Category Archives: Village

GREEN ACRES VILLAGE: Nearing Summer Solstice, We Gather; We Exchange Energies

This year we decided to hold a small ceremony here on Solstice eve, rather than a big whingdig. Glad we did too, as there’s another party friends and a former podmate are holding from noon on about 30 minutes away — which includes bathing in a beautiful forest pond.

Thursday’s Community Dinner finally saw our numbers begin to climb towards “normal” — as if there’s anything “normal” during this period of extreme global turbulence — which surprised both podmate Annie and me, since we thought we might be the only two attending, given that no one else who lives in these three houses was either in town or available. So we laughed, while cleaning the back patio, at about 5:30 p.m. on yet another day of extreme humid heat which has driven just about everyone inside. 

Oh well! As Annie put it, “The two of us can enjoy your chicken and my potato salad.” Yep! 

But . . . we were wrong. Very wrong. To our delight! By the time 7 PM arrived, so did friends and neighbors begin to trickle in, to the point where, at 7:30, you’d never have known that a few hours earlier, we assumed we’d likely be alone.

You can’t see it, but I had turned on the sprinkler on the lawn, for those who needed to cool off. Several people did, including myself. 

Then, the next day, a timid knock at the door. Who’s that?

It’s sweet Ollie in a warrior teeshirt! With a beautiful sign!

“Would you like some lemonade?” 

“Sure!” I went to fetch a $5 bill, knowing it would blow him away.

Big grin . . . he ran down the steps.

Next . . .

Carisa, from across the street, arrived with the sign, both kids, and a tiny cone shaped vessel holding RHUBARB lemonade!

“Have you ever had rhubarb lemonade?” 


“YOU get free refills.”

She handed it to me. Delicious!

And then she proceeded to spell out the sign, reproduced here larger, and almost clear enough . . .

There are three “funds” she explained. The first is for a project that is dear to their hearts. And they decided SNAKE. (Is there a snake project nearby? I didn’t think to ask at the time). The second is for something they want to make. They decided LEGOS. And the third is for a larger project, and she decided on: RHINOCEROS. (I presume at a zoo?)

Ollie exclaimed: “I just love animals!”

Young Wyatt eagerly pointed to the legos, and chortled. I want legos! Carisa and I laughed. Nothing like teaching young ones to “share the wealth” early on, even though, like most adults, they can’t help but focus on the self-centered reward.

I pointed to the Sarkissians next door. “Go there, too! “And go offer some to Colin!” (Next door, the other side.)


Earlier that day I had taken a rare shot with both Tiger and Shadow, lounging, side by side.

Tiger is Ollie’s favorite. When Ollie is frustrated, instead of screaming, he runs outside to grab Tiger, and they roll around on the grass together. Tiger is Ollie’s “service animal.”

Others in the neighborhood also favor Tiger. In fact, some new people who moved in nearby the other day told me that they love Tiger! (He gets around.) “Yes,” I replied. He’s unfaithful!”

Yesterday, Shadow and I were taking a short evening walk when Mary and Abby, who live down the street, stopped their car and asked: “Do you have any extra kombucha bottles? You know, the kind that have a rubber top that pops off?”

“Probably. Dan probably left some there. Just check in my basement.” 

“Okay!” They zoomed off. 

I’ll end this little tale with two shots of flowers, first, Asiatic lilies —

— and something that podmate Joseph’s phone app identified as “loosestrife.” Never heard of it! And never seen it before either, until some bird brought it into the patio area. Likely medicinal in some way. Most plants are.

Just looked it up. No wonder it came in on its own. It’s officially an “invasive,” and spreads easily. Okay. We’ll watch it, and watch out!

On extreme left above is a plant that I can’t remember the name of right now, but often put its leaves in my salads. 

Green Acres Village, June 12, 2022: Plumbing Our Own and Nature’s Depths

I continue to be amazed at how many permaculturists — even permaculture teachers! — took the jab. Don’t they realize that their own body is an ecosystem? Do they pour Monsanto on their gardens to get rid of a pest? No. They introduce elements in their garden that will help it become more resilient to outside forces.

Let us, as permaculturists, recognize first personal permaculture, sensing our own body as a brilliant outgrowth of Mother Nature, with an immune system that, unless eroded or destroyed, protects us from outside forces. Dr. Zach Bush, M.D., known for his permacultural discussion of the human biome, is someone I have learned much from during the past two years. See this interview with Del Bigtree.

I wonder if the fact that the jabbed-or-not controversy is still simmering, but unremarked, in this town (half of us who live in Green Acres Village are jabbed, half not) has something to do with the fact that our Community Dinners started out so sparsely in April after a four month hiatus. On the other hand, several of last Thursday’s dinner participants went out of their way to tell me they very much enjoyed our conversation. As time goes on, we reach below the surface, more and more, eager to share, learn and enjoy stories from each others’ lives that teach us what is and is not real. 

