Voting for Homesteading Freedom

May 10th, 2019

Week 19: The 2019 Voting with My Dollar Project

It’s that time of year, when my gardening dreams take flight and I imagine myself homesteading my way to produce victory, with edible flowers garnishing every bespoke dish I conjure from the ingredients in my garden. This is what you might call “magical thinking.”

Last year was my first attempt at gardening. I took the “safe route” and planted starts from a local greenhouse. The greatest successes were the kale and zucchini — two garden bullies I have chosen to banish this year. This time, I decided to plant seeds. Cheaper, right? Well, not when you add in the expensive manure, fertilizer, and soil testing at the UVM lab. In fact, I’m not even sure if I technically break even on gardening, but the experience of doing it is priceless.

This week, I went to a free gardening 101 at the Retreat Farm — one of the best resources we have in the Brattleboro Area and a place you should definitely have a membership to, if you have local kids. Several “master gardeners” were on hand to answer questions and coax us gardening newbies into action.

I came home with a gridded sheet of paper and a conviction to plan out my square footage. My garden is very small. Well, technically I have two plots in my yard, but for whatever whimsical reason I decided this year that one of them would be entirely for edible flowers and sunflowers. The other — the vegetable garden — is only about 5’ x 10’. So I have to be choosy about what I plant.

Gardening is an apt avocation for a person like me who loves to plan, chart, organize, and track — but also get her hands dirty. In college, all those years ago, I co-majored in pottery, and in some ways, gardening reminds me of the tactile sensation of clay in my hands. Gardening and pottery also share in common a loosening of one’s commitment to controlled outcomes. You can do your very best, and then just see what happens.

Stay tuned. 

What I’m eating:

Anything the farmers market wants to give me, now that the summer market is finally open.

What I’m watching:

Still, Game of Thrones! (Okay fine, and Queer Eye.)

What I’m reading:

Three stories about parenting that I really loved and related to at a high frequency:

  1. What ‘Good’ Dads Get Away With

  2. Married Women Do More Housework Than Single Moms, Study Finds

  3. Games of Crones

What I’m listening to:

The Dinopocalypse Redux episode of Radiolab on the demise of the dinosaurs is totally bananas and absolutely terrifying.

What I’m working on:

An ebook about Lyft and the era of rideshare, new web copy for an AI client about to revolutionize the world with what they call “operational AI,” and a revised paper on cloud content management in these digital days.

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