The Community Resilience Challenge is an annual effort to encourage communities to band together for greater strength and resiliency in the face of natural disaster. While the movement is strong in other local counties, such as Sonoma and Marin, Napa has faltered in its embrace of this statewide challenge. The Napa Farmers Market would like to publicly challenge the residents of Napa County to complete and register 500 acts of resiliency by May 30.
What is an act of resiliency? Put simply, it’s an action that meets one or more of the following criteria:
— Conserves water
— Conserves energy
— Reduces waste
— Grows food
— Builds community
If you update a leaking water fixture, replace an old toilet or even just toss a full water bottle into the back of your toilet tank, that’s an act of resiliency. Capturing the not-yet-hot water from your shower in a bucket to use in your garden or to flush your toilet is another easy way to the water conservation revolution.
While you’re at it, add some rain barrels to your downspouts. Take out your lawn and plant drought-tolerant landscaping. Even setting a calendar reminder to cut back on irrigation as the seasons change is a helpful, important water-conservation practice.
Examples of energy reduction could be hanging a clothes line or simply not running your major appliances during peak hours (7 a.m. to 7 p.m.). Open windows to cool your home naturally instead of relying on air conditioning. Cook dinner outdoors on the grill instead of in the oven.
Repurpose your leftovers. A CNN story in 2012 quoted a report from the National Resources Defense Council, which said 40 percent of all food in America is wasted. If you really can’t get to the food before it goes bad, compost it. Napa Recycling and Waste Services provides up to two brown bins free, and you can put food scraps (even meat and bones) in them.
If you can, buy in bulk. Bulk items conserve packaging, and you may be motivated to try some preservation methods, such as freezing, dehydrating, pickling or jam making.
If you have garden space, build a raised bed and plant something you like to eat. Enjoy salads? Plant lettuce and have a fresh supply right outside your door. Try growing a tomato in a pot on your porch or cultivating a windowsill herb garden. Growing food provides us with greater resilience.
Building community can happen anywhere at any time. Try volunteering at a local community garden, or anywhere your community needs help. Host a potluck or block party. (Remember block parties?) Host a book exchange with books that emphasize home cooking, gardening, homesteading or practical living skills, or take a composting workshop offered by UC Master Gardeners of Napa County.
Don’t forget to register your acts of resiliency at DailyActs.org.
For information on how to get involved, visit the Napa Farmers Market. Participate in the market’s seed exchange on Tuesday, May 17, from 10-11:30 a.m. Consult with the Master Gardeners (on-site every Tuesday). Chat with the folks from city of Napa Water Division, Napa Community Gardens, Napa Valley CanDo or any of the other dedicated nonprofit organizations at the market. Find out how you can help enrich your community and make your family, neighborhood and county stronger, more conservative of resources and more resilient.
Spring Color Salad
The ingredient amounts for this salad are up to you.
Mixed salad greens Chopped scallions (green onions) Watermelon radishes (thickly peeled) or other radishes, sliced Nasturtium and borage flowers Sunflower seeds or toasted pumpkin seeds Extra-virgin olive oil Red or white wine vinegar Salt and pepper
In a salad bowl, combine the greens, scallions, radishes, flowers and seeds.
In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. (A ratio of three parts oil to one part vinegar is standard, but adjust to taste.) Toss the salad with the dressing and serve immediately.
The Napa Farmers Market takes place on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., May through October, in the parking lot of the South Napa Century Center, 195 Gasser Drive, Napa. The Farmers Market accepts WIC and CalFresh food stamps through EBT (electronic benefits transfer). CalFresh users can receive double the value of the withdrawal from their EBT account at the market’s information booth. For information and upcoming events, visit NapaFarmersMarket.org.