September 26, 2010
And if you find the human body absolutely repulsive, please don't watch this next one. I don't feel like hearing any remarks about nudity. I just think it would be mighty fun to romp through the forest like all the other animals on this planet. :)
September 24, 2010
When I was in high school, I was involved in the choir. There were some miserable songs we were forced to sing, but there were also moments of incredible spiritual awareness. When Rooks Fly Homeward is a perfect example. Imagine practicing it in an empty stairwell. Absolutely haunting. Since graduating, I have not given much thought to joining a choir. But tonight, Jamie discovered the Scala and Kolacny Brothers' Choir, made up of about 200 young women. They sing covers of modern songs, turning some that I'd never consider good into pieces of art that make me want to cry (or jump on the bed... or as Jamie put it in a more boyish manner, poop bricks.) Regardless of how I describe the music, I can't do it justice. Just go listen.
September 22, 2010
I took the leftover apple pressings and placed them in jars with water, covered them in linen from an old dress, and sat them on a shelf in the dark. Hopefully in a few months they'll turn into jars of vinegar.*
Good news! Our neighbor Harold is thinking about leaping into an aquaponics project with us. Hence, the visitation of a beautiful series of abandoned greenhouses. We'll start small, and grow large. There are so many videos on the internet about aquaponics. Here is a good one. And here and here!
Spending the afternoon listening to lectures by Alan Watts...
*Instead, fruit flies somehow got into the jars, laid, eggs, and started colonizing the cabin. No vinegar.
September 19, 2010
Alaska Peas(55 days)
De Grace Peas (64 days)
White Icicle Radishes (27 days)
Purple Top White Globe Turnips (55 days)
Detroit Dark Red Turnips (55 days)
Bloomsdale Longstanding Spinach (45 days)
Jamie turned a few wheelbarrows full of alpaca manure into the garden soil yesterday afternoon. Meanwhile, I washed our laundry at the well. It felt so good and relaxing. I think I'll do it this way until winter comes. We both finished our tasks at the same time, and I spent the rest of the evening in the garden with just the chickens for company. I prefer to be alone for the planting process. I can focus all of my energy and thoughts into each seed, which (I think) makes a difference in the way that the plants grow. I'm looking forward to the fall harvest. It'll be done after Halloween, when I'll need to wear stockings and a thick wool sweater. Ah, fall...
I have an aquaponics project to write about soon, as well as the process of making apple cider and vinegar. Oh! Have I mentioned that two of the female alpacas are pregnant? That's all for today, though. Hope you're enjoying the weekend.
September 15, 2010
Last Saturday, with the rise of the sun and
crow of the rooster, we awoke to prepare for a long day in the city. Did we forget anything? Are you sure? Yep, we're fine... wait! repeated itself over and over again, until finally (two hours later) we found ourselves in the bustling streets of Baltimore. It was the day of Hampden-Fest, and a long awaited one at that.
For anyone who's never been to Hampden, let alone the city in which it quirkily resides, be forewarned: it's, ah, strange. It's numerous street festivals are filled with bubblegum colored beehive wigs, an eclectic assortment of toilets, year-round Christmas light displays, monstrous noodles adhered to rowhome brick walls, and a HUGE pink flamingo standing guard over the Avenue. After all, this place is home to John Waters. What else could you expect? And what else could you want?! Hampden is one hip place to be, and it's only getting hipper!
The Baltimore Green Currency Association, brainchild of Jeff Dicken and Michael Rigby, is a social business "working to bring local currency to Baltimore as an alternative to the debt-based dollar system. Beginning in Hampden, the BNote will allow residents to support their own community with every purchase." Yes, this means NOT supporting the invasive species Wal-Mart which has taken root in this funky little corner of Baltimore. The concept behind alternative currencies is not new. You can read more about it on our website, or take a field trip over here. If you live in Baltimore, you can even take part in our design contest! How fun would it be to design your own money?!
our business cardWe've been fortunate to have been taken on as a new breed of mentor students. All the sudden we find ourselves drinking home-brewed beer and talking economics with career-men (and women), one of whom worked closely with Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammed Yunus... Karma has been good to us this year.
I'm proud to say that everyone's hard work at those meetings really paid off at Hampden-Fest. We left feeling like the city was more on our side than at the start of the day and also managed to commission some pretty adorable currency designs from some of the local kids. (Not to mention, the local falafel filled our bellies with vegetable-goodness and my colored pencils are almost entirely pointy...)
September 14, 2010
September 12, 2010
September 10, 2010
by Anna Emilia
I have been in sort of a creative slump lately. My excuse is that there's a little spirit friend who comes to visit my brain (and drawing hand) only every so often. (Also my energy has been devoted to processing food and preparing for the Baltimore Green Currency booth at Hampden Fest which is tomorrow.) Sometimes the images I draw just don't satisfy me. Others are so productive and seductive and exciting and then POOF the drawings are on paper and the muse in my brain has gone away. I know she'll return. No, I should not say she or he, because it's more of an it. When I'm feeling this way I avoid pen and paper, though that's probably not a good thing to do. Instead I crawl around the depths of the interweb. It's so expansive, you know! And there are so many amazing people out there to spy on... so many talented artists to make me drool and want to go give my hand a chance. I think I'll write a letter.
Dear Brain/Soul/Hand Visitor,
Please come out to play.
I miss you.
September 6, 2010
mine and hers
Jamie had to kill two hens Saturday morning. They were attacked by a raccoon in the night and were suffering too much for their own good. Poor girls. Death is indeed a part of life, and it comforts me knowing that a community of micro-organisms are thriving on their decaying bodies. The earth is where I want to be when I die. No coffins for me, just soil against skin. There will be carrots sprouting from my eyes and ears, calendula roots weaving through my veins, and pole beans reaching towards the sky, carrying with them a bit of my energy and maybe some of my soul. How interesting would it be to experience the consciousness of a plant?
My dreams have been reflective the hens' death. There are talking bears, silent black dogs, massacred chickens, and a man with horns atop his head. Even though I wake feeling anxious, I'm thankful to remember them and the fear falls away swiftly. It's good to understand the mind. Dreaming also helps me draw.
Some good news too! Cowboy started laying. Her eggs are so petite. They don't even register as "small" on our scale. I also made an apple cake, apple butter, and oven roasted tomatoes this weekend. We even harvested a small crop of beans, okra, cabbage, tomatoes, and potatoes. Boy, is our pantry really filling up! We're very fortunate to have such a bounty of food this summer. I feel like a queen with all this deliciousness around...
Fall is rolling in, with her crisp breath swaying the tree branches onto the cabin walls. It smells like fire and ripening apples. It sounds like crickets all night. The cooler weather makes us want cider, not beer. This week we'll plant radishes, snow peas, beets, garlic, kale, collards, lettuce, and spinach if we can find all of the seeds. The garden looks so tidy now that Jamie tilled through the last of the weeds. I worked on ripping up non-producing plants, which is a very satisfying task.
Nice music to draw to.
Did you have a nice weekend?