Thursday, March 19, 2009

Not all work!

Though we've been accomplishing many tasks, we're also enjoying ourselves and having enough down time for some rest and renewal.

And, there's no complaining about the food. We're well fed - both at the daily Community Lunch we share with Koinonians and the meals we prepare for our own group!

Life is good!

Today we were grateful for sunshine, bubble bees, paint, little old women and little old men, sore bodies, community, cats, laughter, home, springtime, swings, friends, pecans, stars, long walks, a sustainable rhythm, this place . . .


Home building with the Fuller Center

Today we ventured off the farm to work with the Fuller Center building a home in Americus. Millard Fuller founded both Habitat for Humanity and the Fuller Center with the goal of ending housing poverty and assuring that every person has a decent home in which to live. Here were some of our efforts in helping to reach these goals.

(Martha kept sitting down on the job.)

Our group (minus Meg) with the construction site supervisor, Al.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Just how are Warren and Wilson adjusting to their new home?

Warren and Wilson are as happy as can be!

Completing many work projects while learning more about permaculture

The rains ceased and the sun came out on Tuesday making our work environment the last two days absolutely incredible. We've been adding brush to the newly dug swales; digging a pond; building a spiral herb garden; clearing brush from a wooded area to make more room for the pigs; hauling logs; looking for frogs, algae and termites; and moving lots of dirt and compost.

Kurt explaining the functionality of the spiral herb garden.

The evolution of the pond.(Yes, that is Nathan Ballantyne in the white cap. He joined us in our work efforts - and had the opportunity to visit friends - for a couple of days.)

Amelia and Kayte catching toads and fish for the new pond.

New Koinonia Friends

Here are a few of our new Koinonia friends.

Farm and garden manager, Brendan, has lived at Koinonia with his partner Sarah and their two daughters Ida and Kellan since 2006. He is our primary work supervisor for the week.

Brendan's beautiful daughter Kellan (future Wilson Farm Crew member).

Sanders - just back from a successful dumpster diving run in Americus where he obtained fresh fruit, organic hummus, guacamole, and Odwalla juices for the human community, and a couple of large tubs of food for the pigs. (We understand that there is a growing number of dumpster divers in Americus, including several Habitat for Humanity staff members.)

Gloria (center - talking to Meg) has been at Koinonia since the 1990's. She is currently the "kitchen goddess" who keeps us well fed with an amazing spread at community meal each day - carnivores, vegetarians and vegans have been quite satisfied!

Ellie Castle, queen of hospitality, offers a peace reading each day at the community lunch. The community is committed to lighting a candle and offering a prayer for peace every day until it is achieved on earth.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

More from "Jimmy-ville" (a.k.a. Plains) and Andersonville

The Chinese visitors were absolutely fascinated with our group. Though we did not speak the same language, we did share in much laughter with each other. (Who knew we'd have such an international experience in Plains, GA?)

Peanuts everywhere - plain peanuts, deep fried peanuts, hot boiled peanuts, peanut butter ice cream, peanut brittle, chocolate covered peanuts. We tried all the free samples (and posed with a few of the town's famous characters).

We ended our day of touring the area with a visit to Andersonville, both a historical site from the Civil War and the US National POW Museum.

From the website

Andersonville Prison (Camp Sumter)

Camp Sumter, commonly called Andersonville, was one of the largest military prisons established by the Confederacy during the Civil War. In existence for 14 months, over 45,000 Union soldiers were confined at the prison. Of these, almost 13,000 died from disease, poor sanitation, malnutrition, overcrowding, and exposure to the elements. The largest number held in the 26½-acre stockade at any one time was more than 32,000, during August of 1864. Today the beauty of the prison site belies the suffering that once took place inside the stockade.

The National Prisoner of War Museum.

The 1970 legislation responsible for establishing Andersonville National Historic Site instructed the site "to interpret the role of prisoners-of-war camps in history" and "to commemorate the sacrifice of Americans who lost their lives in such camps." To that end, the exhibits in the National Prisoner of War Museum serve as a memorial to all American prisoners of war. The museum opened in 1998 and is dedicated to the American men and women who have suffered as POWs.

Monday, March 16, 2009

OUr First Day of Work

Torrential rains on Sunday day and night (and continuing all day on Monday) drenched the farm, but did not dampen our spirits or deter our labors. The weather did cause a slight delay in us beginning our work first thing in the morning, but we made good use of our time by watching a permaculture design video. Koinonians just hosted a permaculture design course in mid-February and are in the process of implementing many of the principles here on the farm. Some of our work this week will help them do so.

Many students worked outdoors planting blueberry bushes, and placing cardboard, compost and mulch around fruit trees . . .

. . . while others worked indoors glazing mugs in the ceramics studio.

The sun is supposed to come out on Tuesday!