Author Archives: Gabrielle

September Work Party Slideshows!

It has been an incredibly busy few months, with the work parties [and dinners] blazing past us so quickly, that we decided to share all the work party/dinner photos as slideshows to catch us up to mid-October. You can hover over the photos for descriptions. Thanks everyone!

Friday, September 13th

Monday, September 17th

IU Students, Sunday, September 22nd

Autumn Equinox Brings Changes at Green Acres

Change is happening everywhere for everyone it seems! I promised announcements, though many of our neighbors and friends are already ‘in the know’, it’s time to break down the big shifts that occurred here at Green Acres Permaculture Village.

These shifts haven’t been easy for everyone. Sometimes change is scary and we often do our best to avoid change — even if planned well in advance and yes, even if it is something we wished to happen.

That being said, I feel that challenging times can also be viewed as new beginnings.


‘Welcome home’ brunch, courtesy of Daisy. Returning from my last pet sitting gig.

I’ve been playing ‘musical rooms’ here since August. I returned from a three-month long pet sitting job at the beginning of August, and moved into the larger room next to my old one in DeKist 2 house. That made the smaller room available to another pod mate, Chris.

Some time after a few meetings and discussions, Charisse decided she wanted to move into the back bedroom at DeKist 2 house. She’s been eyeballing that space since they first got the house! Andreas was open to moving into the room I was inhabiting.

Once it was green-lighted, it was decided that I would run an AirBnB out of Maple House. I would move into Solan and Daisy’s old room after they left for Colorado on September 1st [and only after a great evening of raucous fun at karaoke!]

But first — Charisse landed this sweet couch for DeKist 2 house in mid-August. It’s insanely cool and very, very cozy. [Roommate Scholtie approves.]



Solan & Daisy’s old room [but new to me]


My room didn’t stay like this long. It has since been stacked with extra furniture, shelves, CD’s, books, clothes, an extra desk and a myriad of other items I moved over and also accepted as gifts for use for the AirBnB. It has acted as a holding area for many things in transition. It turned out many of our friends were also experiencing transitions of their own.

Every door that closes another one opens. Sound so cliché, doesn’t it? It’s quite true! In between the daily work, dinners, small dramas and sometimes large ones — things began to finally fall into place … with help and whole lotta practice in patience.

Suffice it to say, both houses on DeKist Street will look decidedly different as we take turns hosting dinners indoors as the cool weather is upon us once more. [And sometimes we’ll have an additional guest joining us from the AirBnB!]

Here’s a few before/after photos of the outward transitions occurring since September:

I’ve moved into a new space, with a new roommate. Charisse has moved into a new space after being here 7 years. Andreas has a new room and several new roommates, as does Scholtie, with furry friends Amos, Hank and Max added to the mix. The critters may take awhile longer than us to get used to the new changes!

Our AirBnB guests? They may never know how much we’ve all learned about each other, and ultimately ourselves in this process. Last night’s dinner blessing from Jim said more than I could hope to convey about what makes this place so special. I can’t imagine a better ‘place to be.’

It’s been a wild Autumn equinox. In closing, I’m reminded that it began with a quiet ceremony with manoomin rice to thank the founder of our feast, Saint Jeff.

Gratitude is important in every process. This one has left me exhausted, but also inspired and incredibly humbled. This is my tribe. Miigwech.

Love and rocket stoves,

P.S.: Come and see us at Maple House [more updates to come!]
Unique Private Room in Permaculture Village by IU


Work Parties, Community Dinners 9/5 – 9/12

It has been an exceptionally busy first half of September. Ann left to attend The Crone Council in Arizona, returning on the 9th and Charisse left the same week to visit Oregon, having just arrived back today!

I’d taken on Charisse’s duties as garden manager, keeping the work parties on schedule, with a list of things that we could be working on while in her absence and tending to watering schedules and the chickens.

First came the duties with setting up for Thursday dinner, on Sept. 5th. Thankfully, our wonderful friend, Marita was here to watch critters for Charisse and was also a huge help with daily chores as well!


Marita pouring wine for the guests as they started through the line.


The usual gang was here and we were surprised by another visit from Bob who brought his friend and gardener, Jake.

Not many photos were taken that evening’s dinner, but a feast was had! [Unfortunately, the mosquitos also had one. Even with such little rain, they find a way to endure.]

Friday morning’s work party [9/6] started in the back garden, where I gave each podmate a specific weed to choose to pull. Their task: pull one whenever you see one, not just that morning. Podmate Chris mentioned that he pulls weeds when he walks to work and back, which is a good habit we should all have!

Weed pulling in front of DeKist 2 [FYI: it is now called Harmony House!], started with morning glories, smart weed and other grasses. While there, we also harvested lovely honeybee yellow cherry toms and okra, which has been coming in like gangbusters!



Marita told me she’d never cooked okra until she came to stay with us, which is great because I’ve never cooked it myself! Some of the okra was simply too large and woody to cut and eat, so the chickens enjoyed the larger okra harvest.


You can see the large okra on the right in front of the smaller in the basket. Today was also the day we learned [a little late] to always wear gloves when harvesting okra. Poor Andreas ended up with a prickly between his nail and cuticle which swelled before a piano performance! Luckily, we were able to lance it before it got worse.



Beautiful okra blossoms are still coming in this week and another harvest is due!

Fast forward to Monday, 9/9 when our big focus was WATER, WATER, WATER! We had expected a decent chance of rain on that Friday before but it was a no-show. Each garden got a decent soaking, as we continued to pull weeds. I set out to make sure the sprinkler got a workout at each house.

First the bean and pepper patch:


Marita watered the lovely flowers on the back patio, as well as the squash tunnel!


After watering, we knocked out the drainage area of weeds, grass and additional mulch that had built up — preparing the path for a future rain storm.



Thursday dinner night, 9/12 at Overhill House. Ann has arrived back and Mariella has provided us with some photos. Thank you, Mariella! Ann described her trip to Crones Council, and gave a short performance of her birthday song at Crone Follies. This was also the first evening we welcomed new service learning students from IU this fall and we had a visit from a lovely woman named Coral who reached out to us months ago and decided to stop in for dinner! She brought a desert made with pears from her yard and organic honey. Coral joined us the next morning for work party.



Ann gave the garden tour to the students, while the rest of us chatted on the patio. I announced that dinner was ready to eat — bypassing a blessing this time, since it was almost 20 after 7pm and folks were hungry! Our friend Jim’s parents were in town visiting from Pennsylvania and they came to dinner with homemade sloppy joes, which Jim countered with vegan sloppy joes!

Plenty of phenomenal desserts, one from a Pennsylvania bakery made with prunes and poppyseed. Unsure of the name but while it wasn’t pronounceable — was certainly delicious!



Ann will share a post about our Friday the 13th Work Party: More watering!


On a personal note, yesterday’s work party was kind of a bust as I was waylaid by a migraine and not much help in the ‘work’ department. I have to thank Ann for her Florence Nightingale nursing streak, as I was able to eat a decent meal — and Marita again saved the day, with watering and chicken care.

After a good rest, I’m feeling grateful to have such great friends, neighbors and fellow pod mates who love this place and want to see it thrive. That’s what growing community means to me = teamwork. It makes the dream work!

Big news, moves and changes are coming this fall that I’m excited to share soon! Until next time…

Love and rocket stoves,