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
Planted garlic on Thursday. Not sure how many cloves exactly — about 40 or 45? — but five different hardneck varieties (Georgian Crystal, German Extra Hardy, Duganski, Giant Turkish Red, and Metechi).
Bought a perennial, ‘Sandy Claws’ epimedium, on sale at the local farmstand and planted it on Saturday. I’ve admired it at Bedrock Gardens (Lee NH). Used our homemade compost to amend the soil.
Thus, probably, ends the planting for the year.
Harvest something: harvest, forage, glean, or bring to fruition
In addition to the local honey a beekeeper friend gave us recently, on Wednesday another friend dropped off some of his homemade maple syrup! Exciting to have these hyperlocal elixirs in the house.
Preserve something: food, local community resources
Local Resources: Shopped at local farmstand on Saturday. Bought pizza at local pizza place on Saturday, and ate some of it with beers at local beer garden that afternoon. Ate outside at local bakery on Friday afternoon. Got takeout dinners from local restaurant on Wednesday. Renewed memberships in NH Audubon and Shelburne Farms (VT) this week.
Waste Not: reduce waste, reuse, salvage & repair, give away
Gave away most of the leftover seed garlic to permaculture friends on Sunday. Gave a loaf of homemade bread to a friend on Monday.
Re-used the reserved/aged chopped leaves from last fall to cover the planted garlic crop.
Husband repaired the BMW hood latch on Friday; the inside latch wouldn’t open the hood because one side of the mechanism, which is behind the grill, was rusted solid, so that mechanism had to be replaced. He also repaired a pair of his shoes.
Keep Stocked Up: with food and emergency supplies, financial resources, and experiences that make life worth living
Supplies: We got our annual propane delivery — 18 gallons — on Thursday. It’s for our cookstove and the upstairs bath hot water. Placed a Nuts.com order this week for dried fruits and a trail mix. Ordered my 2024 planner this week.
Experiences: Walked in the bog on Monday; the larches seem to be about at peak yellow. Took a few other walks around town.
Hung out for a few hours with a friend on Wednesday, visiting an art show (one of her pieces is part of it) at a library, two local markets (one of which I’d never been to), and a local bookstore (which also was exhibiting local art).
Permaculture group met on Thursday morning, eight of us, discussing our book chapter and other things. Salon group met in person on Friday, 4 of us, for a couple of hours.
We had drinks and appetizers at a friend’s on Monday evening,
and on Sunday afternoon/evening we attended a permaculture party at a friend’s lake cabin for a few hours, including one member who drove over two hours to get there and another member whom most of us had met only through Zoom. It was good to be together in person at the lake house we love. Interesting conversations, close connections. And delicious 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
Not in the mood to cook much this week. I did make an orzo salad (with local basil and cherry tomatoes) for the potluck permaculture party on Sunday, but beyond that only some cacio e pepe with artichokes for me for dinner on a couple of nights. Otherwise, we ordered out dinner on Wed. (fish & chips, chicken fajita bowl), got veggie pizza on Saturday, and everything else was leftovers of those, or a veggie burger with sides. Husband made three loaves of French bread on Monday.
Be Neighbourly: contribute to community support systems, look for ways to help neighbours and others
We’re watering houseplants and bringing in packages for a friend recovering from knee surgery near Boston through Thanksgiving.
Three friends had surgeries this week (prostate cancer, knee replacement, umbilical hernia), and another developed a health issue on Friday. Support for these is mostly moral support, via texting. My brother-in-law had an off-chemo week, which was a relief and helped him heal a bit.
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 learned how to locate and replace the BMW hood latch, see photos above.
I’m still learning how to ID flower flies, hover flies, and others. We’ve had a lot of them around, and bees, as the warmer weather persists without a frost yet. See photos below.
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
Bodies: Husband had a medical appointment on Wed. I had a (masked) haircut Thursday morning. We both got Covid vaccines (Novavax) on Tuesday at a Rite Aid about 40 minutes from us.
Household: Husband made a dump trip on Thursday. I swept floors and cleaned the main bathroom on Monday. I also watered houseplants, on Sunday.
We both spent several hours in the garden this week. He pruned rhododendrons and other plants around the perimeter of the house on Friday for a couple of hours and took down the vegetable garden fence on Saturday. He also brought in patio furniture this week. I cleared out the vegetable garden and readied the main garlic bed for two hours on Tuesday and I planted the garlic on Thursday, which of course took longer and was more work than expected, both the pulling apart of the cloves from the garlic bulbs and suddenly deciding to create a new small bed for six hefty garlic cloves in another location in the yard. And I planted the epidemium I spontaneously bought on Saturday.
Relationships: A good friend died on Tuesday in Colorado (where her son and family live). Lots of us will miss her presence, her style, her creativity, her kindness.
I mailed Halloween cards to my sisters and a cousin on Thursday. Texted quite a bit with a few friends and my sisters this week.
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’m loving the flowers still blooming (and budding!) and the insects still buzzing this week. These are in my garden this week, most on the perennial mums:
And a few photos from the library garden on Thursday: