New moon gatherings for women have been ongoing for over 5 years. Meetings take place in the tipi, around the fire. Monthly content springs from kabbalah teachings and the biblical commandment to observe the new moons. There is singing and sharing of our individual journeys. By invitation only.
First came the ice storm. 4 days without electricity. Dreariness.
The poor river birch tree was heavy laden. I thought it might never recover. Greg and I went out that first morning at 6am to clear the driveway so I could go to work. No way! Another huge branch had fallen from that old willow and completely blocked my way. It was still dark and we could hear cracking sounds and thuds of falling branches in several directions. Without light we had no way to tell if we were in line to be struck down, so we went inside and waited for daybreak. Fortunately, Greg had a new chain saw. He made light work of that limb once he could see what he was doing.
When the electricity came back, we were packed and ready. We got on the road and went to New Orleans to celebrate the marriage of our daughter Esther Rose to Luke Winslow King. Queen Esther found her King. I had too much fun to take many photos, but here are a few favorites:I took this one after we parked downtown and before we all got dirty. I should have taken it in front of the restored historic mansion which Luke and Esther are renting. You’ll have to pretend. Can you imagine all 14 of us under one roof? Not in this little house. But I could not have photographed all of us and their mansion and gotten it in 1 picture. It’s that big.
Luke and Esther treated us to Sunday brunch at one of the fanciest restaurants in New Orleans: Antoine’s. Established in 1840. Rumored to be the birthplace of the Baked Alaska, as seen in this photo. Cake on the outside, ice cream inside. The waiters came around to drizzle chocolate sauce on our pieces. Musicians serenaded us.
Parting was sweet sorrow, but we knew another storm was coming so left while the weather was good, taking 2 nights at the home of friends along the way as we had on our way down.
Near Lansing the snow began. We made it home safely. Snow fell all night, the next day, and the next day for a total of 15 inches.
Their farm grows ideas
when they are settled in
tied down to the plants
like a mortgage or a bill.
It still feeds minds
tends spirits that come in
interrupting sentences of their
lives, paragraphs of gardens.
And now, decisions must be
made, like weeds to be pulled.
The grass grows tall,
flowers will grow.
The grass grows tall,
flowers will grow.
– by Iris Fuchs
According to the Jewish calendar, the New Year 5774 has just begun. In the USA school starts at this time of year, so most of us have a sense of new beginnings when September comes. As I open to new beginnings, I give thanks for all that has brought me to this time and place.
Much was said last year about selling the farm. That is no longer being considered. Rather we intend to keep doing what we’ve been doing and adding more community service events to our calendar. Our main raison d’être is our organic farm homestead through which we offer CSA shares. CSA member Larry Weber enjoys coming to the farm.
Our love of community service and cultural exchange brought us in contact with the WWOOF network. We’ve hosted over 100 volunteers from as far away as Korea and Japan, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Israel, Australia and New Zealand. This year we had 3 from exotic Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Women gather in the Tent on the New Moon to sing and share deeply, observing the cycles of the moon and the changes in our lives. We study Kabbalah and related teachings. A calendar wheel garden and a woodshed round out the area. Potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes are planted nearby.
The Time Our Fiber Guild was started at 3RF about 8 years ago. Women bring their fiber projects such as spinning wool, weaving, knitting or felting. We meet informally, sharing ideas, laughter and a potluck lunch. We’ve grown so large, we now meet 4th Fridays at the Marathon Township Hall..
Starting this year, Three Roods Farm will host non-denominational spiritual gatherings called Oneness Congregations. The purpose is to bring us into awareness of our Unity and join us in Love. The teachings of the Nirankari Baba will be shared. All are welcome. Bring a song, a story, a prayer, or simply share from the heart. Meetings are on 2nd and 4th Sundays at 11am. The first Oneness Congregation is September 22nd. The Nirankari Baba and his wife Pujya Mataji visited our farm in 1996. Since then, the blessings have been flowing for all who come.
The top 3 photos are courtesy of newest intern, Penelope Crawford-Cottrell. She arrived recently from Portland, Oregon where she completed her undergraduate degree at Lewis and Clark U. She is visiting family and friends in Michigan and doing a month-long stay at 3RF. We’re glad she’s here. She seems happy, too.
Born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1923 – so long ago! As a little boy, you rode a wagon with your Zeidy Max behind a horse named Dick, a horse so smart he knew where to stop along the route, despite being blind. Your Zeidy delivered ice to his customers in those days before homes had refrigerators. They had ‘ice boxes’ to keep food cold. Oh those were the days!
