An Intentional Thicket: A Dancing Rabbit Update

An Intentional Thicket: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Howdy y’all. It’s me, Ben, writing to you from amidst the evening cricketsong here in the rolling hills and brambly hollers of Dancing Rabbit, Northeast Missouri. I don’t usually write at night, because I’m asleep then, but as the days shorten and I struggle to keep up with the demands of my so-called “simple life”, I am without the daylight hours to spend on writing these communiqués to you, dear reader. As I age, somewhat gracelessly, I’ve become a lousy night owl. I cannot see very well in the dark, which can be difficult at times in our rustic ecovillage…read more >
Ben Sez: It’s Hot! A Dancing Rabbit Update

Ben Sez: It’s Hot! A Dancing Rabbit Update

Howdy y’all. Ben here, bringing the latest happenings from Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, nestled in the humid rolling hills of northeast Missouri. I don’t know if you can smell me from wherever you are, but I can. Right now, I’m getting notes of billy goat, swine excreta, sprouted oats, pencil lead, and beer sweat. I always smell like pencil lead. If you’ve read more than a couple of these ecovillage updates, I’m truly sorry about the constant obsession with the weather. It’s very relevant here. And actually, I’m not sorry. To make an understatement, it is hot and humid, as it…read more >
Abundance in All This: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Abundance in All This: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Howdy y’all. Ben here, with another report from Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, which is pretty much where I intend to always be, regardless of the heat, cold, dryness, dampness, or whatever. This current extended heatwave and accompanying dry weather isn’t quite pleasant enough to describe as sultry. I’m pretty ok with sultry. This heat is soul-scouring, at least for myself, and pretty much anything sentient or non- that I’ve come across lately. Except the snakes, the snakes seem to love it. There is abundance in all this, and we have not reached epic drought status quite yet, though with another week…read more >
Sure Signs of Spring: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Sure Signs of Spring: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Howdy y’all, Ben here, again. It is a pleasant morning in early May here at Dancing Rabbit. I have been awake for quite some time, prompted mostly by the pre-dawn scolding song of house wrens about my warren, the occasional crow of roosters, and the ever present hum of trains a mile and a half away. Shoeless on my way to feed the pigs and poultry, I am damp to the ankles in spring dew, soothing relief for the constellation of wild parsnip burns lining my left foot. The chestnut sapling that we’ve planted down near the barn is finally…read more >
Leading Pigs with Marshmallows: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Leading Pigs with Marshmallows: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Howdy y’all. Ben here, finally upland of the soggy pig waller I’ve been slogging about in for the last week. One week and about a dozen neighbors, plus some sheet metal and some marshmallows, is all it took for me to get our sow loaded onto the trailer, but as the old joke goes, “What’s time to a pig?” In fact, one week ago, I thought I had this pig in the bag, but it turns out that as a sow grows, she typically becomes more ornery, more wizened. That’s true of some of my human friends, too. In the…read more >
Nevermind the Groundhog: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Nevermind the Groundhog: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Howdy y’all. Ben here at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, where I’m currently doing my best to stay ahead of the changes in the weather. Folks who’ve read this column for years certainly know by now that we Rabbits, like most rural folk, have a preoccupation with the weather. After all, it dictates a lot of our choices, habits, and has a relative impact on what foods are available, what roads and trails are generally accessible, and in my case, how ornery the animals are. We’ve been in an unsettling warm dry trend for this time of year. Today carries some chance…read more >
Morphing into Squishes: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Morphing into Squishes: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Howdy y’all. Ben here at Dancing Rabbit, just waiting on a thaw. While this hasn’t yet been the coldest winter I’ve experienced in Northeast Missouri, it is fairly unpleasant to go about my daily necessities at times, between keeping the stock and ourselves fed and watered, and my daily visit to the draftiest functioning outhouse on farm. Without reliable, temperature-controlled, below-grade water storage, I must frequently shuttle water from the county spigot in five-gallon buckets across a landscape I like to refer to as Tundra Lite. The grasses and forbs have gone into a state of true dormancy, whereas even…read more >
Mostly a Fun Mess: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Mostly a Fun Mess: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Howdy y’all. Ben here, shivering at you from the cold, fog-enshrouded rolling hills of Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in beautiful Northeast Missouri. Technically speaking it isn’t winter, but as far as most of us are concerned, it sure feels like it. The past few mornings I have begun the day with the perennial tradition of punching through the livestock water. By the end of this week I expect that my clenched fist may come bouncing back at me, at which point I’ll need to wake up an extra half-hour or so earlier so that I can cover the cooktop of our…read more >