Green Acres Permaculture Village is a small, retrofit, intergenerational intentional community in Bloomington, Indiana that integrates self-knowledge and expression with a shared culture among humans and the living Earth to encourage abundance on every level.

About GAPV

Green Acres Permaculture Village is a small, retrofit intergenerational intentional community carved from within an existing suburban neighborhood in a college town that offers itself as a template for transformation of suburban life. We seek to express our values from the inside out: beginning with the individual (know thyself) to the human and animal commons (communication, sharing and compassion), to our sacred communion with the living Earth, we encourage the expression of Nature’s abundance on every level: food for thought, food for people, food for planet.

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Join Our Community

Are you looking for community and interested in living more sustainably? Do you want to eat produce, wild edibles, and chicken eggs from right outside your door? Do you want a home with close-knit, supportive friends? Do you long for an environment that fosters your creativity and individuality?

Green Acres is looking for a new resident with an interest in permaculture and helping us to build a more self-sustaining ecovillage. While Green Acres has been established for several years, we are rounding the corner into a more intentional community.

Email us at greenacrespermaculture@gmail.com or talk to us at our community dinners!

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Community Dinners

Join us at Green Acres every Thursday evening at 7pm for dinner with friends and neighbors. The dinners are not potlucks, but giftings. However, you are welcome to bring food, drink or a donation, if that works for you. In any case, not necessary! Or maybe your guitar or banjo? In any case, come.

Plus, we have now introduced "offerings" after dinner on occasion. So far, these have included a Feldenkrais class, a talk about the astrology of Donald Trump and the U.S.A., a knife sharpening skills, and salsa dancing lessons.

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GANA Meeting Report: October 23, 2012

Dear neighbors,

We met for the first time in over a year, and at a new, and very sweet location, the Reading Room of the Christian Science Church, 2425 East Third (that’s our side of 3rd Street, inside the neighborhood!). There were ten of us present, three of whom had not been participants in GANA before. A number of people had called to say that they could not make it due to other commitments.

The main impetus for the meeting was to discuss safety and security issues that have been arising in the neighborhood. To this end we invited the Bloomington Police Department to send a representative. Well, they sent two! Joe Qualters, who heads up neighborhood relations, and Blake Cunningham, who is one of the officers who regularly patrols our neighborhood.

Contact info for Qualters:

qualterj@bloomington.in.gov
phone and voicemail: 349-3417

We decded that it would be best if there is one person in the neighborhood who is the liaison to the police department, and Jelene agreed to take that on. In emergencies of any kind however, we were instructed to not call the police but instead call 911.

We sent about an hour with these two men, and our discussion was extremely fruitful. First, we heard three important, and difficult to hear, stories:

1. One woman, present at the meeting, had been stalked a few weeks ago at about 11 p.m. when walking home (her car had broken down). She noticed a man in a big truck going slowly back and forth. He stopped ahead of her, got out. She decided not to go that way. But he kept coming, cutting across lawns towards her. A huge man, she said. She grew desperate. What to do? At the last minute a car drove between her and the man and she hailed the car, and got in.

2. Another woman at the meeting told about her partner’s experience: she had been driving home around ten o’clock at night. She noticed a big man on a bicycle. He got off his bicycle, and started furtively cutting across through the dark towards a young woman walking home. Then he stopped, ahead of the woman, hiding behind a tree on the other side of the road from where she was walking. The woman’s partner who saw this whole scenario turned around, drove up and parked her truck between the man hiding, and the young woman, until she got safely into her house.

3. Re: that party on Clark Street where shots were fired: the woman who lived next to that house was at the meeting, and told of being terrified. Her two young grandchildren were spending the night. More and more people started coming to that house, loud booming music, of course, and the crowd spilling into her back yard. Meanwhle, she was terrified to go outside and frantically trying to find her phone to call the police. Finally, at around 2 am when the shots were fired, she did find her phone, and called. Three patrol cars arrived within seconds, so she assumes someone else had already called.

In the first two cases, of stalking, the women involved did not call the police. We spent quite a bit of time looking at the way we tend NOT to call the police, because we don’t want to bother them unnecessarily. But as Joe Qualters pointed out, “This is our JOB. And you are our eyes and ears!”

We do have to be aware that the police have priorities. There are a minimum of ten patrol cars out on patrol at any point, covering the four quadrants of the city. Parking issues, for example, do not have high priority. But loud parties, and certainly violence of any kind, or dangerous situations like stalking, do. Any little bit of information helps. Sometimes a description of someone in one possibly criminal act will help identify the perp in another act, so that they can see a pattern. If there are parties, where the police are called, and they come and warn the people there, and the party revs back up after they leave, then, Qualter insists, call the police back. They need to know when a warning was not enough. They will come back and issue a citation. First offense, $50, and it goes up from there.

VANDALISM: Qualters said that often what happens is when the students go on breaks, folks that they don’t know but who have come to their parties go in and rob them, especially looking for small electronics. So if neighbors keep watch over students’ houses during breaks, it would be helpful to the police.

(A.K.: We might look again at the Neighborhood Watch Program: http://www.ci.bloomington.mn.us/cityhall/dept/police/specops/crime_prevention/neiwatch.htm)

NOISE: go to http://bloomington.in.gov/documents/viewDocument.php?document_id=829 to read about it. (The discussion we had that night felt unclear to me.) Noise problems? Call 339-4477.

PARKING AND TRAFFIC ON HILLSDALE: We all agreed that once the Bypass is finished, traffic should slow at least somewhat. Some talk about resurrecting the idea of speed bumps, though one woman said she likes the idea of parked cars on both sides of the street, because that slows down traffic. (I agree!)

SPECIAL NEEDS AND MEDICAL CONDITIONS: The police department has a program to address this for people who may need help, for example, by letting the police know where an extra key is stored if they need to get in to help them in some kind of an emergency.

The police agreed to email us pdfs of safety tips of various kinds.

After about an hour, the police left and we briefly discussed one other item on our agenda, that of painting the electrical box at the corner of 3rd and Hillsdale. We have been given money for art supplies, and Georgia will write a proposal for a Small and Simple Grant due February 1st. Jim and Georgia agreed to work on getting a few artists to sketch the design that might work out, email these sketches to our GANA list for feedback and then select an artist who will be paid by the Small and Simple Grant.

Other business: Jim agreed to take over the GANA list-serve from Jane. Ann agreed to revamp and update the GANA website.

Our next meeting will be in early January, though the Executive Committee (Ann and Georgia and anyone else who wants to be on it) will meet before then.

Ann Kreilkamp
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More riches arriving . . .

Scored again for the GANG! Wood chips from the city

Lee Huss, Bloomington city forester, called me yesterday, while I was trying to figure out how to change title and registration of an old truck that my son Colin is gifting to the GANG garden with this great news: “I’ve got a driver out your way, with chips. Where should he put them?”

“Great! Thanks, Lee. Put them in front of my house, between the garden and the street.”

The driver did a very precise job. YES.

So much fun, scavenging for the GANG. Jim already moved the load of grass clippings from a couple of days ago. This load will go on the carpets, laid down over the aisles.

 

 

 

How to build soil while making new friends . . .

Scavaging for the GANG garden — this morning, grass clippings!

Lots of them. A whole truckfull. From Indiana University groundskeepers. Whew!

The two IU groundskeepers, Shadow, and Jim, my housemate, who directed where to put the clippings.

I consider this a real coup . . .

Shadow and were out on one of our usual morning walks, this one into a big grassy area north of campus. Once again, no chemtrails above. A good omen.

Came upon these two men, both dear hearts, forking grass clippings into a white truck with the IU decal on the door. Would they mind taking this load of grass clippings to theGreen Acres Neighborhood Garden? It’s nearby.

“Well, I dunno. We’d have to ask the boss.”

After a bit more hemming and hawing, and me begging and scraping in front of them, Shadow dancing around their feet, one of them sauntered over to the truck cab and pulled out his walky-talky.

The boss: “Nearby?  I see no problem with that.”

Shadow and I ran home to be on the street in front when they arrived. Got here just in the nick of  time. Jim, the young permaculturist and Goddard student who lives with me, directed them to dump the pile just in front of flower gardens at my house, since he’s working on a project for a sweet little gate for the garden itself (next door),

Finally, we’re going to get an obvious gate into the garden. As it is now, people don’t even know the gate is there unless they are already familiar with it. Jim is working to create two little raised garden beds here, on the outside, before creating a more obviously welcoming gate. All these projects take time. As the founder and organizer — and elder — I sit back and watch young permies do their thing, utilizing the permaculture principles we all learned in the two-week-long permaculture design class.

and didn’t want that area disturbed. Told me he’d clean the whole mess up.

WHEE!

This is not the first time I’ve scavenged for materials for the GANG. Not the first time our morning walks have yielded riches. Most of these unexpected finds come from where neighbors pile what they don’t want for the city to take away. But not all.

A few years ago I spotted bamboo growing a few blocks away (for temporary garden structures; now we have our own bamboo patch to harvest). I went up to the door and asked the renters if they would ask the owner if we could cut part of it. YES!

Old carpet (for garden aisles,

then covered with woodchips (donated, when I ask, by the city of Bloomington, or by men cutting down nearby trees),

Here’s one of our aisles, carpet laid down and partially covered with wood chips (I’ve put a call into the city for more . . .). Notice the Garden Tower to the right (www.gardentowerproject.com). We’ve found that aisles treated this way discourage weeds for about three years in this climate, and then need to be replaced.

leaves from nearby neighbors each fall, a tree trunk downed by a windstorm and dragged from next door (for a hugelculture bed).

Image thanks to permaculture institute of Australia. A log can go in as the base of these type of beds, and then disintegrates slowly.

Cardboard too, once in a while. I see it piled flat on the curb, and, like the carpet, load it into the back of the Prius. All of this stuff, flotsam and jetsam of the suburban landscape, for the lasagna beds, to mulch them and keep building soil.

For now, Jim says he’d like to mix this load of grass in with our compost piles, some of which are mostly carbon (sticks) and in need of nitrogen.

Harvest Season

Well, we have survived the drought… let’s hope! We have 1 really active bed at GANG, full of basil and tomatoes and peppers so enthused to be growing! I was able to harvest some today to start preserving food for the change of seasons (mmmmmmm pesto!) and have a couple pictures to share of the beautiful harvest!

First, friendly tomatoes.

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The cool thing is all the different colors and shapes of tomatoes that we were able to grow, and there are lots more that are on their way!

Here is one tomato going directly into our hot sauce:

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Hot sauce? Oh yeah… harvested a couple of those “pipi de mono” – monkey penis – peppers ! Here they are chopped and ready for the hot sauce. Remember: if you take the seeds out of hot peppers they are more tolerable!

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We mix that with some onions and lime juice and vinegar and take it out every meal to put on our food. YUM!

I also decided to put in some of the other beautiful peppers I harvested. The red ones are Venezuelan sweet habaneros. And they really are sweet, with just a touch of spice, but I eat them like candy! They have a really fascinating flavor. And the yellow…well I am pretty sure that is a Peruvian Habanero and it is deceptively HOT! First we just cut into the flesh and each took a little bite… no flavor. Then I cut it in half and just barely TOUCHED the pepper to my tongue and it BURNED! I drank 3 glasses of milk and have recovered. So I just put a little slice of that in our hot sauce. Here they are, the gorgeous Habeneros!!

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And basil, yes, I mentioned basil. It is growing like CRAZY! We already harvested a whole bunch, and it was featured at: The Rail! But it keeps growing…. so got to make more pesto!
 Here’s some of the raw, beautiful basil:

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That’s all the show and tell for today but if you are interested in how this stuff grows and where it comes from, come visit us at GANG!

 

 

 

Beans

A walk through the growth of the beans, from the beginning.

 

First Steph and Sarah planted the babies in the teepee

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And then they started growing….

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And just kept going!!

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And higher and higher they wrapped around that teepee…

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Then some mighty blossoms took their places on the vines…

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And before long, we had some beans to deal with…

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Happy Face!

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