I meant to start writing today's post a few weeks ago, as my 2010 plans started popping into my head, but that never happened, so you're getting it off the cuff this afternoon. And you're getting it from the brain of a woman who just spent two days with some wicked form of stomach bug or food poisoning, which cut short our Chicago vacation. When I was throwing up (and other unmentionables) in that hotel room, all I could think of was how much I wanted fresh air and simple foods. As much as I love our little homestead, I never knew I could be so happy to see it as I was when we arrived home yesterday. I could write a whole post about all the little things that made me happy, but I digress. This is about the future, not my last two days in agony. So, I might forget a couple of things, but here's what's coming in 2010.
Since Margaret has been home from college, she's been working on a complete redesign of the Antiquity Oaks website, so if you've never been there, go give it a hug, because it's going to be gone in a few days. It will be replaced with an entirely new website that includes information on our cows, llamas, classes, and internships, and a few other things that I've probably forgotten about at the moment. But don't worry -- I have all that in my notes. And I need to spend the next couple days finishing up all the copy for that site. The blog will become a page on the new site, but we're going to keep the same URL, so you won't need to change your bookmarks and you won't lose us. The appearance of the blog will, however, change, and you will be able to visit any page on the website directly from the blog.
This also means that I'm finalizing plans for our internship and apprenticeship programs. I finally decided that we're not going to be another Joel Salatin in size and scope. I have no desire to grow 100 steers or 10,000 chickens a year. I do, however, have a desire to meet like-minded people and help them to get a step closer to their dream of self-sufficiency, a locavore economy, greener agriculture and energy, and all that great stuff, so our focus is continuing to shift from production to education, although production will certainly be a part of the education.
Speaking of production, it gets really depressing when I read about people living on little city lots who can grow thousands of pounds of food a year for themselves, and it finally occurred to me that we should be keeping track, so we're going to do that in 2010. We're going to keep track of all the eggs, milk, meat, fruit, herbs, and vegetables that we produce, raise, or forage on our little 32 acres for the next year, starting today, which wasn't very impressive, because it is January 1, in the middle of Illinois. We're at just over four pounds of goat milk for 2010 so far!
And speaking of depressing, the garden gets me the most depressed. I have never claimed to be a great gardener. In fact, I generally complain (in real life, if not on the blog) about what terrible gardeners we are here. But to be honest, we haven't really worked as hard at gardening as we've worked at everything else. Even though I get upset when lettuce doesn't come up or the tomatoes get blight, it's nothing compared to how upset I am when an animal dies. The animals always come first, and that's how it should be, but I also admit that I could have put more time into educating myself about gardening. So, in November, Mike and I attended a full-day organic gardening seminar, and next week, I'll be spending three days at the Illinois Specialty Crop Conference, learning even more about vegetables, fruit and herb production. When it comes to furthering my education this year, the subject is gardening.
And speaking of education, I've decided to stop teaching college. I've been hanging in there teaching speech, thinking I should keep my resume fresh so that if a journalism teaching position ever opens up within an hour of me, I'd have a better shot. But considering the number of unemployed journalists in the Chicago area, I'm thinking there will be a few dozen people applying if they require a master's degree or hundreds if they only require a bachelor's, so it's not worth it for me to keep teaching a class that most students loathe. If the majority of people fear public speaking more than death, how do you think that a required public speaking class stacks up? Although it has certainly given me some great stories. Probably my favorite "excuse" of all time for three students missing a speech was that they were arrested on their way to class. They didn't know why they were arrested and had no paperwork documenting it, and the best part was that they couldn't even get it straight who was driving the car!
So, those are my plans for 2010. What you planning to accomplish?