So,what are your goals?I won't say resolutions,because we all know in the end less than 1% of those will be kept....LOL....
Well,we have already set a few goals.Here they are:
1)Double the amount of produce we get from our garden.
(That would be 800lbs for 2012)
2)Raise as much of our own food as we can,including meat(rabbits)
3)Reduce what we send to the landfill by raising our own,buying in bulk,and letting as little as possible go to waste.
4)Take an actual,real,out of town vacation,I know this one is a stretch,but I put it on there anyway.
Let's talk more about number 3 on the list for a bit.
Unless you've been living in a box under a rock for a while,you are already aware that the USA is one of the most wasteful countries in the world.Our whole economic system is built on consumption,and along with consumption,is waste...out with the old,in with the new...
I don't know the exact numbers,but drive down any street on trash pick up day,and you can see,we Americans produce a LOT of garbage.
There are some simple ways we can all work to produce less trash.
The first that should come to your mind,is taking your own,reusable shopping bags to the store.All those plastic bags do make great waste basket liners,but they also require a lot of energy to make,and are made from oil..a non renewable resource,once it's gone,it's gone there will be no more.
There are now available reusable lightweight produce bags for when you're shopping the produce section of the store.Look them up,if you purchase a lot of store bought produce,they will be a good investment.
In the kitchen you can reduce how much ends up at the curb by disposing of food scraps(no meat or bones,fat),coffee grounds,egg shells,etc,etc at home,by composting.If you're lucky enough to live in an area where you can have chickens(we don't),you can simply toss veggie peels,carrot tops,etc to the chickens,they love them.I save up my egg shells,dry them out in the oven,then crumble them up and sprinkle them right into the garden beds.These add small amounts of calcium and other minerals to the soil,and the rough edges are a slug's nightmare.
Proper meal planning will go a long way to reduce what gets tossed,by cooking just enough for that meal,or making large batches that you can freeze to eat later,doing a little menu planning,and things like that,you can reduce what must be disposed of.
Stop buying paper plates and paper towels...period....honestly,is it that hard to wash a dish towel,use cloth napkins,or wash a plate?I know,you're in a hurry,but really,come on now,get with the program here.We are using up the current supply we've had hanging around,but once those are gone,there will be no more brought into the house.
Buy in bulk whenever possible,you can do this with meats,baking staples like flour and sugar,pet food if you have pets.If you live near a meat packer,you can buy bulk beef and pork from them rather than the grocery store,and they will cut and package it however you want.
IF you have rabbits,chickens,or ducks,you SHOULD be buying their feed and bedding from the local feed elevator,farmer or farm supply store,DO NOT BUY RABBIT FOOD FROM THE PET STORE....also,hay,straw,bedding,pine shavings....if you've been buying those from the pet store,stop now,brake the habit and save not only on packaging going into the landfill,but also save yourself some money.
Moving on...let's go up the list to number 1.
Double the amount of food we get from our garden...I know it sounds like a lot,800lbs is a big goal....but keep in mind,we garden 100% organically,we've got our own onsite fertilizer factories(the rabbits)and with careful planning and better weed pulling,it should be that far of a stretch to say we could grow that much food.this year we were able to supple enough tomatoes for three household to can up,and more zucchini than 10 households could use(chickens would have been handy here). It's late December here,and the Kale is still green...rabbits love it by the way..So we'll see,and we will weigh and track everything that comes from the garden so my dedicated readers can see if we reach our goal.
Number 2 on the list goes hand in hand with number 1 one the list,so we'll leave it at that.
Number 4,yeah,number four...we haven't taken a real vacation in at least four years....and it would be nice,even just for one week to be able to go somewhere and see some new scenery for a while...we'll see what works out....
So,now it's your turn....share with me what your goals are for the coming year....