Friday, February 3, 2012

Independence Days

Sharon Astyk has a challenge she calls "Independence Days" that's all about taking note each day and week of what you've done to make yourself more self-sustaining, sustainable, and independent. I was a little dismayed as I read the first categories because they didn't seem applicable to me here, right now (harvest what? preserve what?) but when I got lower down on the list I thought, yes! I can definitely take a few moments to remind myself how I'm making progress on some of my goals. As you can tell from my posts the past couple of days about eating our stored food, we're definitely making progress on the "eat the food" category.
For the "want not" category, I'm continuing with my efforts to reduce waste and to compost pretty much everything. Here's an odd list of things you can compost, and here's another. No more toilet paper tubes in the trash! (Compost actually needs a certain amount of "woody" material, so you're doing yourself a favor by throwing those things in the compost. I do not, however, know about vermicompost so you'll need to look into that first if that's your preferred method of composting.) Our cat's been shedding horrendously lately, and that too can go into the compost. I'm not sure if I'll have compost ready for this summer, but by next there should be a decent amount of it to feed my veggies.
I haven't planted anything, but I am going to order my seeds this weekend. (Didn't I say that a couple of weeks ago?) I started two more jade plants at work, which are in water trying to grow roots. I pulled out my old cherry tomato plants since they're finally done producing, and I'm going to try to get the soil ready for new starts to grow. I also started planning out how I want to lay out my garden this year--started because after I wrote it all out I realized that I'd forgotten my rhubarb plants! They overwinter, so really I'll just need to rearrange things to show where they are. I'm quite certain that things won't turn out the way I plan them, either, but it's a start. I tried to take into account the plants that love shade (mostly lettuces) and put them near where I'm going to put my beans and peas. I also counted up the planter boxes and other resources I stored in the garage for the winter so that I can figure out what else I want to add to it this year and what I'll need to do to get them ready. (At the very least, the soil in the boxes seriously needs to be amended. They all had so many squash plants in them, and squashes take so many nutrients, that it's sort of sad to see the dirt. It's not soil anymore, just dirt.) This is probably going to end up being a big money spending weekend (gulp) but it will be worth it.
It might not seem like much, but every day I'm doing a little bit more to make myself free from a system I don't like. I'm doing a little bit more to live my values and to create the life I want. Also, it's nice to see that I'm not the only crazy person out there who washes out and reuses plastic bags.

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