I’m following along with Sharon Astyk’s “Independence Days” project, which started a couple weeks ago. It’s a “10-week exercise [that] builds community, accountability and solidarity as we work to make our lives better now and for the future[,] … a way of keeping track of the work we’re doing to get ourselves through the current hard times, and prepare for hard times to come.” It’s a framework for recognising what we’re already doing and perhaps motivate or inspire us to do more things to build resilience, community, hope, a better world.
Each Friday, Sharon posts what she’s done in each of the categories below (here’s her second post). I’ll try to do the same. Even though today is Sunday. Many of the items are (or could be) related to gardening, so it seems to fit here. (Equally, none of them has to do with gardening. They’re all multifaceted.)
- Plant something: plant, start something
I planted a lot the week of the 12th; this week, with higher heat, has been all about watering the plants and doing welfare checks. A small serviceberry tree arrived from the native plant folks (friends kindly picked it up with their order) but I won’t plant it until at least tomorrow, when temps should drop by 10 degrees or more and we’re forecast for rain instead of the unrelenting blazing sun. I did replace a few vegetable starts that didn’t make it with two cukes and two basil.
- Harvest something: harvest, forage or glean
I harvested some garlic scapes. Took a bunch to a vegan-ish friend on Friday and yesterday I cut a few to add to a pasta-arugula-chicken (soy for me, animal for spouse) dish. I should have used more in that dish as they were barely detectable sautéed with the arugula in oil, butter, and black pepper. There are still about 20 scapes ready to harvest, which will probably become pesto.
I also harvested two heads of romaine lettuce of the nine I planted; temps over the weekend hit 85F, under bright sun, and lettuce is wilting a bit. This next week will be in the mid-70s to 80, except for Friday when we’re looking at 90, so probably the rest of the lettuce, plus the arugula, will come out soon, giving way to the planting of more cucumber starts, herbs, and annual flowers. And I’d still like to get beans in the ground.
I could have harvested the first pea today but it’s not quite ready. Maybe tomorrow.
- Preserve something: food or local community resources
No preservation occurred this week, other than buying local.
- Waste Not: reduce waste, reuse, salvage, repair, give away to an actual person
Lots of composting going on now. Also lots of library book reading. Ate every bit of the delicious Indian food we picked up on Wednesday, for meals Wed, Thurs, and Friday nights.
- Want Not: food and emergency supplies, increase economic security, reorganize to use/waste less
Stocked up on vinegar, teas, pastas, nuts and dried fruits, canned tuna, vitamins, health & beauty items, cat treats.
- Eating The Food: shop the pantry, new recipes, creative use of leftovers, help feed others
Used some tri-coloured rotini that was stamped with a Jan 2022 “use by” date! Made recipes using garlic scapes and arugula, locally abundant now. Using lots of luscious local strawberries on my cereal in the morning. Ate most of a local cucumber (that had lived in the “crisper” too long) just before it got mushy, which is not typical of me.
- Caregiving/Mutual Aid: contribute to community support systems, volunteer, mutual aid, advocate
Our salon group on Friday included a member who had been hospitalised for the previous two weeks for major surgery — she was able to Zoom in with us for almost the whole two hours! It was good to catch up face-to-face without fear of transmitting any germs to her. The permaculture group this week was small (5 people ) but we did a satisfying deep dive into permaculture principle #4, “apply self-regulation and accept feedback.” I put a bug in a friend’s ear about giving some fruit plants that have to be transplanted to another (mutual) friend who is in need of fruit plants; we’ll see what transpires.
- Skill up: particularly if they help us get along, grow, make our new reality better
I broke my toe ten days ago and am becoming skilled in walking on it without overdoing it, after doing too much on this past Friday, and also figuring out how to wrap it and which shoes are best.
Still avidly using Merlin for bird calls, though I’m not adept at knowing what I’m hearing for the most part. Merlin heard an indigo bunting multiple times on my RT 3-mile walk on Friday, and I tried to find it in the thicket of 3-yr-old trees from whence the call seemed to emanate but couldn’t. Still, that was exciting and for a few minutes, I knew what an indigo bunting sounded like.
- Tend & Maintain: cleaning stuff, replacing supplies, car or bike maintenance, stuff to prevent failure/breaking/hassle down the line
My husband replaced a suspension spring on my 1998 Civic this week. He also fashioned some kind of bracket to hold a window A/C in a casement window today. He fixed the rain gauge on our weather station. And he put up a homemade fence to keep the filipendula from flopping all over the pathway and getting caught in the fence gate.
I slathered on SPF lotion to keep from having more dermatological issues in the future (because I’m not going to stay entirely out of the sun, the few months here in NH when the skin beyond my face gets to feel it). I worked out 4 days, even with the toe issue (mostly focused on upper body), and took several walks. I did four loads of laundry, which is a lot for us in a week — two clothing (tick spray/threat and heat causing us to change clothes more often), one towels, and one bed sheets. I also did a lot of garden watering — every day except one, for 45 mins per day — plus fairly heavy pruning and some light weeding.
- Winter is coming: making our relationships, family life, home, community, immediate surroundings, jobs better for a long and hard upcoming year or few years
Besides my group interactions, I had two 45-min conversations with two friends this week, one in my driveway, the other in my sunroom. Ordered a birthday present for my sister and birthday flowers for a friend. Wrote some lengthy emails to non-local friends. Got food from four local restaurants/cafes/beer gardens this week. Attended Dharma Sunday via Zoom last Sunday.
Featured image (top): communed with the cat in the sunroom quite a bit this week