Here’s one of the spring ephemerals. Dan took photos of at least a dozen, in case you want to see and name them.
Author Archives: Ann
This place flourishes, especially from late spring on, when we can both start to hold our weekly Community Dinners on the patio and not worry about overnight cold zapping newly planted seedlings.
Last week was a rollercoaster, and it continues. Down to near freezing last night, and yet projected to be 80° by this weekend.
Work Party Tuesday, April 12:
This was the day we began to direct seed some plants outside — besides 2019 peas, which Annie direct seeded several weeks ago, but only one of them sprouted . . .
Aya and Daniel (with my help) prepared, dug out an alley with two sides, and planted two new beds for direct seed arugula and spinach. We added our newly made compost to each row with the seeds, and covered lightly with straw mulch, hoping to discourage birds!
Plus, we took out the greenhouse seedlings for the first time for a few hours to “harden off,” i.e., get used to wind, etc.
April 14, Community Dinner
Inside, at the second DeKist house. About a dozen of us altogether. Warm. Good conversations, and plenty of food, as usual.
April 15, Work Party
Continuing to plant out the hardier crops. Daniel, Aya, and Joseph planted lettuces in two Garden Towers. Marita and I cleaned out the worm bins, and I agreed to take over the weekly worm bin weekly for now, asking occupants of all three houses to please remember to separate out citrus, onions, and garlic (worms don’t like ’em), before handing kitchen “waste” to me.
Aya, Daniel and Joseph prepared a bed for bok choi and other tiny cabbages.
April 18: COLD!
Luckily, we had prepared to cover newly planted seedlings if needed. Yes. For example, last night, Garden Tower lettuces . . .
. . . and the bok choi.
So dreary! Last night Marita started a fire in the greenhouse again, and Daniel fed it again, around midnight. This morning everything looked okay in there.
Green Acres Village, April 10, 2022: Community Dinners return, paired with steadily growing greenhouse plants.
Once again, Tuesday morning work party . . .
But the big news this past week is that on Thursday we restarted our weekly Community Dinners, after a four-month sabbatical. Yet even on that occasion when I impulsively invited folks out to the greenhouse to check on the condition of the plants, everyone eagerly agreed, leaving ale, wine and appetizers behind. That was exciting!
Then the fifteen of us present “circled up,” as usual, holding hands in a circle; and since everyone else seemed too shy to volunteer, I said the blessing, mentioning a recent occasion outside of Aldi’s on a rainy day when a tiny old woman approached me with an umbrella, saying she keeps extras in her truck. “Do you want one?” Since I had a raincoat on, I declined, but thanks so much for the offer! She grinned. I grinned. And our day was made.
Just about ten minutes into the meal I remembered to take pics. Just a few, quick, on the fly.
By the way, Sierra, on the right above, told me that we might not see her again, since she’s about to take off for India for the summer, and will move to either Ann Arbor or San Diego for a doctoral program in the Fall. Living in an academic town (Indiana University, Bloomington), such comings and goings are, unfortunately, for us who remain, typical!
Friday morning found Marita in the greenhouse, off to the side, transplanting.
And of course, Daniel, who tells me, with a giant smile, that he checks on the plants three times a day, he loves them so much. And yes, you can tell they are loved!
But then, oops! Today at 11:00 AM I went out there to take pics for this post and found both doors still closed, heat mat still on, fan off, covers on the tomatoes, and lettuces, and the temperature in there was 100°! Yeeks! I opened both doors, pulled the plug on the heat mat, uncovered the plants, and turned on the fan. Then came back inside and texted everyone about this, saying once again, that without a list in there of who is to water on which days, I didn’t even know who to remind!
Instantly, Daniel texted me back. It was him. I presume my text reminder will prompt him to actually print out the list? (Or I will, hell! Just email it to me!)
Then, when I looked at the photos I took out there I saw that I had not removed one of the covers! So I went out and did that, noticing that the temperature, after that short amount of time (ten minutes?) had already dropped to 90°.
Here’s the photo that showed me where I screwed up!
