Weekly Update 1-11-10

Posted January 11th, 2010

There is a peculiar, atypical span of below freezing nights and ultra frigid days lingering in the Forest. Chickens huddle together closer than usual. Folks at the Hostel are most likely near the dome’s wood stove. Some may be wandering about, seeking sunshine absorption. Faucets are dripped overnight, protecting pipes and creating ice sculptures. And the porch foliage relocated to a warmer climate.

Alas, the tree houses are not heated. The temperature outside is probably the temperature inside. Ol’ school hot water bottles, layers of blankets, wool socks, bundling, and cozy hats have become fairly essential. Midday observation of the lake’s ice inspired ripples-under-frozen exploration and determined it’s not quite stable enough for skating. And still, believe it or not, mosquito sightings!

Word interlude from the garden tenders, “In the interest of protecting our garden plants from being damaged by frost, we have been simply draping them with old bed-sheets them whenever sub-freezing nights were predicted. But since the past two weeks have been consistently frosty, we have recently upgraded to bamboo and sheet-plastic hoop-houses. The bamboo was all harvested on-site and about half of the plastic was salvaged from other projects. The new hoop houses cover everything but the exceptionally cold-hearty collard greens and the winter-dormant Alliums. In the day they act as green-houses, trapping solar heat that they impart to the soil and the air. And at night that warmth is held inside and insulates the plants against the cold. The hope is that with their help our garden may have a chance of surviving this unprecedented cold snap.”

Shout out to each of the work exchangers, wwoofers, and interns who have thrown down some lovin’ and enhanced the Hostel experience for all, present moment and along the way. Infinite thanks. Contributions compound and culminate as a collective celebratory collaboration!

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff