Grit Blogs > WASPs Guide to Country Life

Rural Route Resolutions

Kristina head shotEvery year at this time, I find myself a week or so into an impossible New Years Resoution.  Some fad diet or gym program that quickly grows tiresome and falls by the wayside.  This year I resolve to do something meaningful.  Something that will not only meet a goal for myself, but benefit my family as well.  I am choosing this year to make a list of the things I have always wanted to try, but never made the time for.  In my trial and error method of achieving a more self sufficient home, I am hoping a list (especially one put out for the world to read!) will hold me more accountable, so here goes:

Resolution One:  To cook more for my family.

I do "cook" everyday, but when I am rushed that might mean boiled pasta and canned sauce.  I can do better, and with some planning (and at the least some homemade sauce!) I plan to lean a little harder on fruits and vegetables and less on staples like store bought pasta.  Goal #1: make homemade bread more than a special occasion!

Resolution Two:  To fill my pantry with home canned foods.

For a few years now I have canned a few select items that I use the most;  green beans, tomatoes, peaches,  pickles, jelly, preserves, and apple butter.  This year I hope to expand my resume to include more vegetables, whole fruits, relishes, condiments, beans, and even meats like chili and chicken soup (I have to admit that I am a little scared!).  I hope this increase in both volume and variety rewards me with a wall of full mason jars by this fall.

Resolution Three:  To expand my flock.

I have so enjoyed raising my six little hens these past few months, and I want to keep things going with the addition of heritage turkeys.  I don't have any experience with them personally, so it will take some research, but I look forward to the challenge!

Brady with Penny
My son, Brady with one of our Barred Rock Hens 

Resolution Four:  To have a bigger, more practical garden.

My name is Kristina, and I'm a seed addict.  I will attempt to grow anything, especially if it is unusual, or even just pretty.  This makes for a lovely garden, and an interesting centerpiece, but when your family only tolerates your love for eggplant do you really need three different kinds?  In that light, I am committing to grow the things we get the most out of, tomatoes and bell peppers especially. Which means I will have to plan, and not just grab packets as they catch my interest.  I will try to restrain myself!

Resolution Five:  To grow some new herbs for medicinal use.

As friends share recipes for homemade bug-bite ointments and bath salts, I am always a little sad that my ingredients come from the store and not my own garden.  This year will be different!  I am planning on hibiscus for tea, calendula for salve, and a host of others for spices as well as soaps.

Wish me luck as I work hard this year to keep things closer to home! 

kristina estis
2/21/2012 4:42:40 AM

Completion is a great word for this year! I'll take that to heart as I try to plow through as many of my planned projects as I can, and learn to let a few others go (the closet overflowing with half done knitting comes to mind!). Happy planting!

nebraska dave
2/18/2012 2:05:47 PM

Kristina, welcome to GRIT blogging. I have given up on the New Year resolution thing. I go with one word for the year. This year my word is completion. I always have a few projects in progress. This year I will work toward completing some of those projects. One was to build a seed starting station. That one is done. I will be continuing to work on the food storage area in the basement. That's down to building the wall with a door to close the area off. I hope you will share your goals progress over this year. I too want to do more food preservation. I didn't do much last year. The weird weather patterns prevented much extra to preserve. I am expanding my garden this year which should give me more to preserve for the winter months. I give a lot away to family, friends, and neighbors so until they run and hide when they see me coming with produce, I don't go into the prpreservationode. Last year the harvest was way down so not much went into the jars for winter. That was OK because I still had some left from the year before which is totally gone now. This year is a new and fresh year in many ways. Have a great day planning the garden.