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
On Monday, I planted 19 annuals bought from local farmstand: 3 firecracker cuphea, 8 zinnia, 8 gazania.
On Tuesday I ordered fall bulbs from Fedco: a garlic mix (12 bulbs) + Georgian crystal (3 bulbs), 25 ‘Apricot Parrot’ late tulips, and 3 ‘Aurora Maxima’ crown imperial fritillaria.
And on Wednesday, I ordered more native plants from a local grower; they should be ready for pickup and planting this week:
I tried the “new” vacuum (free from the dump swap table) on Wed.. Vacuumed a few rooms and and it works great! Much lighter than our vintage 1990 Kenmore model, too.
On Monday, sent a cousin’s son and his new wife (married in early June) something from their wedding registry.
- Harvest something: harvest, forage or glean
Nothing harvested or gleaned this week. I’ll be doing some harvesting this coming week.
- Preserve something: food or local community resource
Preserved local resources: Bought plants and produce at local farmstand on Monday and just produce on Wed. Ordered plants from local native plant nursery on Wed. Ate outside at local bakery on Wed. and Sunday.
Preserved sanity: LOTS of rain this week (and just shy of 3.5 inches in the last two weeks), sometimes prolonged and heavy, sometimes pop-up showers, making it difficult to get in longer walks or woods walks (woods very wet). We did take a good walk in town on Monday and another on Thursday; I/we took shorter walks on Tuesday, Wed., Fri., and Sunday. I spent 4-5 hours in the garden this week, weeding, planting, pruning, watering.
Seen on in-town walks:
- Waste Not: reduce waste, reuse, salvage, repair, give away to an actual person
Gave away a cat toy that Bumble never had any interest in — it’s been sitting in the family room for five years — to a friend’s cat, Chelsea, and Chelsea loves it!
- Want Not: food and emergency supplies, increase economic security, reorganize to use/waste less
My husband finally found a workable way to switch cell carriers (from Page Plus to US Mobile) and received the SIM card in the mail to try in his old phone, which he brings when fishing or working on projects that could be hazardous to a phone’s health. It works! This should prevent him dropping his good phone into the river or from atop a ladder, and it’s not expensive — free and unlimited intro promotion for 3 months, then $5/month or so after that, depending on the plan he chooses.
Our subscribe & save arrived on Thursday.
- Eating The Food: shop the pantry, new recipes, creative use of leftovers, help feed others
I made a version of a Niçoise salad on Thursday and Friday for dinner, something I hadn’t thought of in a while. I used local Bibb lettuce, asparagus instead of green beans, fingerling potatoes, kalamata olives, hardboiled eggs, local grape tomatoes, and canned tuna with a bottled Champagne dressing. (The article that prompted me to make it uses a more traditional recipe.)
The rest of the week was packaged Indian meals, with premade pea & potato samosas, boxed papadums, and local cucumbers one night and steamed asparagus the other; breaded haddock with boxed (Near East) garlic-herb rice and fresh local sauteéd spinach one night and broccoli sauteéd with garlic the next night; and grilled shrimp in Old Bay with grilled onion, orange and red bell peppers, and summer squash, over jasmine rice (with leftovers for tomorrow night).
My husband made pancakes one morning and I had local strawberries on top of them (featured image above).
- Caregiving/Mutual Aid: contribute to community support systems, volunteer, mutual aid, advocate
Finished picking up mail and watering plants on Friday for a friend who’s been recovering from knee surgery and is now home. I visited another friend in the hospital on Saturday for 45 mins.
Husband volunteered at local car museum on Tues. and Thurs for a total of 9 or 10 hours.
- Skill up: particularly if they help us get along, grow, make our new reality better
I attended two webinars this week, both worthwhile. On Wed., Jared Barnes, plantsman, with a webinar on (mostly) public gardens he’s visited in the U.S., UK, Europe, demonstrating coherence, legibility, complexity, and mystery as foundational elements in designing and developing a garden; and on Thursday the Cape Cod Preservation Association on “Hanging in the Balance: An Urgent Call for Protecting Cape Cod’s Natural Resources,” particularly its waterways.
- Tend & Maintain: cleaning stuff, replacing supplies, car or bike maintenance, stuff to prevent failure/breaking/hassle down the line
Husband unclogged the bathroom sink and the rain gutters on Monday, and on Wed. he retrofitted the bathroom vanity with stained wooden pieces to keep the cat from getting the ant poison under it. I cleaned two toilets on Sat. and Sun. and I vacuumed several rooms on Wednesday. I weeded and pruned the garden over several hours this week, including two hours pulling out Oriental bittersweet and Virginia creeper vines.
Had my yearly mammogram on Monday (all OK). Worked out three hours, and treadmilled for 2 miles one rainy evening (Sat.).
- Winter is coming: making our relationships, family life, home, community, immediate surroundings, jobs better for a long and hard upcoming year or few years
Attended a library garden party on Sunday with a friend to hear John Forti speak about heirloom gardens. Saw and spoke with a few other friends there. Good food, too.
Talked with my sister by phone on Saturday for a half-hour. Attended poetry group meeting on Tuesday afternoon (five of us). Hosted our permaculture group on Zoom on Thursday morning (six of us), finishing our re-read of Carol Deppe’s The Resilient Gardener and planning some in-person (outdoor) parties and meetings. Attended in-person Salon on Friday afternoon (four of us). Chatted with some friends and neighbours for 5-10 minutes each while on walks. Making plans with a friend for a birthday excursion with her whenever it stops raining every day.
Bumble says hi!