At the Dinner a week ago, five women huddled in intimate conversation. This week twice as many, and all but two were men! Here’s the single photo I was able to get before my ipad ran out of energy. (Dan and Daniel, though present, are both missing from this photo.)

BTW: speaking of low numbers, Green Acres Permaculture Village now has three openings, to be filled by August 1. If you or anyone you know is interested, then if at all possible, start attending our community dinners so that we can get to know each other.

Here’s the message I put out five days ago on facebook. A number of people have signaled interest, and unfortunately, We’ve already had to say “not a good fit” to four of them. Interviews ongoing. 

Here are a few more current photos, of our “tiny paradise.”


Entrance to back patio where dinners are held, unless it rains.


Both slugs and cabbage moths are trying to get the cabbages. Beer in little cans for the slugs. Or banana peel. Diotomacious earth for the moths. This year, for the first time, the cabbages actually appear to be making heads!


Joseph strung up the peas during Friday’s work party.


Looking southwest from Overhill front porch. But then, turn around and . . .


. . . the 12-foot yurt for the back yard sits in its packing, awaiting the building of the platform.


Finally, though the following two posts don’t address the community aspects of our “tiny paradise” in the middle of a suburb — after all, our motto is, “growing community from the ground up”! — the “ground” part is very much up front and calling us to attention, given the rising costs of especially food and energy, which threaten to decimate our society. As transportation becomes more and more expensive, so will food have more and more to be sourced locally. All the horrors that threaten us now are necessary first steps to transforming our way of life on planet earth. 

The contrast could not be more glaring:

The Food Storage Solution in Your Own Backyard

Pouring Poison and Planting Seeds of Dependency: Big Agriculture Destroys Organic Farming

Plus, a meditation on the loss, and rekindling, of our original connection to the land. 

Where the Horses Sing

Caution, in reference to this beautiful, nostalgic, and yet invigorating essay:  I think we must be very cautious when we talk about “climate change,” given that it is one of the main issues being used to bring in the Great Reset and New World Order, both of which promise to clamp down both humans and the Earth herself into a transhumanist technocratic nightmare where the algorithm rules over all. 

As June begins, 2022: NEW MOON CEREMONY — and AXE WHACK!


Thanks to podmate Joseph, Green Acres Permaculture Village now has a new tradition: to hold a sacred New Moon ceremony with each lunar cycle. The first one was last Tuesday evening, when several of us gathered with Joseph and three of his co-workers at the local co-op.

Joseph is taking this tradition seriously, ready to document it as the first of many. He’s dedicated a notebook to it, and calls himself “Chicory Joe.” Pay special attention to the wonderful wand he placed on the cover, which he made from a yellow dock root and a crystal. 

To welcome us for the occasion, he set up a table with treats —

and another with ceremonial objects, should any of us choose to bring one. I brought Tarot cards. Others brought crystals. Here he is fussing over that table’s arrangement (unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo) while the rest of us wait for the ceremony to begin.

The ceremony itself was short and sweet. He lit a fire, and then asked each of us to write down whatever we feel we need to let go of in order to usher in the New Moon cycle. Then, he asked us to go around the circle, and listen to each other say something about what we are letting go as we watch the slips of paper thrown into the fire.

Here we are, busy writing.

I was amazed at how quickly and sincerely everyone present got into the spirit of the ceremony, welcoming the new by letting go of the old. 



Podmate Marita, who is basically in charge of compost these days, decided that during our Tuesday morning work party she would whack the old compost structure. If you recall, we’re moving it to the back of the third house. Here’s Dan, sitting on top of the new one.

The old one is being dismantled little by little, and Marita told me later she had great fun getting her aggression out, whacking with an ax. Here she is, heading in . . .

And here she is, having fun.

BTW: for Thursday’s Community Dinner, I brought the salad, featuring a variety of greens from the main garden.




End of May Yurt Prep Continues: RE-PURPOSING!

Amazing. Why oh why didn’t I think of this. My son Colin, the inventor, thought of it. Well, okay. Much much MUCH better than somehow “getting rid of them.”

These old walls — made of concrete and rebar —  that used to reign over the cob oven (see Cob Oven Saga), and were then cut in pieces and hauled next door to this back yard (by at least eight people laboring mightily) in 2012, remained stuck in place for ten years, two of them leaning against a tree, and the other, a corner wall, pushed near the NE corner of the yard. I detailed the first step in this Yurt Prep in last Sunday’s post, when neighbor Devin took down the tree next to that corner wall.

So what is it Colin thought of? He thought of the idea of actually repurposing the walls by cutting them in half for container garden walls. Duh! Okay! But Colin’s knee is still bothering him, so he can’t do physical work right now.

