1. The first goal has to be something for Owen, of course! Go for a walk, or spend time doing yoga or dancing with Owen every day. Owen loves to dance, and has progressed recently from squatting up and down in time to the music to doing cute little moves. We love dancing with him. It’s also neat to take him for a walk and watch him charge through the undergrowth, tackling obstacles headlong. It should be no hardship to reach this goal!
2. Finish setting up chook house and run, and GET SOME CHOOKS! We are well on the way to achieving this one already, but have to keep up the momentum.
3. Install solar hot water.
4. Make camembert, feta, and hard cheese. Also do some goat cheese experiments in the spring.
5. Cure some of our own meat. Specifically, I want to have a go at making corned beef and corned tongue.
6. Experiment with cooking corn and amaranth.
7. Start milking the goats in spring. This is a big one because it requires that we arrange some extra goat housing and a sheltered place to milk goats. It also requires that we find a suitable buck for our dear Daphne and Lulu.
8. Start “bushman’s toilet paper” seedlings. I’d also like to start some other tree seedlings, perhaps including carob, Japanese raisin tree and stone pine.
9. Improve winter vegetable garden over last year’s effort. I have to hurry up and get organised for autumn seed planting if I’m serious about achieving this one! We are a bit pinched for space at the moment due to work on the chook runs, so I’m going to have to employ all my garden cunning to fit in the crops we want to grow.
10. Save onion seed, and plant our first onion crop from home-saved seed. The seedheads are already ripening on the onions, so I’ll be embarking on this project very soon.
11. Get rid of the kikuyu in the areas around the lemon and lime trees in the house paddock, and work on establishing perennial ground cover to keep weeds at bay. The chooks will have an important part to play here.
12. Complete Playcentre Course 2. This might seem a bit off-topic for Farmlet, but our local Playcentre is an important part of our lifestyle here. Playcentre is a parent-run co-op where New Zealand children up to age 6 can go for free. Playcentre funding depends (among other things) on having enough parents present who have completed Playcentre training courses. Peria Playcentre is small and rather struggling to muster enough qualified parents at the moment. Owen and I love going to Playcentre, and I’m keen to do my part to support our Centre.
13. Update the Farmlet website at least once a week. I haven’t got off to a very good start on this goal, but the year of the Ox is still young and there are lots of things I want to write about!