Friday, June 17, 2011


I got my tooth pulled yesterday. I have been trying not to take very many of the pain pills I was prescribed, because I don't prefer taking pills, but it has been really painful, so I have been taking a few here and there.

I have been resting a lot, and Joshua has been taking good care of me. He made me warm soup and really soft broccoli, covered my work, and came to check on me this morning when I slept longer than usual. I am really grateful that I have someone to take care of me.

Joshua and I, last winter.

I think it is really awesome that the labor system here is sometimes built around caring for yourself and one another. If you take care of someone when they are sick, you can take labor credit for it. If you are sick, you get labor credit for the time you take to get better.

You can't receive labor credit for other kinds of caring, though people still care for each other in many ways, regardless of whether they get labor credit for it. For example; hugs, listening when someone is sad or upset, and telling others that you appreciate them.

I don't think it is any big surprise that I get depressed and anxious, like almost everyone here does, sometimes. When you live with lots of people, you get to experience all their moods, but you don't always have the time or energy to listen to someone. A big lesson that I have learned here is that taking care of myself is a big priority. I try to remember to make time for myself to do yoga, meditate, draw, take a bath, write, go on a walk, et cetera. If I don't take care of myself, then it is difficult for me to care for others.

Having a partner means that sometimes I forget to take care of myself, and depend on him to care of me, but we both remind each other that too much dependency isn't healthy.

What I have observed since I have been here is that caring for one's self, and then for each other is what keeps the community running.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

wild herb harvests

I went for a walk in the woods with a friend the other day to harvest self heal, also known as prunella. We found it along paths and creeks.


It's a common wild plant in the Ozarks. It can be used medicinally to treat fevers,  diarrhea, sore throat, internal bleeding, and weakness of the liver or heart. From what I have read, it also seems to be antibacterial. It can be cooked with, too.

When we come upon a group of plants, we only harvest a few from each group, so the plants can reseed. We cut below the leaves, so we can make use of the leaves and the flowers, but we don't pull the plant up by the roots.

 Sage, cutting the self heal.

After we harvested it, we dried it, and it will be used for tea. 

I have been slowly learning about medicinal plants, wild and cultivated. There are quite a few other wild plants I have learned about that are growing around here, but I wanted to highlight prunella because I just learned about it. It doesn't seem to grow in the area of Missouri where I am from (Kansas City). I find it interesting that it grows around here though.

The path that we took through the woods was a path I had never been on before. The amount of land to explore here is enormous. I am planning on taking a solitary trip into the woods this weekend, and get some quiet alone time. I think I will bring a plant identification book with me and hopefully learn some more.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Garden Kim Chi

We started the first batch of kim chi of the year today. I am really excited to say that everything we put in it came from the garden!

For those of you who don't know what kim chi is; it is pretty much fermented vegetables. It is usually somewhat spicy, and traditionally made with fish sauce. However, we didn't use fish sauce.

We also made a batch of sauerkraut.

I got the recipe from a really great book called Wild Fermentation. My sister bought it for me after I checked it out from the library and kept talking about it. It is a really great resource for people new at making fermented foods.

Fermented foods are full of microorganisms that make our immune systems stronger. I try to remember to eat fermented foods on a regular basis.

Kim chi is not only good for you, but it also a good way to preserve vegetables when you have an abundance.

Here's what we made today:

Two jars of root vegetables with beets, carrots, turnips, garlic, and hot peppers.
One jar of cabbage and root vegetables, and one sauerkraut, all with hot peppers!

They should be ready to eat in about a week. Yum!

Friday, June 3, 2011


I took pictures of some beautiful flowers in the herb garden the other day, and thought I would share with those who might appreciate the little things that brighten up the garden, and my day.


The weather seems to keep getting warmer and warmer. The temperature reached 98 degrees today. Starting last week a bunch of people left for vacation, and people have been continuing to leave.

It's that time of year when it gets really hot, lots of people go on vacation, and there is a lot of uncovered work. I'm feeling a little spread thin right now. I have been trying to cover as much work as I have the energy to, but it never seems like enough. I know that everyone else here is trying too.

On June 24th, about 12 more people will be leaving to go to the Rainbow Gathering. I will be staying here. I was trying to decide if I wanted to go. I was conflicted because I wanted to stay to help out on the farm, but Rainbow sounded really fun. Well, the decision was made for me when I found out that I have a really bad cavity, and my tooth has to be pulled. My dentist appointment is on June 30th, which means I will be missing the Rainbow Gathering.

Joshua and I plan to visit his family a couple times, so we will get off the farm a little bit, but I am worried that things might get a little intense here.

East Wind could really use some help in the garden, in the nutbutter factory, on ranch, in the kitchen, in laundry...pretty much everywhere. I am sending some good energy toward  helpful people wanting to live close to the land, and non violently with others.

I'll be here for a while, bearing the heat, and being thankful for the cool nights, the healthy food, the outdoor shower...