As I think over the past year, there are a few things that stand out.
1) loosing a job isn’t necessarily a bad thing…. but new jobs do come with the same frustrations of any other job.
2) Gardening is therapy. After shifting to a job with a 45 minute commute (each way) getting home in the spring and summer I would change clothes, grab a drink, and go tend the garden — weeding, watering, picking. It was great. I got to relax, ease out of the stressful mindset that traffic puts me in, and at the same time was still being productive.
As a side note here, this past year was the most productive garden year yet for us. We had tons of cumbers (and thus pickles), ate greens and lettuce from April into July, and we are still picking fresh collards, lettuce, and carrots at this point in the year. I’m very excited about the coming spring for gardening.
3) Chickens are easy work, fun to watch, and sharing them with neighbors has been a great blessing as we’ve begun to develop some community on our street. I do want to grow our little flock come spring time (currently 9 birds). It would be great to have enough eggs to sell some to cover cost of feed.
4) Doing it yourself is not always easier, is sometimes cheaper, but is always more fun. If there were a way i could dump the 9-5 job, and just garden, hunt/fish, and sell or trade home-made stuff to survive, we’ll let’s just say it would be an easy choice.
5) Books on tape — or Mp3 as the case may be. This has totally revolutionized my drive time each day. I now find my self sitting in the car for an extra 10 or 15 minutes just to get through a section of a book rather than banging my head on the steering wheel in traffic.
Looking forward to 2014, there are a few things I’d really like to accomplish:
1) Can more veggies, sauces, etc. I’d like to make enough pickles to last me through the winter, as well as tomato sauces for chili and Italian food. Possibly some green beans, pickled okra, and maybe others as well. Oh, and some chutney and relishes.
2) Bird hunt and trap. Specifically some small game.