Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Goals for 2010

So, 2010 is off to a start! My blog started out as a journal to learn how to live off grid, like my blog name implies. Some people like to jump in with both feet, buy a few hundred acres of land and move there. I'm not that type. (although I considered it!) I like to learn all I can about how to do stuff first, with the safety net of the city nearby, since I grew up a city gal. I started by growing vegetables and fruits. Of course having lots of land and growing all you need is a beautiful thing, but for now, I'm happy training myself where I am. I want to wean myself off of the umbilical cord of the corporate food chain as much as possible.

This year, we hope to continue to save up enough for some solar panels. It's a tricky thing because we want to save up enough, but the rebate rates are declining at the same time.

This year I'd like to learn about raising worms successfully, so that the worms will be one of the protein sources for the hens.

This year I'd like to educate myself as much as I can about raising poultry, so that I'll be ready by 2011 to raise hens for eggs organically and hopefully, start on building a coop by the end of this year. I'm coming from knowing zilch about taking care of poultry, my Mom grew up a city girl too, she tried to raise chicks as pets as a child but, she said she never had a one that survived to adulthood, all the cats in the neighborhood would snag them before they got big enough.

This year, we hope to expand the veggie garden beds by eight more beds(total of 15 beds in the backyard), but that means removing a large section of the concrete pavement in the backyard. I'd love to try to do all that myself with my husband, but physically, I don't think that's possible, last year I lost my health by digging and plowing the garden beds and the front yard lawn removal for the fruit trees. We'll probably have hired hands do the removal.

This year, we hope to make a plan for better rain water harvesting. Last night we had a good rainfall, but our 3 of our 4 trash barrels are still full from the last rain and we couldn't do much to save that downpour. My hubby and I heard the rain last night at 4:30am and he muttered sleepily, "I'm sad that we can't save all that rain..." I agreed with him wholeheartedly.

The front yard will eventually be covered with edibles, hopefully attractive enough that our neighbors won't think we've gone off the deep end (even though we have, hehehe ). I just planted strawberries around the apple trees. We are planning on building a trellis for the grape vines, and underneath will be a porch to relax and have tea with the neighbors.

We are trying to plan a way to keep "intruders" from picking our fruits in the front yard without the yard being completely fenced off. I want it to be inviting to guests but intruders will know that they are not welcome to pick our fruits without asking. Right now, we have no barriers. Currently, the front yard is open to all. Does anyone have any ideas on what to do about this? I've thought of a low hedge of edibles surrounding the perimeter.

In the grand scheme of things, I'd like to learn how to raise fish via aqua-ponics (aquaculture and hydroponic combo), with the pond's pump powered either by wind or solar power, but that will come later.

Now, that's a LOT of goals!!! I'm not sure how much we can accomplish, but it's worth a shot. We can recap on January of 2010 to see how far we get. Thanks for reading!


Brandon said...

Hey Janice, all this stuff is really cool, exciting and encouraging. I had no idea you wanted to do all this.. especially the hens thing. That would be great. We have a couple of guys at our church that designed a garden/fish growing tank, to sustain people at some of our sister churches in the Philipines. It's pretty cool.

AJK said...

thanks Brandon, yeah, I'm a loon! Tim's a loon too! hehehe... I think it's a powerful feeling knowing how to feed yourself instead of relying on companies and grocery stores to give you prepackaged meals that you have know idea what conditions the foods were grown and packaged in! That's great that your friends from church designed that tank! I'll have to pick their brains about it when the time comes! Thanks for dropping by again.