Monday, August 25, 2008

Summertime, and the livin's...

well, not really easy per se, but such is the life on a farm. Summer is the season to grow, develop, bring to fruition what we have planted the seeds for early on in the year. The challenge is to find the delicate balance between growing, preserving, and storing as much food and medicine as we need for the coming year and indulging in the deep breaths, stretches, and summer afternoon naps in the hammock that are so necessary to our own growth and wellbeing.

As we near the end of August, the days are finally hot, the unusual summer rains seem to have subsided, and from the back porch at dinner, we can see the leaves of the maples already turning their lovely shades of scarlet while the sun sinks behind Edith's farmhouse. Though it feels too early for summer to be drawing to a close, the nights are becoming cool and the harvest season is nearing its peak. Ripe red tomatoes are coming into the house, along with pink, striped green, yellow, and orange heirloom varieties. We’re eating zucchini and have nibbled the first ripe green beans and apple drops, and, while we bring in an abundant blueberry harvest, we are waiting for the peaches to reach perfection.

D Acres’ Annual Farm Day was a smashing success this year. On August 16th, we welcomed over 250 members of the community-at-large to the farm to join in our pig roast, local veggie, potluck dessert, raffle, tour, and music extravaganza! We extend a special thanks to the Crunchy Western Boys for providing the entertainment into the evening and to neighbor Ken Gould for the peanut butter cheesecake...great food, music, lots of dancing, and a good time had by all. The night was complete in the wee hours of the morning after a bonfire with the D Acres Family Band (goddess bless whomever invented the tamborine) and our favorite fire spinners.

During Farm Day, Bill (my co-farm manager) and I announced that we will be leaving D Acres come November. We feel incredibly blessed by the relationships we have developed with the people, plants, animals, earth, and water here in Dorchester, both at D Acres and in the broader community. I know we have learned many things through a lot of delightful and challenging opportunities here, and I hope that we can leave a sense of the peaceful passion for the earth and all our relations that we have in our hearts with the people and the land at D Acres when we move on.

But before it's time for that...there is still much to come! The D Acres Cultivating Wellness Conference will happen on September 13th and 14th, 2008. This two-day event will welcome healers of all types and forms to the land and community with the hopes that we can bring natural, traditional healing one step deeper into the New England community. Michael Phillips, author of The Apple Grower, will join us to discuss the medicinal properties of fruits and garlic (in two seperate workshops), while Ross Conrad, author of Natural Beekeeping, will share the tradition of apitherapy. Other workshops include:
Herbs for Dental Care, Sandra Lory
Essentials of Aromatherapy, Joann Vollmer
The Garden of Your Soul, Preparation, Planting, and Pruning, Lynn Durham
Nutritional Botany, Barbara McCahan, PhD
The Herbal Kitchen, Maria Noel Groves
Homesteading for Health and Happiness, Bob St. Peter
Mycological Landscaping with your Garden, Dave Wichland
Hands-On Soapmaking, Karen Lacharite
Transformation, Quantum Physics, & Ourselves, Jahnay Pickett
Herbal Remedies & Your Animals, Carol Lizotte
Craniosacral Therapy, Kathy MacKay
Break-Through! Ceremony, Karen Lacharite
Mushroom Food, Mushroom Medicine, Terry-Anya Hayes
The Art of Fermentation, Louise Turner
Knowing Your Intuitive Self, Corey Calaio and Susan Lucas

It is such a gift to be able to convene all of these wonderful teachers at the farm for a weekend of deep thanks to all of them, and a sincere invitation to you to join us for this event! We are currently taking registrationsplease visit to download a registration brochure, or call the farm at (603) 786-2366 to sign up. And, (it just gets better!), thanks to a grant from the Robin Colson Memorial Fund, we are happy to offer scholarships to the conference for folks in need! Contact us to learn more...we hope to see you in September!

Summer Blessings,


Tuesday, August 5, 2008


An effective sustainability dynamic means that all processes function together as a whole, each one complementary to the other. When we modify one, we affect all the other as well.

What about ART and CREATIVITY into the farming dynamic?

As long as I’ve been at D acres, it seems to me that the principles of sustainability involve art and creativity. I truly believe that art plays an essential role here. Creative decisions allow us to extract our living from the land as the interest, while preserving the community and the land as well.

The month of July was certainly a creative month. I can see that all the project going on have a positive impact on the farm and local community. It also includes the quality of life of those who work and live on the farm, including good communication, trust, and mutual support.

Art is everywhere. Creative project can be as simple as cooking food, make a huge bouquet of flower or tell a story. I’ve seen people singing and playing music, make sculptural bonfire, drawing, painting, «circusing», make necklaces, silk screening, spinning fire, woodworking, reading poetry, blacksmithing…and much more.

Finally, consider that all these creative works are part of the whole sustainable system and truly affect and modify the positive dynamic of the land and community, and I in the first one.

Thank to everyone who make life a piece of art.

Merci à tous. Xx


Friday, August 1, 2008

Ramblings of Reflection Summer 08

I found D-Acres thinking that it would further enable me as a member of the Co-Op in which I live at school: that I would understand more about how viably sustainable communities work, within each other and without the grid, the grocery store and most of the things we tend to brush as “given” in our daily lives—I know I did. And within days of coming to DAcres my expectations of my organic farm experience had been far exceeded. People power; it’s so simple. People so different, all wonderful and crazy (aren’t we all in our own right), choosing to come together—to live together and cook together, weed garden beds and go to the swimming hole together—all with visions of change in the world, held together by a common goal and the friendship and solidarity growing amongst them, these people do much; get much done.

Turning compost for the first time (at school turning the compost meant rotating the metal barrel in which our compost lived), I found myself in the middle of the pile and the peak of my dramatic feelings of insurmountable exhaustion, and Eve passes with laughter and some words: “Yeah! Solidarity!” And the last time I turned compost, that feeling of solidarity, freedom, empowerment, all of it just running and flowing through my body with rhythm I had finally developed with the swing of the pitchfork.

Growing up and going to high school, there was always someone telling me that I could be whoever I wanted to be, do anything I wanted to do. But, at prep school no one is too excited about your dreams of being part of a commune or living in a tree house, those freedoms, that life didn’t seem to be included in their plans. So I can only begin to express the immense feeling of freedom and joy in using your body everyday to enact what you’ve been thinking about, to be the change you want to see; the beautiful feeling of walking around and watching things grow day by day. It’s magical really. And now I find myself driving around the suburbs running errands, and scanning the fields on the side of the road for plants I know. I’m so happy to find something familiar, thistle everywhere that I just want to root up or flowers to harvest for tea.

Being home it’s been really interesting talking to people about my experience and my plans to follow. Some of them seem to think it just sounds so dirty (and aren’t I relieved to be back with real or clean toilets and showers...and no); and others still find it hilarious that I’m waiting to build my own treehouse; but I was surprised how many have said, yes I think I’d like doing that, or I’ve always dreamed about that, or only in paradise. I’m infinitely joyful and whole to be in that dream, living and sharing and working hard with people who care for one another and those ideas we hold in common, those buzz words given life, community & solidarity and sustainability.

I have to thank everyone at D Acres for all of the experiences this summer, I’ve never learned so much and I’ve never been so anxious to do anything as I am to continue gardening and building and growing. Keep truckin’. I’ll always remember those moments when I realized and saw that everything we’d talked about with friends could and will be done, and tree house became much more than a word or a dream.
All the freaky people make the beauty in the world…

submitted July 31 '08 by Hooookah Annie Tague