Weekly Update 10-28-07

Posted October 30th, 2007

Hello Hostel Friends:)

We’re happy to say that we’ve received a bit of rain this past week. Even though it cancelled the sweat lodge for the month the lodge participates we’re happy that it rained and for the time they did have with each other at Tom’s place, drinking tea and getting to know each other better. Forest friends and family continue to stop through the hostel and show the forest amazing amounts of love. Energy levels are up and projects are once again spinning around in peoples minds and attention is being giving to places that were unattended to for awhile. So thanks to everyone who knows and feels the hostel and gives back to her when their able to do so.

In other news we’re excited about a new little nut that has recently come our way, and the results its shown us in our laundry is so exciting that we feel the need to pass along the information to those interested in a greener laundry environment. The Hostel has just recently starting using these magic little berries in our laundry and are delighted to say that they work just as well, if not better then the eco-friendly laundry detergent we have been using. We encourage those interested to take a look at the website here and learn more about the Soapberry Tree!

The soap that grows on trees – “Across the jungles of India and Indonesia there is a tree called the Chinese Soapberry Tree, unique in the fact that it synthesizes its own natural soap-like saponins that coat the shell of the fruit. When the fruits ripen and fall from the tree, local families harvest the windfall, then remove the inner fruit from the outer shell. The shell is then dried in the sun, using absolutely no chemical processing or manufacturing processes. In fact, the whole process uses no fossil fuels either, except in the transportation of the product to the western world (which is efficiently accomplished by ship). Until now, there have been few options for eco-conscious consumers. While an increasing number of eco-friendly manufactured laundry products now exist in the marketplace (such as Seventh Generation and Biokleen brands), no natural laundry product has appeared in the western world that is 100% manufactured directly by nature. And many of the so-called “natural” laundry products are still made with fragrance chemicals, anyway. The laundry room is one of the most toxic rooms in the home of a typical consumer. Commercial laundry detergents, fabric softeners and dryer sheets contain alarmingly high levels of toxic chemicals well known to cause cancer, liver disorders, neurological disturbances and hormone disruption. Even worse, all those toxic chemicals get flushed downstream where they contribute to the mass killing of fish and ocean ecosystems, including all the various lifeforms that depend on the fish (such as birds). Soap Nuts are an amazing new product that replaces commercial laundry detergents with a natural soap that literally grows on trees.”

To learn more about Soap Nuts, check out this informative video

Until next time,

May The Forest Be With You…

The Hostel Staff

Weekly Update 10-21-07

Posted October 22nd, 2007

The ebb and flow of staff continues. Stacey and Mike Joe returned to the Forest just in time for birthday celebrations, including dress-up croquet and a dock picnic dinner. Seems as though Mike Joe brought the mosquitoes with him to the Forest. He will be going off on a brief adventure. Hopefully, he will return without the mosquitoes.

An additional layer has been added to the Kitchen’s back-to-basics focus encouraging whole food yumminess. Trey and the hand-crank grain mill have begun transforming bulk whole grains. Fresh ground flour baking thus far has included chocolate-carrot birthday cake, chapathis, corn bread, and dark chocolate cookies. Delicious!

Upcoming events include the sweat lodge in conjunction with the full moon, scheduled for this Friday, October 26th. If participating, please remember that preparations begin Thursday.

The paper mâché mask workshop will occur this Saturday, October 27th in the screen porch. Three approaches — layered, pulped, and sculpted — will be introduced as we delve into the exploration of paper mâché and masks. Join us and create!

Until next time,

May The Forest Be With You…

The Hostel Staff

Update 10-15-2007

Posted October 16th, 2007

Here at the Hostel we feel teaching through example is one of the best ways to show people how to live a more sustainable life. We also enjoy preparing for and hosting an array of educational workshops. This passed weekend we enjoyed a greener cleaning workshop with Erin, and we’re introduced to an environmentally friendlier way of cleaning that she has been apart of here at the Hostel for the last few months.

For those of you who have had the opportunity to be here during the last three months you may have become aware of a greener cleaner feeling radiating from with in the laundry room and through out the Hostel. As we continually grow and learn to live a environmentally conscious lifestyle, Erin has helped us become more aware of the processes we’re using here at the Hostel and also shared some very simple and convenient ways of taking these processes home with you.

For those interested in the workshop she has posted a handout on the Kitchen section of the website. Also if during a visit you become interested in seeing more of the techniques we use here at the Hostel please feel free to ask Erin or any of the staff to show you more of what we’ve been doing here. We are always willing to discuss the new methods we are utilizing and always excited to share information to help you live a more sustainable life.

Weekly Update 10-03-07

Posted October 9th, 2007

Unexpected turn of events with our Chicken of the Month had forced us to rethink Miss October this week. Only a few days after pictures were taken and decisions were made to give her the title of Miss October she/he started crowing and ‘addressing’ other chickens! The team met and decided because The Hostel in the Forest is a cutting edge, out of the box, ‘teach through example’ sort of center we will not be taking the title away from her/ him, but will now encourage ANY chicken that wants to try out for Chicken of the Month to do so.

In other news at the Hostel, Trey had a “Sprouting Small Beans” workshop this week that showed our visitors how simple and accessible sprouting is. The vegan dinners continue to be amazing and we are always impressed with the innovative meals that the Hostel dinner table has become so famous for.

The Annual Halloween Party is approaching fast, so any who would like to partake in our “Forest Circus Side-Show” should call to make reservations for Saturday Nov. 3rd. If you would like to participate in the talent show portion of the party you should come dressed with a side-show personality in mind!

Until next time…... May the Forest be with You

Hostel Update 10-1- 2007

Posted October 3rd, 2007

Bulk grains, organic fruits, books in the mail, our wish list is being read and gifts are being generously donated! Thank you so much to everyone that has so thoughtful given to the Hostel. The chore board has also been updated and is being read and because of the helping hands of the guests and their love for the Hostel the place looks amazing! We couldn’t be what we are without the people who come through here and put their time and energy into the forest, and though the staff is often thanked during circle for all that we do around here, we are also always thankful to you, the guests, who do the magic that you do here!

The garden party was a success, garden beds have been prepared, root crops have been planted, and herbs are beginning to sprout. The fall garden is starting to come to life and we’re excited to see what we are blessed with this season. The sweat lodge was also this passed week and it was lead by our dear friend Chokyi and the fire was tended by our friend Dave, the staff was able to have an intimate sweat due to the low amount of guests that day, and they agreed that it was very beneficial!

Things to look forward to this month are workshops with Trey on sprouting and a green cleaning workshop with Erin. Continue looking at the website for updates on when theses workshops will be held.

Until next time…. May the forest be with you! The Hostel staff