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.

I’ve modified Sharon’s categories to match my own life and community; I may continue to tinker with the framework as time goes on.

  • Plant something: plant, start something

No actual plants planted — that will be next week.
Made bus and train reservations for a trip with friends for Aug/Sept on Monday. Signed up for Threads, the new sort of Instagram Twitter, on Wed., and am enjoying it

  • Harvest something: harvest, forage, glean, or bring to fruition

First pea harvest — 16 pods — on Tuesday. We ate them standing up at the kitchen island.

Fortunately, the farmstand had lots of fresh peas this week!

There are more and more hazelnuts on the shrubs, which will probably be eaten by an animal other than us if history is any guide.

Friend moving made us all take a “parting gift” from a party at her place on Sunday night; I took a super cute canning jar.

On Tuesday, my husband set up TV and DVD given to us by same friend (a couple weeks ago) to use for working out.

  • Preserve something: food, local community resources

Preserved local resources: Ate outside with a friend for lunch at a local restuarant on Wednesday.

My husband and I ate dinner outside at another local restaurant on Thursday night. Shopped at the regional locally owned co-op on Friday. Had lunch outside at local bakery on Sunday. Shopped at local farmstand on Wed. Bought sourdough bread from someone on a local Facebook group on Thursday.

  • Waste Not: reduce waste, reuse, salvage & repair, give away

Had our septic pump replaced on Wednesday. Husband had done electrical improvements prior to that to make it all work.

  • Keep Stocked Up: food and emergency supplies, financial resources, and experiences that make life worth living

Kept stocked up on happy experiences: lunch with a friend outside on Wed. (including a town walk there and back), a small permaculture potluck get-together on Thursday morning, and a small going-away party for a friend on Sunday evening.

Thursday get-together
Sunday evening get-together (and friend who is moving away)

Also, a walk around the lake on Monday,

a walk at the bog on Friday,

and walks on two local trails on Saturday

My salon group didn’t meet this week but plans to next week. I called my sister on her birthday on Wednesday and caught up for a half-hour, and also emailed and texted with several friends.

Financially, not a good week, with the septic repair, half of the lodging payment for the trip in Aug/Sept, and a tooth crown — but the septic repair was much less than it could have been, and the crown was paid for with my HSA account, so all in all, not as painful as it might have been and I’m glad I’ve been paying the max into the HSA every year.

I stocked up this week on bulk bottled artichokes, a favourite and very versatile food.

  • Food Stuff: learn new food skills, try new recipes, use what’s available in the pantry, use what’s grown/made locally and what’s seasonal

Made a frittata with asparagus (asparagus from farmstand but not locally grown) for our Wednesday dinner and for the Thursday potluck. Used our garlic scapes in a veggie sauté (with grilled soy hot dog) on Tuesday.

Had dinner out on Thursday, at which I ordered something I’d never had before,

lobster ravioli with shrimp, spinach, tomatoes in garlic butter sauce

and husband ate my restaurant leftovers on Friday for dinner while I made one of our typical summer salads of canned tuna, cucumbers, carrot, hard-boiled egg, olives, peppers, fresh peas, etc., for me and we both had what was left of that on Saturday night along with veggie burgers.

typical summer salad with tuna

Didn’t need to make dinner on Sunday because of the potluck party, to which we brought mixed nuts, green grapes, and giant chewy chocolate chip cookies (from the local bakery).

  • Be Neighbourly: contribute to community support systems, look for ways to help neighbours

Husband volunteered at local car museum on Thursday only this week (they were closed for 4th of July) for 5.5 hours. I made plans to look in on a friend’s cat one day while she’s away next week and went over to her place on Friday morning to see where everything was.

Our neighbours who are moving (to their lake house, not too far away) put their house up for sale on Thursday and gave my husband and me a tour of it that afternoon, which was really nice of them. I’d only seen a bit of the interior previously, and the house was interesting and in impeccable shape.

  • Skill up: learn new things, especially skills or knowledge that remind us of our place in the natural world and within the social fabric

I gardened for a few hours, in between rain and get-togethers and eating outside, but I forgot to note how much and when. One of the things I did was cut all the old hydrangea stalks to use as garden stakes later.

These piles of weeds and prunings every few feet are what happen when I go out to take photos in the yard.

Took photos of some butterflies and plants on walks and had them identified at iNaturalist. Used the Merlin app on a couple of walks to ID bird calls.

  • Tend & Maintain: maintenance of our bodies, minds, and relationships to keep us resilient; and doing what’s needed in the house, yard, and elsewhere to prevent failure/breaking/hassle down the line

I got a tooth crown (the temporary one) on Friday, my first, where I had an old filling and some new decay, and it was painless and easy (for me, anyway; the dentistry seems like an artisan skill to me).

Obligatory shot of the dental office waiting room, almost always empty (because of excellent scheduling).

Husband got a tetanus booster on Friday. He also installed the air conditioner in our bedroom window, on Wednesday, for cooling and dehumidifying. He mowed the lawn on Monday. I cleaned the cat’s litter box thoroughly on Thursday, and on Sunday I spent two hours cleaning out my desk.

  • Winter is coming: noticing Earth’s seasons and our own seasons of life and daily rhythms, and looking ahead to what’s needed now to make life better in the future

The rain, it accumulates, almost 3 inches this week, though we did get a few sunny days or partially sunny days, too. It really hasn’t felt much like summer since the start of June with so much rain. Temperatures, between lows and highs, ranged from 59°F and 89°F this week, and the humidity was high throughout. A lot more precip is forecast through the end of July, much more than is typical here (3-4 inches per month in summer is typical), which makes me think about how we can handle that in the future — especially the septic system, and the veggies and other plants that are sun-loving (my tomatoes are very stunted and slugs continue to munch basil, beans, kale, etc.) or need well-drained soil. I also wonder if the soggy ground around the tall pines behind us is making them unstable. We haven’t had much wind, but all this rain with the addition of high winds could cause them to fall in our yard or on our house.

We are trying to take advantage of mornings and afternoons without rain to eat outside at local restaurants and to grill here at home. We’re also trying to fit in walks on trails and other spots that aren’t flooded or very soggy. It’s been a challenge.

© False Knees

We all enjoy the sunroom … and sunny spots … on days when there’s sun.

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