantly cut back on our trips to the grocery store. I would like to see how much we can do at home, and how much we can keep over winter. Canned goods, dried goods, and a root cellar.
Our house inspires me more than anything else ever has. It is a beautiful old building and I wish the walls could talk. This house once saw true homesteading. There are a million incredible little details about the property that make me feel so inspired and leave me daydreaming about the women of the past that must have lived here. Someone planted the rare daffodils that bloom on one hillside and the wild roses that grow along the tree line in the yard. I imagine some tough old bird waking the men up when this was still a mill house, and putting coffee and fried potatoes on the cook stove. I imagine children from days past picking grapes out of the arbor over the chicken coop and mothers throughout history putting muddy boots out to dry by the woodstove. When I walk around our property, I can clearly see that this house was designed and used by people who were making their own food. The chicken coop is far enough away that the rooster wont drive you insane, but still close enough that the dog can keep the possums at bay. The berry patch next to the pond, the grape vines on the outbuildings, the smoke house in the back.. It’s all here to be used. This year, we’re going to do what we can do right now to prolong, enhance, and increase our home food production. Last year we dabbled in eating off our land. This year, I’m going to take it very seriously. I’ve got plans to build a root cellar, all of my seed selection is geared toward saving and storing, I’m going to bring the raspberries back to life and pay more attention to the grape arbor. There’s a fruit tree across the street and several mulberry trees at the end of the driveway that I have decided I will actually pay attention too. I’m going to look into what it takes to stock a pond and I’m going to consider adding fish to our pond. I’m going to learn more about eating crayfish and I’m going to try to do more of that. We aren’t permitted to hunt on the property, but I will be bartering with a hunter friend to get more venison to eat. I’m going to consider meat chickens. I want to have pigs but the infrastructure and time needed is prohibitive for this year.
2014 is the year I’m going to cut out the grocery store as much as I possibly can.