Bike tour update

Starting off at Afton, VA

Starting off at Afton, VA

The pledge drive bike tour to help raise money for the kitchen of fellow intentional community Baltimore Free Farm (BFF) has been in progress for over a week now. Pledges for the trip are at a dollar a mile, so we’re on our way to meeting our fundraising goal of $5,000.  Baltimore Free Farm has been running Food Not Bombs and Food Rescue Day out of their kitchen for years now, footing the bills for picking up food, paying the electrical bills, supplying propane for cooking, and maintaining the infrastructural space.  Food Not Bombs and Food Rescue Day divert food from the waste stream, further the decommodification of food, and redistribute food to people who experience food insecurity.

Home sweet home!

Home sweet home!

As a new community run mostly by volunteers, shouldering this finacial burden has begun to seem less feasible.  In a stroke of fundraising creativity, the bike tour pledge drive was formuled as something participants can do that is in line with values of renewable and human powered systems, while providing nearly free (minus bike parts) and ecologically conscious transportation, allowing us to explore forms of radical street performance along the way and once we get to New Orleans.

Butternuts we harvested off the ground

Butternuts we harvested off the ground

So far, our journey has found us waylaid on the stoops of abandoned homesteads and historical buildings waiting out the rain, occupying endlessly replicated convenience store landscape, in the warm embrace of hotdog laden churches, on the grass and concrete of park pavilions, under the sky in hay fields, and on the floors of the friends’ houses. It took us a very long time to get out of Virginia.  Southwest Virginia, in all its foggy mountain brilliant leaved trees, drug on forever, with spectacular elevation changes, whipping wind, rain, lugging entirely too much more stuff, and reluctant muscles all slowing us down. Finally after a few more days of rain and bike repair delays, we arrived in Knoxville, TN. Our next stop is Nashville, where we’re excited to open for Poncili Creacions with a short puppet act.  After Nashville, we’ll be headed to Memphis, then the long (but mercifully flat!) trek south following the Mississippi.

Thanks for nothing, google maps

Thanks for nothing, google maps

We all started off with a book bag each of personal belongings, but by now we’ve shed most of our belongings along the way in efforts at lightening up our loads for greater riding efficiency. Billy and I have ditched our bags completely, with the clothes we’re not wearing able to fit into our balled hands, and Brittany’s bag is mostly empty, minus a collection of puppets and other interesting found objects that we encorporate into our puppeteering endeavors on street corners along the way.  At regular intervals throughout our trip, we’ve dumped the contents of our bags and mercilessly culled any duplicates or other unnecessary objects.  Things we don’t have that might surprise you: sleeping bags, ground pads, pillows, tents, (much) spare clothing or shoes, or trailers.  Brittany and myself don’t even have saddle bags.   My few remaining belongins dwell in a mini grocery shopping bag.  When our shoes get wet and don’t dry out, we throw them in a laundry mat drier.  When it rains, we pull off and wait it out.  When it’s cold, we look for straw, leaves, or cardboard.

Brit and her puppets

Brit and her puppets

 

If you’re excited about what we’re doing and want to help BFF with their kitchen operating expenses, make a pledge!  For more regular updates and pictures, check our fundraiser event on Facebook.  Wish us luck!

days go by, and the year turns over

it’s been a few weeks since my last post. we’re still doing old-fashioned mondays, i still have a lot of crafty stuff to do. i still have laundry days and wash my things by hand (my clothes now, too, instead of just my cloth wipes), and we’ve had more snow since early december. here are a few photos from the past weeks.

orange and blue sunset

orange and blue sunset

this beautiful horizon was  a nice surprise one evening as i went out back to bring my laundry in before dark. i love the silhoette of trees in the wintertime.

gloves from a cut up old sweater, fixed

gloves from a cut up old sweater, fixed

i made these fingerless gloves in the winter of 2007 with two then-interns at acorn. we cut up a hole-ridden sweater from commie clothes and used dental floss to make gloves. i knew better than to attempt fingers with cut-up knitting. and now, two years later, the edges were getting awful ragged – and i finally had enough basic knitting skills to just pick up some of the hanging loops to keep it from unraveling further. other places required more creative measures.

fiver climbing ladder at heartwood

fiver climbing ladder at heartwood

i woke up one morning to find fiver ascending a ladder just outside my window. the heartwood re-siding project was going ahead full steam every day until the snowstorm came (and then christmas). that ladder is still outside my window.

laundry day - hand washing clothes

laundry day – hand washing clothes

another laundry day. it feels good that it’s becoming a simple routine, and still isn’t something that i resent or feel stubborn about. sometimes i put it off for a few days, but it’s always a pleasure once i make it outside and sit on my bucket in the sunshine for a simple hour of rewarding work. now that i’m washing my clothes as well, i have that delicious fresh air scent all the time. you can’t find that scent anywhere but line-hung clothes.

ashleigh wrapping crystals

ashleigh wrapping crystals

another old-fashioned monday found ashleigh wrapping a few crystals to turn into necklaces. i got one of them as a trade for some henna body art that i did on her weeks before. it’s wrapped in copper, and i haven’t taken it off yet.

after the snow - heartwood wreath

after the snow – heartwood wreath

we got nearly two feet of snow out here, and so for the first day or two everything was especially scenic, a veritable winter wonderland. of course now we’re in the waning days of dirty slush and scattered patches of stubborn snow. i made this wreath for heartwood after pruning an evergreen that always tickles my head when i walk on the path to the farmhouse. the trimmings made a fine wreath (for a beginner, anyway), and made heartwood feel a bit more festive.

dandelion tincture

dandelion tincture

i just started this dandelion tincture yesterday, after going on a weed walk the day before and finding some hearty dandelion south of the greenhouse. it’ll serve as a good winter tonic six weeks from now. i’ve been really excited to be undertaking more herbal projects, and have also finished decanting the herb-infused oils, and then used some of them to make lemon-balm lip balm and lavendar burn salve.

i hope you’re having a good new year wherever you are.