Roots and Shoots – April 23

On a sunny day, in the early evening, just after dinner time, excitement is heard in the yards, paths and streets. Excited faces, hands clutching dollar bills, running feet, and lively laughter and chatter called to mind a scene from my suburban childhood. All that was missing, really, were the tinny strains of “Tarantella” growing louder and louder as the ice cream truck drew near. It was Dancing Rabbit’s first visit from “The Plant Man.” (That’s our nickname, not his, it goes along with “The Bucket Man”, “The Mail Lady”, “The Beer Guy”, “The One-Cow Dairy”, etc.) Mark Slaughter of Sunrise Farm, located outside of La Plata, brought us a pickup truck full of heirloom, organically grown vegetable and herb plants for sale. There was a collective gasp of admiration as we started unloading the plants for shopping; they were gorgeous.

Hello there, it’s Sam this week, bringing you the news from Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

Mark’s plants are not the only new growth taking root this week. A few of us have gotten seedlings from Missouri Wildflowers to bring some native blooms to attract and nourish wild creatures and beautify the village. Bri’s working on a native plant rain garden for the courtyard. The vegetable gardeners have been putting out seedlings, too, for a while now.

There’re also different kinds of roots and attachments forming with our first visitor session of the year. We have twelve folks flirting–with various levels of commitment–with the idea of moving to and becoming residents then members of Dancing Rabbit. Four of them have already spoken with the Membership and Residency Committee about starting the residency process, and will have interviews soon. One wexer, who was here in 2009 and has come back to work exchange again this year, is also applying for residency.

With all these people, it’s a good thing were’s making some progress on our future decision-making system. Fifty people is starting to feel like too many to have in one room and there is a general sentiment of fatigue with whole-group decision-making, so we’ve decided to change how we do things to take some of the strain off ourselves. We want to stay within the spirit of consensus, so we’re inventing a new way to apply those ideas to a larger group. It’s an exciting, pioneering thing to be a part of. I’ll keep you posted as we talk, then apply, then discover things we need to change about our new system.

We had one of our two annual land clean days on Saturday, during which folks pitched in to do beautification projects and generally tidy up around the village. My favorite improvement is the tidiness of the area around the bench by the road where I sit to wait for the school bus in the afternoons to greet the kids as they come home.

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community and educational
nonprofit in Rutledge, northeast Missouri, focused on sustainable
living. We offer free tours to the public the second and fourth Saturday at 1pm from
April-October. For more information you can visit our website at, “like” us on Facebook or give us a call at (660) 883-5511.


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