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Mid-June, PHOTOS GALORE: Dinner, CSA, other Projects, dwarfed by PROFUSION!

If there’s one thing that can be said about Mother Nature, it is that when she’s ready to bloom, she does, and in so many many ways. We have seen a number of new volunteer plants seed themselves here this year, some of them even welcome! Like hollyhocks, which used to be here, and then went away (more on that later). Also, whereas we thought the frogs had gone, due to lack of enough water, they’re back, due to enough water! And there are at least two of them, judging by the croaks, so we hope they are  male and female.

The profusion is so elaborate that our neighbor Devon suggested he come over here with his pruning shears. Great idea! “You know I was trained in that,” he says. GOOD!

Here’s the garden entrance that particularly concerned him, looking from the first DeKist house, through a tunnel made of curly willow . . .

 Back up a few feet, and it’s even more formidable. Rebecca that tunnel effect has only been there for a few days . . .

And voila! You’ve gone through the tunnel to the garden, brassicas protected by cover cloth from cabbage moths.

Here’s another entrance, that we managed to cut back a bit of just the other evening, noting that we hope the primrose takes hold. (You can’t see it, but it’s there, on the fence above the day lilies.)

Here’s a view, through the fence, with massive horserdish leaves in left forefront. Me: “I remember when I bought the horseradish from a farmer at the Saturday market maybe five years ago. He smirked as he was selling it to me.” We all laughed. Of course, I had no idea how prolific that single plant would prove.

Four of us happened to be on a walk-about, around the outside of the fence, checking on plants we’d forgotten about, like this little one:

And noticing especially what volunteer plants were appearing. For example, what’s this?

Again, massive leaves, but not horseradish, not comfrey, not dock(?).

Of course the place we stopped the longest was to admire the new poppy plant, flowering now, after Rebecca planted it last year.

Here’s an even cooler picture, contrasted with whatever that spikey starburst-looking thingie is right above it.

The poppies’ pink matched almost exactly the color of another volunteer plant, the pink hollyhock, mentioned above. (There’s also a new white-flowered hollyhock nearby.)

Stories abound. Like this one: Maynard, an old friend of Dan’s, was here for a few days leading up to Mother’s Day, and happened to buy two “Sagittaria Latifolia” plants, one for Rebecca and one for me. He did not realize: we are both Sagittarians! Another name for this plant: broadleaf arrowroot. Here they are, in their watery habitat and flowering.

Then there are the various day lilies, so beautiful that we applaud them when they spread.

Oh and there’s our famous queen elderberry bush, which would take over the entire front yard of the first DeKist house if given its way. We hope to beat the birds to the berries, and will harvest some of the flowers for tea.

And there’s this amazing purple plant, that has come up periodically all along. Some say it’s a  Japanese plant that’s good for tea. Others say it’s orach, and can be eaten like sorrel or spinach. Haven’t tried it yet, either way.

Meanwhile, amidst all this profusion, Rebecca keeps designing. Here she is, outside the fence, in the latest bed she is communing with.

While I was out there she told me about a gigantic, glorious rock that she spotted on someone’s curb in Indianapolis. The lady who lived there was happy to get rid of it, and helped Rebecca put it in her car. She and Shy decided right then and there to move it into the new bed right where she wants it.

So yes, amidst all this profusion, we do have some projects going, mostly plant based, like this one, drying herbs on a clothes rack.

Or this, Solan’s new experimental mushroom growing project.

Then there’s the project to build a tiny new pond, this one to replace an extremely gross water catcher from the DeKist 2 house roof:

The hole had been dug. Now the liner. Rebecca: “I sure wish I had attended that pond building workshop last winter . . .” So who knows if this will work, but it’s an old swimming pool liner that Solan’s dad was getting rid of. Here goes:

Not sure what we’re waiting for to finish it, but it’s obviously not done yet.

Meanwhile, you’d never even know the pond is there beyond, by the property line. Here’s the view from the path to the house:And meanwhile, our regularly scheduled activities proceed apace. CSA harvest, every Friday evening:

And Community Dinners every Thursday evening.

Here’s last week.

This week, tomorrow, will happen to fall on Summer Solstice, so we have planned a wonderful ceremony for after dinner. YES!



Early June: Weekly Community Dinner, Harvest, and Garden photos: plus antique blue bottles!

Life goes on. We just found out this morning that Alex Simack, who has been here for only two weeks, has just landed a job in Indianapolis. Bon Voyage, Alex! Which means that since John has also left, to pursue his dream of being a musician in New York City, we now we have two rooms open, one in each of the DeKist houses. Anyone interested in “growing community from the ground up” and might choose to live here, get ahold of us! At least come to one of our weekly dinners. Get to know us. We can all see if you would feel comfortable in this loosely-organized little village inside a suburban neighborhood that values individual expression, group cooperation and effort, and love of the Earth Mother.

