Spring has sprung and I’m feeling productive

When I returned from the lovely Teaching Permaculture Creatively course, all the snow was gone and the perennials had started to sneak out of their leaf cover! This was almost scarily early, but I am taking advantage of the nice weather and the residual momentum from the course’s focus on designing OURSELVES as well and my convenient unemployment! to get some stuff done around here.

  1. Massive destash! I have too much stuff stored in the house and garage that is still good (or was at the time of storage), that I expected I would use sometime. This accumulation of stuff is getting in the way of the house and garage actually being functional – i.e., it’s hard to can when your jars are in three different places and you have to store the finished product so far out of your normal living routines that you forget to eat them. So, a trunk full of books is out the door, sold and donated to the public library; massive donation of decorative items that never had a horizontal surface to call their own is out to the local Abused Adult Resource Center thrift shop; three pickup loads of things that used to be good and are no longer are out to the landfill, including three unfortunate rolls of gifted wall-to-wall carpet that became instantly unusable their first winter in the garage when the mice converted them to condominiums. These and others have freed up a front closet which is about to get shelves, for storing kitchen gadgets and hopefully pantry food on the same floor l as the kitchen; most of the storage shelves at the base of the stairs, which have been cleared of ten years of dust and are about to see their first coat of paint in as long; and increased the visible floor area of the garage from 1/5 to 3/4. It is such a wonderful feeling to see all these dust-collectors out the door, moving me ever closer to my goal of owning no more stuff than I have places to put it (preferably places with opaque doors.) I have even made the conceptual step that I will not be able to use all of the four-ounce braids of spinning fiber I’ve stashed, and will be selling some of the handspun that isn’t speaking to me at the summer Urban Harvest local farmers’ and artisans’ market. I am enjoying my achievement of purchasing less than one braid a month as opposed to last December, when I was consoling myself for all that overtime by frequenting Etsy updates.
  2. Replacement windows have been ordered and so may conceivably actually get installed this year! This would free the way for replacement insulation and will hopefully mean I could use my north-facing bedroom without needing a space heater in the winter. Hooray for tax credits!
  3. This is the absolute earliest I have ever got my “plant as soon as the ground can be worked” seeds in the ground. While my raised beds are growing ever smaller due to their colonization by garlic, skirret, sorrel and other perennials, I do have my lettuce, peas, carrots, spinach, radishes and a bit more sorrel planted in. And some grass seed in the bare patches in the lawn.
  4. One of the big needs of permaculture in ND is actual in-ground demonstration sites. A movement that was started around sustainable landscaping really does need some of that landscaping available to look at and compare. I’ve completed the layouts for two sites in Bismarck and Mandan that have given me permission to plant fruit, and the plants are ordered; ground will be broken on the first site on 1st May. Unfortunately I will be purchasing the plants myself for both sites, but I should get use of somewhat over half of the fruit and the opportunity to add both designs to my portfolio.

Still on the list –

  1. Finalize a mushroom cultivation class for Glacial Lakes Permaculture on 8-May and for BSC’s Continuing Education on 20-May.
  2. Doublecheck materials list for both plantings and ensure I have them in place for next weekend.
  3. Wash some raw fleece so it can dry outside in this gorgeous weather!
  4. Finish working through “Independence Days: A guide to sustainable food storage and preservation” and design my food system for the year.
  5. Construct a hackle and blend some fiber!

This has been a great spring so far. Unemployment is awesome. My husband even mentioned he’s been enjoying having me home so he can assign me chores. Now to convince him to read “Your Money or Your Life” so we can maybe work towards getting this a full-time thing.


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