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Goal Phases

9 years from 2014 I’d like to have enough skills that I can call myself “self sustaining.” That’s a lofty goal but a fair amount of time in which to accomplish it. I’ve chosen to break up the 9 years of time into segments that each have a sub-goal that gets me to learning skills.

Here is the list I’ve compiled so far of the things I want to do or learn in order to become self-sustaining. This is a dynamic list – it will change often as I add more skills and post links to skills I’ve learned and blogged about. I’ll revise some of the vague items to make them more specific (as I figure out how to define the specifics). Some aren’t skills but just things I want to do. Some make sense and some might seem super random. It’s going to be a crazy list!

Late 2014: learn to cook and shop for food

  1. Learn to properly cook cuts of meat and poultry.
  2. Learn to properly prepare cuts of meat (cutting fat from a roast, de-boning a chicken, etc).
  3. Learn at least 10 side dishes/meatless dishes to cook from scratch.
  4. Learn to bake using our new diet restrictions.
  5. Learn bulk food preservation.
  6. Find a source for quality, bulk meat buys and other foods we can’t grow ourselves.
  7. Develop reusable meal plans and know how much food we consume in a typical week.
  8. Organize recipes and write down recipes that we like.
  9. Learn to prepare foods in advance to reduce mealtime chaos.
  10. Serve a six-course meal.

Not really fitting into a time but I want to do NOW: get organized and reduce expenses

  1. Understand how much we consume: how much of specific foods do we eat each month, the paper products we use, cleaning products, etc.
  2. Make a budget and actually stick to it. Find ways we can eliminate expenses.
  3. Make soap and other personal care products (like toothpaste!).

Also not really fitting into a time but wanted ASAP: Reduce waste and energy use

  1. Reduce, then eliminate kitchen paper use.
  2. Build a clothesline and use it instead of our clothes dryer (we’ll need an outside one and inside one since we live in the Pacific Northwest).
  3. Figure out how the fireplace works and use it, also befriend a chimney sweep.
  4. Reduce our food waste; compost as much food as possible and learn to use the discarded parts of foods (squash guts, carrot tops, bacon grease, etc).
  5. Maybe even learn to use a wash tub, wash board, and hand-wringer. Find one for free.

2015: Grow more food

  1. Garden planning pre-season. Learn about what to plant, companion planting, planting styles, how to identify plants, plants pros/cons/usefullness/etc.
  2. Fertilize early.
  3. Start plants from seed indoors.
  4. Learn tool use and maintenance, weeds management, pest control, soil cultivating.
  5. Compost.
  6. Learn seed saving.
  7. Figure out how to harvest year-round (winter gardening, greenhouse, hydroponics, etc).
  8. Indoor herb garden. Outdoor herb/medicinal garden.

2016: The year of Community.

  1. Take classes, find groups of people with similar goals.
  2. Join a gardening group.
  3. Learn to barter.
  4. Learn to ask for help.

2017: Textile skills

  1. Learn to crochet, weave fabric, some kind of textile skill.
  2. Learn to sew.
  3. Learn to make shirts, jackets, pants, skirts, scaves, mittens, hats, socks, and bags. (Maybe even underware!)

2018: Mechanics

  1. Learn to change our own oil and other light car maintenance.
  2. Learn to rewire a light switch and electrical outlet.

2019: Health care

  1. Learn about remineralizing teeth and “crunchy” dental care.
  2. Learn herbal and food-based remidies for common illnesses.
  3. Learn herbal remindies for aches (muscle, tummy, head, etc).
  4. Homeopathy
  5. Herbalism

2020: Home maintenance and repair

2021: Alternative energy sources


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