PHOTOS, Mid-May in the GAV: Monday Morning Work Party — and more!

We meet together outside twice a week for an hour or so, to do whatever tasks needed. More gets done throughout the week, mostly thanks to Solan and Rebecca. Plus, each of us tends to have our own set of responsibilities. Me? I water the Garden Towers and am in charge of  “keeping up appearances” (front yard of Overhill, two side yards of first DeKist house). Plus, since I am least disposed to delay going downstairs to get food scraps to the worms, I’ve decided to take that on, rather than continually remind others when it’s their turn to do it! In the Overhill house, we rotate chores weekly: kitchen, floors (plus dusting) and bathroom. Then there’s our weekly Community Dinners, which usually have one person from one of the three houses in the lead, responsible for one main dish, and makes sure all the dishware gets to where it needs to go and back again, plus cleanup. Pod meetings (all three houses) are bi-weekly on Sunday evenings, , and house meetings are whenever we need them (hardly ever, at least in this house). So that kind of gives you an overview of the situation here regarding “communal responsibilities.” It’s an evolving process, and we keep it as fluid as possible, unless somebody has to put their foot down about something! (Rare.)

Anyway, back to Monday morning. I went into the garden, and found only Alex and Dan (and Solan, with coffee cup.) Where’s Rebecca? They didn’t know.

I went and found her, folding clothes in her room. What about the work party? I asked her. “Huh? Oh! It’s Monday! I completely forgot!” So she skedaddled out there —

— and gave instruction of what is most needed now — mostly mulching with rotting straw. BTW: Dan and I congratulated each other on the two truck loads of straw (40 bales or so) we picked up cheap from a local permie last fall in the truck borrowed from Dandelion. They served to insulate the new smaller greenhouse in the winter, and now that they are thoroughly wet and rotting, they make great mulch.

I was working the other side of the fence, in my regular job of “keeping up appearances” for the neighborhood. But I did manage to also take pictures.

Hey, here comes Christina! “Yep! And I wouldn’t ride all the way over here if what we are doing isn’t fun.”

Her partner Payton had also arrived, by car. Rebecca put her to work, too, watering the sale plants.



Solan, too, was put to work elsewhere. Here he is, creating a gate from front to back at the north side of the Overhill house. (Finally! I think to myself.)

At some point I noticed that Dan was working with a tool I’ve never seen before. What is it? He showed me. A weed puller!  “Where did you get it?”

“Kleindorfers.” Of course! — a legendary, locally owned and run Bloomington hardware store.

At some point during this beautiful, social, and productive morning, who should come walking along the street, but a woman who had showed up at the Plant Sale table during our Community Dinner last Thursday. We had enticed her in to the patio area, despite her worries — “I’m dirty! I’m not dressed!” Huh? We’re all farm hands here, lady! In any case, she seemed to enjoy herself, and said she would ask her husband if they could join our CSA for next year. (Yes, they can!)

Darn! Can’t remember her name; she’s a neighbor, two blocks away. She had in her hands what looked like an almost new hand saw (no rust!). “I wanted to bring this to you!” She exclaimed. “I just found it in the middle of the street!” Great! We’ll take it!. Here’s Dan, showing off his second new tool of the day.

Which reminds me. The evening before, neighbor Devon and his wife Sally had stopped by with three blueberry plants that he had scavenged from somewhere. YES! “Full sunlight and acidic soil,” he instructed. Okay.

Solan managed to plant them in the backyard garden of the second DeKist house yesterday, in the midst of the wine berry plants.

Did I already mention that we are growing 78 tomato plants this year? And they are now in their cages.



The patio area harbors beauty in little corners.

Lots of flowers now. I am ashamed to admit that I used to not value flowers, preferring only productive vegetables and fruits. What? How we treasure them!







Then there’s the screened-in front porch, both a place of repose for Dan and the pups (and me, in the early morning) —

— as well as a place for brainstorming new niche business ideas: my son Colin, Garden Tower inventor, with Solan.

Hard to fathom that exactly one month ago, we woke up to this.

Lots of other amazing signs of nature’s resurgence around here too, but none so astonishing as the sight of an old man at the local Players’ Pub  (the only venue of its kind not devoted to college students) last Friday night where I went with Mariella to listen to a local band. This old man was using his chair as his dance partner! And when he was done, the entire the room broke into applause.

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2 Responses to PHOTOS, Mid-May in the GAV: Monday Morning Work Party — and more!

  1. Brie says:

    after farming I felt the same way about flowers. “what a waste of space! you could grow so much food there!” but my mom really is an artist when it comes to planting…painting in brushstrokes of annuals. I appreciate them a lot more now (though i definitely favor perennials..)

    ha! Dan the “ditch witch!”

    • Ann Kreilkamp says:

      Flowers deserve to live for their own sake, not just because they are or are not “productive.” Which may be how we should feel about all life forms, including our selves!

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