Friday, January 2, 2009

the road ahead

i pondered the idea of a resolution for 2oo9. i pondered and decided the idea of resolution is not for me. for some resolutions work. for others, resolutions last a day or a week or a scant month before they slowly wane and disappear or carry over to the following year.

me, i'm just going to try to increase my sustainable existence and focus my efforts on actions that might improve the hippychick universe. the idea is to stay the course and continue along the path towards sustainable happiness. boring? no way. i've got depths of learning still ahead and application of idea that could keep me busy for many years rather than just this one.

looking back, it's amazing to think that i've been in this home for nearly four years. time has gone by quickly. the payoff for early efforts are beginning to make face and quickly ramp up. the putting up of foods is invaluable. continued efforts to bake daily bread, work with varied grains, seeds and whole foods keep things interesting. with some tasks i succeed and others not so much but the trying and the trying again, the recording of one's approach towards a task and the post pondering is what truly matters. over time, you figure bits out.

the gardening is always an experiment. the planting of flowers and herbs toward the attraction of beneficial bugs i think is my best learned lesson this past year - where to plant them and around who. the brewing of compost tea is another great skill. i know enough to never take weather patterns, seedling dates, expected growth rates and/or pest/virus resistance for granted. i know enough to plan for extremes.

several of the benefits include-
the first planted fruit trees now bear, my roving compost system has set the ground for numerous fertile planting areas and the early planted perennials are thriving now that i have finally figured out where in the yard they might do best.

more recent efforts are also paying off. the raising of the laying chickens provide a perfect protein with endless uses. this first batch of meat chickens further activates my efforts toward taking responsibility for most everything i eat. i've had to learn quickly about chicken housing, run space and how to care for the babies in the hot hot to the cold cold to the hot wet to the cold wet. i'm learning about how to care for those chickens picking on one another - those picking may be in need of nutrients and those picked at a care of a different sort. and then there are the efforts to deter the baddy bad bad guy predators. you do your best there and keep working at it when you see a possible weakness in your system.

slowly but surely i collect the materials and further knowledges that help me to keep plants, animals and myself happy in our often tough hot weather conditions.

it may not sound like much but folks, for me, it is great.

so what's next? well this coming year is indeed the year of the bee. i'll pick up my first two colonies in april. i've got their hives here and ready to go. i don't feel like i know nearly enough at the current moment but i will by april. planning planning.

i'll improve my rainwater collection system this year, fix some poorly installed gutters and find a way to better use rain run off in the gardens around the place.

i add new fruit trees each year. i'll be adding a pineapple pear tree and kiwi vines later this month. i'm sure i'll plant more flowers that support local wildlife. i may even create a small water garden in a galvanized tub in effort to support more froggies and a small family of mosquito larva eating koi fishies.

i keep saying i'm going to re-organize the garden and i think this spring is the time to do it. i've got the boards for the new beds. it's a matter of growing out what's there and holding off planting anything new. if you are a gardener you understand the challenge here. asking a gardener not to plant... yeah, you try it.

there is the butchering of the meaties. i'm going to do it. enough said there. i'm still working on prepping myself for theses days ahead.

and then there is money. money money money uuuughhhh! best to admit that i don't think i'm great with money - i get by - i pay my bills on time but i feel i could be better. i have debt that i should not and it's time to rake that in. debt sucks plain and simple and it's time to get rid of it. ah the stress it would relieve.

bigger picture though, i hope to better employ my long term planning skills in the hippychick finance universe. think longer term - think emergency fund - live within means - incur no additional debt - set aside cash on hand and keep to that amount rain or shine. i'll be making some changes as to how i pay out my bills, what type of services i subscribe too and of course, how i shape my social life (don't laugh brother - i'm working on it) and how i plan for the unexpected (car repairs, house repairs, etc.).

lastly, i think i'll be helping a good number of folks in my community with the planning of their own veggie gardens and the raising of their own chickenchicas. folks are not just talking these days. i've seen them clearing out grass patches and collecting rocks and/or limbs of trees to mark out the space. they are borrowing seed catalogs and reading up on the local weather patterns. they are in action. it's cool.

that's the plan as it stands for efforts in 2oo9 not to say they will not benefit 2o1o, 2o11, 2o12 and possibly further on. just keep swimming i say and we'll see how it goes.

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