Memphis Democrat Column Week of 12/14/09
Dan D. here, writing another column for our local paper updating you all on life in our village. I've been kind of busy this week getting ready for my annual winter vacation. It was the week when we felt the first real bitter cold front of the season. I picked the last heads of my broccoli and pulled the last of my carrots just before the temperatures plummeted. It's so nice to still be getting fresh garden produce in December. Hopefully, I'll be reporting the same thing in January and February when I'm pulling carrots, beets, and leeks from my root barrel.
I opened the door to the chicken coop the morning after it got down below zero and the chickens seemed struck by the world outside and turned right around again. The Ironweed coop seems to be working well to keep them at least somewhat warmer than the outdoors. They also benefited from the freezing of the broccoli plants. I threw the plants into their pen and they picked them clean of their leaves.
This last weekend the Milkweed's Mercantile hosted a showing of the documentary No Impact Man, about Colin Beavan, a guy in Manhattan who lived an eco-friendly lifestyle for a year. I think Alline talked about the movie last week so I won't give too much detail. Many rabbits and neighbors attended the showings and discussed the movie afterwards. It's been nice to see the lights on and activity in the Mercantile in the evenings. We hope to attend many more fun events there in the coming months and hope that our neighbors will feel welcome to attend.
Nathan, in anticipation of the arctic blast, called for the first Broomball game of the season on our old pond. I was surprised to see the pond frozen enough to be able to hold the game on. Broomball is a game kind of like hockey, where a puck is hit into a goal. In the DR version however, the puck is an old dog bone, and it is swatted around the rink using old brooms. I wonder how the dogs reacted to the game. Players have been scrambling to find brooms to play with. They don't make brooms like they used to and apparently the cheapo plastic brooms they make these days don't hold up to the rigors of the game. If you have any old fiber (not plastic) brooms that have seen better days, you can donate them to DR.
I've been watching the skies lately waiting for the first signs of the Geminid meteor showers. I'm so busy during the season I often don't take the time to look up at night and follow what's happening in the sky. It's not until fall that I start paying attention and realize what I've been missing. Unfortunately, I'm headed to a city now and even if the skies are clear I won't likely be able to see many shooting stars. But getting out on these clear, cold, moonless nights with the binoculars has been an excuse to learn the names of some new stars, nebulae, and constellations. And sometimes if I watch and listen closely I can see and hear the geese flying south way up by the stars. It's another great thing about living in the country.
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community in Rutledge, Missouri practicing ecological sustainability. Tours are over for the season, but will be offered again starting next April. For more information, please see our website at http://www.dancingrabbit.org.