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
I think those are very worthwhile goals Gavin. Always love stopping by your blog.
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year Gavin! Love your post. I have followed your lead and set my 2012 goals here:
So come and join the challenge of the monthly review! May keep us all on our toes 🙂
Also love the quote from Lao Tzu
Thanks for your inspiration – love reading your blog
You’ve got the year of maintenance… I think I should have ‘the year of follow-through’! I’m great on starting things, but(for example) we’d have far better harvests if I kept up with applying compost and keeping the mulch up to the established crops.
It will be really interesting to read about the increase in gardening space by using vertical space. We too are cutting back on meat for green and health reasons.
As for “less projects, more maintenance” — brilliant! May I follow on?
All the best for a New Year that involves more enjoying all the hardwork you have put in. My goals are similare for this year; fewer projects, less stress, more vertical growing, more enjoyment of what I have achieved and maintaining that, losing several kilos and getting healthier. Thanks for sharing. I will be looking forward to how you are doing.
I really like your plans for 2012! 🙂
You make some good points Gavin. It’s all very well to busily build garden beds, but it’s another thing to really take the time to tend them, maximise output and make good use of the produce. These things require a lot of observation and thinking time. I look forward to your posts this year. Keep us informed about the cheese making workshops.
Eating meat depends on the meat. In Adelaide I always ate feral meat from a stall set up by a bloke sourcing feral rabbits, goats, pigs, deer and camel. They also have kangaroo; not that this is a pest but the quota is strictly controlled. By eating these animals I was helping reduce those pests which damage the fragile bush of SA, which in turn is reducing the numbers of native animals sharing the same food. Also, wild meats require no farming of any kind, are cheap to buy and are very lean and naturally organic. The stall became a couple of shops called Wild Oz…. maybe there is now one in Melbourne somewhere too.