I have been thinking long and hard for the last 3 days since I wrote my 2010 in retrospect post. What do I really want to get out of 2011? Besides an illness free year for all of my family (which was an easy one), I really struggled this time around. I thought about food production as my main concern as fresh food is becoming increasingly expensive, and supply cannot always be guaranteed.
So here goes;
1. More Vegetarian days per week. After discussion with Kim, we decided to formalise to specific days of the week. So starting next week, Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Mondays will be veggie days. Dairy and eggs are included of course to make good use of our chickens and my cheese making skills. Tuesdays through Thursday are fair game and will be omnivore days. I will document what we eat for the first month, including where the food came from for the veggie days, in the effort to keep ourselves honest. As many of the ingredients as can be will be sourced within our local zone of 160km, which we endeavoured to maintain last year, which also includes food from our own extensive food garden. I gave Kim the Oxfam Vegetarian cookbook for Christmas, and she bought me a book called Vegie Food. This adds to the collection and now makes 4 vegie cookbooks that we will utilise. I don’t think that this should be a difficult goal, as we have about 2 vegie days already.
2. Make all our own pasta. We will not buy pasta for the entire year, and only purchase the durum wheat flour that is one of the essential ingredients for a good pasta dough. Of course the other ingredient is eggs, and believe you me, I have more than enough of those! As an experiment we have already made spaghetti, and on Wednesday we made ravioli that contained home made ricotta and home grown silver beet. It was delicious, however I failed to take any photos. Next time I make some I promise to take some, and post the recipe we used. It is going to be a big year of pasta!
3. Increase water storage by March. I am going to install guttering on the carport roof where the Solar PV is installed, and connect it to at least a 4000 litre capacity rainwater tank. This is a huge catchment area that is currently being waisted. As I believe that this years above average rainfall is just an anomaly, it will pay to have more water on hand in the near future. I may be wrong, but I will feel more secure in the knowledge that I will be able to water my ever increasing food production area.
4. Add two more wicking beds into production before August. I intend to source the second hand materials for a further two more wicking beds. I am not sure where I am going to place them, but the one I previously built is working really well under cover. I can fit a few more on the eastern side, so I will start planning soon.
5. Build an Outdoor Oven by May/June. Yes, I know that this was one of my goals in 2009 and never got around to it, so I am adding it back on the list. With Peak Everything already accellerating, I want to be able to cook food without being reliant on ‘the grid’. Oh, and the food will taste great cooked in it! Vegie Pizza anyone?
6. Use renewable energy to charge my portable electronic devices. Also a Christmas gift, I received a Freeloader Pico, which is essentially a solar cell with a Li-Ion battery. It has attachments to charge mobile phones, iPods, etc. basically anything that uses 5 volts from a USB port. It is a pretty cool device, and I haven’t used the mains to charge my phone or iPod for 3 days so far.
Obviously, all of the previously achieved skills and habits will not be dropped and will continue as well formed behaviours, as these goals are just additions to an ever expanding toolbox of skills for the tough times ahead. The Scouts Motto of ‘Be Prepared’ rings ever so loud in my head like a gong. The signs are there for anyone who cares to look, time to prepare in whatever way you feel necessary.
So what do you think? Are these Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (SMART) goals? I believe so, and with a little determination and planning all can be achieved within the year of 2011.
Just one last piece of advice to all my readers. If you haven’t already done so, have a think about what you want to achieve this year, write it down somewhere, keep it visible like on the fridge door, and you will find that most of the time you will achieve it. Keeping it foremost in your mind helps you focus on whatever you want to accomplish. I find this works with most things I want to learn/achieve. Give it a go, this method may surprise you!