Gardens, ponds, and rabbits all reveled in the cooler nights and soaking rains we received over the past week, and while the peppers might be excited the rest of us are already planning our schedules for the expected weather for the coming week with daily highs hovering around 100 degrees, and overnight “lows” in the upper 70s. Cob here with your weekly dose of ecovillage reality.
The cooler & damper weather of the past few days gave us all a respite from hauling water for our gardens, and even allowed late gardeners (i.e. myself) to get some final transplants somewhat established before summer weather returns with a vengeance later this week. The recent cool nights also allowed the pond to drop back below bath temperatures, and will hopefully create a buffer against the coming heat…providing a haven for overheated rabbits.
The pond has certainly seen heavy use recently as Ziggy’s and April’s timber-framing workshop participants alternated between joinery work, bent raising, and cooling-off before tackling the next set of timbers. That workshop has drawn to a close, and the framework of their new house looks impressively solid. They held a dance party on site this past weekend to celebrate the successful conclusion of this phase of their project. Later this summer the are holding another multi-week workshop on straw bale & earthen plaster techniques, and if that crew is as motivated as the first, they may even be ready to move in before snow flies.
Mid season work exchangers continue to arrive and plug into various projects around town, and even as we say goodbye to the timber-framers new folks are arriving for the third (of five) visitor session of 2012. In addition to learning all about consensus process, natural building, and renewable energy, this particular group will learn about hot-weather camping. Maybe the Milkweed Mercantile could set up a side business renting cots in the basement storm shelter. Weather challenges are hard enough to manage with building and gardening, and it never ceases to amaze me how many visitors are willing to put up with it all while living in just a tent…not just for the few weeks of their visitor session, but months at a time as they pursue residency and membership before being able to build their own permanent structure. Dancing Rabbit has made progress on available housing for new folks, but we still have a long way to go…and these new pioneers are helping us get there.
I’m happy to report that the Ironweed wind turbine is back online! It happened quietly and without fuss, catching many by surprise. I overheard many people stop and wonder “when did that happen” or just sigh with pleasure to see another set of blades spinning in the breeze. I can’t help but feel like my report to you this week is lacking in some way. As my own work has shifted to indoor finishing on my own building expansion, I am much less aware of the multitude of accomplishments around the village…which only grow in number each year. And those are only one layer of the work being done on a daily or weekly basis. Behind the scenes business progress has been made in many areas too…the ad hoc “future of decision-making at Dancing Rabbit” committee continues to work on revamping our internal governance structures and processes, the human resources committee continues to build a body of job descriptions (so that we stop loosing knowledge as people change roles or leave the community) and HR has also made strides in developing an employee/contractor performance evaluation form designed to work within our consensus environment, the eco-progress committee is helping develop a new job for a recycling center/waste stream manager, and the new common house design team has hired a materials czar who will research, source, and monitor all materials and fixtures utilized in the new building to ensure that it meets both LEED Platinum and Living Building Challenge certifications. In other words, the business of running and building a municipal entity continues unabated, and these are only the bits that I’m personally aware of.It has also been an exciting time on the social side as the June cluster of birthdays continues to fill most available evenings. Some celebrations have been low-key, private affairs, but others have undoubtedly left odd impressions. Alline’s annual funny-hat party is a great example. The deal is you wear a silly hat and get a free piece of amazing birthday cake. Most everyone from Dancing Rabbit, Red Earth Farms, and Sandhill rose to the challenge to out-funny everyone else’s headgear. Some unexpected visitors dropped by while the party was in progress, and we can only wonder what they thought of it all. One gentleman draped a long length of peach colored tulle fabric over a sizable hoop for a rather elegant Easter hat or high-society look, while another managed to wedge a large boot on his own noggin. Some of the younger set wore paper crowns or even just pants on their heads (which they all agreed was hilarious), another budding milliner went with the “bowl of onions” look, and I can reasonably assert there are now 102 uses for a colander. I can further report that a yoga mat puts a slight strain on the neck, and the cake was delicious.
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 twice monthly, on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays at 1pm. The next will be July 7th. Meanwhile, for more information you can visit our website www.dancingrabbit.org or give us a call at (660) 883-5511.