Top news of the week: bobbing for turnips is just about as fun as bobbing for apples. Ted here with this week’s update from Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. If you’re thinking I just wrote the other week, well, it’s true: we’re on a short rotation at the moment, working on recruiting new contributors to our weekly update, so you can get the full spectrum of viewpoints from the village.
There were also hedge balls floating in the tub, as I approached it during the party out at Critter kitchen, but I’ve seen those when they’re bruised— milky sap. It would take a true bite to capture a bobber, so I avoided those. It took a number of tries and the submersion of most of my face and head, but ultimately I captured and came up with a fresh turnip, and decided to try eating it, raw. The outer layer is quite peppery, but the inner is tender and sweet and starchy… good things for a mammal heading into winter.
Our annual gathering on All Hallow’s Eve is a traveling party, otherwise known as the Hollerween progressive fiasco (down in the ‘holler, you know). Among the top costumes this round was a two-headed monster named Kale, whom I crossed paths with in the outgoing donations area of our machine shed when they chanced upon the mannequin head that got roped into double duty for the night. Truly creepy, in a way that didn’t stop being creepy. Kudos!
Tuesday evening, in a more subdued mode, we celebrated Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Having lost more than my usual quotient of friends and loved ones this year, I had some photos and other items on the table in their honor amongst the many other photos and mementos brought by others. Alyssa has set up the table each year for many years now for the Mexican tradition of honoring those we’ve said goodbye to. After supper we sat together and told stories for a bit, of those we were remembering. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Sharon began a period of eating with Ironweed this past week, just about the same time that our friend and former work exchanger Kale arrived to dwell in the village for a month or so. That brought some new energy to our kitchen, where we’ve had only a few fires thus far in our newly-installed wood cookstove. Daydreams of cookies and sourdough and casseroles and roasts keep making their ways into our conversations around the table at mealtimes, but we just haven’t needed the heat in the building yet with this unnaturally warm weather. Given how much cheese Kale helped make last year and then left behind, I’m starting to crack some wheels open for a bit of delayed gratification.
Sunday at the Mercantile we watched the premier of Before the Flood, Leonardo DiCaprio’s new documentary on climate change. It is an update on the sort of film that leaves me seeking to minimize my footprint still further in light of our collective movement toward catastrophic climate change. The Paris Climate Agreement was a hard-won triumph of international will on trying to save ourselves from ourselves. But as I understand it, the various commitments and targets set thus far by governments around the world are woefully insufficient to hold projected warming to the 2.0-or-preferably-1.5 degree Celsius rise in global temperatures pledged by the agreement.
The strangely mild autumn weather we’re experiencing might just be an average manifestation in the many different cycles of climate that dictate my local weather over time, but it is hard not to connect the science to the direct experience: this worsening streak of warming weather just doesn’t seem right. For better or worse, Americans have the most surplus consumption to shed. I expect to be continually engaged in ratcheting down my own consumption throughout my life in hopes of approaching something that actually feels sustainable.
As voting day approaches this week, I’m feeling extremely grateful that this awful chapter of national debate is drawing to a close. Our mailbox has been stuffed full of fliers from candidates essentially yelling at each other, each offering the deepest condemnation of their opponents. I find myself wondering regularly about the relative value of the bales of these glossy sheets going to millions of mailboxes (and directly on to recycling for us) versus the number of minds swayed by them toward one outcome or another.
May we all vote in good conscience for the greatest good for the greatest number of people, and find acceptance of the outcome, whatever soul searching that may take.
After weeks of fevered writer’s state, Stephen submitted this week the final draft of the novel he’s been working on for several years now, pursuant to completing his master’s degree at Truman State. He’s offered to let us glance through it, but expects to continue refining it over time as well as continuing the story, so says it will be a good while yet before it is really ready for a thorough read. I plan to tuck into it a little nonetheless while the chance lasts, to see what all this time and focus have produced.
Ever out of touch with certain events out in the world, owing to a lack of televisions around here, I chanced to discover Wednesday that the final game of the World Series was on that night, and that Mark would be streaming it over at Gooseberry. Thomas and I walked over, Ben followed later, and the four of us stuck it out through the lengthy and riveting game. If I was going to see one game this year, that was a good one to see. I’ve never lived in Chicago, but it was hard not to root for the Cubs, given their historic title drought. I read an article the other day suggesting that the Cubs fans’ celebration afterward may have been the 7th largest gathering in human history… a long time coming.
I’ve been steadily putting up more cheese for winter, and with this ongoing warm weather, various contributors keep bringing in fresh tomatoes and other summer holdovers. The marigolds and zinnias just keep putting out gobs of flowers as well, so we’re experiencing a bit of Indian summer here inside and out, and generally loving it despite the climate implications. I’m glad for the extended window for garlic prep and planting, since I’ve been at work on other warm weather tasks I would normally have abandoned by now. Seems likely that our firewood supply for this winter will hold up quite nicely.
Here’s hoping the same holds true for all you readers out there. May your election day and recovery go smoothly, and may we all get back to the joys and challenges of life outside the political pressure cooker.
Have you been wanting to experience sustainable living first hand? Well, get ready: Dancing Rabbit’s visitor program dates for 2017 are set, so check it out and start making your plans!
If that feels like too long to wait, in the meantime you can learn about creating a more sustainable life for yourself in our online education series “How to Live like an Ecovillager.” Dancing Rabbit teachers cover a range of topics, from creating a carbon-efficient kitchen, to making your home and lifestyle more carbon-conscious, to building skills for cooperative culture. Find out more here!
Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community and nonprofit outside Rutledge, in northeast Missouri, focused on demonstrating sustainable living possibilities. Find out more about us by visiting our website, reading our blog, or emailing us.