2012 In Retrospect

What a year it was!  Around this time of year, I review the goals that I set way back on January 1st, 2012.

So what were the goals?  Here are the three that I talked about at start of the year;

1. Reduce our meat intake by 80%.  PASS!

Well, I am pleased to say that we met this goal easily.  In fact, vegetarian meals are now our default setting and roughly 90% of our meals are meat-free.  I still have bacon every second weekend, and we occasionally have MSC certified fish on the odd occasion, but the vast majority of our meals are veg.  

I am so proud that we have managed to commit and succeed with this goal, because when we set it at the beginning of the year, we didn’t think that we would stay the distance.  Yay!  
As for the health benefits, well they have been good, but not fantastic.  My bad cholesterol has reduced slightly, which is just enough for my GP to stop giving me the evil eye at my six monthly medical examination, which was one of the main aims.  
It was certainly worthwhile and opened our eyes up to a whole new world of gastronomic delights.

2. Increase vertical growing space.  FAIL!

This goal, however, was not achieved.  The only additional vertical space as been when I plant climbing beans a month after sweet corn so that it grows up the corn stalks.  Lets put this goal in the ‘must do better’ category.

3. Less projects, more maintenance.  PASS!

Projects.  I can’t seem to stay away from them.  If it is not teaching a workshop at least once a month, or presenting about sustainable living as a guest speaker to a community group somewhere, it is the media attention that one gets when winning the Renew Sustainable Blogger of 2012!  If that wasn’t enough, I built a small solar power system in March/April, and then got a bee in my bonnet about being a real author and wrote three eBooks which I self-published via Smashwords and Amazon.  A fourth is currently in editing mode.

However, I did manage to fit in more garden maintenance at the right times during the year due to the simple fact of having an extra day off once a fortnight.  My downshift day really paid off during 2012, and will continue to do so in 2013.  Because of this extra time, I harvested things when they needed to be harvested.  Planted seeds and seedlings when they needed to be planted, and fixed things at least a month before Kim had to remind me (except for the front door).  
4.  Ad Hoc stuff.  Massive Pass!

This is some of the other stuff that I achieved during the year that is noteworthy.
When I look back at this list, I am amazed by all the things that I have actually completed in a short twelve month period.  My family have really enjoyed this year and all the pleasures that it brought.
I also found that I love writing books, which is really just one very long blog post in a different format.  More to follow on that, with the Clay Oven eBook to be released early in the new year.  Here is the cover that I designed for it.  I would love your opinion about the design.
Anyway, I would like to thank all of my readers for continuing to support me and this blog throughout 2012.  I still find it hard to believe that my musings have such a large following.  
After all, I am just an ordinary Aussie bloke, who chooses to write about things I do in my life, albeit, green and sustainable stuff.  Thanks so much for all the comments and emails, and I try to reply to each one.
On that note, the next post will be about my 2013 goals on New Years Day.      
Until next year dear reader…..


  1. says

    Walking the talk Gavin inspires so many to do the same and you do it with such passion. Your approach is at a grassroots level which inspires so many other people to also step ‘outside the box’ and embrace sustainability and realise that they too can make changes in their approach to life.

    Wishing you Kim, Ben and all your family a wonderful New Year.
    May your ‘sustainable journey’ continue .
    Best regards,
    Andrew and Heather

  2. Mitty says

    Regarding the vertical growing, I do think you should give yourself credit for planting the grapevines, including the infrastructure that goes with them. I am continually inspired by all you are able to accomplish. Thanks for sharing your journey. Happy New Year!

  3. says

    Thanks for teaching us!! I think what makes you so readable is you are a “regular” guy, not some pundit or someone living on acreage in teh middle of no where…..you are us! Happy New Year Gavin!!

  4. says

    You’ve had a busy year full of commendable achievements, Gavin. We need more blokes like yourself. Ones that challenge the default. Ones that are willing to change their life for the good and influence other people to do so.

    Glad to hear you’ve cut your meat right back. May I suggest a possible goal for 2013? Try to have a vegan day or two per week. So no dairy or eggs. It may do your cholesterol well.

    • says

      Cheers Paul and all the best to you and your family for 2013. I agree, many blokes my age need a kick in the pants as far as I am concerned.

      Your vegan day sounds interesting. I will pitch it to the family and see if it makes the list.


  5. Penny Duthie says

    Fantastic work Gavin – love reading your blog – the media variety is great, love the tutorials and photos!! Penny

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