Community Dinner

Thursday eve, 7 p.m. Can you tell it was hot outside?

Overview before we begin.

Digging in:

Neighbor Devon brought both his wife and his Mom, both for the first time.

Serious talk in the heat.

Of course, kids on screens . . .


Annie, above, is sponsoring a series of concerts in Bean Blossom,  30 minutes east of town. This sunday evening will feature three locals playing only Dylan songs, with Annie herself, in her first solo role. She will open for the group by singing her own just composed song with guitar. Go Annie! I plan to attend.


Friday evening, 5:30 to 7 p.m. I mostly washed the produce which others gathered. Here’s a few shots from when we were about done. Another hot day.

As a special treat, amidst all the spring greens of various kinds, our CSA members were also treated to half-pints of homemade Green Acres radish sauerkraut, plus a splash of parsley and sage:

Filling the bags:

Meanwhile, in the main garden, we’ve had to cover all the brassicas, because of cabbage moths. Unfortunately, some of the covers are winter weight, so we ordered summer weight to replace them. They should be here by the 15th.

Before and after photos:

And meanwhile, Dan’s grandmother just moved into a care home, so she gave both the old stored woodworking and other tools, plus her precious canning jars to Dan, some of which are antique blue, to die for!


Early May: Work Days, and “How Does Our Garden Grow?” Whee!

While it may seem that the Mozart Bassoon Concerto is a far cry from working with plants, not so here in Green Acres Permaculture Village. Our two Thursday soloists were both hard at work, on the Saturday prior to the concert.

 As were others. Directed by Rebecca, so many tasks lie unfinished and must be attended to as the growing season begins. Here’s Solan fiddling with a fence while talking with our dear neighbor Aggie, who wants to see our chickens root for bugs in her yard. She’s willing to watch them to see that they don’t get into the street, but we prefer to get a chicken tractor instead. One more thing for the to do list!

Tomato cages await placement (we planted 78 tomato plants this year; compare to 38 last year!):


Later, Solan mulched straw for the beds.

Rebecca asked me to take over watering greenhouse Garden Towers for the time being. Okay. Wow! The cucumbers are starting to come on!

Cruisin’ around the GAV:

Carissa and Logan, across the street, wondered what the purple flower is! “Phlox,” I tell them (neighbor Armen, Aggie’s husband, had just told me). “It spreads on its own. So go ahead and take a bit of it.”

Early May: Community Dinner and CONCERT!

Last Thursday’s Community Dinner was the first we have been able to hold on the patio that all three houses share, in back of the Overhill house. And, we’ve decided for the first time, to continue our Thursday dinners all summer long, rather than take off until IU starts up again in late August. Why? Well, I guess we must be having a lot of fun! Plus our dinners have become the principal time for people who are interested in what we are doing here to join us. If you come at 6:30 p.m., you can get The Tour. Otherwise, come at 7:00 p.m.

I don’t know if there has ever been a dinner that did not hold at least one person who we has never joined us before. It’s a merry roving band of outliers to the existing suburban culture of separation aiming to bring in the new multidimensional culture of sharing — within ourselves, with each other, with other species, and with the good Earth. As our motto puts it: “building community from the ground up.”

This past Thursday, we were  excited to know that after dinner we would all be treated to the one and only bassoon concerto in the western canon —

— featuring podmate (and newly awarded doctorate in music from IU) Andreas on the old piano that Annie, who often joins us for dinners, found on the side of the road, and Alex, on bassoon. She lives here at Overhill, and Dan, I, and the puppies are all quite used to the distinctive notes of bassoon tuning up behind her closed bedroom door. At first it startled. Now it’s just life!



Trooping over to the second DeKist house, none of us had any idea what to expect. Alex told me they had practiced once;  that’s all they needed since both are such gifted and seasoned performers.

We all sat in respectful silence at one end of the big living room that former podmate Briana said years ago, was just made for music, and concerts. So, it felt fitting and right that Briana happened to be visiting from Valpariso on this night when we held our first concert!

Here we go . . .

All in all, very exciting. Jelene, standing in front, got it all on film. Maybe to go on our new youtube channel?

In any case, Andreas and Alex just helped us leap into yet another, even more expanded and differentiated cultural space of inclusion, sharing, generosity, arts, education, and huge huge fun.

You can just imagine the wild cheering at the end!

Alex told me afterwards that this is how she would like to do concerts. Barefoot. YES!