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

We visited Canterbury Shaker Village in Canterbury, NH, for the first time ever on Wednesday. Just walked around outside the buildings and on the three mill trails. The weather was beautiful (rain came later in the day), the birds and frogs were singing and calling, and it was a lovely low-key field trip. Also stopped by Petals in the Pines, the creation of a permaculture friend, to walk trails and buy some delicious homemade Swedish almond cake.

I hope to do a separate post about the Canterbury Shaker Village field trip, but here are a few photos:

And below are some of the bird species we heard/saw there (+ scarlet tanager not recorded but seen). Merlin heard 33 species, but we’re pretty sure that the common nighthawk, killdeer, and osprey were actually the mockingbird, whom we watched go through a rousing playlist, and the mockingbird may also be responsible for the white-breasted nuthatch and Carolina wren.

Picked up my pre-ordered veggie starts from Foundwell Farm in Pembroke, NH, on Saturday morning, and mistakenly ended up with someone else’s order as well. When I called to arrange their return, Ayn told me to keep them, gratis! My vegetable garden is too small for so many plants, so I’ve found new homes for all of them. I planted the parsley, a couple of borage, and three nasturtiums on Sat., along with a couple of petunias a friend had given me. The three tomatoes and three basil plants may go in this coming week.

Foundwell Farm – 27 May

I mowed the small fenced backyard for the first time this year on Sunday evening, after the bees were finished with the ajuga, forget-me-nots, dandelions, etc.

ajuga et al. before mowing – 28 May
  • Harvest something: harvest, forage or glean

My husband gleaned a working LL Bean weather station for $1 from the big Memorial weekend yard sale on Saturday. A friend gave us a 26-inch flat-screen TV and a dvd player.

items “gleaned” – 26 and 27 May
  • Preserve something: food or local community resource

Preserved local resources: Bought produce from local farmstand on Monday and Tuesday. Bought goodies from local bakery on Wednesday. Ate lunch/dinner (nachos, Reuben, drinks) outside at local restaurant on Friday afternoon. Attended local microbrewery’s beer garden on Saturday afternoon (brought leftover Reuben and a homemade tuna salad on arugula). Bought an ice cream cone at local ice cream shop on Saturday.

Preserved sanity: Canterbury field trip on Wednesday, lake walk on Sunday, long in-town walks on Monday and Tuesday, shorter walks on Thursday and Friday, spent about 4 hours on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday in the garden. We wandered around for an hour or so in Sunapee Harbor on Saturday afternoon, where we met a 160 lb English mastiff and had our first ice cream cone of the season.

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

Gave away my excess veggie starts on Sunday to a neighbour (peppers and broccoli) and a friend (tomatoes).

On Sunday, my husband repaired the BMW’s wiper relay (it failed on Wednesday) and he greased his stationary bike’s crank bearings to give it a smoother ride. He also took in (sewed) some pajamas of his that have always been too large.

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

Returned a shirt I’d ordered that just didn’t look the way I expected on Tuesday, instead of keeping it and hoping I’d change my mind 🙂 (Another shirt I ordered at the same time was perfect.)

Spent an hour on Monday in “chat” with Anthem trying to find out why a claim was denied and whether I could likely successfully appeal; think I got to the bottom of it and now understand how that lab work needs to be coded in future to be covered.

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

Had augmented leftovers (cacio e pepe with shrimp, local spinach, and local asparagus) on Monday and Tuesday, local asparagus and noodles + fresh peas (me) / asparagus and sandwich (husband) on Wed. I made six crabcakes on Thursday, using the crab on the “best used by” date (whew!), which we had with asparagus that night and Saturday night, cleverly using some tartar sauce we brought home from a restaurant lunch out last week. On Friday we ate a late lunch/early dinner outside at a local restaurant (husband had leftovers for Sat. and Sun. lunches, with more still left), and on Sunday we grilled hot dogs (soy dogs for me) and broccolini, with mac & cheese. We enjoyed the Swedish almond cake my friend made for desserts all week, with fresh berries and whipped cream.

I think I ate about 1.5 lbs of fresh English (shelling) peas this week, from the regional co-op; when they’re available locally, I eat them constantly, any time I want a snack.

co-op’s peas! – 26 May
  • Caregiving/Mutual Aid: contribute to community support systems, volunteer, mutual aid, advocate

We’re bringing in mail and watering plants (begonia tubers!) for 11 days for a friend who had knee surgery in Boston on Friday.

My husband helped get things ready for the opening of the local car museum all day on Monday, and half days on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, totalling about 18-19 hours.

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

We learned a bit about the BMW X3 windscreen wiper mechanisms when the wipers suddenly failed in heavy rain on Wednesday afternoon, and husband replaced relay later in the week. I learned new information about my health insurance on Monday.

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

Husband had medical appt. on Tuesday morning. I had dental appt. on Friday morning.

dentist’s waiting room – 26 May

Husband cleaned the riding lawn mower’s battery and sharpened the blade of the electric lawn mower on Sunday.

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

Permaculture met on Zoom with six of us on Thursday, and we actually talked a lot about gardening. Salon met in person on Friday and I got there for the last hour; there were four of us and one spouse attending. Chatted with neighbour in his driveway for about 15 mins on Thursday while I was out walking. It was great to spend a few minutes with my permaculture friend and her husband in Canterbury on Wednesday. Texted and emailed with several friends and neighbours during the week.

High temps have been in the 60s-80°Fs lately, though there’s the possibility of a frost tonight; hoping the petunias I planted this weekend are all right. Next week I’ll be doing more planting of veggies, plus scarlet runner beans (my friend Marion’s, may she rest in peace) and a couple of perennials (beach plum shrub and ‘Cherries’ Jubilee’ baptisia). In February, I pre-ordered 19 native plants — 12 perennials, 5 sedges, and 2 shrubs — from a local nursery, which should be ready for pick-up and then planting by mid-June. Slowly getting the garden cleaned up, pruned of dead wood, weeded, watered as needed, and generally ready for summer.

Leave a Reply