2008 East Wind Report:

11-23 08

Last winter was a joy, and we were fortunate all winter to have fresh greens coming out of our garden. The weather was conducive to outside activities, which kept the farm a little less penned up.

Spring came on like gangbusters. When the rains hit we had flooding in our lower fields, actually maxing out the flood plain; complicating our use of those fields for hay, and completely flooding our fine swimming hole. Sarah and Zeke, the new ranch team, managed to fix the bailer. I think they’re like sewing machines, magical- not mechanical. We were still able to harvest hay out of a damp field, and as for the swimming hole, we moved it to a more accessible location.

Yohanan’s birthday party (his 157th, I believe) was held up the creek, via canoe, at some nice chert banks. May Day brought us some friends LEXing from Twin Oaks for our 34th anniversary! Our holiday festivals have been wonderfully light hearted; with hula hooping and Frisbee. We’ve a group of people who have been playing with the fire circus idea; with a fire hula hoop, juggling pins, fire rope batons, and of course, Poi. All adding to the fun and exciting environment that makes these events so special. As long as I am talking festivals, I should add in that this August music festival was a wonderful time, with members of The Shwag (a local Grateful Dead tribute band) coming down and giving us a fine reason to dance the perfect night away.

We have moved the deck from behind the sandals trailer, where it was not being used very often, to the south side of the music room. A beautiful new flight of stairs wraps all the way around, making this a very comfortable and useable space with a great view of the fields.

Our kitchen has been working harder and harder to get more of our food from within a 100 mile radius, providing us with fresh milk, which is being used for some learning experiences with soft cheeses. And, fresh eggs to supplement our chicken’s production, as well as some free range meat chickens from a Mennonite farm about 40 miles from us. There’s even been gossip of building a dairy barn again and going back into production!

Our personal food production has been wonderful this year with the ranch team harvesting and processing our own animals instead of sending them out for butcher. We’ve also had an amazing year in the garden; featuring: peppers, cabbage, lettuce, kale, ginger, an amazing (and historically huge!) strawberry harvest, and tomatoes, coming in right up until the frost. This is only a small taste of the good work Faery, Link and Peter have put into our garden. Many help, but the brunt always comes down to a few dedicated gardeners and they have done a fabulous job feeding us fresh food this year. We also have had more folks doing food processing, with beans, tomatoes, jalapeños, pickles and salsas all being put away this year.

We have had a rising interest in sustainability, which has produced some nice morning gatherings where members and visitors talk about what sustainability means to us and what we can do.

Our businesses have been doing well, and communitarians saw profit sharing this year! We also put away cash for a building fund in a separate account and voted to increase that fund this year.

The Nut House expansion saw a slow point in construction, but has recently picked up again. Hopefully, we will get walls on it before the snow flies!(Update!, walls are on!) One of the reasons for the new jar line is the addition of a tamper evident seal. There are roaster trainings going on and a new team taking on Nut Butter production. Feels like a lot of energy going into our business again!

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