Other Writings

24 Things to Happen in my 24th year

Today I’m celebrating my 24th birthday. As far as birthdays go, this has been the toughest for me to face. So many of my friends and family have said ‘Oh, 24 is no big deal… You’re young yet!… Wait until you turn 30, then you’ll have something to worry about…’ Yet 24 still seems unfair to me. I’m old enough to be a bone fide adult with a career and a house payment, but so much of life (having a family, establishing a community, reaching goals) is unchartered territory. I also thought I’d have much more accomplished at 24; there’s still so much good work left to do! It’s a bit overwhelming to be old enough to go at it alone, but be young enough to not know the way.

At least I am starting the first day of year 24 off on a good foot. A bit of work this morning, lunch with a friend at Seward Co-op, and then planting the little acre garden this afternoon. To end the day my kitchen partner is planning a birthday dinner with the promise of local cheese. Not much can make this locavore happier. Trying to stay positive (and avoid the jitters) about the year ahead, I also took time to draft a list of 24 things I hope to see happen this year. Some about food, some about the garden, all are about learning. I look forward to sharing them with all of you.

24 Things I Hope Happen in Year 24

  1. I ride my bike more.  Wait…let’s be honest, I actually start riding my bike.
  2. I make Julia Child’s epic Pâté de Canard en Croûte and overcome my fear of boning a duck.
  3. I visit and write about Whole Grain Milling and Ferndale Market, two local food producers I couldn’t live without. (Made it half-way, Updated 10/10/2011)
  4. A flower finally grows in the heat of my front porch.  (Updated 8/13/2011)
  5. I read all of Michael Pollan’s work and know enough to defend/criticize his arguments.
  6. Someone creates a local substitute for lemon juice.  It’s one of the few ingredients I haven’t been able to live without.
  7. I knit something larger than a dish towel. (A big fancy baby afghan for a shower on 4/13/2012)
  8. I see the sunrise and sunset on the same day in Yellowstone National Park.  (Updated 9/25/2011)
  9. I can…like serious pantry-stocked, you name it I’ve got it pickled and preserved, canning.  (Updated 9/28/2011)
  10. I break more bread with friends.
  11. I can actually make the homemade bread to break with friends.  I’m a master of the dinner roll, but shape it in a loaf and things fall apart.
  12. I grow the blog to a hundred or so followers every day.  If this happens, the writing is at least mediocre and I’ve likely exhausted  all efforts of tactless self-promotion.
  13. A second community garden is started in Railroad Island and there is more movement towards adding a St. Paul local food hub.
  14. I visit Duluth and dream about my Lake Superior farm and vineyard.  (Updated 2/20/12)
  15. I learn how to take better macro photos with my camera.  It’s not so easy to create a photo that looks so good you want to lick the monitor.
  16. My writing helps one or one hundred people decide to eat more locally. I’m all about empowerment.
  17. I hook up our townhouse complex with a composting system and teach the neighbors how to make dirt.
  18. The Twin Cities Coop Tour gets a few backyard chickens on every block in St. Paul (and I get to see it!)
  19. I grow a pie and not botch the crust it goes in. (Updated 9/6/2011)
  20. The Police Memorial Garden we’ve adopted looks like it has finally had a year of love and affection.
  21. Public radio becomes as cool and trendy as I think it is.
  22. I know enough about local plants to harvest a meal or at least a salad from Swede Hollow Park.
  23. I am better at discernment.  Knowing what I need and what I want and how to tell the difference.
  24. There’s a little more local food love to spread around this time next year.



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