Last year was hectic to say the least. There were several times that both Kim and I mentioned that it would be nice to have a weekend free to just have ‘us’ time. We just took on far too much with the time we had available.
To be a bit different this year, I have decided that there will be no big projects in the pipeline. After 5 years of greening, we have just about everything we need to sustain our lifestyle. We don’t need much more as I believe we have prepared well for whatever comes our way.
So on to goals. I would not be me if I didn’t have a few to strive for during the year. It took me about a week to think of these, but I managed to come up with a direction for this year. Without further adieu, here are the three that we chose to pursue.
1. Reduce our meat intake by 80%.
We are going to pursue this goal after much discussion among ourselves. We thought about going full vegetarian, but decided that we both do like meat occasionally, so we thought that we would aim for the 80% mark. That means that 1.4 days a week we will have a meal that contains organic or biodynamic raised meat. By eating far less than our normal Meatless Monday and Thursday we will be able to afford the more expensive yet ethically raised produce. We already started three days ago, and are really enjoying the change. The dogs love it too, as they get the leftover Christmas ham for dinner!
2. Increase vertical growing space.
Linda Woodrow left a comment yesterday about vertical growing space which made me think. Today I did a survey and opened my eyes to the potential for vertical growing spaces. I realised that I have so much vertical growing space that I could actually nearly double my food production. With the extra time I have each fortnight from downshifting, it will give me a chance to get it established during the year.
3. Less projects, more maintenance.
As I mentioned, we took on far too much last year. Big projects that took a lot of time, but worthwhile of course, that sucked up just about every winter and spring weekend we had. I am calling this the year of maintenance, and by that I don’t mean fixing stuff, I mean maintaining the stuff that I already have. For instance, the main reason I planted my spring crops so late was not because of the weather, it was because I was time poor. I could have grown so much more food. This year will be different because I am going to give myself the time to smell the roses (then cut off dead heads), to cut up wood that I have been saving, to tend to the vegetables like I should be. In combination with goal #2, I will be able to keep what I have going without too much trouble and start growing more. I will also have time to preserve harvests, and to actually enjoy the entire process of sustainable living instead of feeling rushed. The only real project I have are a few cheesemaking workshops as they come up during the year.
Also while on maintenance, we believe that with the very low meat diet, our health will improve, and I am aiming to loose about 20 kg. With all of that gardening and good food, it should be very doable.
Other than those three goals, I hope for a year of good health for my family and to all readers. May 2012 be the year that more people wake from the shopocalypse, and start living life within their means and within the means of our wonderful planet Earth. We better start soon, because as hard as we might look in the Universe, there are none quite like the one we live on!
So what do you think? Are these goals worthy of pursuit? I believe that they are the place we need to be on our quest towards a sustainable lifestyle. This year I am going to take the time to really enjoy the journey, and look around while I travel this exciting road.
Speaking of journeys, I will leave you with this quote that is very apt for this stage of my journey.
“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Lao Tzu