Saturday, April 26, 2008

Pigs, frogs, and weeds weeds weeds

With talk of more snow in the upcoming days, these past two weeks of sunny, warm weather puts the fickleness of the seasons in perspective. But impending flurries or not, there is no doubt that the hustle and bustle of spring has begun on the farm.

This past week was witness to a fantastic assortment of endeavors. Workshops are picking-up, a delicious potluck filled the kitchen mid-week, and an open mic started off the weekend entertainment. In the gardens, carrots and jerusalem artichokes from last fall were plucked from the ground, proving their hardiness. Raspberries, garlic scapes and chives had mulch cleared from their burgeoning leaves; beets, sugar snap peas, and super sugar snaps - among others - were planted. Fast growing tomato plants are quickly growing into larger and larger pots....Weeding is a task as constant as the rising sun.

The sun! It is rising earlier and setting later, encouraging the sweet songs of the feathered realm by morn, and the less-melodious-but-not-exactly-cacophonous speech of dozens of frogs in the dusky evenings.

The frogs, incidentally, have thoroughly claimed the "pond" of the G-Animal pig pen as their territory. Perfect timing, really, as the excitement of the week peaked on Wednesday when we moved the eight pigs residing in the above mentioned pen to their new pasture about 1/2 mile away. Pigs - while cute at one time of the year, and tasty at another - are fat, dirty, fairly ridiculous creatures with a low center of gravity and a distaste for solitary confinement. So you can imagine the process of moving, individually, each oinker from one place to another. We have a wooden crate, pulled by oxen, that makes the actual transport comparably "easy." Getting the pig into the crate is another thing altogether. So. Wednesday afternoon saw a group of four or five of us wrestling pig after pig. Covered in mud and muck, cut-up and bruised, cursing and laughing; sitting down at the end of the day felt like a luxury. But oh so much fun! Some pig riding was even had when a rogue pig tried his own Great Escape.

More than anything, the spring is subtly and insistently showing the importance of process, and of heart. Most of the work we're now engaged in will come to fruition at a much later date. But though we hold to a steady faith in nature's continual cycles of life to death and back to life, it is a joy in the process of the work that rings through the day-to-day efforts. And heart - celebrating that process, working hard, laughing harder, coming together, sharing with each other and our larger community. And hell, chasing pigs, getting dirt beneath the fingernails, enjoying spring's first greens - these are life's little things, yes, but they build the stories and the colors and laughs that fill our lives with gumption and interest. And wonderful it is, that spring is here to remind us. Indeed.


Monday, April 14, 2008

Hello from up on the hill.
As winter very slowly loosens its grip on the land, we continue to do all that we can to prepare for the outdoor growing season.
This past week we had help from a group of students from the Newfound region. They were not expecting quite so much snow when they arrived, but their surprise did little to dampen their enthusiasm. With their help we were able to plant several flats of tomatoes, peppers and greens with exciting names like "space spinach". While it is satisfying labor to be placing tiny seeds in little packets of rich soil knowing that soon they will be sprouting, there is nothing quite like planting those same tiny seeds in the great outdoors.
Believe it or not, we were able to do some of that too. It did require a bit of shoveling earlier in the week, but we are all now anxiously awaiting the first signs of new growth from the south-facing bed next to the house.
That garden is next to a house fast-filling with farmers. We are currently growing a great crop of signs that are sprouting from the snow. Earlier in the week, there were a few trees across the street labeled with a sign that was just barely visible. A few days of radiant sun revealed a top word; "roadside". After a day of steady rain, "orchard" appeared. Now, the sign and post can be seen declaring "roadside orchard". Most of the fruit trees have been pruned, but we are still waiting for the slightly shorter perennial shrubs to show themselves, so we can trim up the blueberries and raspberries too.
The hostel is getting busy. This coming weekend we will have quite a few guests joining us. We hope that anyone reading will be able to come on up too for our Saturday Soup Night. This month, a group of students from Plymouth State will be sharing a presentation about their recent trip to a few eco-villages in India.
Stay tuned for more news from the farm.
Be well. -Tyler

