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Early May: Work Days, and “How Does Our Garden Grow?” Whee!

While it may seem that the Mozart Bassoon Concerto is a far cry from working with plants, not so here in Green Acres Permaculture Village. Our two Thursday soloists were both hard at work, on the Saturday prior to the concert.

 As were others. Directed by Rebecca, so many tasks lie unfinished and must be attended to as the growing season begins. Here’s Solan fiddling with a fence while talking with our dear neighbor Aggie, who wants to see our chickens root for bugs in her yard. She’s willing to watch them to see that they don’t get into the street, but we prefer to get a chicken tractor instead. One more thing for the to do list!

Tomato cages await placement (we planted 78 tomato plants this year; compare to 38 last year!):

 

Later, Solan mulched straw for the beds.

Rebecca asked me to take over watering greenhouse Garden Towers for the time being. Okay. Wow! The cucumbers are starting to come on!

Cruisin’ around the GAV:

Carissa and Logan, across the street, wondered what the purple flower is! “Phlox,” I tell them (neighbor Armen, Aggie’s husband, had just told me). “It spreads on its own. So go ahead and take a bit of it.”

Early May: Community Dinner and CONCERT!

Last Thursday’s Community Dinner was the first we have been able to hold on the patio that all three houses share, in back of the Overhill house. And, we’ve decided for the first time, to continue our Thursday dinners all summer long, rather than take off until IU starts up again in late August. Why? Well, I guess we must be having a lot of fun! Plus our dinners have become the principal time for people who are interested in what we are doing here to join us. If you come at 6:30 p.m., you can get The Tour. Otherwise, come at 7:00 p.m.

I don’t know if there has ever been a dinner that did not hold at least one person who we has never joined us before. It’s a merry roving band of outliers to the existing suburban culture of separation aiming to bring in the new multidimensional culture of sharing — within ourselves, with each other, with other species, and with the good Earth. As our motto puts it: “building community from the ground up.”

This past Thursday, we were  excited to know that after dinner we would all be treated to the one and only bassoon concerto in the western canon —

— featuring podmate (and newly awarded doctorate in music from IU) Andreas on the old piano that Annie, who often joins us for dinners, found on the side of the road, and Alex, on bassoon. She lives here at Overhill, and Dan, I, and the puppies are all quite used to the distinctive notes of bassoon tuning up behind her closed bedroom door. At first it startled. Now it’s just life!

THE DINNER

THE CONCERT

Trooping over to the second DeKist house, none of us had any idea what to expect. Alex told me they had practiced once;  that’s all they needed since both are such gifted and seasoned performers.

We all sat in respectful silence at one end of the big living room that former podmate Briana said years ago, was just made for music, and concerts. So, it felt fitting and right that Briana happened to be visiting from Valpariso on this night when we held our first concert!

Here we go . . .

All in all, very exciting. Jelene, standing in front, got it all on film. Maybe to go on our new youtube channel?

In any case, Andreas and Alex just helped us leap into yet another, even more expanded and differentiated cultural space of inclusion, sharing, generosity, arts, education, and huge huge fun.

You can just imagine the wild cheering at the end!

Alex told me afterwards that this is how she would like to do concerts. Barefoot. YES!

 

 

GAV News, Late April 2018: Repotting, planting, plus IU “infomatics” workshop

Podmates Rebecca, Dario, Andreas, and Solan worked on yesterday’s rainy Monday morning in the large greenhouse, repotting tomatoes, mostly, including ones grown from heirloom seeds from my daughter-in-law Sue’s recently deceased Mom’s long decades in the garden. So good to have this way of honoring her memory. She was an elder from whom we could have learned much about all aspects of growing and preserving food. Too bad she lived in Ohio! Sue handed me a packet of her Mom’s seeds when I returned from Massachusetts with puppy Shadow last November. They stayed in the glove box for a couple of months, until I remembered them! Luckily, in time to plant this year.

Still lots of plants to go out, including all the tomatoes.

But I noticed Solan out in the original garden this morning, planting. So I decided to take a look when he was done.

Meanwhile, we’re in the middle of reworking the compost area, and await horse manure to finish the job. Rebecca’s ex-husband came over to lead a compost workshop a few evenings ago, with Solan and Dan paying close attention and laboring for several hours.

Then there’s the “pond,” now a wetland, again sprouting the pesky bambooish sprouts that tend to want to spread into the garden, too.

Meanwhile, yesterday, inside, a group of graduate students at the I.U. Department of Infomatics met Solan, Rebecca and I for the second time. The first time, on Saturday, Solan took them on a tour of the Green Acres Village grounds, and we all talked a bit afterwards about the the history of this place, our overall goals, and the nature of their project: to somehow help us focus in on a project that we would like to do, during a one-hour workshop. I know that sounds vague, but Rebecca and I both realized independently in the time between Saturday’s orientation and Monday’s workshop that what we should focus on is our relationship with Indiana University itself. What kinds of fruitful connections could Green Acres Village make with I.U. in general, and specifically? On Monday, we spent that hour quite productively. After brainstorming for 20 minutes we started winnowing down all the ideas to focus on three, and their possible connections, how they could leverage each other: these were: networking with likely people in the University (various faculty and/or living/learning dorms) who would be open to us giving presentations on the nature and evolution of Green Acres Permaculture Village, and then, also, possibly a radio presentation that might segue into a regular weekly radio show.

Who knows? We’re already networked with SPEA (School of Public and Environmental Affairs), and have utilized interns from there, plus, a few years ago, two classes utilized Green Acres Garden for  projects in composting and building a cob oven. But we would especially love to get connected to the Art Department, for art projects, not just here in the Village, but throughout the Green Acres Neighborhood. And of course, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Biology, Sociology, City Planning, Infomatics, and other Departments might be open to creating educational programs that utilize this neighborhood or this village in some manner. Since ours is the neighborhood closest to the I.U. campus, partnering is an welcome opportunity.

Here are two photos from yesterday morning’s workshop.

They will organize and write-up their findings, both to satisfy their course requirement, and perhaps, to actually help us make further I.U. connections!

Next up? Our regular Thursday Community Dinner, this week at the second DeKist house, with Andreas in the lead.