Thursday, 13 October 2016

Independence Days Challenge: Week Sixteen

'I've been accused of fatalism, because I don't think we're going to have the money or resources to radically transform ourselves into a society powered by alternative energies, and I don't think most of us are going to have the money to put tens of thousands of dollars into retrofitting our homes. But what I do think we could do is dramatically reinforce and recreate our public infrastructure, and to create public solutions to problems we now typically examine as private. We can live in homes that are dramatically stripped down, with low-energy infrastructure, if we have access to a few powered public resources that we share with others.'
Independence Days by Sharon Astyk, pg 302

I must admit that I have trouble with this one. I have a natural tendency towards being solitary and this leads to me feeling that I need to do it all myself and not rely on anyone else. Unfortunately, all the apocalypse, end-of-the-world type movies, novels and blogs out there do not help with this feeling, as they all seem to focus on the violent and terrifying way that humans will all behave when faced with shortages of resources. It does not seem to bode well for the human race. I am just not sure how to view it. My heart wants to feel that the human race can rise above and come together, but my head says it will be every man for himself. I would love to think the above scenario will play out, but as I am just not sure, I am hedging my bets by attempting to put away enough for ourselves.

Wow, way to begin a blog post with a cheery topic! Let's move along now.

1. Plant Something

Pumpkins and zucchini seeds this week. Planted out broccoletti, snow peas and purple podded peas.

2. Harvest Something

Same as last week - rhubarb, lemons, eggs and herbs.

3. Preserve Something

More lemon butter. I really need some more mint jelly as we used the last jar a week ago and am down to one jar of applesauce.

4. Minimise Waste

I am making more of my own cleaning, bathroom and beauty products now. I will be posted soon about the wonderful essential oils I am using for these.

5. Want Not

I recently received a gardening catalogue that had this pea and bean netting.

Photo from Diggers Club

And I figured I could give that a try. I had bamboo stakes and some rolls of jute twine. I also had some plastic garden stake connectors that I had bought on eBay last year. I wouldn't recommend them - I don't think they hold the stakes any better than lashing them.

One and a half balls of twine and probably an hour later, I had two pea trellises. After use, they can be put in the compost - no trying to disentangle pea vines from trellis!

Just don't look at my less than straight pattern. I like zig zags! Now to see if they will hold up to the wind - always a challenge.

6. Cook Something New

I tried this recipe for Crunchy Peanut Butter Chocolate Bark. Hubby tends to love Cadbury blocks so am trying to find a replacement that won't taste too 'healthy' for him and the kids. The recipe didn't make much but I am trying to convince people that one piece a day is plenty!

I love it! It does have a bit of a coconut oil taste, which doesn't bother me.
And I received high praise indeed. My 18 year old daughter, who is a super health nut and usually buys only the best (and most expensive!) healthy chocolate, said this was the best she had ever tasted! Love to have a win!

7. Manage Your Reserves

The way I am working on this at the moment is to have a big cleanout/declutter, so I will have more room and can be more organised. The stuff in the house is really bringing me down at the moment and it is always find to find something when there is clutter. Starting with books (makes me cry!), I am selling a lot on Facebook groups - fingers crossed!

8. Work On Local Food Systems

Nothing specific I can pinpoint here.

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