Have you ever known where you want to be in 5 years? I am asking if you’ve known with complete conviction that you are most certain you will be in a certain place in 5 years. I felt this way at age 15 after returning from Macworld in San Francisco. I spent a lot of time imagining being there one day and an opportunity brought me there. I spent a lot of time planning my move and worked my hardest to make things work. It was a great run but it was time to move on. I just didn’t know it yet.
The last time I bought a new camera was 18 months ago. My computers are all over a year old and I spend less money on things and more on experience’s with people who are truly my friends. These are people who aren’t networking acquaintances or colleagues but they’re friends. My friends. I spend (waste) money on these great experiences that help me learn and grow. I spend a lot of time studying and reading and trying to grow and, for the past 2 years, I keep moving toward a common area. The craft of creation.
I am drawn toward creating and being self-reliant. I’ll spend an entire day reading about fabrics and making clothing or how to make candles and cheese and wood working. I spent an afternoon last month perfecting the sharpening of knives and trying to master it with my cheap knives before moving up to the good ones. There’s this pull on me to use my hands and make something.
Before I continue, I’m fully committed to my current job but every hour outside of my job will be spent learning about the Craft of Creation. I want to spend all of my free time on expanding my mind and creating things. In the last 2 years, I’ve been very basic in this endeavor. by crafting the following:
- Raised and slaughtered chickens (2 years in a row)
- Maintained the environment to keep chickens at home, keeping them healthy, managing diets, exercise
- Will keep chickens through the winter this time which will be a new experience
- Grew my own crops 2 years in a row. I’m doing poorly at this but I have a coach that will be helping me next year + more winter reading on the subject
- Raised and slaughter / process my own hogs (first time this year)
- Pickling (did my first batch of eggs. Will do more pickling over the winter)
- Cooking from scratch using local organic ingredients. (Started in 2009 but have been improving each year with formal training here and there)
- Making cocktails (some formal training + my own study)
- Brewing Beer (Started in May. Brewed over 20 batches so far)
- Growing Hops, cultivating beer and baker’s yeast and hand picking fruits for future batches is happening soon / into next year.
- Raised ducks
- Made cheese in 2010. it was not very good. Need to reattempt this.
- I brew my own coffee using less common means. Going to start roasting my own beans this Winter
This still isn’t enough. I still feel too reliant on Amazon.com and the grocery store and, to some degree, the almighty dollar. It’s time to create more and use more of what I take from the Earth because, utilizing more of what’s around me brings this happiness that’s indescribable.
I’d like to become completely self-reliant on what is grown out of my back yard. This means a few things:
- Growing 4x as many crops as I do now and mastering the art of preserving these crops.
- Doubling my hogs next year to 4
- Mastering corn cultivation and uses
- Quadrupal the amount of meat birds to 32 birds and double my laying hens
- Participate in “sugaring” so I can have 15 gallons of maple syrup next year
- Continue enhances my cooking from scratch skills and continue working on curing meat and managing a “refrigerator-less” house
- Last year I set a goal for not using refrigeration or indoor cooking. Relying on wood for cooking and the elements for keeping food frozen. I didn’t follow through with that and will try more of that this winter.
- Drying spices
- Cooking over a fire (preparation for using a wood-stove to cook)
- Roasting coffee beans
- Baking bread
These are some upcoming things I’d like to do. I think these tasks in 2013 are attainable. Ideally, this is a 5-10 year plan. I know it sounds crazy but I’d like to take this one thing at a time sort of as if I was a 10 year old and had a homesteading father who taught me things as I grew older. Starting by helping feed animals, pulling weeds and churning butter. It’s a process and not one that I can do all at once. One thing is for sure. I’m not buying meat from the grocery anymore. That starts today. From now on, I’ll order all of my meat from local farms or raise it myself. I’ll be curing and smoking my own meats and will begin using wood to cook as much food as possible.
Bread making starts soon as well and roasting my own beans. A lot of these can only happen when the weather is warm so I’ll start studying now for that time. I’m excited about this. What do you think? Do you have any tips? Today, Craft of Creation is born.
Thanks for reading.