Friday, 30 May 2008

May Challenge Round Up

I undertook too many challenges this month, and found all three of them pretty dang challenging.

I thought for sure I would be able to finish my two books selected for the Bookworm Challenge, but I only ended up finishing and reviewing one. I'm still only about 30 pages into the Blue Gold book, about the corporate theft of public water supplies. The fact is, on the weekends we've been trying to get the Little Garden and the Big Garden up and running, plant trees, fulfill our committment to the CSA farm and keep up with the watering and weeding. And on weekdays, by the time I'm home from work or Tai Chi and have managed to make dinner and the next day's lunch while ensuring I have some clean enough clothes to wear, I pretty much just want to veg in front of the TV or the computer for a little while and then go to bed, maybe squeezing in a few minutes of meditation beforehand. Plus, this second book is kind of depressing, and it's not the kind of book you can just pick up for a few minutes here and there, because of the density of the information it contains. I will finish the book and review it, but it could be, um....much later. Green Bean is continuing her bookworm challenge into June, and I'll try to have the book and the review done sometime next month, depending on how things go in the garden, and given other non-garden commitments I've made.

I have utterly failed at Crunchy's Extreme Eco Throwdown. While we do a decent job of keeping our garbage output down (to about 30% of the North American average), not generating any garbage at all was impossible without completely changing my entire life in one fell swoop. I would have to grow all of my own food and never buy anything that comes with any sort of plastic residue or component whatsoever. I know there are people who do the no-plastic part, and I am in awe of them. I did manage to divert a few more things than usual from the garbage can, but it still filled up with non-recyclable plastic over time, along with some food-soiled cardboard and frozen juice containers.

I've done fair-to-middlin' in Sharon's Independence Days challenge. I've managed to do something in almost all of the categories once a day, on average. This was the only challenge where it was a benefit to be knee-deep in garden-building! I did miss one category entirely though: cooking new dishes. That will probably come later in the summer when I have my CSA share to be creative with, and produce from my own garden to experiment on.

So, I've decided to take the month of June off from any official challenges. Chile has mischievously suggested that doing so might qualify me for her Quit Now challenge, but we have mutually agreed to exercise restraint in this regard! For me, June will be a month of weeding and watering, and just figuring out how to do this whole food-growing thing. I've got a lot to learn, and the garden has a lot to teach me.


Chile said...

Theresa, I just want to point out that signing up to quit challenges for the Quit Now Challenge would mean absolutely no work on your part. ;-)

Maggie said...

We could start a weeding and watering challenge! I am just joking!
Have fun in your garden, and have fun pondering what you might grow.
Make sure you have some calendulas or marigolds, they are good companion plants, and grow lots of herbs.
You could have a labyrinth herb garden with scented rosemary, lavender, thyme, sage, fennel and everything else.

creme brulee aka GH said...

One book per month for the rest of your life is a pretty good challenge. well done.

Theresa said...

I guess that would be technically correct Chile, but it does seem to go against the spirit of the whole thing! I'm not addicted to challenges, just needing of some space in between my challenges. And I also want to see what I do when I don't have a challenge to, well, challenge me. You know, to find out what my baseline motivation is.

Ack, a weeding and watering challenge! Glad you're just joking Maggie. I did buy some marigolds, the stinkiest ones I could find for some deer deterrent action, I hope. Should I plant the marigolds right in the garden or can I just have them strewn about in containers to move about on a whim? I did buy some lavender too! But I will have to plant it in a container for sure, so I can take it in in the winter - it will die outside otherwise, I'm almost certain.

I am a chronic bookworm, Gh, I just need to break up the depressing water book with another more encouraging book!

Well, I'm off to do some weeding and watering...