Weekly Update 11-23-09

Posted November 23rd, 2009

Another string of seven days and nights woven with an array of enthusiastic participants and a plethora of enjoyable moments has meandered onwards. Sunshine’s radiance inspired countless smiles. Mosquitoes returned with amplified peskiness, much to our dismay and the bats’ delight. Leaves are fluttering from trees to earth. Garden-fresh elderberries, sour oranges, and tangelos are being munched with appreciation. Meteors were sighted from lake viewpoints beneath the new moon. Flashlights fueled by donated batteries assisted many grateful guests during the Forest’s darkest nights. And Tom’s tales of the Hostel’s beginnings (the book within the carved wood cover) continue to entertain travelers from all around the world.

Telephone pictionary is also a source of nightlife entertainment. Any number of participants can play. Each will need a writing utensil, a piece of paper, a writing surface, a comfy seat in the circle, and a splash of creativity. First a sentence is written at the top of the paper, which is passed to the left. An interpretive illustration is contributed by the next person, who then folds over the sentence and passes left. A descriptive sentence is scribed by this person, who then folds over the illustration and passes left. Only the most recent addition should be visible as the paper travels clockwise and the alteration between words and images brings it full circle. Results, as well as the experience, tend to be quite humorous. Thus, it is a great way to join folks of varying degrees of familiarity together and mingle laughter.

Mycol Stevens led an Ethobotanical Intensive this recent weekend, focusing on wild edibles and exotic invasives. Extensive knowledge was communicated thru discussions, guided walks amongst the Forest and on Jekyll Island, and snacky snack time in the kitchen. We hope to incorporate foraged natives with dinner and remove those of questionable impact from the area. An informative handout from the retreat is tucked amidst the cookbooks for reference by upcoming Hostel visitors.

Following dinner on Monday, November 30th there will be a Read Aloud hosted in the common room. Bring your favorite poetry, prose, and passages to share. There will be tea and cookies!

The full moon sweat lodge will be on Wednesday, December 2nd. Those interested in participating are reminded that arrival the night prior is required and that the Hostel is without a nearby river rock source. If you have access, we would incredibly appreciate rock donations. Smooth river rock is by far the best option, although others can be used. Granite and crystal cannot, since they are likely to shatter. When gathering the rocks, be mindful of your intentions. The energy extended while gathering the rocks will be transferred to the sweat lodge and reflected in the experience.

Reserve soon!

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff

Weekly Update 11-16-09

Posted November 16th, 2009

‘Tis squirrel season. Days elapse amongst the acorn hustle. Nights meander beneath the waning moon. A span of recipitating overcast offered refreshing nourishment to the fledgling winter garden. Vibrant sunshine has since been all encompassing.

The sprouts are stoked. Folks in the Forest illuminate with joyous play. Whether sharing milk and cookies, breathing a unified deep, reading aloud poetry, revealing super hero identities, enthusiastically facilitating Hostel tasks, munching with abstract spoons, or engaging in acro yoga and thai massage.

Next weekend includes an ethnobotanical intensive. Abundant of gratitude perpetuates.

And kicharee, a deliciously nutritious dish, is a recent fave. Apx 25 hungry travelers can be fueled with the recipe below:

3 1/2 c lentils
3 1/2 c brown rice
14 c water
4 1/2 tbsp earth balance or butter
1 tbsp (ea.) cumin seeds & mustard seeds
3/4 tsp hing/asatoetida
1 tbsp (ea.) coriander seed powder, tumeric, cumin powder, garam masala & sea salt
2 1/4 tbsp fresh ginger, fine diced or shreaded

Boil water with lentils and rice. Bring to simmer. Allow to linger ‘til absorbed, stirring occassionally. Meanwhile, saute seed spices in melted earth balance or butter until pop. Add remaining spices and fresh ginger. Blend sauteed spices amidst lentils and rice. Chomp!

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff

Weekly Update 11-10-09

Posted November 10th, 2009

Yet another week’s sequence of enhancing days and nights has elapsed amidst life at the Hostel in the Forest…

Our tribute to “Remember, remember the fifth of November / the Gun Powder Treason and Plot” included a Guy Fawkes effigy bonfire, tales of international travelers celebrating back in the day at the Hostel, and a showing of “V for Vendetta” in the new dome. The impromptu occasion linked historic events with present moment perspectives and mingled multi-generational understandings.

Opportunities to connect with our neighbors expand the community experience of the Forest. Pumpkin Patch Produce (hello Gerald, Libby, Destin, and Chase!) and the produce stand of the St Simons farmers’ market are local businesses that donate food to our kitchen. Their contributions inspire much appreciation. Gifts of Hostel eggs and grocery bags for reuse are offered as humble tokens expressing our gratitude. Thank you, thank you!

Cast iron cookware is a key detail of food prep in our kitchen and is making a comeback as a modern kitchen essential. It is known for heat diffusion and retention properties, stove top or oven use, increased healthful iron absorption, and nonstick surfaces when properly seasoned. Specific, yet simple, care is necessary to maintain the beneficial qualities. Avoid soaking or soaping. Instead, use hot water and a dishwashing brush to cleanse off any remaining food particles. Once towel dried, place the cast iron on a low heat burner to complete the drying process. Wipe the cooking surface with an oil rag, saturated fats such as coconut oil and lard are best, and voila—the cast iron cookware will be preserved for years upon years to come.

We hate to nag, but we are getting a number of people making reservations and then not showing or letting us know. We fully appreciate your plans may change BUT LET US KNOW PLEASE! We frequently turn people away because we are full and when you don’t show and don’t let us know, no one gets to use that bed or tree house and we loose an overnight. We also plan our evening meals based upon the number of reserved guests. Uncanceled reservations are noted and may impact your desire to make another reservation in the future, so please, please let us know.

In conclusion, we remind all potential and returning guests that the special event weekends fill up quickly.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff

Weekly Update 11-04-09

Posted November 4th, 2009

The Hostel continues to be a catalyst for transformation and a dynamic celebration of community life. The forest attempted to overtake the Secret Garden with wild growth during the early autumn weeks. Fortunately, various visiting gardeners offered countless days harvesting sweet potatoes, cultivating the beds, and planting most of the winter crops. A garden diner party, complete with fire cooked yumminess, was hosted in celebration of the beautification and harvests-to-be that will feed many travelers during the chilliest months.

Sessions of costume creation, face painting, and role playing commenced Halloween in the Forest. Once the darkness of light crept in, the array of characters feasted, danced, adn hula hoopedin the Domal Area. Joyous laughter and animated conversations radiated even more so that usual.

Two fruit trees, pear and plum, were donated and planted by the Lake. Which, believe it or not, is still warm enough for swimming! Sweat Lodge participants spoke of moonbeam illuminated fog hovering over the water as they splashed in following the detoxing and rejuvinating full moon ceremony.

As always, we are grateful for all the wonderful folks who share moments at the Hostel amonst ample appreciation, respect, and enhancing involvement.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff