I used to be a big list writer and it helped keep me focused and organised, but I've slipped out of the habit. I've decided to try and write down some goals and then I'll see how close I get to them!
- Increase my growing area - I've already started on this with the new raised beds but I want to be able to grow a larger variety of things as well as having an area for growing trees and shrubs to sell on a small scale.
- Produce more protein on the homestead - The obvious way is with meat. I keep toying with getting pigs and/or rabbits, I think the girls have got their hearts set on both! I need to finish building pens and get water supplies sorted first. I could also look at growing chickpeas or something similar for a vegatarian option (and they would help with a point below).
- Improve my composting and "loop closing" - Trying to make sure that as little as possible leaves the homestead (unless someone has bought it). I want us to produce less landfill waste, recycle more (cardboard on the garden etc) and get really organised with my compost. I want to be buying a lot less compost in years to come, last year was a great success with my home made plant foods, removing something I used to buy quite often, so hopefully I'll be able to start making an impact with this as well.
- Look at experimenting with growing staples - I'm pretty good at growing fruit and veg but they're not normally the main part of a meal. I grow potatoes but I also want to look at growing a cereal or a grain to see if it can be done on a small scale, ridiculous really as my dad grows hundreds of tons of wheat but it will be an interesting experiment if I get around to it!
- Increase my number of herbs and spices - The easiest way to change a meal is with herbs or spices but I'd like to increase the number I've got here and experiment with some new ones. I'd also like to look at growing something for my indigestion - mint tea isn't enough sometimes and I eat far too many Rennies!
- Improve my food storage - I want to waste less food so having somewhere good to store it is essential. I've got a few ideas on this one, from building a purpose built shed in the garden to improving how we store food in the house, my can rotator door I built last year was a good start on this. I also want to preserve more food and be better at using it in day to day cooking.
- Seed Saving - This is a big one I think! You can't be very self sufficient if you're having to buy seed each year. I want to try and collect more seed, set biannual plants apart and let some go to flower each year as well. I'd like to learn more about it and learn how to create my own hybrids (with squashes) or keep plants pure.
- Fire wood - My willow coppice wasn't much of a success last year but I'd like to improve on that in the next year as well as thinning out some trees from our hedge rows and sawing up a few at my dads farm for firewood.
- Baking - I'd like to start baking bread a little more often. I baked lots of soda bread last year but I'd like to start making bread from scratch or maybe starting a sour dough culture to use regularly.
What other goals do you think I should set for myself?
Have you set any goals in a similar vein for yourself this year?