Sunday, May 24, 2009

we know how to party

Last night was awesome. Black Bear Moon West African Drum Ensemble, an "all species" costume party, blacksmithing at the bonfire, and wild behavior. It's amazing how the group energy builds throughout the night. Such a good feeling.

Hope to see you at the next one.


Not the New Guy Anymore!

Hello -

JJ here and I have been the new guy for the last 3 1/2 weeks here @ We had a new person start Friday, who you just might hear from soon.

My first few days were full of new ways of doing things for me and continue to amaze and challenge myself in different ways - Never think you have nothing left to learn!

So what are some of these challenges?

-Slow down and hurry up
Having my own computer consulting business and being part of the world of instantaneous gratification, being able to slow down, feel deeply what needs doing and then doing it without distraction, is what I mean by slow down and hurry up.

There is a sense of urgency to all that goes on here as the growing season is short and the work never-ending. From planting, transplanting, cleaning up after farm animals, sorting out problems with electrical fences, finding and fixing issues with solar driven irrigation and a multitude of special projects, keep us all very busy.

Also, due to my business, the fastest internet connection available, plus a redundant DSL connection, makes the satellite internet here seem like dial-up! There are several computer-related projects I am involved with and they help to keep work balanced between outside and inside work.

-Appreciate deeply all that you have
This relates to relationships (A shout out to my wife Beth and daughter, Kira) who are back in Florida while I participate here @ dacres. Housing is included here as my "dwelling" here is a yurt with a small wood stove from fourdog - Add two batteries, one 5amp/hr battery charged by a 7w solar panel and a larger 60amp/hr battery charged by a 60w solar array, provides for basic lights, fan, music, computer and keeping my air bed blown up solid. I am really living large compared to some of the folks living here in small tents. Check out the photo of the yurt and you all can see how this fits into the dacres environment.

Food also falls into this category as we tend to eat primarily what the garden is producing at any given time. My absolute favorite is the rhubarb which is already extremely prolific and my taste is for it fresh and raw directly cut from the plant! That tang cannot be found with other foods nor from store bought rhubarb...

-Do not waste ANYTHING
Almost everything I have encountered @ dacres has been used and re-used and used again. Bean trellises (I got the repair many rather than re-build them from scratch as I was initially inclined), buckets, boxes, zip-lock & plastic bags and on and on. Think hard before you throw something away as you may be able to re-use it!


Nature abounds around the farm and surrounding area - I have taken many bike rides and hikes that continue to amaze me with the variety this part of New Hampshire has to offer visitors. This being Memorial Day Weekend, we have been very busy with Hostel Guests, campers and I got to do my part and make more than 6 dozen scrambled eggs for more than 30 guests this morning (plus all the cleanup that goes along with it! -ok ok, I did have some some help ;-). There was also pancakes, buckwheat, kale and blueberry dressing along with dacres maple syrup. What a nice way to help so many people start the Sunday. eh?

Plus, after 3 1/2 weeks, I had my first guest stay with me for the weekend - Another shout out to Joseph who left just a little while ago back to NY.

There is so much more to tell, so why not come visit and find out for yourself?

All the best and live lightly,

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bebe Rocket

This is Bebe Rocket, the newest member of the D Acre's family. At two and half months and approximately thirty pounds, Rocket, a baby boar, has been welcomed with open arms.

It is such a treat to check on him every morning and see him snuggling with the other piglets.



Monday, May 18, 2009

Deep under your fingernails...

"ART IS NOT BUSINESS!... ART IS FOOD. You can't EAT it BUT it FEEDS you. ART has to be CHEAP & available to EVERYBODY. It needs to be EVERYWHERE because it is INSIDE of the WORLD. ART SOOTHES PAIN!... ART IS LIKE GOOD BREAD!"

These words from the "Cheap Art Manifesto" printed by the Bread & Puppet Press ring heartily in my ears these days. I went for a trip up to Glover, VT a couple of days ago to visit with a former student of mine--Nathan, who now works and lives at the Bread and Puppet Farm as the Resident Agriculturalist. Weeding intensively, creating and designing new bed space for lettuce, kale, broccoli, onions, carrots, beets--a garden is emerging once again on the land.

But the Manifesto--this cheap art, this movement shaped from radical ways of being and living. Of course, for me, this exceprt begs the question, "what is Art, then?" A question that will forever be asked and will forever evolve. One that will search for resolution through inspiration.

Weeding can be so tedious and boring, but this garden work that I participate in is for me a kind of art. Not every little green thing can be pulled and tossed aside. Sometimes it's edible, and other times it's worthy of being transplanted to a new space where it can flourish as a flower or head of lettuce.

How can we change our perspective to incorporate gardening and weed-pulling to be Art? To be made and available to everyone? To feed us like good bread feeds us? To inspire us to work harder and with full hearts toward that radical change and resolution?

Asking questions may be that first step. Is this really the work that needs doing? WHO is being FED by my labours? Are there walls between me and my neighbors--blocking the Art that is inside and everywhere, but on the "other side"?

And other words: "We lose our health--and create profitable diseases and dependences--by failing to see the direct connections between living and eating, eating and working, working and loving." (Wendell Berry)

I want to draw circles all the time, circles within circles to amplify and exemplify and demonstrate these concepts. Rings of beets, bowls of pac choi, slices of radish...