Sizing up the year in green


Well, kids, it’s that time again! You know the year is almost out when you see a still-perky Christmas tree discarded on the sidewalk, and consider taking it home and celebrating all over again, just because it’s there and begging for reuse. That happened to us yesterday as we were driving on Rugby Avenue. (We did not actually succumb to the impulse.)

For us, 2010 has been a big year–first and foremost because of the birth of our daughter, but also in terms of progress on our little homestead. We were having fun this morning reminiscing about some of our projects from 2010:

We planted five fruit trees. As of now, they’re still alive and well. Coming in 2011: asparagus patch!

We had to refinish a floor and took the opportunity to learn about nontoxic materials–pure tung oil and a solvent made from oranges.

In other house news, we installed cellulose insulation and noted the way it boosted the toasty factor in the house. Having a tighter home should save energy, which in our case comes from waste firewood.

We put up a clothesline which, it turned out, is a really enjoyable way to dry laundry. And we became users of cloth diapers and purchasers of secondhand baby clothes and toys.

We got chickens!

We grew food in the garden, joined a CSA for the third year, and were regulars at the farmers’ market. Results in the garden were mixed, and we didn’t preserve as much as we did in 2009, but we did manage to dry lots of peppers and pickle lots of cukes.

And of course, we kept on recycling and composting and using too much water and keeping our old cars running and lamenting how much we have to drive and guiltily throwing away little bits of plastic and buying local and in general continuing the imperfect dance that is green living. Here’s to 2011, folks! We’re going to start it off by setting up the new worm compost system that we got for Christmas. More on that later.

What green stuff did you do this year? What are your plans for 2011?