09.01.2019 John

The Song of Work: A Dancing Rabbit Update

Cool weather has arrived. Parmesan (Farmer John) here, at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. I am not sure how long it will last, but it is a busy time and we are glad to have a reprieve from the heat. 

Farmer John, also knows as Parmesan, applying a layer of finishing plaster to the wall of his timber-framed house.

I have been putting finish plaster on my home this week, and I am new to the process. Mixing the materials is the first challenge, and I have had great guidance from friend Kyle. The mixture includes two buckets of sifted sand, 1 of ‘swooshed’ clay (homogenized), cattail fluff from 3 cattail seed heads, and one scoop of cow dung. (I’m glad this is an exterior job.) It is going well so far, but I have about 24 total buckets to mix to do the entire home, so I will be at this most of September. 

Mixing is fun because we put the raw materials on a tarp and mix them by ‘dancing’ on them with our bare feet (music helps). It does take a lot of time to mix it together thoroughly, but the mixture has been going on the house quite well. The application process takes some time as well, to get the coating smooth, as does using a flexible trowel, which often needs to be rinsed.

This weekend is our Singing Rabbit gathering, and it has taken our village a lot of time to prepare for. We not only spruced up the village, but also many of us had to work to feed the 80+ participants attending the event, as well as work to set up tents, chairs, tables and hay bales for this venue to be comfortable and accommodating. As I am a participant as well, I have been quite busy. I am having an excellent time meeting people who have arrived here from all around the U.S., including quite a few Midwesterners. Our song leaders have been lovely, and the energy they have brought has made this a magnificent community event. Many are return visitors, making this a joyous reunion for many.

Meanwhile, we are gathering the harvest from our gardens, canning and pickling produce, and sharing the bounty at our weekly potluck events. I joined in with two other residents last week and made refrigerator pickles using vinegar, onions, garlic, and spices. They have turned out quite delicious, and even though I grew up on a farm, the process was new to me.

Working and singing alongside my friends and neighbors, sharing our efforts and enjoying one another’s company, has been wonderful. The time we spend together is precious.

Do you live within a reasonable driving distance of northeast Missouri? Then next weekend could be a fun opportunity for you. Our annual Open House is happening on Saturday, September 7th, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m, and it’s free to attend. There will be better-than-the-usual tours, starting every half hour, as well as interesting people to meet, cool things to see, and so much more. Check Google Maps for the best directions from your location. We’d love to have you.

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