Independence Days – July 1

It’s been a busy few weeks with work, multiple reports and meetings, university activities, and parental visits.  I’ve been feeling behind on pretty much everything, and rather like the summer is has been getting away from me without me even noticing.

That said, I think I’ve been doing reasonably well on the Independence Days challenge recently, and have finally managed to get some things actually growing and even a little bit harvested (these were the areas that not much was happening for me).  Because I haven’t done a record for awhile, this is really more of a recount of the past three weeks or so to get up to speed on where I am now (and also because it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to remember exactly what I did in any given week, since they’re all largely blurring together now).

Plant something:  planted beans, four kinds of tomatoes, four kinds of peppers, borage, chives, basil, mint, thyme, sage, pickling cucumber, two kinds of zucchini, peas, beans, cantaloupe, spinach, radishes, parsnip, kale, chard, and broccoli; started a new batch of kombucha; trying to get new kombucha mothers growing

Harvest something:  more kombucha; mint for tea; basil for pizza and pasta; rhubarb and garlic scapes from a friend; sage for infused vinegar; violet leaves for salad

Preserve something: frozen rhubarb and strawberries (both will become jam this week)

Waste not:  scraps and weekly fliers went to the worms; bought an apron, three novels (one agrarian-themed), two cookbooks, and books on fuel, food, mushrooms, and herbal medicine at the thrift store; actually started wearing the apron to avoid ruining any more shirts; traveled strictly by bike or walking locally, and by carpool or public transit for longer distances; took some extra to-be-thrown-out conference paperweight gifts, which look to be the perfect size to weigh down kimchi and sauerkraut; ordered examination copies of only books that are very likely to be used for my courses next year to keep down waste and clutter

Want not:  stocked up on pasta, pasta sauce, tinned tomatoes, herbs and spices, sesame seeds, tinned soup, maple syrup, salt, tea, seeds, nuts, and dried fruit; picked up some extra work hours and an extra job to supplement the bank account

Eat the food:  fish burgers, pasta with veggies, burritos, macerated strawberries, local scrambled eggs and happy-pig bacon, creamy chicken with biscuit topping, fish and chips, frittata, burritos, strawberry fool, lots and lots of salads

Build community food systems:  more Food Not Lawns meetings and work; attended an academic conference on food; started visiting a newly-discovered local restaurant that that happens to serve some local food

Skill up:  working on knitting socks; picked up the guitar again; reading up and gearing up for a summer of fermenting experiments; learning to replace bike tires and other basic repairs

Get healthy:  keeping up with regular walks and bike rides; drinking kombucha and healthy fruit and veggie smoothies almost daily; lots of salad and extra veggies and fruit with meals; started meditating

Beyond these things, I’ve been working to clear out the apartment a bit more.  This is to make food prep and plant care a bit easier, as well as to make it even more a place that we want to be.  It was pretty dire in here for awhile in terms of general organization (read: complete lack thereof).  Now, it’s tidy but rather full. I know things like housework and other tasks can be at least a bit easier with less stuff and better organization, and it would also be lovely to be able to have people over without a day of tidying in preparation.

I’d also like to clear out the food stores to see what we have that should be used up, and to try to finish off some odds and ends here and there that are taking up some extra room.  The hope is that if I can clear some extra space, I can find a bit of extra room for some of the kitchen-related things that are on my long-standing and slow-moving wishlist, such as a grain mill, pressure canner, and water filter.

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