New Year's Resolutions like loosing weight, eat healthier, quit smoking, pay off bills, not cuss, become a better friend, wife, mother never seem to be fulfilled in the coming year. We all try, we all promise, we all seem to come short of reaching our goals. (At least, that is what happens to me.) This year I have resolved to just 'Do more.'
Do more. Simple right? That is what I did this past year. I just did more.
- When I started homeschooling my daughter in the fall of 2013, we had to resolve to do more with less. It was Zoey's idea to start the winter garden and to start doing more on our own. Her idea to become more self sufficient echoed my own dreams. The dreams I was not brave enough to embark on until a child wishing to learn homesteading as part of her homeschool sparked a revolution in our home. We were always mini 'Preppers' but we had not yet ventured into self sufficiency.
- In trying to become more self sufficient, I turned my house into a homestead, sewed a larger garden, and learned a bit about food preservation. We began raising our own chickens. Now we eat our eggs and the meat we butcher. All of this has helped us to eat healthier.
- Also, homesteading and being more self sufficient was a huge step for us. My motto of 'If you are going to Talk the Talk, you better Walk the Walk' was put into effect, full force. We have learned more than just homesteading. We have built pens and a coup from recycled materials. We have upped our preps, gear and emergency supplies. We have practiced and improved our skills with knives, bows and arrows. We budgeted and learned to reuse, recycle and re-purpose.
- I didn't resolve to loose weight, I got up and moved more. For several years, I have worked in an office 2 days a week, behind a computer. When I am off, I have a sewing business that keeps me sitting behind a machine several hours a day. Zoey and I did lots of projects that got me up and outside of the house. MOVING! That makes a huge difference.
- We joined a Homeschool Co-op. One thing Zoey missed the most about school was friends to have class with. I taught her science class. We both made great friends we love and adore. I will be teaching 2 science classes this coming year. EXCITING!
- We brought up Zoey's reading level by researching all of the stuff we wanted to learn about this year. Foraging, food preservation, raising animals for food and the science of gardening were on her top interests list. Her want for knowledge on these subjects helped to open a whole new world of reading for her. She is an excellent researcher as well.
- Wild Edible Foraging and using herbs for medicinal and edible use are at the top of our list. We will start taking classes at the Star Dragonfly Herbal Company. It is once a month and just a few towns over from us. Zoey also wants to start buying herbs from them each time we go. We have also bought various seeds to start our own herbal/medicinal garden. Zoey will also incorporate a butterfly fairy garden into the garden.
- Our garden last year did not have a high yield. We believe this is because the area we grew in was not as nutrient rich as we had hoped. We have already done several soil amendments, and we will continue to compost and fertilize the garden area with the animals droppings. We will also be growing more in the front yard. Hubby has decided this was okay since the Mystery Plant did so well. We will also do some more Edible Landscaping.
- Other classes we will be taking outside of our homeschool are bushcraft classes at our local state lake park. They offer things like using a compass, tracking wildlife, hiking, tree and plant identification, and geocaching treasure hunts. They also have a Dutch Oven cooking expo coming up. They are bringing in people to show us how to cook using cast iron Dutch Ovens.
- That brings us to obtaining items to add to our preps and learning how to use them. We got a Pressure Canner for Christmas that we look forward to using soon. A meat grinder and slicer, flour mill, a new set of Cast Iron Cookware, Herbalogy books and kits, and a nice medical kit are just a few of the items we would like to add to our preps. This also means we will learning how to use them as well. Will we get all of these items this year? Probably not. But, this is a life long list, not a Must Have This Year list. We will add to the list as we knock stuff off.
- Our storage area is very lacking. Our house has no room for storage in it. Zoey and I, with help from the hubby, will research new and clever ways of utilizing the space we have. We plan on doing a lot of canning this year, and yet we have no where to put anything else... hmmm... Clever ideas anyone?
- We will practice more on our bows and maybe, just maybe, learn to hunt. This is one area our house is very lacking on. Hubby hunted with his father as a child, but has not as an adult. The fees for hunting licenses has kept us from it. Also, what do we do with the meat if we have killed something? So hunting and meat preservation is on our list of hopeful To Dos.
Our list seems a bit long. If we don't complete some of it, that is okay. We are not pledging to do all of it. Just to 'Do More!' What is on your list?
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