New Year, new goals

Filed under:General — eric @ 1:24 am

I’ve had a terrible track record over the last month writing here, I’ve noticed. The last month has been busy and stressful, and yet pleasant and productive. Still, not a month I’d like to repeat any time soon. I did manage to have wonderful visits with family both old and new, nearly finished building the two greenhouses, and fenced in a portion of the back yard for the puppy. Seed catalogs have arrived, so I’m now deciding what to grow this year, and that gives me a lot to look forward to.

As you may well know, this year saw me (us, really, but it’s so much easier to write on my page in the first person) make the jump from having a large personal garden to a small market garden. I’ve got this goal of having the farm completely pay for itself, including mortgage and everything, within five years. Well, four now. And the first year was a good healthy start toward that. There were a number of things that could have been done better, so that gives me goals to work on this year.

One of my biggest disappointments this year was not being able to document the creation of the farm with pictures. I suppose I could have broken down and snapped lots of 35mm shots, but the time and expense involved wasn’t worth it. I’m expecting some extra income in five weeks, and I’ll do my best to apply some of that toward a decent digital camera so I can document this year’s efforts. It’s been a joy (and an incredible amount of sheer physical labor) to hack out a nurturing environment out of land that have been neglected and in some parts abused over the last umpteen years. I’d love to be able to show it off through pictures, in some part to brag, and in another part to inspire others to do the same.

Speaking of the farm, I’ve made a number of changes to the website over the last month, including converting all the newsletters to PDF, adding an easy to search table of them all, and updating details of how folks can buy into our “Meal Plan”.

I’ve been doing lots of fun behind-the-scenes web work lately. As of yesterday, I am president of the Town and Gown Players, the Athens-based community theater work I’ve been involved with over the last five years. The year coming up will mark our 50th season, and there are a lot of plans in the works to commemorate the occasion. One of my goals as president will be to change the group of people in charge of the organization, the Board of Directors, from a group focused on the operation of the theater into a group focus on governing the theater. It’s a hard idea to succinctly write about here, but in effect the board has in the past been so wrapped up in getting everything done that is needed to put up twelve different plays a year that it hasn’t had any time to address the continued sustainability of the players. The very real possibility exists that increased competition and expenses could drive us right out of business. One problem that has been pointed out be several advisors we’ve had in during the last few years is the rapid turnover of board members — we have yearly elections and the board effectively cycles every 12 months. This means that a lot of time gets spent just getting up to speed on the tasks at hand and institutional memory becomes almost impossible to maintain. So, I’ve been working on a suite of web-based tools that may make that part of the job less painful. It includes job how-tos for the benefit of new members, calendars showing when things need to get done, easy to update information about upcoming shows and events, and so forth. Just having everything in one place, accessible on demand, will make a huge difference. And the time saved can be put to better use. Soon, I’ll include the public pages in this system.

I’d like to change things around on this page, too, but I don’t yet know what exactly. I’ll just keep thinking about it.

1 Comment »

  1. I know that you probably want a fancy digital camera…but T bought a pencam like the one that Randy often uses and it is perfectly servicable (I think it cost less than $100). I’ve even used pictures from it in our hardcopy newsletter at work, which typically requires very high quality digital photos in order to translate to newsprint. Seed catalogs have also arrived here…and my roommate just learned that she is officially certified organic. This year she’ll make the farm a full time job instead of a part time job. It will be fun to see full cycle of the farm this year…last year I made it just in time for the end of the harvest.

    Comment by M — 1/2/2003 @ 3:47 am

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