Great gads of inspired action! With just four days to go until we wrap up the Community Resilience Challenge for another year, we have over 6,500 actions and projects registered and are less than 500 actions away from hitting our goal, which we KNOW we will do with you registering actions and spreading the word. Amidst the epic drought, the need for more homegrown, low-tech and people-powered solutions has never been greater. You truly have risen to the Challenge.
Recently I was lounging in the hammock with sweet, tasty mulberries raining down from the sky. It was Sunday afternoon on our big mid-May weekend of action and I was prepping for a talk in Albany that afternoon. On Friday night Mary and Ella had joined me for a talk at the Solar Living Institute for CivicSpark, a Governor’s initiative AmeriCorps program working to support local governments to address Climate Change. That night we ate cob oven pizza, nibbled an abundance of ripe cherries and camped out in a beautiful permaculture demonstration garden. On Saturday, the Daily Acts team hosted 100 engaged citizens on guided tours of a dozen rockin’ water-wise homesteads and public food forests as part of the Sonoma-Marin Eco-Friendly Garden Tour with support from our municipal partners the Town of Windsor and the cities of Petaluma and Cotati. Simultaneously other Challenge projects galore were taking place like the one at the Graton Day Labor Center where they installed rain barrels, sheet mulched and planted fruit trees. So a little hammock time to soak in all of this inspired action and connection while nibbling the tastiest berries on the planet was just what I needed. After all, as permaculturists’ often say, the hammock is the designer’s recliner.
This is the design I want to propagate, world-changing gardens and gardeners and widespread acts of stewardship and celebration. And that’s just what’s happening as word spreads on the resource-conserving, multi-beneficial tastiness of these empowering solutions. In the last month we’ve been in communication with the Governor’s office, the University of California’s President’s office and an array of inspired non-profit and government organizations interested in taking action to address the drought. Potentially even more exciting, given the influence they hold, is that Homeowner’s Associations (HOAs) are now taking a real interest in our work. Locally we are in conversation with several HOAs about model projects with one taking place next weekend in Windsor! If you’re in Sonoma County, you need to get in on this historic weekend of action! On Saturday, we’ll be designing and building swales to capture rainwater in the landscape, on Sunday we’ll sheet mulch 7,500 square feet of water-thirsty lawn and we’ll top it all off with a community BBQ!
As I lay there looking out through the dappled light of mulberry leaves at ripening boysenberries and raspberries, flowering pomegranates and guavas and laden pluots and plums, the bees are buzzing and chickens clucking between sips of rejuvenating rainwater from their private coop catchment system, I think about wanting people to think about more than just saving water. We can and need to grow food, medicine, beauty and community as we save water. With all of this lush, productive rainwater and greywater-fed goodness, last month, our water bill was 22 gallons per person per day, well below any mandated drought response. This will certainly bump up with the heavy garden-watering season ahead, but every drop of water harvested and reused reduces the need to use drinking water for irrigating the garden.
Like climate disruption and many issues we face, the drought is big, complex and feels beyond the power of our individual actions alone to address. But together we are catalyzing a rapidly growing movement to build drought and community resilience and local self-reliance.
Thank you for all that you do to take action, inspire and engage others and for showing up to grow the power and reach of our ripples. Just as taking action requires a little hammock time, it also requires some celebration with our FAVORITE daily actors. So please join us tonight to warm our new office, celebrate new team members and this incredible community. In truly Daily Acts fashion we’ll have tasty local and home-fermented beverages, some of those mulberries and even a little honey tasting bar, straight from frames fresh out of the hive!