Producing against future fears.

Despite the weird blip that was Under the Volcano  – I had an incredibly productive three day weekend in the garden and at home. For starters, Brian and I finished the last touches on our backyard bookshed – putting in a ladder to the loft and some trim around the one window.  This space is such an amazing addition to our backyard and we’re going to have our first overnight guests in it tonight!

I’ve been hanging out in there a lot lately, though, because it makes such a great afternoon garden space when the weather is a bit damp or a bit too hot even – I just open up the french doors and it’s a little bit of liminal space for having a read or a rest. I really love it.

Also on the weekend I started building my top bar hive using these plans – provided free from the Barefoot Beekeeper.  (To be used in conjunction with his book The Barefoot Beekeeper and articles at his website At the very least, I glued some boards together. I really appreciate that the instructions for building a top-bar-hive as presented in the link above are so easy to follow – as I’m not much of a carpenter.

Besides those two things I also reorganized to create some space in my basement for food storage purposes and installed some 2×4 shelves in between the studs which I will finish off tonight with some lath in front to ensure no jars fall out onto the concrete floor during an earthquake. I mean, what’s the point of food security preparations if the stuff all smashes in the ensuing calamity, right?

And to top it off, I got my final fall/winter garden veggies in. While I’ve missed the boat on a number of things I wanted to plant (like brussels sprouts and parsnips), I did take advantage of the wet weather yesterday to put in carrots, radishes, more greens, turnips (two kinds!),  and new zealand spinach (which apparently is like a perennial spinach in coastal gardens). I’ve decided that I need to get some more growing space this fall so I’m on the hunt in either Pandora or Cottonwood for a plot to grow garlic and fava beans in since they are both all-season crops that take up a lot of room.

Next week we’ll be off in Cathedral Lakes Park, and I’m pretty excited about picking up some cases of tomatoes and fruits on our way out in Keremeos. Canning time! And tonight I think we’ll pick some blackberries.

I’ve got to admit, all of this planning and storing and growing is touching a very core need for secure space in me and building our household stores and capacities leaves me feeling a lot stronger than I otherwise would. I have been feeling very vulnerable these last couple of weeks watching the forest fires at home (and in Russia), the floods in Pakistan and central Europe, the landslide/flood disaster in China. I don’t think it’s just a coincidence. I don’t think it’s just that the Internet brings it all a little closer. Climate change is killing millions of people right now. Today. It’s destroying our forests. It’s killing our fish. And as long as our governments won’t act, all it seems we can do is prepare for ourselves while working towards greater community resiliency. So there. I’ve got some new shelves and a plan for our household. I’ve got a community group working towards greater food security in the neighbourhood. I’m finally making steps towards a year-round garden. It’s something. So little in the face of it all, but I’m proud of the something it is.

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