Category Archives: Urban Farm

Mid-May, and huge activity — new compost roof structure, new gardens, seedlings and peas for sale, flowers galore, plus first garden dinner of new season!

It’s become clear to me that if I continue to document at this rate the profusion already present here this spring, I would get exhausted and not get anything else done. So don’t expect me to continue!

Meanwhile, tonight is our first one-hour work party (to replace Community Dinners until August), when we will prepare a garden for tomatoes in the back of the Overhill house. Will require uprooting trees and tearing up an old roof structure . . .

And meanwhile, here are some photos of various projects, etc. Including:

COMPOST ROOF completion.

Dan and Evan topped the roof structure entirely from old materials lying around here.

FOR SALE

Lots for sale already, both seedlings, and peas! Our first sale to Uptown Restaurant downtown was 4.5 pounds of snow peas picked by Rebecca, Dan and Evan. Exciting. They told us just to let them know what’s available one week in advance. Okay! This will replace the CSA, which we decided not to do after Briana had to move. She had been the main driver for that way of selling garden produce.

Here’s the list of seedlings for sale that I asked Grant, our intern, to itemize:

Meanwhile lots of new forms popping up, both constructed and natural.

NEW GARDENS

This is a new herb/rock garden in front of our new house, what we now call “DeKist 2.”

 

Next to the new greenhouse, bordered with rock.

Even a new bench appeared next to our patio the other day.

Unless otherwise noted, most of these constructions are made by either Rebecca or Shy, our builder. In this case, Shy, we presume. And Rebecca thinks he unearthed the limestone slab from the grounds of DeKist 2.

FLOWERS, symbols of beauty and evanescence . . .

IMPERMANENCE

Meanwhile, yesterday Rebecca and intern Grant were busy preparing to plant beets and beans in the backyard of the house across the street, which, we just found out, is for sale!

We sure hope the new owner will like to continue their partnership with us. Even more, we hope the new owner wants to join with us in this ongoing evolution of the Green Acres Neighborhood into Green Acres Village.

So, on that note of impermanence (house for sale, and who knows what’s next!), I conclude with a photo of the veggies I stir-fried last night from this little raised garden bed, in front of DeKist 2.

YUM!

Village Life, mid-May 2017: bottling mead, seedlings for sale and for planting, compost roof structure

Like everyone in the northern hemisphere who is at least vaguely aware of the larger earth environment — I exempt, for example, those who go from air-conditioned house and back to air-conditioned car in garage every day except weekends when they spend all day inside on their screens — it’s spring! — the greening time, when Earth’s inner mysterious primal power begins to arouse and open seeds, push roots down and plants up into myriad glorious forms, all the while birds start to call and respond, frogs spawn and jump about, insects proliferate. Hopefully. Hopefully all these phenomena are still occurring. Sometimes, given all the dire news we hear about, we’re actually astonished to feel the eternally cycling signs of spring yet again, not only via Earth and her air and fire and soil, but inside our own bodies which thrum to the same quickening.

Here in Green Acres Village, of course work ramps up; and so does the fun. As podmate Dan said to me the other day, after an entire day spent on outside projects — “I feel so good. Spending my entire day outside makes me feel WILD.” Yes yes! Our natural wild aliveness springs up in concert with nature’s glorious blooming.

Here’s Dan, our fermenter, on his one recent inside job, bottling from one jug of mead that he started back in February. After one week, the mead found the yeast and started bubbling. Check it out!

That was three months ago. Two days ago, Dan filled and capped 25 bottles; and with the other jug, will get 25 more.

With all the ferments that Dan produces — lots of krauts of various kinds and kim chi, can’t remember what else, but it’s all extraordinary, the best I’ve ever tasted — I keep pushing for him to sell some of it.

One thing holding us back so far, is that we haven’t decided on a logo for Green Acres Alchemy,  the name we’ll give to our various land and food based businesses. I mentioned this to my friend Julia who used to live a few doors down, on the phone awhile ago, and she said “the name gives me chills.” Then, instantly, she continued, “Here’s the logo, an actual alchemical symbol,” and sent it to me on the phone. “It could be green,” she said, and as Evan — who does calligraphy! — noted later, “the name could go above (Green Acres) and below (Alchemy), creating the circle with the letters. Ah yes! And Oh wow, I just noticed.  The logo is also the letter “A,” (for Alchemy), and it has three prongs, symbolizing the three houses with three occupants each in our village pod!  So that’s in the works. Evan: “Shoot me the logo and I’ll see what I can do about it.”

Meanwhile, Rebecca has all the plants outside the new greenhouse now, with some of the seedlings for sale —

— and the rest going into our various gardens. Here’s Grant, an Indiana University intern who is with us for two full weeks, and who Rebecca says, is unusually aware and observant.

(Unusual because it’s true, she and I and other elders both notice that many “millennials” seem to be preoccupied, even when they think they want to learn how to garden. Too much screen time too early in life?)

Okay, back to “Dan the man,” who, with Evan, is here outside, constructing the frame for what will become the roof of the compost area. Compost is another form of alchemy . . .

Good News for the “Healing Our Borders” initial project — and more

It’s so wonderful when local good news crowds out the craziness that infects our larger world.

Two years ago, we conceived the idea of a project to “Heal our Borders” after the widening of the Bypass at the eastern edge of our neighborhood took out perhaps 100 trees. The project was ambitious, consisting of five signs at various entrances of Green Acres, a tiny park in the area where the tunnel under the Bypass on 7th street connects our neighborhood to the one to the east of the Bypass, and a project to create murals on the tunnel itself.

The first part of the project, though strenuous, came off without a hitch — until one of the signs was stolen! And now returned. Which accounts for the “good news.”

Good News Finale for Green Acres Sign Saga

The City is now constructing the second part by first of all extending a path from 7th Street to the tunnel (to compliment the path from 8th to the tunnel). And the third part, painting a mural inside the tunnel is about to commence.

So yes, after two years the City has now decided to respond to our request to design and paint a mural inside the tunnel that connects the eastern edge of our neighborhood to the Park Ridge Neighborhood on the other side of the Bypass. Very exciting.

We will gather at our weekly Community Dinner here next Wednesday to meet with Seth and Beth from the City and discuss possible design ideas and artistic possibilities, plus various ways neighbors can get involved in the project.

Meanwhile, here are a few photos from this past Wednesday’s meal,

 

a few more from the Wednesday before that, taken by Brie’s mom Cindy,

 

 

 

and several more from yesterday evening, after Dan-de-lion Dan (on right) and new housemate Evan (and old friend of both Dan and Logan (on guitar above) collected dandelions for dandelion wine. (Brie has moved out for now, to live up north with her parents for awhile.)

 

 

Sufis celebrate “Green Living” in Green Acres Village

My Sufi mentor, Darvesha MacDonald, asked me to contribute a story about our Green Acres Village to the launch of a beautiful new web magazine, Ruhaniat Ziraat. This publication is devoted to celebrating and exploring the Sufi founder’s profound understanding that Nature is our Teacher.

As Above, So BELOW

The Evolution of an Experiment in Grounded Community

BTW, in case you were wondering: I call myself a “Bufi,” i.e., one who gravitates towards both Buddhism and Sufism — as well as Gnostic Christianity, plus Native American, Pagan and other aboriginal practices. — A.K.