Weekly Update 01/26/2010

Posted January 26th, 2010

While staying amongst the Forest, there’s an endless array of inspiring entertainment opportunities… Rise with the sun or sleep long past noon. Engage in conversation with other travelers. Watch the chicken channel. Blow the conch. Prance through puddles. Explore dance, yoga, and meditation at the glass house. Assist with garden cultivation. Adventure along the T trail. Forage wild oyster mushrooms. Trallump through the Forest, gathering fallen limbs. Feed the bonfire. Inquire about the various systemized processes in motion at the Hostel. Play board games (sheep for brick, anyone?), darts, or billiards. Read, cozied up in the common room. Gaze as the moon soars across the sky, lakeside. Breathe deep, laugh much, and enjoy!

Most recently, the cob kitchen has experienced quite the transformation. Chickens were hustled out and inundation was diverted. Cob mending and 1pt lime / 3pt sand plastering by knowledgeable and novice hands has progressed the project to the next layer. We are grateful!

Many thanks also to the duo who refurbished the pool table—fresh felt and non-warped cue sticks, how luxurious!

Mung bean sprouts, another fine life detail, are a common topping and/or ingredient of the Hostel dinners. The process of germination increases availability of vitamins C, B2, B5, B6, and carotene; neutralizes enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid, which disrupts mineral absorption; and produces numerous enzymes that aid in digestion. Ultimately, the beans are revitalized with hydration, illumination, and breath to enhance nutritional content and digestibility. Simple and exceedingly beneficial gardening of bulk goods within glass vessels! Quite the inspiring process, easily transposed into your kitchen ways…

Necessary pieces include a wide-mouth jar, dried mung beans (or lentils, adzuki, broccoli seeds, etc), square of thin fabric, rubber band, a strainer/colander, and a lid. Fill the jar 1/4 full of rinsed beans, top with water, secure the fabric with the rubber band as a breathable lid, and store where there is ambient, not direct, sunlight. Soak overnight. Drain and rinse, thrice or so, twice per day. If the jar happens to have flat sides, place horizontal in between rinsing, increasing surface area. In apx three days, the mung sprouts will be 1-2 inches long and ready for chomping. Stash in fridge with a solid lid and rinse before serving. Yum!

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff

Weekly Update 01/21/2010

Posted January 21st, 2010

The Hostel recently experienced the pleasure of hosting Sandor Katz, author of Wild Fermentation and The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved. Such a delight! He shared fermentation, cultural context, and corresponding well being wisdom with an enthusiastic crowd, cozied up in the dome, via a workshop including demonstrations of kraut, kefir, and mead preparation. Alas, the rumors are bogus. He does not cry tears of ‘bucha and cabbage does not instantaneously become kraut if he laughs within audible range. Nevertheless, you can access DIY kraut guidelines (all that’s needed: cabbage, sea salt, and a vessel!) and peruse a wealth of information by visiting his website and clicking the resources tab.

A seemingly endless loop of chilled days and frozen nights eventually gave way to a rejuvenating downpour extravaganza. Elevated temperatures and radiant sunshine have since encouraged bare feet and lake dips. Tree reflections on lingering puddles may leave folks momentarily awestruck. Gusting winds enhance refreshment. And the moon smiles blissfully.

Community, not surprisingly, is a frequent conversation topic in these parts. Tales of uniquely focused collectives and the common thread aspects of shared home life continue to be inspiring. Amazing to know that clusters of beings are joining together with the intention of enhancing the day-to-day experience here and there amongst the everywhere. May we harmonize our individualities, discover the various chords of collaboration, and cultivate symphonic communities. And, forever and always…

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff

Weekly Update 1-11-10

Posted January 11th, 2010

There is a peculiar, atypical span of below freezing nights and ultra frigid days lingering in the Forest. Chickens huddle together closer than usual. Folks at the Hostel are most likely near the dome’s wood stove. Some may be wandering about, seeking sunshine absorption. Faucets are dripped overnight, protecting pipes and creating ice sculptures. And the porch foliage relocated to a warmer climate.

