Farewells and Solar Progress

Posted December 18th, 2006

Another warm winter week here at the Hostel. The clouds at the beginning of the week, providing our gardens with a satisfied glow, gave way to plenty of sunshine for them to blossom and fill out even more so. Our baby goats are still cute lil fluff balls and are beginning to grow curious of people.

The workshop weekend was a a chill one, with a morning Yoga session led by Kara Smith, and again some garden work done in the afternoon. The highlight of this weekend was a workshop led by Murray out at the lake garden. With a donation to the Hostel we have built a brand new solar water pump, enabling us to water our gardens with water from our own lake. Murray led the very first work shop for the pump. We are excited with the new edition and hope you guys can come check it out sometime.

On another note we were sad to say our goodbyes this week to a beloved staff member Luke. We did give him one heck of a going away shindig though, and we wish him well on his journey. We would all like to say thank you to Luke and for all that he has done here with us in the Forest. Holiday wishes, stay well, and may the forest be with you…

We will be having a pot luck Christmass dinner at the Hostel on the 25th. Please bring a dish and join us for a festive holiday gathering.

The Staff Team

Winter Comes...

Posted December 13th, 2006

The December Sweat-lodge last Tuesday was a tight experience for our participants, with many guests coming from far away to share the experience. Less tight was our work-shop weekend with a couple of enthusiastic guests helping the gardeners cover our blue-berry bushes with blankets of leafs and later been walked around the Hostel property, led by Tom, rewarded with tea in his tree house.

We�re happy, and proud, to announce that we�ve installed a solar powered pump to water our lake garden. Under the supervision of Murray, Matthew with help from MikeJoe, have built, carried, experimented, climbed, dug and drilled our Hostel one big and important step closer to self-sustainability.

Meanwhile, the rest of the staff has given the kitchen, as well as the sweat-lodge area a clean up and an extra polish, we�ve kept working on our organic garden as well as the new no-till garden out by the lake and almost managed to, finish off our on-going graywater system project – thanks to Matthew for all of his work on that.

The road to Fall that the Hostel has traveled along for some time suddenly took a sharp turn at the end of last week and promptly led us on to the winterway. We did what we could to save the last of the summer crops: the zucchinis, the rosehips and the pumpkins, we brought down the blankets that were stored in April and loaded the woodstoves to keep our guests warm.

Sadly, the chickens pushed one of our dear roosters, Einstein, out from the heat, and he froze to death sitting on a bed of hay. We said our farewells and carried him out in the forest, to feed some of the other critters around here. Death to life, fall to winter, it all circles around the domes.

Forest Update

Posted December 4th, 2006

Well last week on Tuesday we kicked off another fine week with an impromptu Candle Making Workshop, led by our dear friend Woodchip. Now Hostelers and staff members alike have their own uniquely scented candles made with their own ingenuity.

This weekend went wondurfuly as well. Manohar Das and Daya Mai Dasi, two musicians and musical theorists from Berkely led us on a brilliant discussion on Music; what it is and what it is to us. Then later after dinner the group rejoined with a few newcomers to participate in an Open Space Jam Session, where everyone was invited to extinguish their preconcieved notions of music and just release love and enjoy. Then our own Chef Luke led yet another variation on his sustainable kitchen workshop. This week he guided us on making our own Kimchi. The turn out was one of Lukes largest and the enthusiasm bubbled over.

Then Sunday afternoon Bob, a guests staying at the Hostel led us on yet another imromptu workshop. He led a group out to the parking lot where he showed us a Veggie Diesel converted engine in his car. His second car at home is also equiped with the same set up. Then followed a discussion on installation, practicality and the eco-friendliness of the conversion.

To top it all off folks, the garden is officially the most handsome it has ever been. With the expansion of the lake garden and the improvement of crop organization and care, things will only get better and we hope you all get a chance to sink your hands into the soil there. We will be psoting new garden pictures soon.

Our Cob Oven has laso been getting a proper roof to keep it safe from water erosion once again thanks to our friend Woodchip and another returning Hostel friend, Roman.

The Hostel’s beauty is only growing and there are many to thank, we hope you will come see for yourselves soon.

May the forest be with you

The staff team!