Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Gettin' it goin'

I'm enjoying this winter. We have a bit more time to breath but are still keeping productive. There's a really cool tree house that is near completion north of the community building. The windows are 4 old sliding door windows screwed into place - great visibility out to the woods.

I've been keeping busy with creating and fixing tools in the blacksmith shop in preperation for this season, working in the woods, seedling related activities, indoor maintnance and meetings.

The meetings here are pretty cool. We had a four hour meeting this morning about our traditional arts fair Sept 12 and 13. I know four hours seems like a long time but we're using consenses here with 10 people who have fairly different upbringings, life experiences, and little practice in this method of decision making. When you think about it, it's pretty amazing that we make any decisions at all. Luckily we're all very passionate about what we're doing here and respect eachother enough to want to make decisions we can all be comfortable Living with. It's good practice in patience, compassion, selflessness, honesty, focus, communication... I really wish more people had the opportunity to experience this. It's been significal in my growth as a person over the past year and a half.

Anyway, I need to go to bed. I'm good and tired.

Make good decisions,
Joe V.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

When a Chipmunk Stumbles Upon a Bear

Heave ho! It’s the farm life for me. The trees pile up. Rolled into place by steal bars after the oxen drag with almost all their might. August sometimes just does not want to move, letting you know he is tired by stepping over the chain connected to a log, putting his head down and dropping a huge load of crap your way. The snow is better with a slight crust on top, the oxen get better grip and the logs glide across the almost one foot snowcap that is resting everywhere.

Have not encountered any bears, must be off resting for the winter months before awakening to chase us all, in a polite manner of coarse, it is their land we are living on. Brings the question, who did come first? The bear or the native human? If only the world could behold such an epic battle between black bear and a native chief, a fight to the death per say to prove whose land this really is. (Maybe an answer to this question. In Perennial Vegetables, Eric Toensmier states bears have been on American soil for the last 13,ooo years.)

It seems here at D Acres we have a resident Chipmunk. His given name is Tyler and he loves nuts, spending many hours perfecting the technique of hand cracking pecan nuts. This man causes me to be perplexed on occasion. Spent a day in Norwich, Vermont recently attending the monthly farmers market, this time was spent along side my chipmunk friend telling folks about what goes on at D Acres while trying to sell a few hand crafted projects. After the market we all met up in Hanover for a night on the town, nice to get out and see that the rest of the world is still ticking away out there.

News of the snow lasting till April hit me yesterday. In coming from southern Ohio where six inches of snow causes panic, school cancellations, ditches filled with motorists and their carbon producing machines, the thought of over a foot of snow on the ground for five months of the year is something new to me. Looking forward to my continued stay in Dorchester, New Hampshire, where the sun wakes me up as it rises for the day from behind the White Mountains. Each day we say hello and each night goodbye, knowing more than likely the great star in the sky will return as a source of joy in the next morn.

Peace to your heart
Joy to your Spirit
and lots of love straight to yo face!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Plan

I often find my mind wondering to anticipation of the spring and summer months. Green pastures, swimming holes, dandelions, and bees. It’s important to remind myself to live in the present and appreciate all that January has to offer. It’s a period of calm reflection and thought. A time to consider the past, and use it to plan for the future. A time of creation. A time to fill our heads with the books we didn’t get to during the warmer months. It’s a time to embrace the people around you, know them, learn from them.

Many of the past few months have been spent sorting out aims and expectations, as well as the logistics of both. Although we may appear similar on the surface, D Acres is blessed with a diverse group of people this year. With a group of about ten of us here at any given time, communication is vital to creating a way of working towards a shared goal.

A dozen piglets were born just last week. Those who survive the bitter winter will travel this journey with us for the next year. They will see our ups and downs, the obstacles we overcome and those that conquer us. They will celebrate our successes with us in the fall, and overhear us analyze our failures next winter. We anticipate all of this with a great sense of hope coupled with a fevered determination.

On a significantly lighter note, we look forward to the Democracy Dance Party on January 23rd. Black Bear Moon Rhythm Ensemble will be here, playing their energetic traditional West African drumming for us from 8 to 11pm. Come dance with us! What better way to generate heat on a cold January night?