Category Archives: Urban Farm

Mid-July Updates: New flag, pole in hole, Shadow intervention, Community Dinner, CSA harvest and prospect, plus shape-shifting Andreas!

So much going on here! Not sure what I’ve already posted on this site, and which made it only into the exopermaculture.com site; so if any of these updates introduce a subject for the first time for you, then check exopermaculture!

NEW FLAG

New Earth Flag, that is. The old one finally got so grungy and faded that I actually noticed it! — and ordered a new one immediately. However, I shouldn’t be surprised, given that it only cost $6.95, that the material of the new flag is flimsier; so how long will the flag last? Meanwhile, the Earth herself seems to be getting flimsier, more and more fragile, thanks to human beings and our continuing obsession with getting the biggest bang for the buck . . .

 

 

POLE in HOLE

The infamous hole discovered during the Pluto opposition to the last New Moon is receiving visitors. A few days ago, my son Colin Cudmore came to inspect it, and agreed with Rebecca that it’s probably the remains of an old cistern, and that in any case, it does hold water, and could be used for overflow from the roof when our large containers fill to the top. Good!

They took a metal pole and pounded it down through the muck, to finally hit what seemed to be a bottom. Conclusion? Hole is four feet deep, with three feet of muck under standing water. We plan to dig out the hole and create a pond for the extra roof water.

I think!

In any case, that’s the idea now. It may change. Meanwhile, I still do wonder what “caused” the hole, how long it’s been there, and how long it’s been growing. One person suggested that it may be another symptom of an “expanding earth”? True?

SHADOW UPDATE

Puppy Shadow continued to show signs of total obsession and exhaustion, not to mention personality disintegration, due to 24/7 guarding the bone that was way too big for him to eat.

Here it is, in his bed with him.

Under the kitchen table . .

Regular spot on the rug . . .

Dan and Alex finally felt sorry for the little guy, and took it away. While we all enjoyed our reflections on the mental and emotional disorders that attend excessive greed for “stuff,”  I’m glad that they had mercy on him. He’s back to his normal self!

COMMUNITY DINNER

As we get ready for this week’s regular Thursday Community Dinner, on the patio out back tonight. here are a few pics from last week. As usual, a great time was held by all, including three new people — two dear old female friends of Mariella’s from afar, and one who is here from Australia to visit his Bloomington parents. That one, Keith (green t-shirt below), peppered me with questions, especially as to how to ignite and nurture social permaculture. He’s currently studying to become a permaculture designer.

At one point, Roberto boldly struck out into the 78-tomato-plant patch behind, and grabbed the very first two ripe tomatoes. He says it’s all he gets from this week’s CSA, since Mariella gets all the rest (they are dividing a 1/2 share).

CSA

Last week’s Friday harvest, besides various greens, finally ripened enough to include some heftier items —  one squash, and one tomato for each half-share. Plus more of our value-added offerings. This time? Lemon balm tea and tinctures, made with plants grown here on this land.

Tomorrow’s Friday harvest promises much more. The tomatoes are out in force, and we’ve already had to harvest a bowl full of them plus summer squash.

SHAPESHIFTER ANDREAS

We always tell Andreas that he should not ruin those amazing hands of his with our garden work. But he persists.

 

Last Saturday evening, I and some lucky few others, got to attend his glorious, deeply felt and intricately precise 90 minute recital at the Brown County Art Guild —

— — the same pieces he has prepared for an international piano competition in New Orleans, to be streamed live starting this Sunday evening. Wish him well!

Emerging Talents Vie for Top Honors

May 24-25: Thursday Community Dinner, Friday CSA

COMMUNITY DINNER

For the first time we have decided to hold our weekly Community Dinners all summer long. In other words, not just during the school year. While much of life in a college town is governed by semesters, we needn’t be. After all, most of the people who flow into and through here at this point are not college age. Or at least not undergraduate age!

And this means that, except for rainy evenings, we can hold all our dinners on the patio outside. (That patio used to be a basketball court. This is Indiana, after all!) I can remember when I wanted to get rid of the entire patio, ratchet up all that thick concrete, rather than just part of it, like we did when we constructed the pond, rimming the entire thing with patio pieces that we dug out and called “urbanite.”  So glad now that we didn’t!

That’s what happens here. Certain dreams that we have just don’t work out. Why? Because they’re not big enough, not imaginative enough. Who would have thought, way back ten years ago, that this patio space would transform into a near-continuous community commons?

Thanks mostly to Mariella, here are a few pics from last Thursday evening, where, as ever, the offerings and variety were so abundant and precise, that you would have thought each offering was chosen in advance to go with all the others.

It begins . . .

This young person walked boldly into the scene, and announced herself forthrightly, “Hi, I’m Rebecca, and I’ve never been here before.” Loved her energy. Here she is with neighbor Jelene.

Housemate Alex has a smile to rival young Rebecca’s.

Over about 20 minutes, the table got more and more laden with nourishment.

At dinner, a few of us older ones noticed that the round table was occupied by only young people . . . Hmmm. Ageism?

Well, maybe. But we old ones love them anyway. And we love ourselves, too. Here’s two that I’ve decided to call “The Aunties,” sisters Wanda and Sophia.

Duncan, always so serious and thoughtful, attracted two  one-to-one conversations on his concrete bench, first with Dan and then with me.

SECOND WEEK, CSA

This week’s haul for the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture, which has seasonal memberships for weekly produce) seemed about a third bigger than the first week (last week). Still mostly greens, with added peas.

Dan and Solan gathered the goodies and brought them to me for washing in our outdoor sink. The whole process took less than an hour.

Ummmm. . .  Dan and I sniff the lemon grass for a double selfie.

Solan filled the sacks, and the folks with the memberships picked up most of them that same evening.

Oops! No small paper bags. Okay, this one time, plastic will have to do.

Mid-May in the GAV: David’s Compost Lesson

This is the second time Rebecca’s ex-husband David has volunteered to come over and teach whoever wants to learn, the intricacies of perfect compost, which, for him requires manure. That’s the first criterion, and we had to get it before he would come over. So we did. On Friday, after the Thursday dinner; before the CSA.

Here’s Dan, “pretending to be a union man” while Solan and Rebecca do the heavy work. The pick-up, by the way, was borrowed from Dandelion Village, across town.

Protected overnight, in case of rain.

Then, in the morning, Dan decided to be the manure bucket man.

They spent some time on the structure to hold the compost —

— and David spent a lot of time explaining, as well as building up the compost pile, which of course is layered.

David said if you use sticks, put them at the bottom; otherwise, layer manure or soil above any rotting food. (Yes! Finally, all the rotting stuff we’ve got had around here in buckets just waiting for this day!) They also layered some old leaves and lots of fresh greens (burdock grows aplenty around here).

Attaching the front board to keep the whole thing in.

It’s one humungous pile, and should decompose quickly. Stay tuned.

Mid-May in the GAV: First week, new CSA

We did a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in 2016, thanks mostly to Briana, who then moved to Valpairiso. We skipped 2017. Now we’re back at it, with new people, Solan and Alex. We were going to have offer five full memberships, but Rebecca decided that, if we want to eat from the garden too, then we’d better cap it at three. These include two half memberships, one full membership (a local co-op), and one half-membership that is again split in two. So five altogether, but of various sizes. We might be able to do more next year, as the demand is certainly there. At least four people tried to get in after we closed the group.

So  . . first week, a week earlier than expected, we began, with mostly greens, as you can imagine. Friday evening we pick the produce. Members can either come get it after 7 p.m. or wait until morning.