5 Strategies Toward Building Resilience RIGHT NOW


STRATEGY #1:

BUY VEGETABLE SEEDS

If you don't already have seeds, now is the time to get some. Most of the garden centers are still open, and most will allow you to pre-order your seeds for pick-up. Alternatively, ask your gardener friends to share some of their seeds with you. Most gardeners, including myself, rarely use all the seeds in the seed packet, and would be happy to share their excess seeds with you. The bottom line is that seed-security represents food security. Opt for open-pollinated varieties whose seeds you can save and plant the following season. I can't tell you often I've stated in my seed-starting classes that I always have next year's seeds in my hand for the following growing season, because you actually never know what next year will bring. Tap into local expertise and learn how to start those seeds and when, and get going on that right now.


STRATEGY #2:

MAKE PLANS TO GROW MORE FOOD (OR START GROWING!)

If you're not already growing food now, take a good look at your property and locate areas for growing at least some food. Use your front yard, your backyard, your alleyway. If you're already growing, look at ways you can increase your production. Talk to your neighbors and get them on board to either start growing or allow you to use their under-utilized yards. Share your gardening expertise with others. Create neighborhood work-share coops that mimic the old barn-building work bees that bring community together to help folks remove sod, create garden beds and get growing. Share the work, and share the rewards. Don't forget to share the surplus with folks who need it. Push for backyard chickens. Look to your community and support the establishment of community garden initiatives. Just grow food. Do it now.


STRATEGY #3:

BE RESOURCEFUL.

Remember those old sayings, "One man's trash is another man's treasure" and,"Make hay while the sun shines"? Open your eyes to opportunities as they arise. Get creative with re-using or re-purposing items in ways that serve you. Develop and exercise a robust problem-solving, thinking-outside-the-box mentality. Realize that there is abundance all around you, once you shift your vision. Old garage door panels make excellent raised beds, discarded wooden blinds make great garden stakes, and bags of leaves left in the alley are incredible composting and mulching materials. Use seasonal currency wisely by saving and storing energy while it is abundant. Harvest that rainwater in the rainier months to use later on in the summer. When green onions are abundant, harvest and dehydrate them for use all winter long. If seasonal produce is on sale at your local market, think about how you can capture that energy now for use later on, through preserving, canning, fermenting, dehydrating and freezing. Learn how to take really good care of your soil. It stores a ton of energy in the form of carbon, the essential building block for all life. As the foundation for all life, it is fundamental to your survival. Soil with good levels of organic matter helps support the "soil sponge", so your soil has the ability to hang on to water. Cycle nutrients efficiently by learning how to compost, capturing that energy and returning those resources to the soil, from whence they came.


STRATEGY #4:

GET SKILLED.

Fundamental life-skills are essential for resilience-building. Gone are the days, however, when one person needs to be the butcher, the baker and the candlestick-maker. No one needs to be able to do everything. Do an honest assessment of your resources and skills, parlay your strengths into shareable and trade-worthy assets, and build up your skill set or access the skills of others in those areas that represent your weakest links. You would be surprised at how many skills are already present in your immediate neighborhood, and inviting conversation around this is a great