Author Archives: akcrone

Two Community Dinners: We rotate among the three houses . . .

. . . and here are photos from the last two dinners, first at Overhill, next at DeKist 2. Next Thursday will be DeKist 1’s turn.

Overhill Dinner, January 31, 2019

It’s interesting. Much like potlucks (ours are not potlucks, but giftings; you aren’t required to bring anything to come), the amount and kind of food varies from week to week. This week was spectacular in the sheer amount of delicious food present, including three chickens! See the chicken in the red pot? That’s the one I made with Dan’s chicken, and it turns out we didn’t even touch it! So I made it into a hearty soup to follow our next work party, painting the garage, on Sunday last (no photos).


And see the humungous salad? Some of that made it into the soup as well. Way way way! too much! for the 13 people who were present.

What surprised us this time was young Sophia’s contribution, a very special chocolate cake with, she says, “not too much sugar in it.”

Neighbor Devin and Sophia’s mother Eva beam to see Sophia’s evident pride in her accomplishment.

She cut it into slices, and I think it was all gone by the time everyone left.

Oh, and BTW: on her way out the door, Sophia yells, excited:  “Wait until you see what I bring next time!”


DeKist 2 Dinner, February 7, 2019

Well, Sophia sure turned it on this time, and now, with her mother Eva contributing lemon bars as well. Absolutely, the three desserts “took the cake” at this week’s dinner. Each of them was unusually, indeed spectacularly good, the two others being some kind of fluffy pink cookie and a complex cheesecake that frankly, was the best I’ve ever eaten.  I don’t know if any of the 14 people present had less than three desserts . . .

We started speculating. What if Sophia (on right in photo). . .

. . . and her Mom Eva started a bakery business together? What would that look like?

The rest of the food was “okay,” filled us up; the exception being, of course, Andreas’ famous pork dish that comes  from his Cypriot grandmother (he tells me its one of three dishes he knows how to fix).

Three new people graced our presence. Chris, standing up talking with Devin at the table, who is Eva’s new husband and his daughter Siah (sorry, didn’t have my camera when she I noticed her doing a quick backbend in a dark corner). Here, Sophia’s Mom Eva is in one white sweater, and her mom Wanda in the other white sweater.

The other new person, Camden, who found us at the site (Fellowship of Intentional Communities) —

Camden, on right, with big smile, talking with Andreas.

—  is a senior at IU majoring in Religious Studies. He and Devin, who also majored in Religious Studies, but 30 years ago and is now a poet, got into an immediate conversation. Turns out both of them are mostly interested in comparative religions. I asked, “What is one universal that they all hold in common?” Camden thought a moment, “Well, the idea of being good,” he said, and went on to mention several other qualities. A little while later, Devin found a thick book sitting on top of others in the living room, Homo Deus, by Yuval Halal Narari, and when he told me it’s about men becoming gods via AI and transhumanism, and that he was half-way through it at home, I shuddered, and declared that I would  not read this book.

Would much rather get back in communion with each other and the Earth herself. Plus push technology, and especially AI and transhumanism, into a back corner.

Camden, who hails from nearby Bedford, lives now with his granddad, and says his entire family — with many aunts, uncles, cousins, grandkids etc., all live within 25 miles of each other! That they not only get together for holidays, but many of them get together weekly. He says the ongoing presence of his family makes him feel “blessed.”

Meanwhile, Camden says he doesn’t have much to do in his final semester, and wants to join our work parties! Terrific! We’ve put him on the list.

Work Parties: Tool Care and Planting Seeds

We’ve upped our game. Now we ask that podmates devote four hours, rather than two hours, per week, to our common goal of evolving this permaculture village and urban farm into an living template that will inspire others to do the same in all the suburbs of America! I know it sounds like a big vision. And it is. And why not? What else are we here on this blessed Mother Earth for if not to reconnect with Her and each other? I mean, duh!

Okay, so two work parties this past week. First:

Tool Sharpening and Oiling

We have never done this task before as a group work party.! Yet it needs to be done yearly, in the winter months, when the tools are not being used and we’re twiddling our thumbs waiting to get back to the soil.

Four men and one woman gathered in the DeKist 1 living room about a week ago, and got right down to the task, mending, sharpening and oiling. (They were going to do it in the greenhouse, but it turned out to be too damn cold.)

Andreas, Joshua, and Alex all concentrated on sharpening.


Solan did the fixing, here tightening screws on our post hole digger.

Finally, Rebecca was the oiler.


These tools await sharpening and oiling.

And these shovels are already done, back up on the outside wall. Oops! Notice the tiny unoiled place on the left edge of the middle shovel . . .


Second seeding party 2019

Yesterday, on a very wet and thunderstormy early February day when I, Ann, was almost electrocuted by lightning, and water pooled for the first time in memory in the Overhill front yard . . .

Josh, Andreas, Solan, and Dan gathered in the greenhouse to replant tiny seeded soil blocks into larger soil blocks . . .


