This past weekend, Sunflower River celebrated our sixth anniversary living together as an intentional community, with our 5th annual Harvest Festival. we have hosted this large outdoor potluck every labor day since our second year.
Join us for our fifth annual Harvest Festival! Monday, September 2 (Labor Day).
Come down to celebrate the turning of the seasons, enjoy the harvest, and spend a fun afternoon in excellent company at Sunflower River!
Potluck — bring a dish to share!
Pie Contest– Bring a pie! Prizes!
Bobbing for Apples, Horseshoes
Open Acoustic Music Jam — bring your instruments!
Back for a second year! we’ll have a Raptor Presentation from Wildlife Rescue New Mexico! http://www.wrinm.org/
Bring your friends and family for this all-ages celebration of the year, the harvest, the cycles of the seasons, of friendship and family and the beauty of the world.
for directions, please message yarrow at sunflowerriver dot org. comments left here will come to my attention eventually, but in a less timely manner; email is best! thanks!
Come get dirty with us!
Plaster party Sunday, August 25th, 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Some of the plaster got knocked down by that amazing rain a couple weeks ago — like, a third of the plaster on the north side of the wall– so we have some re-mudding to do (now with extra lime for extra staying power!), and then a base-coat to apply on the north side of the newly-finished bit of wall.
This work consists of mixing up a special mud recipe, and throwing it at the wall. It’s a ton of fun, and you’ll learn a lot about earthen plastering.
We’re also ready to add some more bas-relief plaster sculpture on the east wall. We’re interested in all sorts of plant, animal, and natural-world related artwork — if you’d like to get in on this, come on down!
A hearty vegetarian lunch will magically appear around 2pm. We’ll send all volunteers home with farm goods.
Come on down and get muddy!
we’re done rebuilding the wall! this has been a long time coming. we had a crew of four interns here for a month this summer, and while they were here, they put in a course of wall every day, until they got it done! it feels amazing to walk out my door and feel the physical presence of that solid boundary right there.
we also got it about 1/4 plastered last weekend. we’ll pick up with plastering as soon as we have a few more interns again — most of our last crew have headed off to various new adventures.
and today’s gratuitous cute kitty post: look how much progress i’m making on domesticating Furdre! now that she’s discovered that being petted feels good, she’s making up for lost years of touch. everytime i step outside, that cat is right there twining around my ankles — or whacking them if i fail to obey her demands. hah.
first off, here’s the full set of photographs from the Mahazda demolition project. When the rennovation is complete, I’ll do a before-during-after set of each room.
by mid-April, we were all set to finish everything up, but it was just too much to get done in one day with the group that was able to be there. so that workday ended with both substantial progress, and substantial disappointment. with the big Beltane festival coming up, which we were coordinating, we wanted to be able to wrap this stage of the project up before leaving down for the festival. so we pushed things around in the calendar to free up the Sunday before Beltane, and implored our friends to come help. it turns out we have spectacularly awesome friends; three people came out to put in a full afternoon’s work with us, and with three of us also able to jump in, we got the last of everything done!
now we are in the process of negotiating with the contractor about specific details of the rennovation. this will be a very thorough rennovation: new electric, plumbing, insulation, heating/cooling systems, floors. a large kitchen, two bathrooms, new windows and doors. we will do the kitchen cabinetry and the finish work (trim, cabinets, painting) ourselves, to save costs and put our own hands into the work.
we’d like to put in radiant heat, and wrap the house with strawbales for the most effective insulation (and sound-proofing!). initial estimates for the latter come in higher than we like, but it seems like there ought to be a way to do a strawbale wrap for less. if anybody has any leads on that, please let me know! of course we can do some of the work ourselves, but that also slows the project down, possibly substantially, because of the way we have to schedule ourselves; it’s the group process thing. that is one of the options we’re looking at. but you know, if one of our readers has a cousin who is a contractor who has done strawbale wraps on existing structures before, or something, do *please* drop me a note! yarrow at sunflowerriver dot org. thanks!
the spring slips away, just like that: it is Summertime. my favorite season. i am made for the desert heat, the solid caress of sun on bare skin, bare feet in the soil, the rich blue skies and long warm evenings.
the garden critters are as abundant as the greens. insects proliferate, in spite of the poultry grazing on them. here is a mother wolf spider, helping take care of the bug problem by producing a zillion more wolf spiders for us.
