My niece is moving and she dropped off 6 contractor’s bags of clothes for my daughter to go through. We found a lot of good stuff but a lot of junk too. The question is what to do with the stuff that has seen better days. What I usually do is pirate the losers for salvage. I will spend the morning watching a movie on the TV while harvesting buttons, elastic waistband, material for patches, pillows, quilts and rags and see if there are any pieces that can be remade into usable clothing.

We have planned the work bee to set up a permanent sewing center in our church vestry as well as our first clothing repair clinic. We have some good seamstresses and pile of fabric and notions. We have also gotten great donations of really excellent sewing machines. I don’t know about the rest of you but I am far more likely to get to bothersome jobs like repairing hems, replacing buttons and sewing seams if I do it with a bunch of friends.

One thing our group is very interested in setting up is a site for items that would be free for the taking. We think there will be support for a free shed at our compactor but a clothing space would be very nice too. It occurs to me that we need a house. We need space for a community kitchen, a sewing center, a clothing exchange, a permanent site for a good grain grinder and a spot for tools and equipment that could be shared by the group. We have a wonderful library and media room at the Creamery and I know I shouldn’t be so greedy but a sustainability center seems like the best idea.  Every town and neighborhood should have one. In the meantime we will make do with our informal network of letting each other know what we have to donate, share or lend. Books, tools, vehicles and skills are swapped around so much it is hard to remember who actually owns some things.

I appreciate all of sympathy over my moldy legumes. There is always a silver lineing.Mine is that I realized I need to check on some of the root cellar vegetables. The potatoes, onions and carrots are still fine but the turnips not so much. The leeks did not hold. The beets are long gone (sniff, sniff). The garlic is just wonderful. It is such a joy to have a slice of dense bread spread with roasted garlic. Potatoes fried with carmelized onions, garlic and a sprinkle of salt are perfect on a cold night. Carrots cooked until just tender, then glazed with butter, brown sugar and nutmeg are better than dessert. I can live without tomatoes as long as I have these things in my cellar.