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

I bought some things to plant (three perennials) at a plant sale on Saturday, does that count? They will go in tomorrow. The peas are coming along; two of the rows seems fully emerged, the middle one doesn’t — maybe 2/3 emerged — so I may push a few more pea seeds into the dirt soon.

Found a new trail to walk, in Boscawen NH, and went there on Wednesday.

Fishing season started for my husband, who was out on streams Friday and Saturday.

  • Harvest something: harvest, forage or glean

Harvested chives for husband’s salmon-on-bagel meal.

  • Preserve something: food or local community resource

Preserved local resources: Bought goodies at local bakery on Wednesday and ate outside there on Thursday and Friday. On Saturday, bought hanging baskets at a local nursery and three perennials at a plant sale held by The Fells in Newbury.

Preserved sanity: Several trail walks this week, on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and walked in town on Tues., Thursday, and Friday. Also walked through two plant nurseries this week, which is cheering.

native plant section at local nursery – 13 May
  • Waste Not: reduce waste, reuse, salvage, repair, give away to an actual person

Husband mended a pillowcase and a napkin on Thursday. I bought a hiking shirt, nice casual pants, tights, and a fancy wedding clutch at the local consignment store mostly using the money in my account from consigning clothes and household items we no longer wanted.

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


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

Had leftovers on Monday, Wed., and Sunday. Grilled kabobs of Old Bay shrimp, pepper, and onion on Saturday, served over jasmine rice, and decided we liked that enough to make it a regular summer meal.

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

Our next-door neighbour took some brush to the brush dump for us on Tuesday. Husband helped paint interior of a building at the local car museum on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

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

Husband learned to use a power broom while working at the car museum on Tuesday.

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

Husband power-washed the front and side of the house on Monday, Thursday, and Friday, and he put up the sunroom screen door on Friday. He cleaned the shower fan and fan cover on Friday, and he went to the dump on Sunday.

I vacuumed and cleaned the shower and toilets on Tuesday. I watered the kale, peas, and arugula most days (no rain this week) and refilled the bird bath, and I also gardened for three hours on Monday (pruning and weeding).

Husband took the cat to get his nails trimmed on Monday.

  • 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 sent a digital birthday card to a friend on Friday. Send a gift card to a friend for her birthday on Wed. Texted with my sister on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Poetry group met on Tuesday in person (7 of us on screened porch) for 1.5 hours, lots of laughter and interesting discussion. Permaculture group (5 of us) met on Zoom on Thursday to talk about water and watering in the garden. Salon met in person (4 of us) on a screened porch on Friday, with another (in CO) joining us by Zoom. I attended Dharma Sunday on Zoom (along with over 100 others, plus some folks in person at Wonderwell), for talk and meditation on rewilding the soul.

The house is looking better thanks to my husband’s powerwashing this week. It’s been nice to have the screendoor in the sunroom and to grill food outside (and to eat outside at the bakery and soon at other restaurants). We also got a burn permit this week for our new (Xmas) Solo stove, so we can have evening campfires later this spring or in the summer.

Soon the yard will be cleaned up and some new perennials, shrubs, trees, annuals, and veggies planted. The crabapples and azaleas are just starting to flower, and the lilacs too soon if the 28F forecast for this coming Wednesday night doesn’t kill the blooms, or if we get out there with plastic to cover them. Winter is still partly with us, I guess. But, I got a lovely garden hose for Mother’s Day on Sunday, so spring must also be here.

Featured image: some birds Merlin heard while we were woods walking on Monday.

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