Friday, January 01, 2010

My Permie Homestead Goals for 2010

The New Year is always a time of reflecting on the past year and planning for the next.  I want to share my 2010 goals with everyone so that I can be held accountable for them.  I want to point out that none of these are "resolutions", because who ever actually follows their New Years resolutions?  These are just straightforward goals that I hope to achieve during the next 365 days.  Some of them have to do with the stuff I've already talked about on this blog, some of them are actual goals for this blog, and some of them are just personal 2010 goals.  Let me know your thoughts on them please!

  1. I will write 150 blog posts during 2010.  This is an average of 12.5 per month, and I think I can do it.  This goal will help me strive to do permacultury things, because I don't want to write blog posts just for the sake of writing them.  I want them to have meaningful content that is worth your while to read, and worth my while to write down.  The more I do in the interest of sustainability, the more I'll have to write about, and the easier it'll be to write 150 posts.
  2. I want to have at least $10,000 in my land fund.  I will raise this money through regular savings, ad revenue I make on this site above and beyond what hosting costs are (click those ads for me please!), donations to my land fund (that pretty yellow button on the right), selling my "static" possessions on Craigslist and putting the money into my land fund, and whatever other methods I can think of.
  3. I will to pay off my vehicle.  It is possible for this to happen as early as February and no later than July, but I am so excited about having it paid off that I want to mention it here.  Not having a car payment will save me $225 a month, money that can go into my land fund!
  4. I would like to have 50+ regular readers of my blog.  I don't want this so much for the purpose of ad revenue or out of vanity, but because I started this blog to help me build a community within the permaculture movement.  The more people I know who I can share my thoughts, feelings, and goals with, the more I think I'll be able to accomplish what I have set out to do.  If you know someone who might enjoy this blog, please share it with them!  And as a side note about community, please share your thoughts with me often by leaving a comment!
  5. I will weigh under 200 pounds (about 14.3 stone, or 90.7 kg) by the end of the year.  One of the reasons I got interested in permaculture and organics was because I wanted to be healthier.  As of last night, that means I have to lose 3.5 pounds (.25 stone, 1.6 kg) per month, which is a very reasonable goal.  My ultimate goal weight is about 185 pounds (12.2 stone, 84.1 kg) but I don't want to get discouraged if I don't make it.  I can always revise my goal if I'm doing better than I expect.
  6. I will get promoted to Shift Supervisor or possibly Assistant Store Manager.  I don't want to come off as too aggressive in this goal (especially in case my boss ever happens to read this blog, I don't want to seem arrogant), but I am motivated to excel in my job so I can better afford my homesteading goals.
  7. I will move to Portland, maybe.  Now that I have a job that is with a national company it will be much easier to relocate to Portland, if I can be transferred.  However, I realize that for the time being I need to put the needs of the business ahead of my own in order to excel in my job, and if I have better opportunity in Tucson than I might in Portland, I will stay here a little longer in order to better position myself to achieve my homesteading goals.
  8. I will take some kind of workshop about earthships, cob, or some other kind of natural building.
  9. I will join the Tucson CSA.
  10. I will garden like my life depends on it.  Someday, it really will!
  11. To be more specific about the garden, I have set a smaller goal for myself this year.  I am designing my first garden planting around chili.  I want to grow enough that I can regularly make myself homemade chili from nothing but ingredients grown in my garden (except the meat of course).  This means beans, jalapenos, serrano peppers,  habanero peppers, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and herbs.  I will grow other things as well, but having the dish of "chili" as a goal will help me focus I think.  Also, plants I listed above obviously can be used for many things other than making chili.
  12. I will get my Permaculture Design Certificate.  Even if I can't earn this through an intensive internship, I want to have my PDC soon so I can be better prepared when I am ready to select land and observe that land, before I start interacting with it.
  13. I will have several small passive streams of income with which to grow my Land Fund.  I am starting many small projects, such as working with to try to get voice-actor work, or writing short articles for revenue-sharing sites like  Using these small but hopefully prolific streams of passive income, I will be able to supplement my (currently) meager income and put that money towards my homesteading goals.
  14. I will visit Portland for a short time.  Believe it or not, I still haven't even been to Portland.  I'm just pretty sure that I'll love it because I definitely love the Pac NW and I really enjoyed Seattle when I went in April.  Portland is reputed to be "more like Tucson" than Seattle by one of my friends, so in many ways that is a good thing for me and the kind of place I want to live.  I say all of this to justify my already solid feelings that I'll like Portland once I get there.  If I don't we'll see what the new plan is, but I'm 99% sure I will love it up there.
  15. I will make progress towards finishing the Arizona Trail before I move.  Finishing the trail once I am in Portland will probably be quite difficult, so I want to do as much as I can now.
  16. I will pick a skill once a month and spend at least 6-10 hours a week trying to develop a basic mastery of that skill.  These might include carpentry, primitive fire starting, a month on cooking various dishes, etc.  For this month, the skill I'm choosing is methods of fire-making, primitive and otherwise.
  17. If time allows, I would like to have a monthly project as well.  For Jan-Mar that project will all probably be the same, getting the garden up and running.  Once it is established and I feel comfortable enough, I might start on different monthly projects after that.  This goal may end up tying in closely with goal #13.
  18. I would like to attempt to develop a feed-a-family program with the Tucson CSA.  There are plenty of hungry people out there, and I know that CSA minded people are also very caring people.  If Tucson CSA would be willing to set aside one (or a few) shares, I would love to volunteer to help coordinate that program.
  19. I want to interact with more people of a homesteading and/or permaculture mindset, and build up a closer community for myself made up of those people.

For now, I think this is enough.  I'm sure there will be smaller goals here and there, but these 19 seem like goals I can strive for over the course of the year.  If I manage to achieve them all, I'll be $10,000 closer to owning land, own my truck completely, have basic mastery of 12 new skills, enjoy homegrown and locally-grown food for almost every meal, be in better shape, look better, feel better, live in a place I will really enjoy, and be that much closer to finally having my homestead.  Also, I will have much improved this blog over what I've done with it in 2009, and made it more enjoyable for people to read, which will help me achieve my goal of building more community.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Looks like you're making strides. Congrats!

    I've recently been reading the book Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond by Brad Lancaster (who lives in Tuscon and is most likely your neighbor!) I highly recommend picking up both vol. 1 and 2. There's lots of examples that pertain specifically to Tuscon's bioregion but are applicable in all regions of the world. I imagine you could get a hold of Brad and go see his house in person as well. That'd be amazing.

    Happy holidays from MI.

  2. I've actually met and hung out with Brad when I was teaching, and plan to take a seminar with him before I leave Tucson. He's an awesome and brilliant person.

    Happy New Year to you from Tucson!