But then it just so happens that old friend Rich Viola came through again, on his way back to the Tetons (he was here a few weeks ago) . . . And being both skilled and willing, he decided to tackle the nasty job of cutting the walls down to size. Colin had the diamond blade with a grinder. So Rich got to work. A filthy, intensely noisy job, which luckily didn’t need to last very long.

First, with Joseph’s help, he tipped that corner wall (the largest, heaviest one) over.

Hmm, we laughed. Should this be repurposed as a permanent tent instead of cut up for raised bed walls? Nah. Here goes.

Victory! BTW: That corner item was cut into three pieces, one of them the shape of a sluice, so we figure we’ll use it as a channel for water somewhere.

The other two pieces, each to be cut in half, had been standing for 12 years leaning up against this tree, which I had never really paid attention to before, until Rich tipped both of them over to be cut. My soul reached out to that tree, truly! And thanked it for standing there stalwart, unbending, unmarked even! by that huge leaning weight all those years.

Notice the tarp. Both these pieces, now four rather than two . . .

 . . . and the corner pieces are going to be tarped until the next step in this process. They will make six walls for three standing beds. Now we’ll have to decide where to put them.

Three days later, I walked out to the back of the second DeKist house and saw Dan (who lived here for five years, and now comes to do his laundry and help with whatever needs doing) had just finished putting together the new compost bins from pallets we got at Colin’s Garden Tower Project warehouse. Yes!

So, besides being a week when we planted all sorts of vegetables during work mornings, and besides a small, intimate Community Dinner, both these major projects got tackled by members of our larger community, which now stretches even to the Tetons. Thanks Rich! And thanks Dan!

Next up? A small backyard ceremony for New Moon, tomorrow evening, something which appears to be on its way to becoming a tradition around here, since both Marita and Joseph want to continue them. YES!

Here’s Laura’s post for tomorrow’s New Moon, which actually occurs at 7:30 AM.

New Moon in Gemini — May 30, 2022






4th Week May 2022: still planting, weeding — AND BEGIN PREP FOR NEW YURT!


On Tuesday four podmates prepared the raised bed in front of the third house and planted sweet potato slips there.

Daniel displays one of the “slips” with puppy Shadow, bottom right, watching.

Come on, Marita, Evaan, Daniel, and Aya, SMILE for the camera! (Evan, BTW, is here only for one month, about to take off for legendary Findhorn, in Scotland, to take a Permaculture Design Certificate course!)

I prepared a tiny bed and sowed spinach. Joseph, our go-to guy to remove any emerging poison ivy — he’s only mildly allergic — was hard at work. Thank you, Joseph!

Friday morning work party, more planting, this time peppers. Marita and I focused on removing vines, especially kudzu, which is trying to take hold here under the giant maple tree.

Meanwhile, the many sudden drenching thunderstorms have us wondering whether we really do need to take the seedlings in and out of the greenhouse over and over again. Did we do this in prior years? Don’t think so, or only rarely. Are there more sudden, strong storms this spring? 


The yurt is to arrive June 1, from A long-held dream of mine (I lived in a 20-foot yurt in the Tetons for twelve years before coming to Indiana), the yurt will be a sleeping place for visitors, woofers, and so on. We decided on a 12-foot diameter yurt with 10-foot high ceiling, mold resistant marine canvas, and another cover over that in case of heavy rain. Other features too, like the number of windows, type of door, etc.

We will put the yurt on a platform, and set the platform at the northeast corner of the Overhill house back yard. We’ve had to remove or reduce several garden beds to do it, but it seemed like the most logical place. Even before the platform is built, the corner wall — an awkward, hard to repurpose remnant from the long strange, even fascinating, shadow-dancing story: the Cob Oven Saga — which has been standing about four feet out from that corner for years, has to be moved back. That will take a number of people to accomplish. But even before that can happen, we knew we’d have to eliminate what remains of a tree (plus a bird house, unfortunately), since both are obstructing any effort to move the corner wall back . . .

In any case, this whole project is my idea, and so I’m the one that has to make it happen. I asked neighbor Devin at our Community Dinner nearly two weeks ago, if he could cut down the tree. He agreed, in exchange for “two-hearted ale, glass bottled.” Okay!

That weekend rolled around. Nope. Several days ago I sent a pleading email reminder, and he responded, saying yes he would do it sometime this weekend. So yesterday (Saturday) morning I went to Big Red Liquor to get him not one six-pack, but two . . . And, when I got home — divine timing! — Devin was just arriving, with his electric saw. The tree turned out to be not so easy to cut down, but he got ‘er done, and luckily the bird house was not in use this year.


I’m thinking that when I send out the announcement to the Green Acres Dinner List Tuesday for this week’s 7 p.m. Thursday Community Dinner, I’ll include a request that anyone who is physically able, would you please come 30 minutes early and help us move that damn corner wall back four feet? It will take the coordinated effort of about six people. 

I’m going to sweeten the request by telling anyone who agrees to help that he or she can spend a night in the new yurt, once it’s up, likely by the end of June.