Weekly Update 04/25/2010

Posted April 25th, 2010

It was a celebration of Earth and its creatures this week at the Hostel in the Forest. The Urban Garden is taking shape with a basin and a bed frame sprouting vegetables as well as a tier of milk-crate beds in the production process.

As the pollen subsides work on the new dome has kicked back into gear and the kitchen continues to surprise with gourmet, gluten-free, vegan, multi-course spreads to share communally every evening.

Saturday had the troop piling into the truck to present at the St. Simon’s Landtrust EarthFair. With the inception of Frederica Park, a preserved park in the area which is in the process of completing a labyrinth and botanical garden, the event hosted many ecologically conscious businesses in the community including a group of ladies that recycle trash and create art kits for kids in the community, a natural food store and a coffee house serving brew out of biodegradable wheat plastic cups. It was an Earth Day and Birthday celebration weekend which included a very auspicious dagger-naming ceremony of birthday-boy Eli from Jacksonville. The aforementioned weapon was ordained Veritas, a bearer of truth. On Sunday we traipsed down to Jacksonville for the Chicken and Small animal swap and picked ourselves up two Japanese Bantams and two Rhode Island Reds to add to our laying ladies.

The Hostel paths are becoming less invisible at night as we prepare for the full moon sweatlodge ceremony and the humidity too is bringing a week ahead of all sorts of purification.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff

Weekly Update 04/18/2010

Posted April 18th, 2010

This is going to be a event-filled update so brace yourselves. The Hostel in the Forest was bustling this week with the hatching of seven home-brew chicks starting things off: we have EB (Early Bird), Luna, Gerdy (Gertrude), Jonny-Sue, Crackle (who had to be helped out of her shell by Chicken Shamama Amanda), Archimedes and Delilah chirping in the warmth of the loft.

A couple from the Twin Oaks Community in Virginia brought in a bunch of their homemade tofu to spice up our dinners as well as a mushroom pate which is made from okara (left over soy guts from the tofu making process). Yummy. We made some oat milk in the kitchen by boiling oats with water like you would to make oatmeal, processing the mush, squeezing it through a pillow case to strain and boiling the liquid with vanilla and some canola oil. Double Yummy. We welcomed a beautiful buzzing bee hive into our secret garden which will pollinate our summer garden and give us honey in just a little while. Our handyman Critter sadly left us for Rendezvous, a skills share in LaFayette, but not before he shared with us his homemade locust mead and concord wine. Le Chaim.

The weekend cultivated our semi-annual Ethnobotany Intensive with Ethnobotanists Mycol Stevens and Marc Williams. We gathered surrounding flora and Mycol presented an Ethnobotany 101 explaining the different ways to identify plants of different families and their uses for us be they aesthetic, culinary, ceremonial or mind-altering like the native Holly which can be used as a local caffeine alternative to mate. Repeat after me: Sedges have edges, rushes are round, grasses have joints, what have you found? A simple identifying technique! We shared a lunch of foraged, gardened and bought greens and an array of kimchi (fermented vegetables filled with beneficial probiotics for the belly) before which Marc presented a 101 on fermentation and sprouting, Simple and quick ways to supplement your diet and boost its nutritional value. The plant walk along the T trail was enlightening learning what we can pick and eat while strolling through the forest. The evening exploded with an effervescent workshop on mead making followed by bubbly discussions about our responsibility for an eco-conscious lifestyle. Sunday’s plant walk discovered three carnivorous plants and many mosquitoes and the intensive wrapped up with a walk along driftwood beach on Jekyll Island. Sigh. Oms and Giggles.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff

Weekly Update 04/11/2010

Posted April 11th, 2010

Yet another productive and dynamic week flew by at the Hostel in the Forest. Our brother Chuck, who for seven months rocked the kitchen with his whole-food, from-scratch, magical meals waved goodbye to the forest from his mobile RV home.

Three new arrivals graced us though as Jonathan rolled in in his hydrogen generated vehicle hailing all the way from Oregon; Dennis pulled in from Deer Isle, Maine to resume work on the dome and we were delivered a male mallard, named Bill, who began his hostel life rather adventurously which resulted in a wild-Bill-goose (or duck in this case) chase. The weekend had smells of baking dough wafting from the Soul Kitchen as guest Kathy inspired and shared her love and passion filled breads and pizza with much enthusiasm and with much appreciation from all those involved in the munching. With the heat slowly but surely rolling in there is much buzz in the vegetable, flower and herb gardens to weed and clear beds preparing them for summer’s crops.

At the end of long and hard-working week we gathered around a fire at which digiridoo’s, guitars, djembes and a viola appeared and joined together in what we do best: harmonize. Our dear sister and captain, Miss Whit, says a teary goodbye this week as she embarks on a journey to share her love, truth and beauty in Babylon.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff

Weekly Update 04/05/2010

Posted April 4th, 2010

This week has been one of transformation and union and magical celebration here at the Hostel in the Forest. Every bed was filled with family and more family as two past managers, Ms Ko’alani and her Papillon, joined hands in holy matrimony in the greatest April Fool’s prank to be played right here where their love first kindled.

As the first blossoming wisteria emerge from the greening forest the days get warmer and the mosquitoes get hungrier but that hasn’t stopped guests and staff from spending their down time at the lake which has finally peaked in popularity as we said goodbye to the last of the winter’s chill. The windows were ritually taken out in the kitchen as incredible, whole-food dishes continued to emerge every night to feed the wedding masses.

In true community spirit all attending put down and showed their love by cleaning up the forest as we prepare for another explosive April which includes an Ethnobotanical Intensive with Mycol Stevens and Marc Williams beginning Friday 16th. Spots for which are still available…

The weekend saw the opening of our Ginger Beer brew which Work Trader Amanda constituted and which we all enjoyed as love and celebration filled the air. As the storm calms and we say goodbye to hostel family from near and far it is always encouraging to be reminded:

May the Forest Always Be With You

The Hostel Staff