Welcome to 2012!

Wow, 2011 was quite a year! Virginia and I closed on a house, travelled to Boston, and hosted several parties. Along the way, I grew a batch of garlic (despite terribly wet weather), a small crop of potatoes (which did ok despite my neglect), and went to a few Aikido seminars.

Much like Virginia, I’m not really in to resolutions. Goals are good, as long as they’re positive (ie. no guilt-driven goal setting). Here’s a review of my goals for 2011:

Get set up in our new house: The move was definitely one I’ll remember – we had the first of many heavy snowstorms the day we were supposed to close, which meant shoveling out before the movers could deliver our stuff. That being said, we’re pretty well set now 🙂

Test for 5th Kyu in Aikido: Done, though I wasn’t happy with my performance. It wasn’t bad, but it could have been better in my opinion.

Grow more of my own food: Well…I grew my own garlic, and a small crop of potatoes but that was about it. The season kind of sucked this year (cold & wet), which didn’t exactly encourage me to get out there. At least I was able to get my composter built!

Help the local food folks: Definitely a win here. I did some blogging for Root Cellars Rock, ran a Tomato Seed Saving demo at the Spring FEASt Fest, and volunteered again at World Food Day in St. John’s.

Expand my fermentations beyond cider: I made a second batch of cider that didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped, and that kind of put a damper on my brewing.

I’d say that’s pretty good, all in all! So, what’s in store for 2012?

Test for 4th Kyu in Aikido: As I said, my 5th kyu test wasn’t as good as I would’ve liked, but I intend to make sure that doesn’t happen this time – I will be making a bigger effort to be prepared for my test.

Practice Aikido in Japan: This is actually a big one for me! Virginia and I will be going to Japan for a couple of weeks, after she’s done her Rotary International Group Study Exchange in Taiwan. While we’re definitely going for a vacation, this is a great opportunity for me to see Hombu Dojo. I’m really looking forward to practicing with Osawa Sensei (the Technical Director for the Canadian Aikido Federation), Wakasensei (the great-grandson of O-Sensei, Morihei Ueshiba), and the Doshu (the grandson of O-Sensei).

Build a couple raised beds at the house: I was able to get a good bit of seed on sale from Seed Savers Exchange, and I need to get some garden space created in a hurry, so that will be a job for the early spring.

Try growing potatoes again: I had intended to grow potatoes in a box, which takes advantage of the fact that plants in the nightshade family grow more roots from the stem, if you bury them deeper every time they grow up. While I did build the bottom part of the box, I didn’t really do the whole burying thing, so I can’t really say whether the method works or not. This year, I will be taking another stab at it.

Start more of my own plants: I’ve got some seed starting trays on order from Lee Valley Tools (thanks Mom & Dad!), and I have access to some full-spectrum fluorescent bulbs, so all I need to do is get some shelves, and a few fixtures, and I’m off to the races!

Blogging more regularly: I’m going to aim for at least once a month. I did actually do pretty well for a while when I was guest blogging at Root Cellars Rock, but kind of fell off the wagon.

I wish you all the best in 2012 – may it be full of excellent surprises, amazing opportunities, and tons of fun!

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