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 better match my own life and community; I may continue to tinker with the framework as time goes on.
Plant something: plant, start something
I need to plant some allium bulbs for spring but that will be next week. Garlic for planting should arrive from Fedco in the next couple of weeks.
Finally got an invite to Bluesky Social and joined it. I’m @gretwms.bsky.social . I’m hoping a lot of MedTwitter will migrate there.
Harvest something: harvest, forage, glean, or bring to fruition
Harvested basil, 10-15 mostly cherry tomatoes (mostly unripe), and parsley this week, on Monday and Wednesday.
Husband gleaned a light bulb outlet and a wooden step stool from the dump on Thursday.
Preserve something: food, local community resources
No food preserved.
Local Resources: Bought treats from local bakery on Thursday and Saturday. Bought food from local farmstand on Monday and Thursday.
Renewed membership in Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens on Saturday (CMBG used to be local). Made donation to local Buddhist center on Tuesday.
Waste Not: reduce waste, reuse, salvage & repair, give away
Husband repaired two of his shirts. I gave away 64 oz. of long-grain white rice (ordered accidentally) to a friend on Sunday.
Keep Stocked Up: with food and emergency supplies, financial resources, and experiences that make life worth living
Supplies: On Monday, received four Covid test kits ordered from WellBefore last week, and I also ordered four more (free) from the U.S. government website.
Ordered and received a neck and shoulder cervical relaxer device and a lumbar support pillow.
Experiences: Trail walking on Tuesday,Wednesday, and Saturday this week. And in-town walks on Thursday, Friday (in the rain), and Saturday.
I’ve been enjoying watching the bees and flies swarming the asters in the yard all week.
Also enjoying watching “Only Murders in the Building” while we have dinner most nights (almost caught up). Read a couple of books I liked this week, too, including Peter Robinson’s latest in the DCI Alan Banks series, Standing in the Shadows, and The Five-Star Weekend by Elin Hilderbrand.
Loved seeing this ruby-crowned kinglet, which spent a while in the crabapple tree looking in at the sleeping cat on Thursday.
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 the orzo salad (with harvested basil, local cherry tomatoes) and grilled shrimp dinner on Monday, which we also had on Tuesday.
I made the tortellini salad dinner (with corn, kalamata olives, local bell pepper, artichoke hearts, and harvested parsley and basil) on Wed. and we had that on Thursday with local corn on the cob.
It was chilly on Friday, so I made seafood casserole (an old Amy Dacyczyn recipe, modified a bit, that’s been in the rotation since the early 1990s – used up some old celery in it), which we’re still eating.
Sunday we went to a small dinner party at a friend’s — the men had slow-cooked chuck roast with potatoes, carrots, and onions, and the women had roasted tofu with summer squash, zucchini, and tomatoes. Plus a green salad with sunflower seeds. I made a mocha pecan pie on Sunday afternoon to bring for dessert, with whipped cream.
Be Neighbourly: contribute to community support systems, look for ways to help neighbours and others
Husband volunteered 9 hours this week at the local car museum on Tues. and Thurs. I checked in with my sisters quite a bit this week concerning some medical issues, including phone calls with one on Wed. and Friday. Husband chatted with neighbour for a bit on Thursday.
Skill up: learn new things, especially skills or knowledge that remind us of our place in the natural world and within the social fabric
Spent time learning more online about some diseases!
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
I worked out three times (3 hours) this week. I’ve been trying to get a little more sleep (8-8.5 hours instead of 7-7.5ish). We both got a good workout stacking a cord of firewood on Monday.
I got a book from the library this week on Bogs & Fens (their ecology, info on various plant species found there, and a list of bogs/fens in the Northeastern U.S. and Canada), which should help me skill up and use my mind a bit.
My husband removed the air conditioner from the bedroom on Sunday, and he went to the dump on Thursday. I did a load of clothes laundry Tues. and a load of towel laundry on Wed. I watered the houseplants on Thursday and watered the annual hanging baskets and just-planted saffron crocus on Monday and Saturday.
My permaculture group met via Zoom on Thursday (8 of us; I hosted) to discuss Chapter 2 of Out of the Woods: Seeing Nature in the Everyday, and my Salon group met on Friday in person (all 5 of us locals) to catch up for two hours. (We talked about compost and the waste stream a lot at both meetings!) It was nice to spend time with folks at dinner on Sunday. And my college friend group met via Zoom on Wed. evening for the first time in a while (though I saw them all at the beach a month ago), from 7:15-9ish; lots of catching up to do.
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
We stacked our cord of wood when it was delivered on Monday afternoon (in less than an hour!). And then we had a woodstove fire on Friday evening, our first of the season. Next week we’re in for a few days around 75 or 80°F (yay!) but the high was 53°F on Friday and it rained all day … I guess that will look good in a month or so.
Took a few “signs of autumn” photos in the yard this week: