Weekly Update 8-30-2009

Posted August 30th, 2009

With the summer coming to an end, schools reopening, and people prepping for a new year, the Hostel has slowed down quite a bit.  The mosquitoes are still the only things reminding us that this is not heaven on earth, however, consistent afternoon showers followed by immediate sunshine keeps them at bay most of the day.  Those not accustomed to occasional onslaughts, should keep it in mind to have some kind of repellent at hand.

The staff has taken advantage of the decrease in the flow of guests and have been concentrating on the finishing touches for the cob kitchen.  The ability to cook a pizza in thirty seconds is going to be a nice addition for anyone with a decent appetite.  Its a great feeling to see the progress that has been made and the beauty that naturally evolved with the kitchen, as well as the forest this summer.  A thanks to all who have lent a loving hand to the projects and the Hostel.

With the transition in seasons approaching one can sense the preparation for that shift throughout the forest.  Two days ago was the first chilly morning we’ve had in a long time.  Of course this is spoken from a born and raised southerners perspective.  With that being said, the atmosphere is not the only thing going through change at this time.  All things must come to pass.  With Hostel family moving on to new ventures in life there are a couple of openings on staff ; Kitchen manager, Garden manager, and Compost tech.  If anyone has experience in these areas and is interested in taking part in a unique and magical community/ non-profit organization please give us a call.

We have had two chickens pass away recently due to old age.  They came, they saw, they…were chickens.  Leslie and Goldy were two seasoned members of the Hostel animal family, and we shall for ever miss there random antics and peculiar chicken ways.  Fond memories of being entertained by the two will be held near and dear to many who have passed through and worked here.  Since the Bobcat incident Golden Boy, a younger, goofier rooster, has been roosting through the nights in different locations of his fancy.  This has made for fun games of “Who spots the rooster first wins”.

Lastly,  we are fortunate enough to have a guest coming through this weekend who is going to be sharing his skills in didgeridoo making.  If you have never experienced the resounding drone produced by this instrument, it is well worth your time to research it. 

Hope this update finds all in good spirits and those who are not, endure and claim your happiness. 

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff

Weekly Update 8-17-2009

Posted August 18th, 2009

The summer winds have been blowing some intense storms our way this past week, resulting in water levels the forest hasn’t seen in at least 7 years!! With that said, if you plan to visit within the next couple of weeks please be prepared with bug spray as the forest is currently buzzing with mosquitoes. Not quite as bad as this past spring, but I suspect the standing water will be around for awhile.

The rains have once again cooled down the lake, providing a refreshing break from the hot and humid summer days of the south, and a place to escape the bugs.  This past week we were woken in the middle of the night twice by the sounds of distressed chickens and have noticed that more than usual have chosen to roost in trees rather than the hen house. There has been a bobcat lurking around at dusk and the other night we heard the door to the hen house slamming open and the sound of large animal running through the woods with a chicken in it’s mouth. A new bobcat and raccoon proof lock has been added to the door and once again the chickens are safe and sleeping in their house.

On Sunday we will be welcoming a Girl Scout and a Brownie troop from Savannah to the forest for a few days to learn about and experience eco-conscious living.  We are putting the final touches on our cob kitchen, and hope to be cooking it in by the end of next week! We currently have a yoga teacher on work exchange, so classes are being held daily in the glass house. We are preparing for another shift in management and are currently searching for work exchangers who have an interest in possibly becoming a staff member (2-3 month commitment). If you are interested please give us a call.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff

Summer Update 08/06/09

Posted August 6th, 2009

Well it’s been longer than a week since our last update, yes, but time in the forest has a way of escaping us. Here’s what’s happening folks. Our cob building workshop was incredible… a weekend playing in the mud, tramping barefoot in the mixture of clay, sand and straw. The walls were built (with many colored bottles and tiles cobbed in) and we’re finishing up the oven and the rocket stoves.

We’re very excited to begin cooking all of our meals outside, greatly reducing our use of gas and electricity, and the anticipation of the smell of bread and pizzas hot from the cob oven have us working as quickly as possible. Following the cob workshop we had a fermentation workshop. Jon and Jenn taught those in attendance how to make kimchi, kombucha, sourdough starter, ginger beer, rice beer and sauerkraut.

The garden has been quite abundant this month, producing corn, peppers, tomatoes, okra, eggplant, bush beans and cantaloupe as quickly as we can harvest them. Jon, donning his apron and laboring beautifully in the kitchen, has concocted delicious vegan dinners with our fresh, organic veggies. And after a few weeks of hunting eggs in the most unlikely hiding places (we found one on top of the Peacock treehouse), the hens are once again content laying in their coop, which means morning fresh eggs. One last note, to all who may be heading this way soon: well, first, we can’t wait to see you, and second, as there is little recycling in our area, we’d greatly appreciate if you could take some with you after your Hostel visit.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff