The days are getting shorter and colder, so I thought it might be a good time to take stock of where I am in my self sufficiency journey and hopefully get some guidance of where to go from here from the more experienced folks in the room. Figured that writing it out will make me more accountable next year I had some successes and failures. I know I have a ton to learn, but at least I got some of it out of the way this year. I would say my biggest successes were 1. Realizing that change in my life was necessary for my future and my kids future. The American lifestyle was great and easy to maintain while we were so far ahead of the rest of the world, but as the rest of the world starts to catch up and America either rests on its laurels or actively goes backwards I believe it is foolish to believe that the lifestyle so many of us have been accustomed to is not going to change. We either change with it or get left behind ourselves. 2. My wife and I built Ghetto Coop v1.0 from mostly scavenged pallets and wood, along with a chain link run that we got for the low cost of getting rid of it for someone else. We now have a flock of 8 hens, three of which have started laying. All the girls survived the summer. I will have to re-evaluate this success after winter is over, since I have never kept chickens in my life, but I feel pretty good about where we are now on the chicken front. 3. Paid off all credit card debt. I did not have all that much, but I feel much lighter knowing that interest is not accruing on cards for no good reason. I maintain a credit card that accumulates Amazon points, but I pay it off every month before the interest hits. My biggest failures 1. Learned something about crop rotation, or at least what happens when you ignore it. I planted tomatoes in the same area I had for the past few years (likely too close together too) and experienced a good deal of blossom end rot on my tomaters. The chickens ate a ton as a result, and I didn't end up canning like I had planned. My cucumbers fell victim to powdery mildew as well, ruining my dreams of dill pickles, so I am going to need to get that sorted out as well. 2. I made a potato box this year. I ended up with about 17 potatoes, many of which were the most pathetic excuse for potatoes you have ever seen. They were delicious in the stew I made with them though. I like the potato box idea, but I am going to figure out a better way to go about it. I think I need to thin out the soil some with straw, and I want to look into making a PVC watering system to make sure the seed taters are getting their water. 3. My wife and I got these grand ideas about moving out of the city. We jumped right in and found a piece of property that looked just right and then got our hopes dashed when the bank would not finance us because we were late on one credit card payment months before due to a simple oversight. In retrospect, this was good, because it forced us to re-evaluate our debt situation. In addition, we were moving too fast. If I cannot get a decent size garden to produce good crops on my tiny piece of land, what would happen when I jumped right in on a four acre plot? As a result, I am going to do heavy planning this winter for my spring crops and get my soil right. If I am going to be a self sufficency farmer, I had better do it small scale successfully before I jump in on a larger scale. Thanks for listening to me babble! If anyone has any suggestions, like a Ferengi, I am all ears!