Yesterday morning, about 11 A.M, looking towards the main garden. Finally! Real WINTER!
I heard that they held a Winter Solstice party here, at DeKist 2, and that it was fun. Last year’s podmate John Urban was in town for a few days, a short respite from his highly engaging New York City experience. Annie Hawk hosted; she was going to do it at her house, but that’s way out in the country, and this is much more convenient. Not sure how many were there. Most of us are still in hibernation mode, so hardly even talk with each other — both because of family visits over the Christmas, and/or despite those visits. I went the farthest, to Massachusetts, and was gone the longest, and it took me longer than usual to bring my full self back here. Still re-entering!
Meanwhile, Rebecca decided over a month ago that she need a big break from this place, and especially, from winter cold, and so will be leaving in a few days for Las Vegas, with her two dogs and one cat, for over two months, until early April. She will be a Lyft driver out there, like she is part-time here. Has already located a place that will host all four of them.
This means that we’ve had to get our act together regarding the early planting of seeds. Solan and Josh have stepped up to the plate, and will direct our common efforts, keeping track of all the stuff that Rebecca keeps track of at this time of the year. Luckily, Solan has had one full year under Rebecca’s tutelage already, and is confident that he and Josh can do it.
Meanwhile, we’ve decided to let everybody know just how many tasks that usually get done by only one or two people could be dividied up among all of us. New podmate Alex made a white board, with the tasks on them, and during our podmeeting last Sunday night we all signed up!
Meanwhile, we’re discussing increasing our “required” weekly Urban Farm labor from two hours to four or five hours. No decisions made. Also, a number of podmates would like to have their own garden beds this year, which is a big change. Okay! I will take care of the Garden Towers, since I’ve been doing that anyway (in a sort of half-assed fashion, however).
Along with that, Solan doesn’t want to direct the CSA this year, and since nobody else stepped up to the plate, this will not happen in 2019. And, to make enough money to support the farm’s ongoing supply needs, we are encouraging each other to make value-added foods (tinctures, ferments, etc.) to offer at our Dinners for donations to the farm.
What will we do with surplus? Still to be decided. Perhaps Bloomington food pantries.
Lots of other decisions that need to be made, as clearly, things are changing, and in ways we don’t yet understand. BTW: we are once again “full” at this point, with three houses, nine bedrooms and nine people. Demographics are interesting: one elder in her mid-70s (me), one elder in her mid-60s (Rebecca) one proto-elder in her 50s (Gabrielle), all female, each heading up one of the three households. Then, six young people, two in each house, all between 20 and 31, and all decidedly wonderful young men! Who woulda thunk it? As Dan said, when he moved in here, two years ago (this was before we added the third house), he was the only male with five females!
After a Christmas hiatus, we decided to start up Community Dinners again for 2019. This past Thursday’s meal featured lots of warming food and 15 folks, including four dogs, one of them Roberto’s Sola, a big doodle, and very well behaved.
Oh yes, and one more item of note. Josh and I decided to do an experiment, to see if seeds would sprout and flourish in the dead of winter. Started at the end of November, twice daily aspraying, babying the seeds, then watering the sprouts, making sure they were warm enough night and day, on and on, for weeks! Then, just as Rebecca foretold, the sprouts “really didn’t do anything” until after the Sun turned to go back north on Solstice. I mean they had sprouted, or some of them had, but were long stemmed, desperate for more sun. The two of us finally planted one Garden Tower with what actually did sprout (about 50 out of 250), and graced the top of the tower with one of the orgonite plucks reader Tony gifted us with late last summer.
So, did the experiment work? No, not really. Or kinda, just barely. But we might try it again next winter, with adjustments.