Monthly Archives: September 2017

Wall Art Plaster party day!

You are invited to an art-making day on the earthbag wall at Sunflower River! Parts two and three!

Saturday, October 14, 1 – 5 p.m.

and Saturday, Oct 21st 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Come make art on our earthbag wall! The theme is plants & animals, and we invite you to come sculpt a bas-relief plant or animal on the interior of the Sunflower River property wall! Some specific things we are looking for include: dragonflies, flowers and plants, and a roadrunner! We’re also open to suggestions from you, the artists!

The material we’ll use to sculpt is a cementacious plaster mix (contains portland cement, lime, sand and water), so gloves are required. We’ll have a box of nitrile gloves available, as well as sculpting tools (we’ve found that plastic knives are the perfect thing).

Through trial-and-error, we have learned that the best process has been to have a photo of the thing you want to make, and then use the photo as a reference to create a charcoal sketch on the wall (we have charcoal), and then build up the sculpture from there.

We would love, love, love to have some more awesome art up on the wall this year! Come play! We hope to see you there!

10-Year Retrospective Photo Post

Sometime during the first part of our first year, we picked up a book called the Encyclopedia of Country Living. It gave us the sage advice that we would overestimate what we could accomplish in one year — and dramatically underestimate what we could accomplish in ten. We have held to that as a hopeful spar when we were floundering with the unmovable weight of Too Much To Do over the years. And while the last ten years have definitely not gone precisely as our first few ten-year plans would have predicted, we have also definitely accomplished a lot more than we anticipated! Mahazda and the wall are hands-down the two biggest and most noticable infrastructure projects, but we have also accomplished a hundred smaller projects that are woven into the fabric of our daily lives now. Sometimes how far we have come is eclipsed by all we yet mean to do, so it helps to take a moment and reflect back on the changes. And so many people are in our lives now whom we did not know when we began Sunflower River! So take a look through these images and see how much has changed on our little piece of this Earth in just these ten years!

This is a long photo post. I am not sorry.

Garden, field & barn, September 2007

Same view today:

you can just about make out the barn, back there, behind the garden.

the garden, from west looking east to Isleta Blvd, Sept 2007

I’m including this one because it shows the difference in our land SO acutely, but I could not retake this shot, because it was nothing but a solid wall of apricot leaves, beans, and sunflowers. maybe next month, after the sunflowers have come down, and you can see the greenhouse & the earthbag wall from the garden again?

i think this is my very favorite contrast set, in all of these:
Apricot tree, freshly planted, March 2008

Apricot tree, Sept 2017

the cold frames by the Gate of Possibility, with bonus turkeys, 2009

that same spot today, complete with Alan & Rev:

just a wee little bit of intensive change has happened in this particular corner.

The Old Barn, Sept 2007 and Spring 2008

that neighborhood today:

my favorite shot of the Actual Barn from Sept 07.

and that view today, as best i can recreate it:

barn, barnyard, and driveway, Sept 2007

and (from slightly further back) Sept 2017

Barn Interior, 2007

and same corner, 2017

goat pen, sept 07

becomes peacock pen, Sept 17

the barnyard seen from the east side of the goat pen:

same view, i promise:

rabbit house, version 2 (rejected after major dog attack)

has been transformed into a poultry pen

chicken pen, Sept 07

creating the garden, January 08


i’m noticing this theme of “greenery grows large and eats the view.”

Cottage backyard & yurt area, Sept 07

from a slightly different angle, because my yurt is exactly right there now

Grandfather Cottonwood seen from the pasture, Fall 2007

same view right now:

The ritual ground is behind me, in this image:

and now. i couldn’t get the dog to cooperate, so here’s a cat.

another angle on the ritual ground, as it began. for realz.

and now.

front fenceline, Spring 2008

and now:

my beloved VW the AutoKineton, and my yurt in its original skin (also called “why Kat doesn’t try to sew architecture anymore”)

and, from a different angle, Tremaine and the yurt as it presently stands:

herb garden, August 08

Sept 17. it has apparently gotten slightly overgrown.

the original compost bins:

and a complete redo, which Rev is finishing right this minute:

some indoor transformations: The Cottage livingroom the week we bought the place, during the “rip the carpet out and refinish the floors” phase

the same corner of the Cottage livingroom, several remodelling efforts later

more of the Cottage floor situation

and now.

Building the Coyote Fence, 2008, with Tristan & Alan

and now:

and the other side, with Jenny and one of our very first wwoofers, Joanna:

and now.

and this all doesn’t even touch the Mahazda renovation project! that’ll have to be a whole ‘nother post sometime.

and, just for narrative closure today, one last kitty picture.