Tuesday, February 17, 2009

February, Winter ‘08 & ‘09

727 Dameron Drive Update
The Greatest Place on Earth

Winter ‘08 & ‘09

Slide Show:

Ok, so I might not have been forthcoming in writing the newsletter in December and January but…I can tell you a lot has happened. I’ll keep it brief, pictures on my website, and I’ll leave it open to questions and comments for you.

The delay includes a large amount of work we are accomplishing physically, my positive mental engagement in things, and the cooperation of many other people.

Through our efforts, we seem to have crossed some bridge along the way to a place of confidence, skilled work, and working well, especially between Gregory and me. I recognize and appreciate how we get along and work through many challenging steps. Nearly everything we choose, take on, or plan, seems to move forward…and not that everything works out perfectly, but working through steps seems much easier these days.

Most currently, we are working on architectural plans for building an extension to the cottage. Meetings, work, and plans with Jeff, Mark, Gregory, and others seem near completion. Our goals are to complete the plans and submit them to the City this week.

In doing so, we will be ready to break ground on our foundation and let our hard work in planning develop.

Prior to working on these plans, we completed a fence surrounding the animal and compost area. A forestry clearing effort made possible the fence posts for our project and saved us a lot of money and the environment a lot of energy through the production of new steel. For the steel we needed, we found it locally and recycled. A welder donated by Dana made it possible to create gates and supports for the project.

Going back a few months, we designed and completed a modern day Dutch Colonial barn/chicken coop, pictures of which are on my website. The chicks born in July are grown, hens are laying, and the roosters have made several community meals delicious.

The construction of the chicken coop is a combination of straw bale, wood, cob, and lime plaster built on a foundation of urbanite and gravel. Gregory, Cassandra, Josephine, and others played a large part in making it possible. The esthetic appeal includes a gambrel style roof and the finish of an old Irish cottage. In the spring, we plan to have kids paint a tractor on the side. We also plan to catch rainwater off the roof to feed the chickens. The rainwater catchment barrels will pose as mock-grain silos as an added aesthetic touch. The barn also has a storage loft on top.

· In our cold frames, we have plenty of greens growing and tomatoes growing inside the cottage.
· All of our compost bins, we have redesigned, reinforced, and in some cases, moved.
· As we completed the animal/compost area and we are thinking of raising pigs, turkeys, sheep, or more chickens…we’ll see.
· Going back to Thanksgiving, I cleaned the corn I help to grow, ground it down to meal, mixed it with local cow milk, baked it into cornbread, and shared it at our community meal.

Little thoughts:
· Try to eat what’s in season in your area.
· Read labels--if you don’t know what it is or can’t say it, it’s probably not healthy for you.
· Shop around the perimeter of your grocery store--you’ll find healthier alive-type foods as opposed to the middle of the store where you’ll find nonperishable, or less lively foods.

In my lyrical style, I write:
To the glory of sight, sound, taste, touch, and the scent of what I sense

the morning sits still
as I am still in it

darkness doles its way to daylight
my silence staves shattered

the city slowly stirs
the rooster starts his crows

my coffee tastes to start my day
the fire rolls to roar

as cold is culled to comfort
the cottage covers clam me
beeswax fills the air

on this day this morning time,
I contemplate what is.

This land, my heart, and my future path are all that I can be.

The warmth on my back from this wood burning stove
The sound of two dogs snoring
a timber-raised loft
a bed of wool, organic cotton, and feathers.
Fresh clean clothes hung by the fire, hand-washed in two tin basins
the same two tins I use for bathing.

Outside, the chicks asleep, in their new barn coop, made of local raised woods, straw, and clay.

Greens grow in cold-frame beds, beets, carrots, and kale
Art is all around me and this is surely real.
Walls, floor, and ceiling,
the sun rising across this land in pale sky blues, and purple orange hues,
alive as the leafless trees paint my views.

The soil here is alive with life, my health, hands, and those that help me.

The People here in Preskitt town, my family, friends, and place
Plants, animals, and all we eat, always some to share

Prescott College, The Farmer’s Market, Food Revolution, Whipstone Farm, Burning Daylight, New Frontier’s, and many more.

This Place, of murals, parks, and creeks, Catalyst, Roaster’s, rocks, and more make this place for me.

This is my place, our space, a farm, urban agriculture, and 727 Dameron Drive!