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
Nothing planted this week, though a Rose of Sharon sapling, given to us by our neighbours this week, needs to be planted. I’m looking for the right spot.
Harvest something: harvest, forage, glean, or bring to fruition
Harvested a few sungolds and some basil, the latter for a compounded butter to be dolloped onto grilled swordfish on Monday night.
Harvested a bunch of kale for a friend on Saturday. (Forgot to take photo.)
I could harvest parsley but haven’t yet. Most of the tomatoes remain green.
Watching the elderberries and the hazelnuts for ripeness (and hoping a friend will want the elderberries … though I think birds are eating them).
Preserve something: food, local community resources
Preserved community resources: Shopped at local farmstand on Monday and bought treats from local bakery on Thursday and Saturday.
Waste Not: reduce waste, reuse, salvage & repair, give away
My husband repaired (patched) a fitted flannel bedsheet on Tuesday using an old flannel shirt scrap. He repaired a friend’s clock and returned it to her on Saturday, and at the same time replaced the hands and mechanism of a clock of ours. I roasted some cauliflower leftover from last week, cutting off the brownish parts (instead of leaving it in the vegetable bin for a few weeks until I threw it out, as I might have done, knowing me).
We were given a Rose of Sharon cutting by our neighbours on Monday (one of several he cut and grew over the winter).
Keep Stocked Up: with food and emergency supplies, financial resources, and experiences that make life worth living
We’re well-stocked up on most things, with more vitamins, teas, bulk food, cat food, and health supplies on the way. Should probably order firewood soon.
Experiences that make life worth living: A close friend we hadn’t heard from in about nine months called, out of the blue, and when I called her back we talked for about an hour, with plans to get together at her new place in Sept. or Oct.
A friend who recently moved away to Deer Isle, Maine, visited this weekend with her new beau and we spent about two hours having breakfast with them at another mutual friend’s lake cabin on Saturday.
On Sat. night we had dinner with friends in town for 3.5 hours, including music and lots of conversation (see Food, below).
Poetry group met at my house on Tuesday, with five of us in attendance reading our own and others’ poems and enjoying snacks.
I noticed both clearwing moths commonly seen in our area on buddleia on Tuesday for the first time this season, and then again on Wed. on bee balm, plus several other new or rare insects in the yard and on walks.
We walked at the nature park for the first time this year on Sunday (it’s just been so rainy and wet!); lots of fungus popping up, and a goldenrod meadow flourishing there.
Also got in a few other walks in town between rain and forecasted rain. Texted daily this week with my sister, on vacation at the beach with her family, and my other sister and our cousin. Read a few good novels, including The Furrows (2023) by Namwali Serpell and The Locked Room: The Story of a Crime (1972) by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, eighth in the Martin Beck series.
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
Husband made French baguettes (three) on Saturday, including one for dinner with friends that night.
We grilled swordfish (on super sale at grocery) on Monday night, with a basil-caper butter I made, and had that Monday and Tuesday nights with a green arugula summer salad and a garlic couscous. I made tuna salad for Wednesday’s dinner, on a bed of arugula, with local cukes, and I took those leftovers for lunch on Friday with my Salon group. Thursday was baked pre-breaded haddock with the roasted cauliflower mentioned before — ** a new recipe ** — and mac & cheese, and Friday was leftover fish, rice pilaf, and a vegetable (or maybe salad?) that I can’t recall.
We went to friends for dinner on Saturday night (delicious!).
Sunday was soy burgers on buns with arugula, egg noodles, and corn.
Be Neighbourly: contribute to community support systems, look for ways to help neighbours and others
Our neighbours were neighbourly to us, giving us one of their Rose of Sharon cuttings. I chatted with another neighbour as he was driving and I was walking on Monday.
My husband volunteered at the local car museum on Tuesday and Thursday for about eight hours total.
I checked in regularly/randomly on friends and family undergoing health issues this week. My brother-in-law starts chemo on Monday. My sister had a surgical procedure on Thursday, which went well; we spent about an hour on the phone and more texting this week. I sent Jacquie Lawson birthday and anniversary cards to several friends this week.
Skill up: learn new things, especially skills or knowledge that remind us of our place in the natural world and within the social fabric
Husband continues to hone his bread making skills.
Tend & Maintain: maintain our bodies, minds, and relationships to keep us resilient; and do what’s needed in the house, yard, and elsewhere to prevent failure/breaking/hassle down the line
Husband continued powerwashing the house on Monday and Thursday, different sections. He also took the cat in for his nail clipping, on Tuesday.
I worked out 4 times (4 hours) this week. I took Covid antigen tests on Tues. and Friday before meeting with vulnerable people in person (both negative). And I walked around the yard a lot looking at plants, insects, and birds when I didn’t have time or weather for longer walks.
I understood why the (big) bluestem grass is so called! I’d never noticed it before.
My permaculture group met on Zoom on Thursday morning, with four of us discussing our gardens and the natural world. Salon met in person on Friday from noon until two, all five of us locals present, with lots to share.
Winter is coming: notice Earth’s seasons and our own seasons of life and daily rhythms, and look ahead to what’s needed now to make life better in the future
I am really noticing summer winding down. The male hummingbird was still here as of Thursday (seen though not photographed) but I bet he won’t be here much longer. More leaves are turning colour and falling, the winter thyme is looking autumnal, and the nighttime temps are getting close to the 40s.
Hope you enjoy what’s left of summer wherever you are.