Alas, the tree houses are not heated. The temperature outside is probably the temperature inside. Ol’ school hot water bottles, layers of blankets, wool socks, bundling, and cozy hats have become fairly essential. Midday observation of the lake’s ice inspired ripples-under-frozen exploration and determined it’s not quite stable enough for skating. And still, believe it or not, mosquito sightings!

Word interlude from the garden tenders, “In the interest of protecting our garden plants from being damaged by frost, we have been simply draping them with old bed-sheets them whenever sub-freezing nights were predicted. But since the past two weeks have been consistently frosty, we have recently upgraded to bamboo and sheet-plastic hoop-houses. The bamboo was all harvested on-site and about half of the plastic was salvaged from other projects. The new hoop houses cover everything but the exceptionally cold-hearty collard greens and the winter-dormant Alliums. In the day they act as green-houses, trapping solar heat that they impart to the soil and the air. And at night that warmth is held inside and insulates the plants against the cold. The hope is that with their help our garden may have a chance of surviving this unprecedented cold snap.”

Shout out to each of the work exchangers, wwoofers, and interns who have thrown down some lovin’ and enhanced the Hostel experience for all, present moment and along the way. Infinite thanks. Contributions compound and culminate as a collective celebratory collaboration!

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff

Weekly Update 1-07-10

Posted January 6th, 2010

Warm eyes welcome. Gleeful smiles compliment expansive delight. And the Forest is abundant with beauty. Happy twenty-ten!

A sweat lodge ceremony aligned with the blue moon of New Year’s Eve. Quite the dignified full lunar spectacular spectacular, second of December and thirteenth of 2009. Morning rain clouds fortunately meandered elsewhere, allowing the detoxing refreshment ritual to proceed. Participants radiated enthusiasm, slurped soup, and moseyed to bed.

Wave two of celebration rolled in with the chomp of dindin. Echoing countdown ignited tallest flames as time ticktocked 2010. Drumming, fire spinning, hooping, and hootin’ hollering surrounded.

Clear skies expose bluest blue hues and star clusters. Days in the forties; nights in the twenties. Brrr! Mugs of cocoa, jars of tea, and flasks of coffee; hot liquid yum that thaws fingertips. Tending fires, inside and out. Frosty zzzs and sweet dreams beneath the waning moon and layers of blankets.

Whether reaching out towards dairy alternatives due to cold/flu season, a vegan approach, or simply to try some different tastiness; nooch cheese & soy milk recipes are dictated below for reference.

NOOOTCH CHEESE!

1/2c nutritional yeast flakes 1/4c cornmeal 1/4c flour 1 tsp sea salt 1/2 tsp garlic powder 2c water 1 tsp wet mustard 1/2c coconut oil

Mix dry ingredients in saucepan. Add water. Medium heat. Whisk until thickened and bubbling. Cook for apx 30s. Remove from burner. Add up to 1c water as needed to smooth sauce. The result, ooie gooie ‘cheese’! (Recipe adapted from The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook.)

SOY MILK!

Overnight soak of 2 1/2c dried soybeans and 5c water; 8-10hrs. Drain and rinse. While bringing 14c water to a boil, food processor batches of 2 parts soybeans and 1 part water. Add slurry to simmering. As soon as boiling, reduce temp. Take care; soy milk is quick to bubble over. Low boil for 20 minutes. Strain slurry water through a cloth/pillowcase, capturing liquid in a vessel. Pour 2c near boiling water over the pulp and squeeze out any remaining. Really wring out the milkiness. Refrigerate, share, and enjoy!

Many thanks for an impromptu herbal first aid wisdom discussion, ripe bananas, salad leafiness, a soap berry tree, burdock roots, sweat rocks, granola bars, and tales of adventure!

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff