Memphis Democrat Column Week of 4/19/10
Dan here, writing the weekly column on the happenings at DR. Well, the season is really ramping up this week at Dancing Rabbit. I said yesterday that it seems like we've already had a month of summer and we haven't even celebrated May Day yet. Normally that's when the season seems to kick off. And it's not just because of the weather. Maybe it's because we already have work exchangers and have had so many events recently.
We are now standing on the verge of another visitor season, when things get really busy and the level of activity doubles at least. Yes, this is the time when groups of interested people come to spend time at DR, and we show them how things work and how we live so hopefully they will decide to come join us. To prepare ourselves mentally Coach Hot Dog (aka Nathan) led the Second Annual Visitor Season Pep Rally. He whipped us into shape and raised our DR spirit so that we would have the energy to give our visitors the warm welcome they deserve. He was backed up by our Dancing Rabbit Cheerleading Squad (probably didn't know we had one, did you?), which mostly consisted of Nani and Jennifer. Apparently there were several others at the cheerleading tryouts earlier in the week, but they chickened out at the last minute. Then the rally was wrapped up with an inspirational speech based on the Gettysburg Address by Thomas, who was channeling the ghost of the late great Babraham Lincoln. Don't ask. Needless to say, we were somewhat inspired and definitely entertained.
As far as construction, there is progress happening as Tim continues work on his foundation and Wabisabi builds their temporary kitchen that will be the cooking place of their eating co-op while they build a more permanent kitchen. I saw a bunch of concrete block dropped off near Maikwe's house and heard that it was for a new cistern that's supposed to be dug this week. I know work has been humming along at the Timberframe as Jennifer's work exchangers lend a hand. Mary Beth is also starting work on finishing Brian Toomey's new house, which is Jan's old house.
Then there's the gardening. Everybody's getting everything in extra early this year with the weather being so nice. We hope that translates into a lot more produce being grown this season. I personally can't believe how far along everything is. Mary Beth has been creating beautiful herb spiral down near the Ironweed garden and Tamar's cabin, where she lives. She's doing it the right way and it's guaranteed to impress anyone who makes their way down that direction. The village can always use more beautification. Several Rabbits have been working in Liat's garden this season. I think part of it is being tended by Ali and April, and part by Bob. The morels are not out yet as I went out once with Mary Beth and again with the Garden Club and did not find a one. It's interesting because the woodland ephemeral plants seem to be at the stage they are normally at for morel season. Let's hope they come out this week.
This week we continued to be impressed with the talents of our new work exchangers playing a wide variety of instruments and singing songs. I think I've seen them doing some garden and construction work for their hosts too. I haven't seen so much music making here for a while. “Beezy” has made good on his goal of playing music every day he's been here. Janel, who formerly sang in a band on cruise ships, has been doing her share of entertaining as well.
One of the venues for our new and some of our veteran DR musicians was the Grand Opening of the Milkweed Mercantile. The Mercantile opened its doors to the whole community Saturday afternoon and gave us all a taste of it's delicious cuisine and down home atmosphere. Featured were mostly local and always scrumptious ingredients like aged and fresh cheeses, wild edible harvested from around the village, local meats and eggs, and sweeteners like Sandhill honey and sorghum. Part of the goal of the Mercantile is to support local producers. I saw in attendance locals from Rutledge and the tri-communities, familiar faces from Memphis, and of course plenty of residents of DR. It all happened on the front porch of the Mercantile on a beautiful day, and it sure looked to me like everyone was having a good time. I couldn't resist going back for seconds and thirds and fourths.
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community in Rutledge, Missouri practicing ecological sustainability. We offer tours 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month April through October. Our next tour is April 24th at 1:00 p.m. No reservations are necessary. For more information, please see our website at http://www.dancingrabbit.org.