Green Acres Village Life, end September, Part I: Unfinished Business

Our unfinished business runs the gamut from old, extra stuff from building projects piled in the driveway, needing to be hauled off and recycled —

— too the still nebulous plan to turn this entire place into some kind of a non-profit to outlive me, the founder. A wonderfully competent and alive young woman, Payton, has answered my silent inner call for someone to help — she needs a practicum for a course she is taking for her MA at SPEA (School for Public and Environmental Affairs), and this project fits perfectly. She has met with Rebecca and me once already, and we will meet again on Monday. Other podmates may join in as their time and interest allows. Meanwhile, we recognize that the entire process may take three years.

So, from a quick afternoon job of disposing of leftover materials to the long-term work of creating a legal structure underneath this place — the gamut runs from short term unfinished to long term unfinished, and meanwhile, we have such an astonishing harvest this year that putting up food seems like unending unfinished business. On the kitchen table last week —

I plan to bake these squash with rice stuffing for the potluck following tomorrow’s late afternoon workshop, the second of four gifted to the community by John Galuska, of Grown in Town Farmstead.

Meanwhile, Dan has just cut and frozen gobs of sweet peppers and I’ve been drying and freezing tomatoes like crazy . . . and two days ago discovered that the dryer on the right —

— had mold issues. So I started over, composting the moldy tomato slices that I had painstakenly cut the day before and washing all five trays thoroughly, spraying with diluted hydrogen peroxide, then painstakingly cutting more tomatoes and refilling . . . and guess what? The next batch was even moldier. So I guess I must have just spread the mold around rather than extinguishing it.

After due thought (this fiasco had already taken up about three hours of my precious time), and given the fact that this particular dryer is older than the others, I decided that rather than fill the bathtub with diluted bleach, to soak all the trays, including the coils and cord and cover,  (I did give this given brief consideration), I decided to just recycle the entire contraption and start again, with the third and final dryer, which is more expensive than the others to run, but we have so many tomatoes and can just freeze so many of them without running out of freezer room.

I think Rebecca may also can some tomatoes. (I hate canned tomatoes!)

Here are the baskets before I started the drying process.

There are still about 20 tomatoes to go. And Logan tells me he picked another  basket yesterday, this one heaping . . . “At least 100 tomatoes,” he said.

Dan and I and Rebecca have decided that it will definitely be time in spring 2018 to restart the CSA that we had in 2016, but then went into hibernation this year when Brie (its organizer) had to leave. We obviously need to learn how to work with our surplus in a way that brings energy (including money energy) back to the GAV so that we can become truly sustainable! And that means, we also need to perfect our logo for “Green Acres Alchemy” — to go on the labels we afix to value-added food products, like the incredible ferments that Dan continues to experiment with — the latest is jalapeno wine made with our garden peppers and apple juice from a local orchard yesterday — sitting there, two crocks worth, at one edge of the kitchen and humming along; not done for six months! More unfinished business.

As we look forward to all the various projects with their time lines, we flesh in the future with materialization of our visions. It feels good. Feels especially good to be here, fully at home on planet Earth, eternally grateful for the abundance she offers when as a cooperative group, we agree to learn from her and team up with her rather than ignore her or destroy her.

Addendum: One funny story . . . Dan decided he needed a double bed. Katarina, who used to live in the room he is in, was moving to Paoli (an hour away) and offered to give him hers. Great! But when he got it home and slept on it, he discovered that it was so soft that his back hurt in the morning.

For weeks he didn’t say anything about the new bed and his bad back, until one day he mentioned that Katarina had been by, and asked offhand, laughing,”how do you like the terrible bed?” (I’m not sure that’s exactly what she said, but it’s along that line). Grrrrr!

So Kat knew she had given him a terrible bed. We laughed, and then thought nasty thoughts, all joking of course. Or was it? Meanwhile, Dan then asked Shy (I call him not-so-Shy, our builder/designer, if he had an extra futon lying around (at one of the four properties he maintains, all of them full of stuff he scrounges). Well, of course he did! So, two evenings ago they brought home the futon. And yesterday afternoon, they moved out the terrible bed. Both on top of his tiny little beater car.

Oh yeah, and that unfinished business above, the mess in the driveway? That’s Shy’s to haul away, too.

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