So while it may look like all is running smoothly out there in the greenhouse, know that we are all fallible, and that plenty of zagged human dramas accompany the steadily growing plants — which don’t seem to even notice our strange ways. Or maybe they just forgive us? Could be. If so, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my wild heart, dear plants, and dear natural world, and dear universal light/love that powers the entire panoply of Life here on our beloved Mother Earth.
Mad, for growing so many plants inside a greenhouse starting in late January. Mad, for working together, occupants of three contingent properties that make up Green Acres Permaculture Village, to get ‘er done. Mad, for texting each other on our group chat rather than always speaking face to face, since so many of us are also occupied elsewhere in the community. Especially Annie (I’m Ann, she’s Annie), who is spearheading for a second year in a row, an incredible week long August festival in nearby Brown County, with several concerts leading up to that date, like the one yesterday evening which Marita, her son Nicolas, and I attended, a masterful trio (piano, clarinet, cell) presented gratis from three members of the Indiana University Music Faculty.
Here are pics of two text threads, showing the seeming precariousness of our watering and tending schedule (supposed to be one person each day).
Even so, the seedlings, so tiny just a few weeks ago, are now growing and healthy, some of of them even robust! I consider this amazing, especially since we used mainly seeds left over from years past.
So though we may have transformed into April’s fools, riding the razor edge of catastrophe, somehow, we manage; somehow, we even flourish.
Here’s one photo from last Tuesday’s work party, with Marita, Daniel, and Joseph.
When I went over to get pics of the seedlings this morning, Daniel was there.
So I asked him to pose. Thanks!
Our dear Rebecca (aka Charisse), who lived here for ten years and was the person who designed and directed the execution of the gardens and paths, patios, etc. around here, while holding this Green Acres Village in her mind and heart the entire time, three years ago started to get restless. She searched to and fro for what she wanted to do next, but to no avail. Two winters ago, she even spent a few months in the Arizona desert in a giant tent with her two dogs, trying to come to terms with her desire to get going again.
At the end of this sojourn she returned, stayed another year, and then, determined to do what she told me recently, she only now realizes she has done all her life — move every ten years! — she decided to just pack up and go. Preparations for her departure went on for months, both within her, and within this place. Several going away parties were held. Several young men who used to live here came by to help us pack the 18-foot U Haul she had decided to rent, in order to take with her everything she owned, including a gigantic three piece couch, and three kilns that she had not ever been able to get working here. And of course, her rat terrier dogs, and her Maine Coon cat, Max. And, yes, hauling her car on a platform behind the truck, with cat in carrier on seat between her and dogs.
I’ll never forget the morning she took off. A bunch of us were standing there, astonished, at her surety and deftness (how to turn a corner? how to back up?) at handling that very long apparatus that she had chosen to blast her out of here and once again, into the unknown.
She did have a destination, one of her cousins on the west coast, who had invited her to live with her. But then issues with the vax soon reared up between them and she took off again, this time without knowing where she would land. After several more months in sketchy situations (both long stories worth their own telling), she decided to apply for a position that actually utilized her vast experience and considerable skills. (Up until this time, she had been an Uber driver, then a Lift driver, etc.) She decided to apply for a job that would be “beyond my wildest dreams” if she got it. In order to apply she needed a reference, and for me, that was easy and obvious: I just went around this place and paid attention to all that she had accomplished over those ten years, as permaculture garden designer, manager, and guide/overseer of the young people who are attracted to this place and want to participate in our “growing community from the ground up” lifestyle.
Well, guess what . . . She got the job. The one beyond her wildest dreams. In Hawaii, and perfectly suited for all the skills and many decades of experience she can bring now to her new life. The first month, March, was the trial month, so she left her animals temporarily with her cousin. But I guess she must be working out fine there, because here’s what she posted on her facebook page, this morning.
I’ve said for a long time that Rebecca/Charisse is by far the most resilient person I have ever known. Starting when she was 17, she took off on her own and for awhile even ended up “riding the rails.” I’m sure her entire life story would be worth the telling, and I hope she does so, some day.