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 eighth 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

No planting on the hottest days of the summer. Watering veggies and new plants for about an hour most days.

trying to keep the basil alive with watering – 2 Aug.
  • Harvest something: harvest, forage or glean

Harvested all the arugula, some cherry tomatoes, enough basil for an omelet, two small cucumbers, a few peaches to ripen inside. Harvested the last 22 heads of garlic and set to dry.

final garlic harvest – 7 Aug.
  • Preserve something: food or local community resources

Nope, nothing preserved (though garlic will be stored), but did get local takeout on Tuesday (which we ate leftovers from all week), met a friend for late breakfast at local café on Wednesday, bought local eggs on Thursday, bought local corn, cucumbers, and shishito peppers on Thursday at farmstand — helping to preserve local farmers and businesses.

local café – 3 Aug
  • Waste Not: reduce waste, reuse, salvage, repair, give away to an actual person

Husband flipped a collar on a shirt. We turned two takeout meals into 8 meals. Collected water from two rains this week (almost 1.5 inches total) in rain barrel and three buckets and used some of it to water plants outside. Drove my car about 8 miles total.

  • Want Not: food and emergency supplies, increase economic security, reorganize to use/waste less

Stocking up on various supplies. Using up older rice and organising it chronologically. Sadly, all our hazelnuts (many dozen) were eaten in a single night by someone (bear?).

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

Added items (peppers, onions, peas, chard, shrimp, rice) to takeout leftovers to stretch them. Used chard given to us by a friend last week. Using our arugula, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and eating our first peaches. Gave some peaches and cherry tomatoes to friends. Hard-boiled and used surprise extra dozen eggs in omelets. Used up (grilling and frying) both packages of hot dogs (beef and soy) before they could go bad, a rare feat.

  • Caregiving/Mutual Aid: contribute to community support systems, volunteer, mutual aid, advocate

Husband drove antique car from car museum in local parade on Saturday (after he got it running) and volunteered several hours there this week. Lending emotional and/or practical support to family and friends with serious medical conditions and procedures. Picked up litter on my assigned route in town for an hour on Tuesday.

town parade – 6 Aug.
litter picked up – 2 Aug.
  • Skill up: particularly if they help us get along, grow, make our new reality better

Meditated today, which I think always helps “make our new reality better.”

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

Mowed lawn for 4th or 5th time this season today (I ran into hornets’ nest in my small section, so T took over to finish). I cleaned out birdbaths (one long overdue) and refreshed their water on Thursday and also weeded the front brick walkway and much of the patio then. And, same day, I watered the houseplants, something I tend to forget — all alive! Worked out three times, took a couple longish walks around town and some short ones. Attended Dharma Sunday today.

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

I mentioned the wood deal with neighbours in last week’s post; this week, husband spent several hours on three mornings cutting and splitting the wood (still about half to go). Went to friend’s for Salon group on Friday. Zoomed with permaculture friends on Thursday. Ate outside at café with friend on Wednesday. Chatted with neighbours on Monday for a bit and with another neighbour today. Long email to friend yesterday.

featured image: spending a lot of time just walking around the garden looking at things, like the hummingbirds

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