New Year’s Revolutions

Rob (over at One Straw: Be The Change) had a great post last week about New Year’s Revolutions, and I am totally jumping on that bandwagon. His categories are re-localization, re-skilling, and re-building community. I might also add “reliance” to that – learning to trust your own skills to get you through.

What revolutionary acts am I committing myself to this year?

  • Teaching through Preserving Traditions. This will include classes on food preservation and cooking. This year, we’ll do more intro canning classes, work days for preserving large batches of salsa and such, and also do some more work with animal products: chicken stock, butter, and probably cheese, too. This will address re-skilling and community in a big way.
  • Make connections among the right people around a couple projects. Specifically, a local slaughterhouse and a gasifier project. I don’t think my place is in the middle of either project, but I may be able to connect a few dots.
  • Start learning about large-scale cool storage of vegetables. To that end: build a root cellar and learn how to use it. I don’t know where this will go – helping others build home-scale cold storage or something on a larger commercial scale – but I need to start with getting a feel for the process. This will also give me a chance to finally learn some basic carpentry skills!
  • Reduce fuel use and favor local fuels. To that end: use wood heat as much as possible and reduce propane use from 700 gallons of propane in 2008-09 to 400 gallons in 2009-10. (So far, we’ve saved about 150 gallons, I think. We usually have a fill-up around New Year’s Day of 330 gallons, and we’ve got 50% of our tank left.) I’d love to save more electricity, but I’m honestly not sure how to do that at this point. We’ve harvested all that low-hanging fruit!
  • And on the gardening front, I will
    • build more compost. I’ve been slacking in this area, using compost mainly as a disposal system and resting on the fertile laurelsof newly-made garden beds. Time to step up my actual building of soil. First concrete step is to compost my existing garden beds with the compost I made last year. Second step is to build actual thoughtful, layered compost so I’ll have something to spread in the fall.
    • work on succession planting for peas, beans, broccoli, and kale to extend the fresh seasons of those crops
    • grow all my own kale, peas, onions, and potatoes for next year. More on that in an upcoming post…

1 Comment

  1. onestraw said,

    January 3, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Awesome Emily! I would love to collaborate as our brains are tracking along similar lines:

    Low input food storage – that is going to be my niche this year and may need to have storage for up to 3000#’s. Budget will be low, but I have some ideas…

    Compost – looking to do a huge pile ala Jean Pain and commercial scale vermicompost.

    Excited for the new decade!


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