Sunday, August 10, 2008

Many updates

Hello again,

-- Apologies for the long gap in writing. I'm going to start writing shorter entries more often, see how that goes.

Since I last wrote, many things have happened:

1) -- The flowers that Eden and I planted for the local CSA are going absolutely crazy. We started with a few flowers in mid-July, and since the end of July have had way more than we could ever use -- coreopsis, bee phacelia, zinnias, sunflowers, bachelor buttons, safflower, corn cockles, love in a mist, amaranth, pincushion flowers, snapdragons, clarkia, hollyhocks, cleome, salpiglossis, zulu and orange prince (colorful daisies), milkweed, and more that I can't remember right now.
....a sad corollary of this news is that it's looking like I will not being doing a growing operation with Eden next year. She's got a lot on her plate, and doing an herb/flower growing biz is not high on her priority list. It still may happen, but I'm not banking on it. So now I am contemplating whether or not I would take on growing herbs next year -- if I'm still here. It seems a real shame not to continue cultivating the 1/4-acre that she and I started this year, and so I am leaning towards farming at least part of it, and maybe adding a small plot in a shady spot closer to the house, so that I could get experience growing both shade- and sun-loving herbs. I'd really rather not do this alone, but I also like growing plants, and have been toying with the idea of just growing a lot herbs, whether or not they turn any kind of profit. At least the community would benefit, and perhaps I could bring some of the harvested herbs to various herbal practioners, herb companies, etc., and see if there's an interest in my "product" for 2010.

2) I had my three-month check-in a couple of weeks ago. It was late in coming -- i'd been here 4 1/2 months by then -- but it was helpful nonetheless. I'm here on a six-month trial, and so we met to talk about how it's been going. It felt pretty positive. I got to express both what was hard and what was good about living here, and everyone in the community also got to express what was good and hard about living with me. We should be meeting at the end of August/beginning of September, to decide whether I will be staying on indefinitely. I believe that I would like to stay on as an "associate member", which means that I would essentially be a renter with an equal say in community matters -- I just wouldn't be able to vote on decisions affecting the property, since I wouldn't be part of the collective that owns it. That would be fine by me at this point -- I don't have the cash to put towards a down payment. Currently each person is paying for a $120,000 share in the land, and is paying off Ryan in the form of a 30-year, low-interest fixed-rate loan, with a 10% down payment right away -- very similar to the process of buying a house, I believe. Anyway, I would like to have an equal say in all decisions, but as it is not realistic for me to consider ownership, I'm fine with remaining here as a renter and community member.
... my main concern is making a living, and I still have to work that out for myself here. I'm hoping that working at Full Bloom -- thru helping out on the organic farm, doing childcare, doing restoration work and other property improvements on the land, and potentially helping out with the commercial baking that will be going full-throttle next year, that I can support myself. But I need to have a longer discussion with people, both individually and as a collective, before I can get a solid answer to that proposal. I really don't wanna work offsite, and the pay is not great, nor are there many jobs, so I'm really hoping I can work out an arrangement onsite. And potentially in the future I may find my calling. Or I could remain a guy who does lots of part-time jobs in interesting fields.

3) A few other quick things:
  • We now have gobs and gobs of strawberries coming off the farm.
  • Ryan and Eden have started a raw-food diet, coming off of a 5-day liquid fast that the three of us did, and I am going to join them, starting tomorrow. I've been struggling with depression for many years now, and I want to see how eating healthy affects that. I'm hoping to do a 10-day fast this fall as well, as well as some colonics.
  • The vertical posts and the rafters for the common building are all in place now, and last week the carpenters began putting on the tongue-and-groove decking for the roof. It looks really beautiful.
  • The cobbers came and went, and in their wake there is now a 200-square foot cob structure, which probably needs a few more weeks of labor until it is ready. Pretty sweet!
  • I turned 38 on Friday, the 8th day of the 8th month of 2008, at a few minutes before 8 a.m. Happy Birthday to me!
  • Went down to Berkeley in late July to celebrate my 20th high school reunion. It was great to see so many folks, some of whom I've known since preschool or grade school, and catch up with them.

-- And that's it! Next time I'll be briefer and quicker between entries. Goodnight to all, and to all a Good Night!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good to see you writing again:)