Monday, August 23, 2010

Little by little...

Don't start big, start small and just keep going and you're be amazed if you just stay with it

4 years ago, I want to start producing more of my own food and storing up for the winter.  It's important to me to eat healthy and buy local as much as possible.  Here's how each year went as I started this journey:

Year one: 0 pints frozen, zero canned, small garden planted.   I learned that I should improve my gardening and look for more wild foods.

Year two: 2 pints raspberries frozen, 25 wild apples used, half garden planted with several fresh vegetables produced.  I learned that I was not raising enough vegetables to can so I would improve garden and located several wild raspberry patches on pubic land

Year three: 9 pints raspberries frozen, 5 wild apples used(really gnarly), 6 quarts of green beans frozen, half garden planted with several fresh vegetables produced. I learned that I was not raising enough vegetables(again) to can so I would improve the garden(again) and harvest local wild raspberries.  Also, I got serious about canning and had my wife purchase supplies for next year.

Year four so far: 24 pints raspberries frozen, 22 sold to local farmers market, expanded garden planted, 12 quarts of green beans canned, 17 quarts of tomato juice canned(OK-I cheated and bought some local from a farmer's market but about half we grew), 6 pints of frozen wild blackberries, 2 pints of wild mulberries.  Getting ready for a fall planting, apples have not yet come on.  We may buy more local green beans and can more and waiting on apples which we hope to can as well.

As you can see, it takes time to figure things out and improve processes but it comes along slowly.  Each year I learn more and just keep getting better.  If you approach with small steps, failures are not devastating or demoralizing so you don't get discouraged.  After all, little by little over time becomes bigger and bigger if you stay with it!

What have you done a little at a time today?

Dan Lafever, Kaizeneer

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