Saturday Tours Start This Weekend

After an early summer, it is with a mixture of regret and relief that I’m settling back into spring.  Cob here with the weekly update about what’s been going on at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.  The cooler weather has been a relief for the early spring plantings of brassicas, peas, early lettuces, and other plants which don’t fair so well in baking heat.  Presumably there will be enough of that in the coming months to keep us supplied in eggplant and peppers.  The biggest adjustment for me personally has been to remember that the pond got COLD again!

The beautiful weather provided plenty of opportunity to work outdoors pruning trees, turning over garden beds, clearing weeds, hauling bales of straw for mulch, and otherwise providing a solid stream of business for anyone willing to offer massage.  Usually I don’t feel this busy (and sore) until there are a lot more people on farm for the summer…and while some new work exchangers (wexers for short) have arrived, many rabbits were traveling for the holidays and our overall numbers still feel small and intimate.  This provided a nice atmosphere for a few celebrations this past week.  One of the clear favorites was a combination egg-dyeing led by Nani, and hair-styling/dyeing salon led by Elea. 

On Saturday we held a condensed-version Jewish Seder (the feast of the Passover) with a great family-style potluck meal and Old Testament storytelling.  This was followed by a glorious Easter morning egg-hunt organized for all the youngsters in the tri-communities by Dave’s mother Cindy (who is here visiting and getting some solid grandma time with the new baby).  Those of us preparing the Common House for our weekly scheduling meeting enjoyed listening to classical sacred music for the holiday courtesy of my ipod streaming the broadcast from my old hometown public radio station in Rochester NY.  Ostrichtron also made co’s annual appearance at the conclusion of the Easter-egg hunt, offering adults and children alike a fresh new orange in exchange for a pebble or rock.  As Ostrichtron’s shrouded figure faded into the distance one of the children whispered in awe, “who was that?!”…and the legend continues.

As you may have read in prior news, there is a possibility that Dancing Rabbit will be the location for a reality-TV show.  This has certainly caused no small amount of excitement and trepidation on our parts, and I can’t help but keep imagining a film crew watching me all the time as I’ve gone through my normal daily and weekly routines.  The wariness of unintentional consequences (usually in relation to thinking about the shows that seem to be popular on TV these days) and the excitement of sharing our vision for sustainability and the very real power of community has generally faded to be replaced by bewilderment.  Why would anyone want to sit and watch?  Watching the train-wreck of people shouting their frustrations as each other might be mildly interesting, but watching people talk about their feelings and find ways to reach agreement?  Sure this is valuable from a social or educational standpoint, but entertainment?  Really?  People would watch that?

Having reached this stage of detachment about having a camera crew underfoot, it’s been much easier to become distracted by the plans and anticipated progress of the next few weeks, which include things like an annual spring land clean, a work party for clearing invasive garlic mustard plants, our first official public tour of the season, our first three-week visitor session for 2012, new road work providing wet-weather access to the new common house construction site and Crooked Route neighborhood, and a flood of new wexers for the season! 

Meanwhile, a few more days of relative quiet to spend working on de-nailing boards to be used for siding on our (increasingly complete) house, one more day to enjoy the kids home on spring break (see “de-nailing” above), and wonder what this year will ultimately be remembered for in Dancing Rabbit lore.  2011 was definitely the year of the woodshed, as many dwellings were lacking one until recently…ah the irony of a mild/dry winter!  So far 2012 is shaping up as the year of the clothesline…five solid large-capacity clotheslines have been constructed this spring already.  Is this really newsworthy?  Maybe not.  Cause for intense personal satisfaction and improved quality of life?  Definitely. 

Do new clothes lines make for gripping TV viewing?  We’ll all find out soon enough I suppose.  What would change for you if you were displayed on national television?  What wouldn’t change?  What would you think about differently, and why?  What would you do more of or at least do with a stronger sense of purpose and conviction?  If you happen to ponder these questions this week, I’d be interested in your responses.

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community in Rutledge, northeast Missouri, practicing sustainable living among 50+ members. There’s lots to see, so start thinking about a spring tour now! We offer them the second and fourth Saturday each month for much of the year.  The first tour in 2012 is April 14th at 1:00pm…no reservations are necessary. For more information, please see our website at, visit our blog The March Hare at, or give us a call at (660) 883-5511.

5 Comments. Leave a comment

  1. Bill Monigold

    hi,…a couple of thoughts on D.R. becoming the next “reality” television program….the only positive that I can see developing, is an infusion of money that could be used for the overall general use and well being of D.R….on the other hand, you will be exposed to the lunatic fringe, some of whom could easily show up at your door, under some delusion or another, and possibly create chaos or worse….I would suggest that all members of D.R. consider, very carefully, if they want to risk the Utopia created, for a short windfall of cash and some unrequired exposure….just my thoughts….Thanks.

  2. Bart

    Don’t be surprised if the directors /producers of the reality show want some controversy to keep going through the show. Controversy and how petty and mean is what seems to get the unwashed masses to be captivated to tv programs these days.

  3. Ryan Mlynarczyk

    It’s easy to get caught up in the fear of what can happen…and what about the positive comments like we’ve heard on facebook…that people who saw the 30 days episode about Dancing Rabbit…decided they wanted to live in intentional community and now do…and that was many years ago. with how many people are now awakening…this kind of coverage can reach so many more people than DR could without this kind of outreach. it’s a trade off and there will be sacrafices required.

  4. Kathe Wilson

    Morning meditation before the cameras are on, a must. Serenity prayer, often. Detachment is wonderful, what you will need. Breathe. Breathe some more. If it were ongoing I would have a daily theme that could be carried out by all participants. Not something announced or overt, but a thread that could be pulled when there is chaos on the horizon. Breathe again.