Because this needs to be the season of kindness and slowness, even while we distance. And there’s LOTS of things you can make and do, starting now.
Why all this, right now? Well, as Sydney doctor, immunologist and researcher Dr Dan Suan recently pointed out – ‘Social isolation/distancing is not an act of fear – it’s an act of love’.
There is an excellent argument currently, based on multiple experts findings regarding the current pandemic, that if you can stay home, you should stay home – to help slow the spread of covid-19 through your community. Starting as soon as possible.
We have, because we’re able to re-arrange Milkwood’s team to allow work-from-home to become the normal for now. Cue unexpected home-schooling, also.
Not everyone can do this right now, I know, but some of us can. And the advice is that if we can, we really, really should.
On a community and also on a household level, Love in the time of Coronavirus looks like staying home, if you possibly can. This doesn’t mean being disconnected from your community, though – far from it.
Love in the time of Coronavirus looks like mutual aid – helping others who need it – in ways that help everyone. Contribute, if you can, to your local home-delivery service, for at-risk residents. Offer free phone advice in your area of expertise, for those who need it. Find a way.
Love in the time of Coronavirus looks like growing something at home, starting right now. Sprouts and microgreens (or miso, kraut or mushrooms) if you don’t have garden space – peas and brassicas and whatever you can, if you do.
Love in the time of Coronavirus looks like supporting the arts, to ensure artists survive, too – you know – those music makers, writers, theatre makers, creative thinkers, dancers and more – the ones that make your festivals, days and nights so bright, and make life worth living. We cannot do without them.
Love in the time of Corona looks like staying as well as possible, so we don’t overload our already struggling health systems. It looks like making BIG batches of apple scrap vinegar at home, so there’s a bottle for for everyone on your street.
It looks like home-learning for kids (if that’s possible for you) to further reduce community impact.
Love in the time of Corona looks like sharing what you have, and helping others learn new skills so they too can stay healthy and sane during this time.
Please comment below if you have more suggestions for free resources, we will gladly add your favourites!
Healthy DIY food & medicine making resources:
- Apple scrap vinegar recipe – make healthy vinegar from apple scraps, sugar and water
- Elderberry medicines (and wine) – forage elderberries (or flowers) or source dry ones to make these
- Making simple sauerkraut, from whatever greens you’ve got – like it says – simple, cheap, quick, nutritious
- Sneaky sourdough recipe – the basics, to get you started
- No-knead bread recipe – the classic – uses just a pinch of dried yeast
- Fermented drinks – tibicos & jun -simple scoby-based drinks packed with probiotics
- Herbal Resilience guide – great resource shared kindly by Dakota Plants
- Wild Fermented blackberry country wine recipe – just berries, sugar water
- Fish head terrine – super cheap, very tasty and good for you too.
- Fermented carrot sticks – easiest/cheapest probiotic recipe ever – carrots, salt, and a few days of waiting
- Fire Tonic recipe – ginger, acv, turmeric – kitchen staples made badass
- Some more herbal immunity recipes & advice
- 184 wartime recipes – super cheap and most of these look great (maybe avoid the spam ones?).
Gardening & growing resources:
- Sprouts and microgreens – a beginner’s growing guide
- Best ever seed raising mix recipe – how to make your own
- Trellising peas and beans – how to do it. Plant peas now
- How to grow great garlic – a beginners guide
- All our gardening resources are here
Wild food & foraging resources:
- A beginner’s guide to foraging
- Kid’s seaweed foraging guide
- Australian seaweeds and what to do with them
- All our resources on foraging and wild food – lots of recipes and how-tos
Learn-at-home education resources for families:
- Online skills-ups – for young climate strikers!
- Making a nature draw – to help kids explore their world
- A huge list of free educational resources
- Free online museum tours
- Tips for reluctant homeschoolers – it’s a facebook post sorry, but still great ideas and strategies
- Various museums free downloadable colouring books
- Scholastic’s free lessons portal
- Free virtual field trips & animal livecams – hello, otters!
- Storytime From Space – read by astronauts, in space. Awesome.
- BBC bitesize free school resources – primary and secondary
Mutual aid & Community Care
What is mutual aid? As excellent community org PDX mutual aid explains: Mutual aid is when community members provide material support to other community members who are in need, by creating or re-purposing existing social pathways – linking community members with resources (time, knowledge, cash, transport) to community members in need of resources.
This might be as simple as leaving a note in your neighbours letterboxes with your number and an offer of help, or it might look like…
- List of mutual aid resources – formal and informal groups in Sydney, Australia
- Community care – great list of templates and resources for reaching out or offering help
- Community care portal – regularly updated best-practice guidelines
- The Kindness Pandemic – a facebook group that will definitely cheer you up
And a few reading suggestions:
- Hope in the Dark – this is how we rise! Communities in crisis, doing awesome things – by Rebecca Solnit
- Hilary Mantel’s new book (Tudors! Intrigue! No-longer-around diseases! Also very long, which may help right now)
- Martin Shaw’s new book – myth and more. Start with this interview.
- Women who run with the wolves – a good time to re-read this classic – gonna read this aloud as a family this winter
- Braiding Sweetgrass – by Robin Wall Kimmerer – if you have not read this, do. There’s also an audiobook version.
Ok! Wow. Well, that’s hopefully enough to get you started – more suggestions welcome! Bring them on via the comments below, and I’ll add them to the lists above.
ALSO we are still posting Milkwood books out Australia wide, so there’s that option for home-learning DIY skills as well. Or check if you local library has a copy. As said, we’ll keep putting up free how-tos and guides here regularly, so just follow along here instead, if that’s where you’re at.
Take care, everyone x