|Rocky Butte, Portland|
This was a week of letting go.
Letting go of the lie that I can control things.
Letting go of the need to have certain outcomes.
Letting go of societal norms about what I should do with my body, how I should contribute to our household, and how much I should be planning ahead.
Letting go is scary, but it’s amazing how many things still hold together even when I’m not desperately clutching them.
Here’s what else we’ve been up to this week...
Harvesting bamboo shoots. I knew that bamboo shoots were edible, but I didn’t think that the thirty-foot tall timber bamboo in Gary’s backyard would be suitable for eating. Apparently I was wrong! Zach harvested some shoots over the course of a few days, and last night we peeled them, sliced them in half, boiled them for an hour, then chopped them up into a stir-fry (as per these instructions). They are yummy! A nice firm texture with a mild, warm taste.
Planting tomatoes and peppers. Zach and I have been trying to hold out on putting tomatoes and peppers in the ground until the soil was truly warmed, but with a week of nonstop rain forecast, we decided to plant them yesterday. The local nursery, Shorty’s, has so many tomato varieties that I was giddy with decision-making, but we finally settled on Cherokee Purple, Early Girl, Amish Paste, San Marzano, Green Zebra, and Sungold cherry tomatoes. I also bought some purple and orange bell peppers, a red pepper for roasting, and an ancho for making chile powder. Zach is hoping to add some hotter peppers to the collection when we visit the farmers market next time. We also have yet to get seeds in the ground (corn, beans, squash, cucumbers, dill, basil, and nasturtium), but hoping to do that today.
Making oat milk. I had read about this a while ago, but decided to give it a try this week. Like nut milk, it’s super easy to make (I used this recipe, but with more maple syrup), and the taste is light and refreshing.
My longest bike ride to date. Gary, Zach and I biked a good-sized chunk (somewhere between 20 and 25 miles) of the Banks-Vernonia State Trail, a paved track that runs past farmland (we saw heirloom cattle, muscovy ducks, a barn cat, and miniature goats, as well as a group of people playing cricket) and climbs into the forested hills. Biking up the gentle but never-ending incline was murder after a while, but on the way back I don’t think I pedaled at all for ten minutes at a time. My (ahem) glutes were searing with pain by the end of the ride (though they immediately stopped hurting when I got off the bike), but honestly, the other other side effects were tight shoulders and sore wrists. My legs are like Captain America: they could do this all day.
Reading: The Good Life Lab: Radical Experiments in Hands-On Living by Wendy Tremayne. I wasn’t a fan of most of this book, but it’s not actually the book’s fault— I’ve just grown weary of reading stories of yet another six-figure-income urban couple deciding to quit their jobs and live off the land with almost no money (read: about as much money as Zach and I spend each year). Sigh. On one hand, I’m happy that people who have given years of their life to drudgery can find a way to break free, but on the other hand... I just have a hard time connecting. Despite my grumpiness, this book was interesting to read, and I did appreciate its focus on “making”: not just growing food as most homesteading books focus on, but welding, electrical work, sewing, fiber arts, wildcrafting, carpentry, fuel-making, and more. I’ve become inspired to learn some more hands-on skills, as this is an area of education where I’m sorely lacking. Inspiration is always good.
I also posted another installment of my Greener Year Challenge series. Have you checked it out yet?
What have you been up to this week?