As this Long Night continues, especially now as more than half of each day is consumed in darkness and still drawing shorter, as cold winds howl in the night, I find it difficult to continue existing amidst constant adversity, financial instability, fascism, and mass extinction.
Still, We persist! So, I shall now share with you the summary of our first harvest and any updates of note!
Through the Spring and Summer We maintained a total of five garden beds and a number of large pots at two locations constituting the Royal Multi-Locational Urban Farming Cooperative. Most plants did well, so well, in fact, We could not consume all the produce and recycled into compost for next season. We harvested tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, zucchini, a few corn stalks, basil, carrots, chives, pickled some of the cucumbers (though we’re still waiting to try them), made pesto from the basil, fried the green beans as a side for dinners, and made some corn chowder too. The experience had its challenges as well, like keeping wildlife and pets out of the gardens, learning what does well and where, and watering much of it without a hose.
The Royal Recycling Initiative has been slow to develop, but successful to date. This season We crafted small planters from old tin cans and decorated First Hearth while nurturing Spring seedlings from the yard to see what they grew into along with some flowers and herbs. After the completing the first batch of cans We found ways to refine the process further by utilizing paints and waterproof coating already purchased for other projects, but rarely completely used, thus minimizing the resources required and wrapping the cans in newspaper to recycle/upcycle more materials while creating a smoother surface to paint images upon instead of monochrome.
Another aspect of the R.R.I. has been the collection of aluminum cans to be melted down and cast into various object. After a number of attempts and forge designs We have managed to melt over 100 cans into bar shaped ingots of (mostly) pure aluminum. We’re always refining the process: switching from briquette charcoal to all natural lump charcoal; improving forge design and efficiency; reducing and recovering as much aluminum from waste dross.
However, work and rest take the most time while life and bills makes it difficult to supply funding to the Royal Treasury. Too few fires, only one short yard sale, and less than both expected and desired growth while disappointing, We still feel incredibly proud of the amount We did accomplish. And though it’s growing slowly, the amount collected for the treasury has funded a number of projects and acted as a personal, low interest bank which seems to have added some legitimacy to this project in the eyes of a few family members when it came in handy for meeting bills on time.
Now, with roughly a year of experience, of seeing what worked, what didn’t and how We can do it all better, We shall plan out the coming year through the winter while the temperatures , snow, and darkness force all work to require more effort and draw us indoors towards hearth and flame. The Revolution has already begun and come the Spring We’ll be ready to do more and do it better!