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Day at the Beach

So my time in Argentina is fast heading towards my flight home. I have left Tunuyan for now. We went out with a bang with a dance party and extensive fire show. I have the chain marks to the face to prove it and we now know that "gas/oil" is about the same as diesel. Then on Sunday we grilled 5.5 kilos of carne with the maestro of asado Mario Lopez-Garcia. Leaving was definetly tough, i really relate to the people, the project and the lifestyle. That is not to say that i love the DAcres tribe anyless, Tunuyan and Vida are just super special. My last moments in Tunuyan are typical, i had called my bro Mario from Town at about 11 and he missed my wake-up call looking for his phone, I left a message and he biked over with a bike with a kiddie seat on the back and these funny arse soccer shorts and sparkling white addidas shoes, headphones and sunglasses the whole outfit...when we asked him about the baby seat he said "holy shit i lost the kid he musta flown out in a pothole" we proceeded to eat and talk about "safe" travels until at about 2 i decided to go ahead and call the cab since i really didnt have to be at the bus station until 5...well after 2.5 hours of waiting for a cab from various miscommunications etcetera, i decided it was time to start walking. After about 2 km of hot exercise in the Argentina sun, Mario drove by in his trash truck and picked me up and took me the rest of the way to the bus station. I really is indicative of the experience that I had in Tunuyan...with time, patience, good humor and positivity, good fortune will prevail...this is something i will try and take home for the future activities at the D Acres farm...

right now i am sitting in an internet cafe in the bus terminal of Mar de Plata which is probably equivalent to Atlantic City, is super busy here in the peak of the summer in January but although it is supper hot to me right now, we are talking fall to the locals who are wearing scarfs and jackets to my shorts and open shirt, well from here i travel 2 hours south this pm to visit my friend Bernardo Lamas who i met several years ago at Association Gaia where we did some sustainable living exploration...Bernardo is working on a straw bale house, by himself which sounds like a major challenge so hopefully i can give a hand if only for a day before i make the 7+ hour trip back to Buenos Aires for my flight home thursday night....

gosh it has been an amazing month, for being at a farm 95% and in a bus the other 5% it has been a enriching and learning experience that i will surely not finale i suppose it is a reminder to live and love every day with the intensity and manner in which we are comfortable with the knowledge that this life will not last forever...thanks again to Vida Chavez-Garcia , mom Margot, Beltran, Mario, Favio, Emmanual, Ricardo, Madre Tierra, the people at the Kiosko for the fortys and the laughter, and the tribe at D Acres for all....enjoy life until we meet again
ciao for now
josh t

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Do what UUUU can!!!!!

Ahh, Spring in New England. From a day spent snowshoeing near melting streams, to a day spent helping children's full fill their childhood dreams. The fire's blazing in the evening of the greenhouse after the seedlings grow in the springtime sun. It is time and may be awhile before the ground is visible, but dreams of the first dandelions pushing up to rinse our winter pallet's will arise. Time for new growth for 2008!
Also, the blacksmith formally known as Joe is back in town wacking the old tools and equipment back in shape. We're looking to expand the blacksmith shop beyond the tipi, into the the 2-car garage, where the accessibility of the blacksmith shop will be more inviting to the community and will increase the potential for creativity at the forge. On another HOT note, following the footsteps of Uncle Delbert Gray we have started utilizing the Sugar Hut after digging through 4 inches of decomposed leaves just to open the doors. Back and better than ever a few of D Acres residents have boiled down some of New Hampshire's finest maple syrup. So far we have boiled down 210 gallons of raw sap into approximately 5 gallons of the sweetest thing you ever tasted!
CONCLUSION!!!!! The appreciation of the Dacres crew goes out to everyone.
Together! We can reach enlightenment from Community, Family, whole foods, and honest work. But, SkintzJimmy Say's LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????!!!!!!
THAT"S RIGHT Love ya'll LD JV dude