The newest group of visitors! Photo by Cob.

Greetings friends! Katherine here to regale you with our ecovillage antics of the week.

The weather has been absolutely amazing, with cool nights and windy days. The August tempers are a bit cooler than in recent years and people are often heard during group check-ins to be enjoying the sun-showers and frequent rainbows. The rain could not have come soon enough as our gardens have been thirsty and the cisterns running low.

Last Sunday saw the end of the Milkweed Mercantile’s Preserving the Harvest workshop. About nine folks came from all over the country to learn about canning, fermenting, and cheesemaking with Alline, Thomas, and Ted. It seemed a success because every time I went into the Mercantile kitchen that weekend, people were handling local food and just laughing and laughing. One highlight for me was hearing about the walkabout that Thomas took the group on, explaining the wild edibles that can be thrown in a jar for fermentation magic. Have you ever tried a milkle?! Yes, a pickled milkweed pod! Weird and neat.

Sunday also saw the arrival of our newest visitor group. Around 12 adults and a family with 4 kids have been sharing our spaces for the last week and learning about our lives in community. They hosted a No-Talent show for our enjoyment, and once again, many, many laughs were heard.

A satirical skit with rabbits (of the four-legged variety) that met up with Rabbits (of the two-legged form), poked fun at our style of speaking with non-violent communication, and our sustainability guideline that says we will strive for negative population growth from reproduction (funny because we are Rabbits!). An accordion was played, several folks sang songs, and there was a fencing match with an actual white picket fence. That last skit was hard to watch as some of us found it “offensive”. Tee-hee.

A smattering of birthdays this week has ensured a steady supply of cakes and goodies for all to share. Willow, Sonic, Rae, Brent, and Burl all celebrated this week with assorted pond parties and hangouts. We have a traditional birthday cape that folks may choose to wear on their special day to let everyone else know what’s up. Somewhere along the line, the communication got fuzzy and Brent ended up wearing a piece of tape that said, “It’s my birthday.” He was later heard to say, “I thought they said birthday tape!”

Critter kitchen has been in a bit of chaos this week, with Caleb feeding the visitors at the same time Kyle was building us a Lorena Stove. The Critter Collective is the only propane-free kitchen at Dancing Rabbit and I for one am proud of our value to stay fossil-fuel-free for our food needs. We have cooked on rocket stoves for years and are once again increasing our quality of life with the new stove and bread oven.

Cooking for about 25 people on wood and solar is already a pretty fun feat; adding a construction area to the space really makes for a fantastic cook-shift. It’s not actually as daunting as I may lead y’all to believe. Caleb is a great cook and has lots of practice in the realm of cooking chaos: last season he got to show the visitors the root cellar during one of his shifts because of a tornado warning!

Please contact Dancing Rabbit if you would like to come for a visit and try out our chaos and laughter for yourself! Until next time, thanks for reading!

DR Editor’s Note: As always, opinions expressed in this column are the opinions of the author, not necessarily those of Dancing Rabbit. As we sometimes say, “Ask 20 Rabbits a question, and you’re likely to get 20 (or 25) answers.”

Mark your calendars! Our Annual Open House is happening Sept 9, 2017 – watch this space for details!

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community and educational nonprofit outside Rutledge, MO, focused on demonstrating sustainable living possibilities. We offer public tours of the village on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, April-October; the next is Saturday, August 12th at 1 pm. Reservations not required. Tours are free, though donations to help us continue our educational and outreach efforts are gratefully accepted. For directions, call the office at 660-883-5511 or email us at dancingrabbit@ic.org. To find out more about us, you can also check out our website: www.dancingrabbit.org.