Sunday, September 23, 2012

Update 3: Life on the Farm

I'm now finishing up my time at Acorn. (See my last post, Update 2: The Acorn Community, for more about Acorn.) Here I want to focus on what it's been like living here.

I'm a city boy. For example, I always thought of morning glory as a pretty flower that grows on people's fences. Here at Acorn I've been trying to wipe it out because the vines were taking over and strangling the melons and squash that are being grown. And onions have always been just onions to me and garlic just garlic. Here I have been packaging 'Alliums' and I've been learning about many different varieties of onions, garlic, shallots, and leeks. (My favorite are 'Egyptian Walking Onion' and a variety of garlic called 'Music'.) And packaging seeds has taught me about many heirloom varieties of vegetables, beans, and grains.

(Incidentally, correction from my last post. I was told by another Acorn member that we don't actually buy produce from local farmers--almost every vegetable served here is grown here--or dumpster dived. They spend very little money on food here--at least according to someone who works in the gardens.)

The land here is beautiful--fields and woods and old farm buildings. At night I go out and look at all the stars (many more than you can see in Boston). I've been living in a tent for over three weeks and it's been fine--it's been kind of nice to be outdoors so much. (Although I suspect I'll enjoy being indoors in a real bed once again.) I've also been making friends with the dogs and the goats that live here--and and harvesting beans and okra and watermelons. Pretty heady stuff for someone who has never really lived on a farm before.

Today a group of us went out to Living Energy Farm, a community that's starting up about ten miles from here--it's really wild and green out there. The land is recovering from being clear-cut and they've started building some simple structures on it, as well as growing lots of vegetables there. They have been very slowly building on the land since they bought it about two years ago and the buildings are still pretty primitive. I'm not sure anyone lives there full time and the LEF community is really only a couple of people and a bunch of volunteer help. Very much a work in progress. I intend to visit them again when I'm at Twin Oaks in November.

 And I don't think I've flushed a toilet since I've been out in Virginia. We're encouraged to pee in the woods here and they have composting toilets for creating 'humanure'. When I have used a regular toilet, I've followed the 'mellow yellow' rule. Truly we can live fairly simply here on the farm.

Quote of the Day: "Acorn Community is a rural community of people living on the same plot of land and managing business together. ... We will share our land, labor, income, and other resources equally or according to need. ... The members of Acorn Community will strive to live our lives in a way that supports the basic human rights of people here and in the rest of the world. ... The members of Acorn Community will attempt to live in a way that is gentle on the environment, attempting to show an example of how this can practically be done." - from Acorn's Mission Statement


Austan said...

It sounds wonderful. It's good to hear your enthusiasm. Keep on truckin!

MoonRaven said...

Thanks--I've appreciated your support in this. (Unfortunately something in Acorn's computer system wouldn't let me respond to many comments--hopefully this will go away now that I'm back in town.)