A quick photo update, while I run around madly getting everything together for Beltane.
also, bonus. Aerialist nom-noms. these little guys roam the house and steal things. adorably. now they are learning how to fly on the ceiling fan cords.
the irises are already blooming. i didn’t manage to take photos this morning, so as usual, my photo post will be a week behind the actual season. we got a little bit of rain yesterday, thank goodness, so this morning the baby greens in their long sprawling rows gleamed against the dark soil of the garden, in the grey light of a cloudy sky.
overnight, it seems, the cottonwoods have leafed.
my view in the mornings:
note the long wires extending from both yurts: tie-downs so we don’t blow away in the wind of the rather firm New Mexico spring.
in another sure sign of spring, the Mahazda demolition project is Almost Done. We are within a work party (possibly two, but hopefully one really productive day) of being ready to turn this project over to the contractor. So close!
and attend to some details like placing outlets, and pulling the remainder of the old, dangerous electrical system (aka, the tentacle monster) out of the ceilings.
particularly as a group, rather than as individuals. this same group genius, the spirit of the group’s generative power, is what created that floor plan for the Mahazda house that we are so excited to manifest and live in.
so, at Retreat last month, we changed the way we do House Meeting. it’s still every wednesday night, but now we do a planning meeting once a month, and a play meeting the rest of the time, where we get together to spend social time together. each meeting, one person is responsible for setting the activity that we will all do together, and this responsibility rotates among the five of us. last week Kat had us look for the Pan-Starrs Coment (didn’t see it) and then we watched a movie that some friends of mine produced (Ember Days).
last week at house meeting, after some general catching up, Jenny had us play a creative writing game. everybody tosses out some letters, and then we have a few minutes to each write phrases (that more or less make sense and hang together as an English phrase) where each word starts with the selected letters, in order.
so this is what happened.
T R L D M
travelling rice lady demands money
the real llama didn’t matter
topical relationships leave different metaphors
today red licorice didn’t matter
to really love demands mushies
this religion likes dead men
the real leader died monday
try relaxation. labor demands muscles.
true righteous love does miracles
the red lamp dropped madly
teach respect, laugh during meetings
terrible revelations left David morose
to rest longer dismays me
the random l-cache destroys memory
to reach laughter, distrust motion
testicles reach large diameter macerated
trainers rarely let dogs meander
t-rex loves damian monroe
the regent laughed, danced madly
they risk loving drama more
that rascal lost dillan’s mummy
top right/left does matter
tiny reflections linger, mirror diamonds
trees ripen less during menstruation
totally radical loafers didn’t materialize
truly rare lenses damage music
i think what we got out of this, besides a great deal of entertainment, was a vivid depiction of how our five different ways of being original, being ourselves in the world, interlace into a whole that is more interesting, more integrated, and considerably more creative than any one part. one more joy of living in community.
comments are candy. if you liked these, i’ll put the rest up. we did two more rounds with different letters.
Here is the promised image of our brilliant new floorplan for the “new” house.
In this image, north is the top. so what is marked as the kitchen, is where the garage presently is, etc. the central adobe area becomse the common room. we like this, because it preserves the structural heart of the old house as the living heart of the new. we also like this layout because it provides a generous allottment of space for everything — the bedrooms, the office, the common room, the kitchen. a utility room, a mudroom area so we really can avoid tracking through the house, especially during mud season. two bathrooms. (TWO. just in that house. for a total of THREE on the farm. this sounds so heavenly. unless you have lived with six people and one bathroom, you have no idea.)
five minds are so much more powerful than any one by itself. this plan took all of us, in synergy, to create, and we are all so delighted with it.