Dan took time to rev up the fire . . .


Then they planted these new seeds:


I noticed that a coffee cups had “Mathematical Reviews” on it, reminding us all of my deceased husband Jeff Joel, an Editor at Mathematical Reviews in Ann Arbor, for 17 years, until he moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to live in a 20-foot diameter yurt with me. My inheritance from Jeff, who died in 2003, ended up funding this Green Acres Permaculture Village and Urban Farm. We are forever grateful!

This morning I went out for another look at the situation.

Oooo! Pea sprouts!

The 2019 growing cycle begins, on the coldest day of the new year . . .

10° outside, but the greenhouse was plenty cozy —

— thanks to the fire, which will keep first the seeds, then the seedlings, equipped with a heat mat underneath, all night long if needed.

Photos by Gabrielle.  Solan and Josh, directors of the project, with podmates Gabrielle, Justin, Andreas, and Dan.

Lots of varieties of tomato seed. Also planted a few peppers and eggplant.

Andreas concentrates on coaxing down each itsy bitsy tomato seed . . .



A VERY hot pepper.

Dan takes time off to wrestle with Hank (otherwise known as “Satan,” or “Demon Dog”).


BTW: Justin wants to grow avocados . .  .


(What? In this climate, this zone?) So he filled five planters and planted the pits. Hmmm. I just looked it up, avos thrive in cold-intolerant zone 8, and I think we’re zone 4 now here in south central Indiana. Oh well! We learn by doing.

The seeds all into the soil blocks, Josh sprays to water them, so as not to disturb them from their tiny holes on top of the soil of the soil blocks. Notice the heat mat underneath.




The reward? Omelets, for a group brunch.


Second and Third Community Dinners of 2019

We needed a break during the holidays; many of us were hibernating and some of us were traveling, and, after all, it was deep winter, when the Sun reaches its nadir in the northern hemisphere and everything is supposed to come to a stop — except that it’s Christmas in the western world, and the opposite occurs . . . So, somehow navigating that contradiction, we return, with gusto! The first weekly dinner of 2019 was held at Overhill, on January 10, the second at DeKist 2, our newest dwelling, on January 17th, and the second one at DeKist 1 (otherwise known as Maple House), on January 24th. Here goes,  photos, of the second and third dinners:

Dinner at DeKist 2, January 17, 2019

Left to right, Mariella about to head out the door, Alex, Dan, Wanda

Dear friends Mariella and Eva

Visible: Wanda, Devin, Rebecca, Solan

Mariella’s kids Asiri and Juakim, with Roberto and Mariella

Visible: Solan, Sophia, with Sola

Wanda, her sister Sophie, and Devin

Alex, Dan, Wanda, Justin in kitchen, Sophie, Devin, Solan

One very sudden and surprising note: On the Sunday after our Dinner, beautiful, gentle, gracious Sola, the large white “Doodle” shown above, after only twice accompanying his owner Roberto, suddenly died. A difficult death, with vomiting and I’m not sure what else. In any case, they did a post-morten, and the diagnosis was sudden onset (I presume) Addison’s Disease. So sad, and we are glad that we did get one photo of the full Sola presence:

Sola, communing with Sophia, Wanda Rebecca and Dan in background, Annie front right.

Note also above: the fake fire coming from the screen. As somebody mentioned: it’s surprising how it warms us, anyhow!


Dinner at DeKist 1, January 24, 2019

The three houses of the Green Acres Permaculture Village offer three different ambiances. That at DeKist 1 tends to be warm and cozy, since it’s public space is the smallest.

Hugh, in yellow jacket, arrived bearing news: He has ordered 600 young trees, to arrive in Bloomington not sure when, but we’d better get ready for our Green Acres Neighbors to know about this gift! Annie notes it on her phone. Gabby in back, Dan to right with puppy Shadow, and Jim, a friend of Alex, with us for the first time.


Rebecca, with Dan and Wanda. Note all the wine! Much more than usual.

Dan with Sophie, Wanda’s sister. Sophie is due to return to Canada for part of the year soon. We’ll miss her!

Max, Rebecca’s Maine coon cat, decided to lie down in the very middle of the traffic pattern between kitchen and living room. We all know, and furthermore, all the dogs know: Max rules!

Alex, with Shadow and Dan

I couldn’t resist taking pics of some of Mia’s astonishing tattoos, truly an art form on her. She tells us that the Indianapolis woman who does them adheres exactly to Mia’s specifications, with each one taking only one to two hours!


Here’s what Mia (Hugh’s partner) actually looks like, here  with Devin and Wanda.

Quite an evening. As usual.

Next Thursday? Probably here, at the Overhill House — or should we call it Tulip Tree, or Cedar — both of which grow out front. Our problem with renaming the DeKist 2 house, there are no real trees in that front yard. The renaming idea is Solan’s — a good one, except for times when strangers don’t know what we mean and so translation needed. Oh well! We keep experimenting, keep learning, keep growing, through thick and thin.


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