Memphis Democrat Column Week of 11/30/09
Zip zip zip goes the time, just flying by…where does it go?
It was Thanksgiving, now it’s December; who can keep up? I’m still trying to find a place to store the tomatoes I canned three months ago…
Hi all, this is Alline with this week’s adventures from Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.
It was a quiet but fun-filled week. Lots of folks are traveling for the holidays – Ted, Sara & Aurelia went east; Bear, Alyssa and Zane went west. Nani, Elle and Dave went south, then north; Brian went to Ohio, Liat was dog-sitting over at Red Earth Farms… And humans weren’t the only ones on the move – Dan and Mary Beth’s chickens took up residence in the “chicken TV” in the Ironweed kitchen.
We missed submitting a column last week – assigned author Jen had a painful run-in with lime plaster while working on Maikwe’s home. She accidently got a blob of it in her eye; as lime is extremely caustic it was very painful and rather terrifying, for all involved. Quick thinking on the jobsite got Jen’s eye flushed (and flushed and flushed) with saline solution, followed by a trip to the Memphis Emergency room where she received excellent care. After an uncomfortable and painful week, Jen is now doing well, as is her vision. Whew!
Dennis and Sharon just returned from presenting a successful and well received weekend seminar on Permaculture at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. Permaculture is a holistic approach to designing human settlements and perennial agricultural systems that mimics the relationships found in natural ecologies. The word permaculture is a blend of the words permanent agriculture, as well as permanent culture. The intent is that, by training individuals in a core set of design principles, those individuals could design their own environments and build increasingly self-sufficient human settlements — ones that reduce society's reliance on industrial systems of production and distribution identified as fundamentally and systematically destroying Earth's ecosystems. Modern permaculture is a way of looking at a whole system or problem; observing how the parts relate; planning to mend sick systems by applying ideas learned from long-term sustainable working systems; seeing connections between key parts. For more info see the Permaculture Institute at permaculture.org. Also recommended is Toby Hemenway’s book “Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home Scale Permaculture.” Dennis, Sharon and I are currently plotting a way to bring this seminar to the Milkweed Mercantile in the fall of 2010.
Wednesday evening Enzio (formerly “Jibran”) and Duncan presented a play featuring their version of the first Thanksgiving. Ably assisted by actors Lily and Sheila, it was a comic tour de force, a combination of “CSI Rutledge” and “Monty Python’s Flying Circus.” It was short but fabulous; we look forward to more home-grown entertainment!
Thursday we celebrated Thanksgiving here at Dancing Rabbit with our friends from Sandhill and Red Earth Farms. Juan’s mom Gloria and her husband Vince were here to celebrate Jolyon’s first Thanksgiving. We were also joined by Marqis (Enzio’s dad), who is rapidly becoming one of the family, and Jo Sandhill and her partner Peter, who were in town to visit her father Laird. While it could have been chaotic having 42 for dinner, all ran smoothly as a crew of servers cheerfully distributed the food to the various tables. We ate until we were full, and then ate some more. The Carletons and Nathan celebrated the day in LaPlata with our friends at the Possibility Alliance. Life is good, and we are grateful.
Lately we’ve had wonderfully clear skies at night and a moon bright enough to walk around “in the dark” without flashlights. It feels quite magical. Adrienne, who along with her delightful son Cody recently made Dancing Rabbit her home, has offered to teach astronomy classes so that we know what we are ooohing and aahhhing at. Many of us are excited, and we’re all happy that our circle of combined skills and talents is ever increasing.
Saturday and Sunday brought the Scotland County debut of the talented duo of Danielle and Boone, who presented “The Fontina and Gruyere Show” at the Memphis Theater. Everyone who attended was thoroughly entertained – oh, how we laughed! Danielle and Boone had lots of help putting on the show: in addition to ample and gracious support from the Memphis Community Theater, Sparky (nicknamed “Debbie Gorgonzola” for the production) made sure the moon rose on time. Mark Mazzioti (aka “Mr. Stilton”) played the banjo and I (as “Professor Limberger”) got to introduce the play. It was a good weekend for the ham in all of us. Ziggy and April filmed the production for posterity’s sake. Being in town was also a great excuse to eat at the Main Street Café both days. I highly recommend “The Original (Dave’s)” – it’s an amazingly delicious concoction of pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers, tomato, mozzarella cheese and garlic mayo all melted together on toasted foccacia. All in all, the weekend was delightfully cheesy!
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 www.dancingrabbit.org.