Author Archives: akcrone

GAV news, mid-August: Initiation time for new residents, plus synchronized journeys

By “initiation,” we mean getting outside, and sweaty, and shoveling, and digging, all work and soil related, honoring and participating in the full aliveness of our Mother Earth — for one of the two hours of village work we “require” weekly. Congratulations to our new residents for the brand new (to us) (second) DeKist house: Andreas and John (and one more, Darios, not present),  three doctoral students in music at Indiana University, and as of August 7, 2017, new, and apparently willing! podmates in this small, potent, evolving Green Acres Village inside Green Acres Neighborhood.

In these photos four of us were preparing a new bed for planting in the spring by placing cardboard over cut “weeds,” and wood chips over that. But first, Rebecca asked Andreas to cut back overgrown plants in a narrow corridor by the soon to be reconfigured garage. Notice all the limestone blocks — dug out of what will be the new garden beds! Sometimes it feels like we’re conducting an archeological dig around here. Found on Tuesday evening while making this new bed — an old air pressure tire gauge. Wonder which incarnation of our newly purchased DeKist 2 house that belonged to . . .

Here are Rebecca and John, with dragged in cardboard and a load of chips. I asked them to pose . . .

Okay, what’s next?

Two of our podmates, Dan and Logan — also both musicians! — as of August 12, took off for  three weeks, “busking” (playing and singing with guitar and banjo on street corners) in small towns along the way, in a rental car headed west. Logan’s a natural and experienced troubadour; Dan’s just getting his feet wet. Their journey follows Rebecca’s (two weeks in early June, to California), and Ann’s (three weeks in Siberia/Mongolia late June, early July, plus one week in Alaska, early August). Like clockwork, as soon as one podmate returned, the next got up to go. What is this inner synchronization process that has us all “doing our thing” in perfectly ordered sequence — without even having to consciously coordinate! — so that at no time this summer, were there not enough people present to make sure everything stayed on track in our proliferating gardens? The temporal harmonization here has felt uncanny.

When Dan left, he hugged me a long goodbye and then asked, “Do you think you’ll recognize me when I get back?”

“I hope not!” I retorted.

In other words, may he utilize this three week opportunity to stretch his wings and fly high for the first time in his young life on such an extended trip out of his home state.

A subtle joy pervades our precious little world here, this alternative suburban culture we are inculcating. Joy and hard physical work! YES!

I leave you with a great photo from earlier this summer, Dan and wonderful Evan, who unfortunately for us, decided after only four months that he needed to set his sights on Japan. Or is it China? He’s not sure, but as an international air steward, he’s accustomed to not having his feet on the ground.

In this photo they are preparing dandelions for dandelion wine (Evan on right).

Oh yes, almost forgot! Just took a pic of the completed wood-chipped bed.

GAV news, August 3, 2017: work party, and more — weeding, bamboo fence, bathroom fix, piano, tomatillos!

Well, Tuesday evening, our regular Tuesday 6-7 p.m. work party, had four of us doing tasks garden master Rebecca assigned, including finally getting further along on the promised bamboo fence.

Mighty Dan digs a post hole.


Rebecca rules!

Meanwhile, Sam finished up work on the bathroom of the third house, which is (finally!) due to be occupied starting August 7.

And then came out to join us.

Yesterday evening, Rebecca and I met with the three beautiful young men who will be moving in to the third house: John and his friends Dario (from Cuba) and Andreas (from Cyprus!). They are all new doctoral students in Music at IU. And they want to get that old piano, stored in the decrepit garage now being turned into a recreational commons, back in that third house. John sat down and played it;  sounds good!

Wish I had taken a picture of the five of us last night. Was fun, getting to know each other a bit. Then I came back and found Dan and Logan in the kitchen, music throbbing throughout the house, Dan working on cabbage kraut for their long-planned road-trip, busking along the way with guitar and banjo, to the west coast and back. Forgot to take a picture of that scene either, but here’s the finished product.


Meanwhile, also yesterday, Dan came in with a basket of hot peppers and tomatillos. He plans on making a salsa out of both.


Dan informs me that the tomatillo is the most ancient fruit known that has not been tampered with by human breeding. Hmmm. I wondered out loud, does that make it the fruit of immortality?

Check this out!

A 52.2 million-year-old tomatillo fossil . . .

The 52.2-million-year-old tomatillo was discovered at the fossil-rich Laguna del Hunco, Argentina, where ancient lakebeds interlayer with volcanic ashes, providing paleontologists with precisely dated discoveries. (Minerals in the ash pin down the rock ages.)


GAV News, July 25-26, 2017: Early Christmas present, pod meeting and work party, mulcher! passion flower and fruit!

Living as we do, right in the heart of Nature inside the confines of a ’50s suburb, we never run out of surprises. Why? Because Nature is so much vaster, intricate, and more fascinating than even our overheated imaginations can dream up. Plus, she offers stunning synchronicities — and when we least expect them. More on that later.

Meanwhile, yesterday, we held the first of our newly instituted regular monthly pod meetings, followed by a work party. Before the meeting got going, I told everybody about my just decided upon Christmas gift for all podmates — plus son Colin. It’s a T-shirt, with a quotation said to be Native American, and who could help but find it fascinating? Given that we are dedicated to personal and group “shadow work” here in the village, it seems fitting that each of us should have one of these T-shirts. “Please, don’t all order the same color!” I admonished. That’s all we need, to be considered a “cult.” Laughs all around, thinking of ourselves as the Green Acres Wolf Cult . . .

Here’s the shirt: BTW: each purchase helps, one of my favorite news aggregators.

Not much needed to happen at the pod meeting, except that we decided to postpone starting our weekly Community Dinners until September. Rebecca congratulated us all on getting the garden where she wants it to be. Yes! Most of the “weeds” (meaning plants which we would rather either live elsewhere or serve as mulch) are no longer crowding out the plants we’re growing for food. Plus, she happened to find a replacement mulcher at the Habitat ReStore today. Yes! (Our old one gave up the ghost last year.)

Work party: time to uproot the tangled plants (mostly vines) that have overrun the front yard of the second DeKist house (the one we purchased at the very end of 2016). While there are peppers growing there now, fully one-third of the front yard still needs to be reclaimed. Okay! Here goes! Dan, Logan and Sam get right at it. Rebecca in background, working near the corner of the house, which is due to be occupied in less than two weeks.

Where are all these “weeds” going? Well, those we don’t chop up and lay down in place we pile up next to the compost bins.

And yes, you got it, they will be mulched.

All that was yesterday evening. Then, this noon, Dan came in excited, showed me a shot he took of a “passion flower,” he says. “Just one, growing alongside the DeKist house.” Tiny. Almost looks like it has a face!

He looked it up on the internet: “It can only be pollinated by either large bees or hummingbirds!” Wow!

I went outside to see for myself. And wouldn’t you know, just happened upon the flower as a large bee settled upon it. Can you see it? On the bottom of the flower, at about 5:30 p.m.

Just then, Dan looked up. Oh! The passion flower isn’t alone. The flowers turn into passion fruit! Lookee!

See? One just below the window; another, smaller one against the dark window. The point is, neither Dan nor I had ever really paid attention to this little corner of our humungous garden, not to mention has either of us ever, ever, tasted this or any other passion fruit. But now our passion is aroused! Thank you, little flower!

House across street from GAV for sale!

Join us in this tiny, mighty adventure in suburban village permaculture. This house almost, but not quite, sold on the very first day. Now back on the market. Has a great back yard that we are presently utilizing for permaculture, and hope new owners will either join us or take this project over!