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WANT TO GET MOTIVATED?

For inspiration, we asked friends in the nature-nurturing space about their plans for 2022

milkweed and seeds
Milkweed seeds, like plans for the new year, getting ready for take-off

Quite a year, old 2021, with its Covid rocket ride—arms poked, masks stashed in drawers, free breaths deeply taken, then masks re-employed as a new variant and another Greek letter trended for the holidays. The vax-mask-testing trinity may be here to stay, at least for now, but the new year has dawned with its fresh-start energy. Time to burnish those plans and propel them forward for a resilient nature-nurturing 2022!

We’ve been doing some reflecting and planning here at Dirty Gaia, compiling a hit list of workshops and events to host in the coming months. We’re also pretty chuffed about a new monthly challenge scheme we plan to spring on you next week. Stay tuned!

As we tossed around new ideas, we wondered what some of our friends in the growing and foraging, pollinator-protecting and nature-sparing space were getting up to for 2022. So we asked if they’d share their hope-to-dos as a source of parameter-widening motivation for the rest of us. Plans ranged from enlarging garden area by adding deer and groundhog fencing, which Rose Caspary, a Poughkeepsie gardener, has in mind, to enlisting an 80-foot tree as part of a cucuzza (squash) trellising arrangement, something Rudy McEntire, innovator nonpareil, is contemplating at his Rhinecliff property.

Here are more bright green plans from our colleagues, supporters and teachers:

K GREENE @seedlibrary Cofounder Hudson Valley Seed Co.,creator of the first seed-library-within-a-library (in Gardiner, NY), and our constant mentor “My resolution for 2022 is to be quiet. And listen. Being forced, by a pandemic, to stop traveling and lecturing and doing events made me realize how much I’ve been externally focused and just how much talking I do. Being forced, by health issues, to stop working and then recalibrate my work habits around my body’s needs showed me how over-committed I’ve been and how little self-care I do. My resolution is to acknowledge quiet, reflective listening as a form of self-care and care for others.”

“In 2022 I hope to find balance by making space to listen to seeds, listen to plants, listen to soil, listen to my body, and listen to green beings.”

K Greene

DINA FALCONI @foragingandfeasting Herbalist, Forager, Teacher and Author of Foraging and Feastin “My wish for 2022 is to meet new plants and fungi— I am always excited for this! And to spend time deepening my connection with the ones I already know. And to share this plant and fungi love with the world.

SUE SIE (above) @dirtygaiahv Director, Dirty Gaia “I’d like to explore ways to build connection between ourselves and the environment, our communities and each other. What are ways that we can create meaningful impact? On a personal level, I’m going to implement a strategy to spend more time being outdoors and less at my desk.”

“I plan to find and rebuild an old greenhouse so I can enjoy greens into the winter. I also want to take my compost game to the next level!”

MATT STINCHCOMB Cofounder, Partners for Climate Action HV

DEB HABIB @makinglovewhilefarming Cofounder with Ricky Baruch of Seeds of Solidarity, coauthor Making Love While Farming “I’ll keep growing herbs that make terrific and soothing teas. I grew a lot of tulsi, lemon balm, catmint, this year and also managed to dry a lot of wild stinging nettles. They are simple to dry on screens or, a personal favorite, on this collapsible drying rack that you can get in 4 or 8 tiers. I’ve ended up with plenty of tea for myself and mix the herbs to make packets to give as simple and soothing gifts to friends.

“The other thing I grew this year that I have always avoided are dahlias, because of the “one more thing to do” in regards to digging them up and storing at the end of the season. But I got some tubers from an awesome 94-year-old gardener friend who loves them, so I had to plant them! Now I love them, too. I’ll be planting more. ”

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VANESSA BERTOZZI @vanbertozzi Rhinebeck Village Trustee and Environmental Specialist, Climate Smart Communities Task Force Coordinator, and Chair of the Town/Village Environmental Committee   “As Trustee Vanessa Bertozzi, I’m thrilled to be launching a municipal compost pilot for the Village of Rhinebeck. We will open up applications for 100 Village residents in the New Year. Make composting your New Year’s resolution! Personally, ever since we bought our first EV in 2021, our 9-year-old son has been lobbying for us to replace our second car, an old Volvo, with another EV. He took it upon himself to do a load of research on popular EVs and has been evangelizing to our friends and neighbors!” 

I have a hankering for patchouli and hops,” says Rudy (above). “Smelly things are super appealing right now.”

RUDY MCENTIRE Rhinecliff gardener renown for towering vines, varied growing media and vermiculture triumphs  “My new Hugelkultur is up to 15 layers and 3-feet deep and will probably be 10-feet deep or more by spring. It makes excellent use of the leaves and other biomass around. It’s a bit of a mystery to me why this concept isn’t more popular with gardeners. Best ROI long-term in my view. 

“I’m considering ways to grow a clover lawn or a grass that doesn’t need mowing—or as much mowing. Large lawns are one of human’s dumbest inventions. 

“Next spring I’m growing a load of cherry tomatoes. Few things are as wonderful as a mouthful freshly picked off the vine and dripping down my chin. I also practice throwing them up in the air 20+ feet and catching them in my mouth.”

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CANDACE GALLAGHER @pollinatorpatrol Founder, Pollinator Patrol Club “This year’s resolutions are all about milkweed!

• Add every native variety of milkweed to my backyard garden

• Increase milkweed gardens at Staatsburg and Morton Memorial libraries

• Plant native milkweed in every public space possible!”

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Here’s wishing all of you a 2022 as inspired and inspiring as these ideas!

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