While I tend to keep my Sagittarian head in the beguiling and confusing clouds of both covidiana and the post-election political theater that has all of us “digital warriors” following each other on the internet, meanwhile, thanks to this potent little place, Green Acres Permaculture Village, I’ve finally landed, even grounded, my Taurus Moon happy as a clam to be living close to and of the Earth with friends.
Even during the “dead” of winter, we podmates hold two work parties each week, on Monday and Friday mornings. Since mid-January we’ve been both starting the planting process and “getting shit done.”
At this point, I count eleven trays of seedlings, all of them doing well in the greenhouse which, despite a foot of snow on the roof, has been greening the little ones up quite nicely. (Notice the blue heat mat under the tiniest ones).
This part of the growing season is what Andreas, our resident professional pianist, likes to do best, aside from piano, work with seeds!
This morning he was placing tiny seed starts in tiny soil blocks into larger soil blocks, so that their roots may continue to grow.
Dan and Annie take turns, morning and evening, misting the seeds.
Uh oh. On the way to the greenhouse to get pics —
— I see that the entire path is lined with dog shit. Not surprising, given that during the worst of it, dogs could do nothing but shit on the path. Snow too deep. Cleaning it up will have to be another work party.
Which segues to . . .
“Getting shit done!”
In the back part of the garage turned greenhouse, Annie was busy sorting and organizing the piles of tools, nails, screws, and other detritus that has piled there, for years.
Marita, in foreground, who was in charge of our work parties last week, organized us all into cleaning and oiling all the gardening tools, both small and large. This morning, besides mixing more soil for starts, she’s mainly keeping both Andreas and Annie company while they all listen to classical music.
BTW: Marita is the secretary at our twice-monthly meetings and takes notes so interesting and descriptive they will someday serve as the history of this little experiment in “growing community from the ground up.”
Meanwhile, down in the basement of the Overhill house (the only house of the three with a basement), we’ve been holding a number of work parties this winter. Starting with macro organization, and now narrowing down to micro-organization over the past several weeks. (At least 40 people have cycled through this little experimental village since it began in 2009, so there’s plenty of stuff (some of it surprising, as in “what is that? who brought that in?) to sort through, recycle, repurpose, and sometimes, even throw out.)
Ever since the Texas freeze, Gabby and I have decided to pay attention to our survival supplies. What do we have? What do we still need? What’s out of date? What no longer works? On and on. Gabby was deep into this process today, and will be joined by young Ethyl soon to get all of it catalogued and organized.
I spent my work party time looking through and sorting Green Acres Neighborhood and Village archives. So many iterations over the years! Including phases with the Transition movement and a Time Bank that started up in this town, too early, we realize now. Who knows when we will need it to kick in.
Meanwhile, check out this website. Annie and Andreas decided early on to use their Covid down time wisely. Result? Annie is now Project Director, and Andreas Artistic Director of an ambitious new (annual?) multi-day Chamber Music Festival in nearby, and very picturesque, Brown County, August 17-22. Save the date, if you live anywhere in the midwest.
And if you come, we’ll offer you a tour of our little village, a new template for life in the suburbs that both dissolves chronic suburban loneliness and returns us to our Mother Earth.
Here’s my latest version of our story, published recently in Inhabit magazine: