I followed along with Sharon Astyk’s now-completed “Independence Days” project, which ran for 10 weeks, from 17 June to 26 August 2022 as an “exercise [to build] community, accountability and solidarity” with a focus on making “our lives better now and for the future.” It offered a framework for recognising what we’re already doing and to inspire us to do more to build resilience, community, hope, a better world.
Each week, Sharon posted what she’d accomplished in each of the categories below, and so did others of us. Although Sharon’s finished with this project, I’m continuing the practice for now.
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
Started my Write 31 Days project on my blog; the theme is TIL (Today I Learned). So far, I’m up to date on it. Garlic and fritillaria bulbs will probably be planted this week. A friend gave me some plants yesterday — perennial arugula, Japanese anemone (w/ tagalong daylily), and variegated Solomon’s seal — which will be planted this week.
- Harvest something: harvest, forage or glean
Harvested some parsley, chives, thyme, and a few more cherry tomatoes this week.
- Preserve something: food or local community resources.
Nothing preserved from garden. Eventually, parsley will be (frozen). Helped preserve local resources by shopping a few times at the farmstand and buying from local bakery. Preserved sanity with some time alone while husband away fishing on Wed/Thurs (also how he preserved his sanity).
Walked three trails over the weekend, plus a long walk in town on Wednesday and another on Friday.
- Waste Not: reduce waste, reuse, salvage, repair, give away to an actual person
Husband repaired a wheel control wire today on the robotic vacuum (after manufacturer sent a part that was damaged in transit). He unclogged the bathroom sink on Saturday, and on Friday he fixed a window blind (requiring cutting) and repaired his chain saw chain. I did none of the things.
- Want Not: food and emergency supplies, increase economic security, reorganize to use/waste less
I called on Monday to cancel another digital newspaper subscription (Boston Globe) and got an almost 60% reduced rate for another year, which works for me.
- Eating The Food: shop the pantry, new recipes, creative use of leftovers, help feed others
I made a new creamy broccoli pasta dish on Tuesday (leftovers for two more nights), a new leek & potato soup on Wednesday (some went to neighbours, the rest lasted us 3 nights), and made a new shrimp & corn chowder today.
- Caregiving/Mutual Aid: contribute to community support systems, volunteer, mutual aid, advocate
Husband volunteered twice with car museum, once on Tuesday and again for a very well attended community event on Saturday. He also helped friends take down a dead tree in their yard on Friday. I made soup for friends with a serious medical situation on Wed., and we both visited them for a while last Monday (husband made baguette to take to them). A friend gave me some of her plants yesterday and I gave her some of my peach bread.
- Skill up: particularly if they help us get along, grow, make our new reality better
Thanks to incessant use of Merlin app, I seem to be starting to recognise woodpecker, flicker, and nuthatch calls, hawk calls, and how to tell a raven’s calls from a crow’s. I’m also realising how many different calls and songs a white-throated sparrow has. I can now visually recognise a kinglet (ruby-crowned, mostly, including females), having seen them around here in the spring and now again in the fall. My viburnum-recognition skills are improving, too. I’m not getting any better at using WordPress blocks.
- Tend & Maintain: cleaning stuff, replacing supplies, car or bike maintenance, stuff to prevent failure/breaking/hassle down the line
It was another busy cleaning week for me for some reason, particularly on Saturday when I spent a few hours replacing the bird silhouettes on windows (to prevent them striking the windows) with freshly printed versions, removing the old scotch tape from the windows (ugh), and cleaning 18 or so windows on the inside and a couple on the outside. (Still plenty more dirty ones.)
Husband re-affixed the parachute cords today on the downstairs windows’ exteriors, another effort to help keep birds from hitting them (the cords get tangled and/or detach over time).
He also drained the garden hoses for winter. I tidied my main desk and my kitchen desk. Worked out three times (3 hours) plus many walks (tending and maintaining the body). Bought a mum and white pumpkins for outdoor decor.
- Winter is coming: making our relationships, family life, home, community, immediate surroundings, jobs better for a long and hard upcoming year or few years.
Went to poetry group meeting (outside) on Tuesday, which was very connecting and worthwhile.
Permaculture group met via Zoom on Thursday (5 of us) to start discussing Margaret Roach’s book The Backyard Parables. Salon group met in person (4 of us in person, one on Zoom) on Friday. Connected with friends in Hurricane Ian’s path. Visited briefly with friend in Concord when we went to pick up plants from her yesterday and enjoyed her garden,
and we spent time with some friends who are having a difficult time on Monday. Husband spent time with our friends while helping remove their tree Friday, and he and another friend who also has a vintage vehicle took a drive and had lunch on Saturday.
The cat (and I) are well aware that winter is coming.
Featured image: lots of colour on the highway nearby yesterday