I have been in a funk for the past few weeks. The holidays helped to cheer me a bit but now, with V almost out of his job and nothing new insight, the winter doldrums have begun to take their toll again. Actually, I find the Independence days challenge helpful for making me see what I have managed to accomplish. Matriarchy pointed out that Winter is the season of rest and planning, getting ready for the push in the spring. This year, I will definitely be more deliberate with my gardening. In the past, it was something that I did because I enjoyed it and loved having our own food. Now, I fear, we will be more reliant on it for subsistence.
I am working on my goals for 2009. So much of what I want is dependent on V finding a job but we will plan for the contingency that he won't. I may take a hint from Gina and organize my goals for the year Independence Day's style. But on to the business at hand:
1. Plant something- No, but have been studying my seed catalogues and the books I got for Christmas, particularly the Root Cellaring book, for ideas of what to plant this spring. My little lettuces in the window box in the basement are doing well. They are happier that I hung the second bank of lights and are growing nicely.
2. Harvest something- No, see above, I'm hoping that in a couple weeks we can have a few lettuce leaves. The Christmas Jalapeno is still on the plant, I was planning to use it for our dinner party that didn't materialize. We hope to reschedule soon and I really want to have a fresh pepper.
3. Preserve something- Woo Hoo!!! I used my new pressure canner to can turkey and stock!
4. Store something- picked up some chocolate on sale after Christmas to add to the stash. We've got enough chocolate chips and baking goodies to feed a small army.
5. Manage Reserves- Working to use the oatmeal from the freezer. Cooked one of our bargain turkeys (one to go).
6. Cook something new- not really, although pressure canning is kind of a new way to cook/preserve something for me.
7. Prep something- V picked up a box of 8 taper candles that were at a deep discount. We don't use tapers often but they're nice to have around if we needed them.
8. Reduce waste- Recycled, composted and used cloth bags at the grocery. I wasn't very good about using reusable wrapping paper for gifts so I feel a bit wasteful this time of year.
9. Learn a new skill- YES!!! I conquered my fear of pressure canning and had a successful first attempt with my new canner. It will take me a while before I feel comfortable doing it and to really figure out how to adjust the heat for optimal pressure maintenance, but I feel good that I did it. I'm glad I tried it now so we can get the lid replaced before I really need it.
10. Work on community food security- Not really, although I promised my friend Jim that I would teach him how to can in a hot water bath.
11. Regenerate what is lost- I struggle with this category. Although composting is a way of giving back to the soil, I don't feel like I've given much back to anyone this week. I've been pretty crabby lately.
I feel pretty good about this week, even in the depths of winter, I've been working on my life and my dreams. I'm frustrated that things are on hold but I'll survive. Now, back to my garden planning....
Have a peaceful and productive week. Here's wishing good things to everyone.