New Year’s Day is one of my favorite days of the year! It’s the perfect time to reflect back on the previous year and makes plans for the next. I have finished the last entry of my daily journal for 2018 with a quarterly review of my goals for last year and I have begun the first entry of my 2019 journal with a list of goals to focus on in 2019. This also includes a review of the goals I have set for the next 40 years—I don’t have anything planned past my 110th birthday; I figure if I make it that far I’m going to take it easy for a while. I have always been in the habit of making more long-term plans but for the last couple of decades I have made it an annual ritual to review my written list on New Year’s Day. Some items are accomplished and get scratched off the list, some are abandoned and get dropped, and a few new ideas get added as the years roll by. It is a lot of fun for me.
Reflecting back on the first year of my three-year retirement plan, I am very satisfied with my progress. In 2018 I completed four of my five main goals:
- Completing and releasing our KAMUT® film project, Ancient Grain for Future Farming;
- Transitioning the operation of our farm to Seth and Chad, who now lease the whole thing and continue to run it 100% organic;
- Pulling off the world’s First International Conference of Wheat Landraces for Healthy Food Systems in Bologna, Italy;
- And completing my book, Grain by Grain: A Quest to Revive Ancient Wheat, Rural Jobs, and Healthy Food.
We didn’t get the grant necessary to establish an organic research institute here in Big Sandy using part of our farm. But I’ve been working on some alternative ideas that may still make this possible. (More on that as it develops.) And there are always unexpected hiccups and challenges as a year progresses. We were very sad to see my son-in-law, Andrew, leave The Oil Barn® to work in Great Falls and we sure miss having the grandkids running around the farm every day. We are also still working to understand and resolve the problem regarding trace amounts of glyphosate being found on some of our organic fields and crops. While we suspect the origin is primarily the rain, which is washing contaminated particles out of the air (Roundup Rain), we are setting up monitoring stations on our farm to collect snow and rain water—as well as dust—on a monthly basis to see if we can find any patterns.
Looking forward to this new year, I will be on the road. A lot. Between book tours around the country and the usual trade shows and organic conferences, 2019 promises to be a very busy year. I hope you’ll be able to attend one of my book tour events; be sure to keep an eye out on my Facebook events calendar for more details on the when and where. But I’m determined to stay home all month in August where I plan to work in my garden and harvest as much food as I can and hopefully start building a subterranean greenhouse. (Stay tuned for more on that later.)
I wish you a very happy, healthy and successful New Year! Be well, eat healthy, and be thankful.