You arrived in Michigan on July 3rd this year, in time to celebrate my 40th marriage anniversary the very next day. The Luke Winslow King band played under the tent after lunch and you danced with me, just like we did long ago.
You were my first dance partner. Mom didn’t enjoy dancing, so you danced with me at all the weddings and bar mitzvahs. I took classes in ballroom dancing in 6th grade and that helped me follow you around the dance floor.
Daddio, you take such pleasure in life! Drink, gezunte haid!
Farm interns who are lucky to be here when you come visit me, always learn a few Yiddish phrases. D’rehdle raitzakh – the wheel turns! Now it is time for you to share the wisdom of your experiences.
I love the way you talk to yourself ‘so someone will listen’. I rarely need to admonish you, because you eventually tell yourself to sheket, to sha, to be quiet, Julie boy.
You make people smile wherever we go. You disarm them with your ‘Hable Espaniole, Baby?’ Or by asking the young girl at the ice cream parlor, ‘Do you sell ice cream here?’ Out of respect, people don’t ignore you. They think you’re confused, but soon they realize that you’re just having fun with them. They laugh. Whatever they’re doing becomes a pleasure. Because of you.
August began with intern Sarah Boehm leaving after her two-week stay on the farm. As she left, two new interns filtered in to take her place. Peyton Ginakes (coming from Minnesota) and Emily Hines (traveling from Colorado Springs) came at an unusually hot and dry time. The long drought that has been plaguing the US has certainly been felt here at Three Roods. Luckily, rain came just in time. Here they are weeding the Saskatoons.
The excitement of the precipitation was paralleled by the arrival of our visitors: a rowdy, affectionate, and colorful group of 21 Superheroes. Organized by Laughing Moon and Stardust, the Michigan Superhero Bike Ride began with the intention to bike through SE Michigan performing random acts of goodness and allowing their collective consciences to lead the way. After several days of synergizing energy, they broke camp this morning with words of gratitude and inspiration – along with singing and dancing. All was right with the world.
A preview of the glorious tomato harvest. We tried a small variety called Indigo. It is a deep purple and green while ripening. When the green becomes red and the purple becomes black, its ready. It’s visible in the foreground of the photo. Despite the excitement of a purple tomato, the taste is dull.
The Superheroes, capes flying in the wind, depart on heavily laden bikes. Bon voyage! Adieu!!
Ever heard of Wild Lapeer? It’s a county wide event started about 10 years ago by North Branch resident Marian Listwak. Not to be confused with Lapeer Days which is a weekend in downtown Lapeer every summer. No, Wild Lapeer is a spring event which previously took place around the Lapeer court house, using the Farmers Market area and court house lawn for activities.
For the 3rd year, Wild Lapeer will be held at Chatfield School, home of The Willows Environmental Education Center. Peter McCreedy, visionary and lead teacher at Chatfield, heads up the planning committee for Wild Lapeer. The Lapeer Land Conservancy is now the major sponsoring group with much help from Lapeer County Parks, Lapeer Conservation District, the Farm Bureau, Backtrack to Nature and others. The purpose of Wild Lapeer is to bring people together around their love of the natural world. Families will find much for children to do, such as canoe rides, buidling bluebird houses and enjoying a petting zoo.
Special guests this year include Barb Barton from the Great Lakes Wild Rice initiative. This singer songwriter is an enviromental activist extraordinaire. She will explain the requirements for growing rice in our area and why this is nutritionally and environmentally a sound idea. A falconry expert will bring live birds and teach about them. This should perk up the ears of our Lakeville Falcons. Another special guest is Michael Mallon, also known as Laughing Moon. He is the founder of the Superhero Training Academy. He will tell stories and show how you can discover your superhero name and powers!
So reserve the date: Saturday May 5th. 10am-4pm. Check the local paper for more information as the day comes closer.
The rooster still crows in the morning, but with all the windows shut, I don’t usually hear him until I wake up on my own. The ringing in my ears grows louder in the silence.
Instead of walking once around the land, I walk 2 and 3 times using different pathways to stay warm and give Schnitzle time and variety to explore. He is more active in the cold weather. His warm coat of fur keeps him snug.
If it has snowed, I’ll go to the tipi and use a broom to sweep the snow off the canvas. On dry, sunny days, I’ll gather kindling wood in the forest. If the weather is mild enough, I’ll start a fire inside the tipi and play tambourine, read psalms, take a nap.
Reading lots of books: Jack London’s Call of the Wild which I’m borrowing from Jeff Morrison, Dr Clarissa Pinkola-Estes Women Who Run with the Wolves for the 2nd time, and Judaism, A Wild Faith, by Rabbi Mike Comins to name a few. Am I feeling wolfish and wild? You decide.