What’s Bringing You Joy in April?

RACHEL:

Any rain we get! I feel like these things tend to sneak-up on us (unless you’re the type of person who meticulously tracks the weather), but New Hampshire is heading towards a drought again. It feels a bit early in the year, yet here we are. Hannah offers some great suggestions with preventative measures one can take. I also shared some ideas in our Instagram stories, including using one water glass all day (rather than making multiple needless dishes) in order to reduce your dishload. All told, when I saw the rain last Friday and Saturday, I was glad to hear the pitter-patter of drops throughout the day and watch my outdoor plants get a nice, healthy drink of water. Plus, it’s nice to curl-up and do a bit of hygge.

Starting Our Seeds! I had plans to work on them this weekend with the girls, but my husband reminded that I always start them too early and then feel stressed about bringing them outside before it’s warm. Our yard isn’t great for gardening – it gets too much shade – so I’m taking a new approach. I’m tired of futile efforts! Peas grow pretty well, and I’ll start carrots right away this year (I often wait till mid-summer) but am going to work on leafy greens and other shade-loving veggies instead. Do you have an approach you like? I prefer these dirt pods and old egg cartons, which then get composted.

Heading back to work! On a personal note, I headed back to full-time work after years of staying home with my girls. It’s an odd time to do it (global pandemic, and all) but I’m excited about next steps. Since I’ve been in the yoga pants wardrobe that is typical for stay-at-home moms, I’ve been rebuilding my work wardrobe through secondhand sources. Not all of it – I’m not perfect – but a large majority. Other items are through more ethical sources, such as Everlane.

Some of the work wardrobe items that I’ve bought secondhand. A fracture of the price, all almost “like-new” and good for the Earth!

I’ll be working in a school and a friend suggested that I could teach the kids some of my “eco-ways.” While I’m sure there’s a set curriculum, and I’ll be following the lead of experienced educators, there’s always an opportunity to share your “eco-ways.” I remember talking to people about compost and reusable snack bags while waiting for my kids to finish dancing lessons. Nevertheless, I’ll be sure to carry my reusable mugs, save my compost scraps and see where the conversations lead. After all, watching someone do something similar is what lead my family to start composting over five years ago.

HANNAH:

Pea Shoots and Garlic Scapes! Despite this week’s random snow, our little square foot garden is up and running. The pea seeds my daughter planted are now little pea shoots and my garlic plants, which I planted in our community garden plot last fall, are looking great. We still have a lot of work to do to get my garden ready to go (wedding, cutting down cover crop, rebuilding borders), but I love these first signs of food popping out of the ground. They bring renewed hope and a sense of magic to the season. And my daughter’s garden is already turning out to be surprisingly easy (planting in a raised bed means no weeds, so no prep), which means she is still totally invested in the project.

Chicks coming this week! Now that we moved, our family is finally getting chickens. Since eggs are a big part of our vegetarian diet, we have long waited for a chance to produce our own. I haven’t had chickens since I was a kid, so it’s going to be a bit of a learning curve for us, but I’ll be sure to post about it once our operation is up and running. We’re starting small, with just six chickens, so hopefully it’ll be manageable. Our biggest problem, I already know, will be keeping the toddler and the two big dogs from destroying our flock before it’s established. Wish us luck!

Good News! I already shared about my newfound love of GoodNewsNetwork in our What’s Bringing You Joy in February post, but I wanted to share a couple of headlines that brought me joy this month. First, who wouldn’t love an article with a title like this: “Saudi Arabia Plans to Plant 50 BILLION Trees – And Reduce Carbon Emissions by 60%“? And, while I’m wary of indoor farms, I’m a sucker for anything that attempts to, uh, save two birds with one, um, solution. For example: “Startup Builds 3 Huge Indoor Farms in Appalachia Turning Coal Country into Agricultural Hub“. Turning coal country into farm country sounds great to me. And I love stories about environmental wins, like this one: In 24 Years California Has Cut Toxic Air Pollution By 78%, Resulting in 82% Fewer Attributable Deaths. Keep the good news coming!

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