Goals and Accomplishments
I can’t believe that it’s already time to develop the next part of my Learning Plan. Did I get everything done that I wanted to get done over the last six months? Nope! But I got a lot more done than I would have if I hadn’t written down that list of goals in the first place.
Along with innumerable, subtle internal shifts that could never really be captured in writing, here’s a quick list of the things I did these past few months that I am proud of:
- I removed my above-ground pool. No more chemicals in the soil or excess water usage.
- I built a chicken tractor. I needed a place to quarantine new and sick hens.
- I built Cosmo’s memorial garden.
- At home, I planted two peach trees, a fig, a seedless che, blackberries, a raspberry, swiss chard, French sorrel and strawberries.
- I cared for all of my plants through a pretty rough Texas winter.
- I started seeds and then learned an important lesson about snails.
- I grew and dried catnip. I drank it as a tea and refilled the cats’ homemade toys with it.
- I made some progress towards breaking my terrible food buying habits. I’ve started cooking a lot more and we’re eating out or ordering food much less often. I’m learning to eat more seasonally via my weekly CSA box and I’m buying meat from the Farmer’s Market. Preferably from the ladies at Indian Hills Farms in Smithville.
- I learned how to can food.
- I’ve dealt with non-stop chicken drama — one of them has a bad leg, two of them were eaten by a possum, one was put down due to egg yolk peritonitis, I treated two of them for bumblefoot and then learned how to give penicillin shots to treat their resulting staph infections, and lastly one had vent gleet so I learned to give them vinegar and yogurt to manage their gut bacteria.
- I trapped a couple of feral neighborhood cats and had them spayed and neutered, my form of urban wildlife management.
- I met with a Bastrop County wildlife biologist and learned more about how to plan our wildlife management transition at the Farm.
- I immersed myself in learning about bees: I went to an Austin Urban Beekeeping Meetup, I attended a “Keeping Chemical Free Bees” class and a “Spring Hive Maintenance” class, I read Les Crowder’s Top Bar Beekeeping book and watched the video of the same name. I also read The Backyard Beekeeper and The Thinking Beekeeper. I joined the Central Texas and Top Bar Beekeeping groups on Facebook and I ordered my top bar hive from a local apiarist.
- I started the Texas Master Naturalist (Lost Pines Chapter) training program in February, something that has been a goal of mine for a few years. This has been a very intense course with classes every Monday night from 6:30pm-9pm, 4 hour long Saturday field trips twice a month, and sometimes up to 100 pages of reading in between.
- I went to a prescribed burn workshop and connected with the South Central Texas Prescribed Burn Association. I get notifications when they do burns and can go out and help them. Unfortunately, I joined up towards the end of the burn season so I haven’t been able to go to one yet.
- I got 90% of my design maps done for the house. I did the Zones and Sector maps digitally but I hand-drew the concept map, which is ever-morphing as I learn more.
Going forward, instead of trying to learn a little about a lot, I need to focus on specific topics and strive to really understand them. That’ll be the biggest difference in how I’ll structure my future goals.
At this point, I’m not too worried about the things I didn’t get done. They’ll keep moving along in the Learning Plan and I’ll get them done eventually. And if I don’t ever get them done, maybe they weren’t appropriate goals in the first place.