My continuation of Sharon Astyk’s now-completed “Independence Days” project (June-Aug 2022), which offered a framework for recognising how we’re building resiliency, community, and accountability that will make our lives better now and in the future. Many of Sharon’s categories are (or could be) related to gardening, so it seems to fit here on this blog. Equally, none of them has to do with gardening. They’re all multifaceted.

  • Plant something: plant, start something

This week the permaculture group finished one book, Margaret Roach’s The Backyard Parables: Lessons on Gardening, and Life, and started rereading another, The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times, by Carol Deppe, which we read (some of us) as a group ten years ago.

I need to gather the tax information this week for our preparer.

  • Harvest something: harvest, forage or glean

I “harvested” some green beans a friend gave me this summer (from her garden) from the freezer today to use in the vegan curry I made, which I’ll take tomorrow to another friend.

friend’s frozen green beans used today – 19 Feb
  • Preserve something: food or local community resource

Preserved local resources: Bought spinach at local farmstand and goodies from local bakery, both on Friday during an in-town walk.

Preserved sanity: Walked around the lake today, and took two longish in-town walks on Monday and Friday. Ready for the woods to be less icy and muddy.

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

Don’t think so, though an attempt was made with the vacuum cleaner.

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

Masks and Covid tests arrived. Cat’s Chewy order (litter, treats) arrived. My Amazon monthly Subscribe & Save will be delivered this Wed., with more cat treats (!), deodorant, cans of tuna, papadums, birdseed, tea, mouthwash, and some vitamins.

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

I made chana masala, which I hadn’t made in a couple of years, on Monday; had that for a couple of nights. Made ratatouille, also not made in a year or so, for a homebound friend, on Thursday (delivered Friday), and made the same friend vegan curry and rice today for delivery tomorrow; I doubled the recipe to give us enough for a couple of meals, too. I’ve run out of canned beans twice and need to stock up again. Because I have fresh cilantro, bought today, I plan to make black bean soup with sherry in a day or two and use it there, and I’ll hunt up other cilantro-using recipes.

ratatouille ingredients – 15 Feb

My husband made three baguettes on Wed. and took one down to a neighbour/friend.

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

Still making food and taking it to my friend who is housebound, though this could be the last week as she may move to assisted living soon. (It’s 1/2-hour away, which is 20 minutes more than her home now, but I’ll still visit and maybe bring muffins or other small treats.)

This week my sister had some serious medical symptoms and was in hospital in Virginia from Wed-Sat. Fortunately one of her (adult) sons lives close enough to be with her during a surgical procedure on Friday. I stayed in close touch by phone and text.

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

You guessed it, webinars! This week we attended one on “Bird Love” (Maine Audubon) on Tuesday and I attended another on Native Plants for Maine (also ME Audubon) on Wednesday. I learned a lot from the first one but because native plants are sort of in my wheelhouse, most of the second was review and reminder (get beach plum shrubs this year!).

webinars on Bird Love and Native Plants, both through Maine Audubon, 14 & 15 Feb

Husband is still working with (and learning or relearning aspects of) Java for my plant/garden database.

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

Husband used the wetvac to suck all the lint out of the back of my blow dryer on Wed., to ward off near-future burning and melting. He also tried some other brush belts in different sizes on the old Kenmore vacuum on Friday but it’s still having problems. I cleaned out and reorganised all our produce-sized plastic bags (including ziplocks) in a frenzy on Friday. I cleaned out my two main tea mugs on Tuesday and they look great. I worked out 4 hours this week and walked on the treadmill 3 times for a little more than 8 miles (while reading a book).

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

Winter is inexorably beginning to end …. This week, husband visited a neighbour/friend with a baguette on Wed., I spent a fair amount of time on the phone and texting with my sister from Wed. through yesterday, my permaculture group met on Zoom on Thursday morning (6 of us), my husband & I visited my homebound friend for two hours on Thursday afternoon, in the evening we met with college friends (in Baltimore) on Zoom for 45 mins, and on Friday the Salon met, three of us in person and me Zooming in due to inclement weather and sister’s situation.

permaculture group – 16 Feb

Today, we heard the red-winged blackbird back in the marsh by the lake, the first time I think I’ve heard their voices since last July. Snow is receding, though snowstorms are forecast, a few inches perhaps this Tuesday and a potential big storm for Thursday, plus something coming down the pike next week. Still.

at the lake today – 19 Feb

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