Independence Days #5

I’m following along with Sharon Astyk’s “Independence Days” project, which started a few 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 fifth 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

Bought eight annual gazania plants, which will cheerily bloom through frosts into Oct or Nov but haven’t planted them yet. Looked for some herbs and veggies to plant in replacement of what I’ve harvested or am about to harvest, but didn’t find anything worth buying.

gazania – 14 July
  • Harvest something: harvest, forage or glean

Need to harvest peas, garlic (probably), and arugula but haven’t done it yet. Probably today or tomorrow for all of those. Still no cukes on plants, though flowers on one. Summer squash very tiny so far. Basil being eaten by something other than us. T harvested more raspberries yesterday and made a raspberry-rhubarb pie with those and some rhubarb from a friend. A friend gave us some of her Swiss chard.

  • Preserve something: food or local community resources

I didn’t preserve anything but our friend who gathered our elderflowers recently brought us some honey she had infused with them, which was a lovely light floral flavour.

Continued effort to preserve sanity by visiting a public garden for the day on Friday (Bedrock Gardens, Lee, NH).

  • Waste Not: reduce waste, reuse, salvage, repair, give away to an actual person

T retrofitted a second nightstand drawer to give the nightstands more functionality. We took some magazines to the library for someone else to read. We looked in awe at the salvaged metal at Bedrock Gardens both already reimagined for sculptures and awaiting the creative process. Used bedroom A/C for a couple of nights for first time this season and it’s off again now, though probably will be back on this week with highs in the 80s and lows not reaching below 60F. Borrowing lots of library books (vs. buying books).

small portion of metal and other salvage at Bedrock Gardens – 15 July
  • Want Not: food and emergency supplies, increase economic security, reorganize to use/waste less

Stocked up on tick spray, hard-to-find varieties of cat food, motion camera batteries.

  • Eating The Food: shop the pantry, new recipes, creative use of leftovers, help feed others

We’re trying to keep up with the raspberry production. I sautéed the Swiss chard we were given with pine nuts and garlic for dinner last night. We’ve actually been eating out at restaurants (outside only) more recently for lunch or dinner, now that there’s hospitable weather.

dinner out on 14 July
  • Caregiving/Mutual Aid: contribute to community support systems, volunteer, mutual aid, advocate

Keeping in touch with a handful of friends undergoing unusually challenging times. Made small donation to local community center for community kitchen.

  • Skill up:  particularly if they help us get along, grow, make our new reality better

Nothing new here — made extensive use of PlantNet at Bedrock Gardens, and making continued use of Merlin (also recommended it to five or six people this week) to learn bird sounds and understand which birds live here or visit here.

12 July
  • Tend & Maintain: cleaning stuff, replacing supplies, car or bike maintenance, stuff to prevent failure/breaking/hassle down the line

T changed oil in my car. I mowed small backyard — for the third time this year; I’m letting the clover and other lawn flowers grow as long as I can. Weeding sensitive fern, bittersweet, and other plants that take over. We’re in a moderate drought now, so watering veg garden and new/transplanted plants pretty much every day, which can take an hour. Using rain barrel water and other collected rainwater for some of that. Worked out (w/weights) for three hours this week.

  • Winter is coming: making our relationships, family life, home, community, immediate surroundings, jobs better for a long and hard upcoming year or few years

Participated in permaculture Zoom meeting on Thursday, though it was a small group, to talk about permaculture principle #7, Integrate Rather Than Segregate. Met with friend for coffee for 2 hours outside at local bakery on Wednesday. Ran into four friends and neighbours on Thursday and Saturday (outside) and caught up a bit. Going to friend’s 85th birthday party (outside) this afternoon, where there will be many people I know. Walked around town three times this week. Stopped briefly at Old Ford event yesterday at local car museum, where T volunteers.

featured image: we got rain on 12 July

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