Monday, December 31, 2012

Review of 2012 Accomplishments

2012 was a busy year for us.  We accomplished a lot and blogged too little.  I have many posts in draft mode that I need to complete over the next few weeks.

Here are some of the things we did in 2012.

Fencing
Finished fencing our main area around the house, or Zone 1 and 2 in permaculture terms.  This area has a perimeter of over 425 feet which was fenced with field fencing.  This fence involved 26 cemented 4x4 treated posts for corners, bends and gates.  30 metal T posts were used for the straight runs.  This was a huge project that took most of the summer and fall.  I finally finished it off yesterday with the help of dad.

Food Production
Purchased 6 chicks in September which are now almost full grown and should began laying in March.  They are outside in a movable run and coop as way to chicken tractor them around the yard so they can eat grass along with their feed.  Big thank you to a friend at work who gave me his brooder since he wasn't using it.  This saved us lots of money or time.

Harvested over 40 lbs of blackberries and froze about 20 lbs.

Harvested over 100 lbs of squash and zucchini 

Harvested over 150 lbs of tomatoes.

Canned for the first time over 100 lbs of tomatoes and 30 lbs of zucchini.

Other items in small amounts, lettuce, peas, a few pumpkins, a few carrots, radishes, cucumbers, blueberries and some crab apples turned into apple sauce.

Brewed 15 gallons of beer

Plantings/Permaculture/Landscaping
Added 8 fruit trees
Added 4 black walnuts on lower part of property
Added 4 black locusts on lower part of property
Added 1 blueberry
Added 2 gooseberry
Added 1 hop vine
Added 3 kiwi vines
Added lavender and jasmine outside our window along with some flowers.

Cleared out section of popluar trees, mulched the branches and setup an area to plant in the spring for vine crops.  Chipping this wood was not trivial, ended up chipping about 5 cubic yards of wood.

Dug swale/trench from rear downspout around 1/2 of backyard.

Added 75 sq feet to the garden.

Energy Efficiency
Installed a Hybrid Heat Pump GE Geospring water heater last week.

LED bulbs - Replaced chandelier lights in the dining room with LEDs.  Replaced a main reading lamp with LED bulbs.

Using fireplace this year to offset a little bit of the heating costs.

DIY Projects
Huge Shelf in Garage
Cold Frames for Garden
Chicken Run
Fence
Towel shelf in bathroom
Put a TV antenna on the house and said good bye to Direct TV.
Replaced valve in master bedroom shower so the wife and I have our own shower.

New Skills
Brandi
Water bath canning
Butter making
Cooking Paleo

Adam
Situation handgun class

Adam/Brandi
Bee keeping classes
Speical New things
Ranger - our newest family member half Border Collie half Austrian Shepard
John Deere Gator XUV - thank you to dad, made a huge difference stretching the fence.
NATO Jerry Cans for fuel -- done with those stupid plastic cans
Chainsaw - which I fear more than a gun

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