|Memphis Democrat Column Week of 2/8/10
||[Feb. 8th, 2010|09:34 pm]
little miss earth goddess
Hey Everyone! Dan D writing to give you your weekly update on the happenings at Dancing Rabbit. After many weeks without sunlight and the common house being on black power-meaning we were basically in a blackout- for about a week, we were happy to get a stretch of sunlight to recharge our batteries and recharge our enthusiasm for getting out of bed in the morning. We need winter activities to keep us going and though some of them are dependent on power, many are not. There is a lot of reading and planning for the season going on.
I've really been enjoying the garden club meetings we are having. It's been nice have a group of people to bounce ideas off and share gardening wisdom. It gets you thinking about spring, when the world is once again green and full of life. Many of our seed orders have already been placed and in the next few weeks some of us will be starting seeds indoors. The garden club is planning a couple of field trips for future meetings. We are planning a field trip to Sandhill's greenhouse to see what kinds of crops they are growing during the winter and what their plans are for it this spring. Also, one of these weeks Alyson from Red Earth Farms is going to show us a hands on demonstration of her use of round hay bales to sheet mulch a new garden area. And sometime soon I will be talking about seed saving basics so that gardeners can plan their seed saving efforts for this season. The idea for the club came from garden clubs that have been started in recent years in Britain to bring together “allotment” (called community gardens here) gardeners to share knowledge and build enthusiasm for gardening. Apparently with the economy in the state it's in, vegetable gardening is becoming much more popular as people try to grow more of their food themselves.
One of the signs that we are getting close to spring was the start of the maple tapping season this week. A small crew of us led by Alyson made the rounds of the local silver maples drilling holes in trees and installing taps and containers to collect the sap. It was a really good excuse to be out on a cold winter's day. I think I could easily come to enjoy the winter if I had enough outdoor activities like this to keep me busy during the low light and lifeless times of the year. It gets you outside in nature and experiencing the beauty of winter. We'll have to see how this year will be as far as sap production. I'm looking forward to putting some time into the effort and getting my fair share of delicious syrup.
The snow storm on Thursday night inspired many snowball fights and other outdoor snow fun on Friday morning. The near freezing temperatures made for really good packing snow. It didn't take long for small skirmishes to start, then others joined in. After about an hour of snow whizzing around the courtyard, we all got together to roll an enormous snowball from the Ultimate field over to the common house. By the time it reach the courtyard it was about 6 feet in diameter. After setting it in place we rolled another slightly smaller ball up a ramp and perched it on top. Finally some people put an even smaller ball on top for the head. The result was a 15 foot tall snowman towering over the courtyard. Unfortunately, with the warmer weather Saturday it began to lean over and had to be propped up with a big stick.
We are gearing up for the big retreat this coming weekend. Every year we meet to plan out the next year and figure out what projects we will put energy into. It's something that I look forward to in some ways and dread in others. It is basically 6 days of meetings, which if you are a “meeting person” is probably a dream come true, but if you aren't, seems like a lot of work. We hope all the time spent will be worthwhile and will help bring our ecovillage closer to the fulfillment of its goals.