I’m following along with Sharon Astyk’s “Independence Days” project, which started several 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 seventh 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

Planted eight gazania flowers on Tuesday, which will last through frosts into at least October, maybe November.

gazania on 8th Nov. 2017
  • Harvest something: harvest, forage or glean

Harvested another squash, a bunch of cherry tomatoes, and about 20 garlic heads (25 more to go). Ate some raspberries in the yard. Ate blackberries and blueberries at Laudholm Farm in Wells Maine, while on a short trip there. Gleaning (sort of): We now have about 1/3 of a cord of firewood from our neighbours who were cutting down some black cherry and maple trees.

blueberries at Laudholm Farm – 27 July
wood from neighbour’s trees – 31 July
  • Preserve something: food or local community resources

Shopped at the local farmstand for their own green beans, corn, cucumbers, shishito peppers, et al. (helping to preserve local food growers). Continued to preserve sanity and good cheer by travelling, this time to coastal southern Maine for three days (Wells, Kennebunk, and Ogunquit), walking trails, walking beaches, and eating all meals outside. Also took a long walk around town yesterday.

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

My husband repaired the spinner in the dishwasher, which had come apart. I reduced waste (gas, car wear and tear) by walking about 3 miles RT to do most of my errands on Saturday. Friend gave us lots of Swiss chard, which she grows but doesn’t really like.

dishwasher spinner repaired – 30 July
  • Want Not: food and emergency supplies, increase economic security, reorganize to use/waste less

Stocked up on monkeypox treatments/comforts (lidocaine, popsicles), protein bars, dried fruit (apricots and pears), and nuts, and added to the cat’s stockpile of food, treats, and litter. Bought more white vinegar. Dug around in the back of the fridge for the oldest butters (expired April 2022) to use now.

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

Eating the zucchini and summer squash neighbours gave us. Soon will cook up the chard that friend gave us. And, dare I say, our peaches are almost ready to begin picking and eating, preserving, and giving away. Grilled shishito peppers for the first time!

shishitos grilled and seared for dinner – 30 July
  • Caregiving/Mutual Aid: contribute to community support systems, volunteer, mutual aid, advocate

As mentioned above, this weekend we (mostly not me) traded with neighbours labour and chain saw expertise for firewood and hauling away of invasive plants: husband helped cut down a bunch of cherry trees and some maple trees on neighbour’s property and in exchange we got about 1/3 cord firewood for winter plus the hauling away to the brush dump of loads of bittersweet and glossy buckthorn we had previously removed and let dry/die. A two-day project and well worth it from our standpoint.

cutting and moving wood – 31 July
  • Skill up:  particularly if they help us get along, grow, make our new reality better

Hmm. No.

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

Watering veggies and new plants ad nauseum, though we did get .65 inches of rain on Thursday. I vacuumed, spot cleaned carpet, mopped kitchen and bathrooms, and cleaned surfaces for almost two hours on Tuesday, which is unusual. Backed up laptop on Tuesday (first time since March, yikes).

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

Happily hung out with friends at a friend’s lake house (in screened porch) on Tuesday evening. Husband volunteered at local car museum on Tuesday. Spent time with neighbour today. Chatted with two friends I ran into while running errands yesterday. Neighbours gave us garden veggies on Monday, friend gave us chard on Friday.

featured image: honeydrop cherry tomatoes

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