Weekly Update 10/28/2010

Posted October 28th, 2010

Another week has passed and the Hostel is thriving. Although, sometimes bad news has to come with the good. It has become apparent after two weeks missing that our beloved drake Bill and one of his female companions are gone. We have searched up and down and can only conclude that they were relieved of duty by a fellow forest creature. They will be sorely missed.

As more guests arrived we set in to preparing ourselves mentally and physically for the monthly sweat lodge ceremony. We all came together Friday and focused our energy on the cleansing power of the lodge. Natalie Clark even provided instruction in a deep cleansing yoga session before the ceremony began.

The weekend progressed into quite a busy one and the Soul Kitchen was once again feeling the love of so many busy hands creating delectable dishes for everyone. On Saturday there was a sunset meditation session at the Glass House and another killer jam session around the fire thanks to such talented guests. Also, thanks again to Natalie and Katherine Horisk for treating the staff to some much needed body work.

Elsewhere in the forest, the interior finish on the new dome has been completed and we are ready to move into electrical. Some friends have arrived and continued the process of cleaning the forest floor for fire wood. Which will lead to some big fires on those cold nights. These same friends also provided a sample of their fire juggling skills. What a trip!

As for the gardens, when our gardener wasn’t up all night chasing armadillos away from his treehouse he found time to plant some more lettuce and arugula. The carrots, turnips and beets are also beginning to sprout in a healthy way.

That’s all there is to report this week. I hope those that are paying attention enjoy our updates and can feel the love that we put into our time here. Please come share your time as well and give us your feedback.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff

Weekly Update 10/20/2010

Posted October 20th, 2010

This week was one of steady progress at the Hostel. A list of maintenance tasks was crossed off and preparations were made for the weekend Pemaculture workshop. As the participants arrived the energy grew and Friday night’s dinner served as a wonderful introduction to a weekend of sharing and learning.

We spent all day Saturday discussing the principles of permaculture with our instructor. There were several activities including games, skits, observation treks and brainstorming sessions to illustrate the concepts that are integral to adopting permaculture into ones life. The ethics, principles and attitudes one must adopt to view the world through permaculture lead us down a path full of intrinsic worth and make it possible to live more in harmony with the processes of nature. We also performed a needs and yields analysis on chickens. Then we studied the design process and the steps involved when making decisions on how to manage land properly. Needless to say the night was full of camaraderie and an excellent jam session around the fire.

Sunday morning we hopped right back into it as the energy to learn was still high. We took a walk around the grounds and highlighted some of the permaculture practices we have in place at the Hostel including cob building, green roofs, greywater systems and humanure composting. We then decided to attack the garden and within an hour we built a beautiful keyhole planting bed, rebuilt and double dug a pathway bed and created two brand new large compost bins for all of the produce we collect each week. I was completely blown away by what can be achieved with focused effort from caring folks in such a short amount of time. We greatly appreciate the time everyone gave this past weekend.

Over the past few days we have re-purposed all of our old candles into new ones utilizing rocket stoves and handmade wicks, completed a cool map and labels for our greywater system and began screen-printing our logo onto donated or thrift shopped clothing.

Everyday here is a blessing and we are so thankful to everyone that makes this a reality. Without the collective energy given by each visitor, staff member, work exchanger, instructor, traveler etc. over the past 35 years the mission of the Hostel could never be realized. So when you think back to how amazing this place is and makes you feel, just pat yourself on the back and say good job!

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff

Weekly Update 10/14/2010

Posted October 14th, 2010

Sometimes the atmosphere at the Hostel is focused and direct and at others it is floating and free. But it is always flourishing and changing. This week was full of loosely flowing activities, many exchanges of love and a handful of true south Georgia experiences. The highlights include creating patterns and sewing our own clothes from the materials we tie-dyed last week. The new dome has been completely emptied and we have begun the first step of internal build-out by treating the wood to a luxurious all natural mildew and bug preventative solution. This will be followed next week by a quality interior finish from the Land Ark company. This hard work has been provided by Mr. Bud Paulding. Bud was part of the crew who built the original domes back in 1974.

Organizational projects have continued to move forward and the common areas are looking better everyday. The garden is still in continuous growth and we should have a full update on our web-site’s garden section very soon. The always deliciously vegan dinners continue to flow from the kitchen like water from a spring. Sprouts, baked breads, nut butters, fresh juices, huge salads, hummus, soups, etc.. etc..

As you all know the Hostel is located in a rural area and that fact often means a great deal to the people that find us. This place has served for decades as a glowing example of what can be done with the vision, passion and love of thousands of like minded people. But it also means that sometimes we will have to deal with people that have different views and would like to disrupt the serenity we have achieved here. We never question motivation, we only ask whether you want to be involved. I only mention this to illuminate the fact that no matter how altruistic your motivations may be, living better by example will always be challenged by others who don’t share or understand your views. But you must always stand your ground and believe that you can make the world a better place by working hard and sharing knowledge, love and experience with every person you meet. Especially when they are blind to the possibilities inherent in positive relations and respectful exchange.

— the Hostel in the Forest PO BOX 1496 Brunswick, GA 31521 (912) 264-9738

Weekly Update 10/06/2010

Posted October 6th, 2010

As we see the first signs of the season change, it’s an exciting time at the Hostel. Just like clockwork nature’s cycle is upon us and we are blessed to have eaten our first salad of yummy greens from the garden. Not quite enough to feed an army, but certainly enough to please the deserving bellies of the staff on a slow night. But there is more to come!

As always the weekend brought a wealth of smiling visitors full of eagerness to share in the delights of positive interaction that we maintain here. Saturday was a beautiful day and lots of maintenance work continued. As a payoff for everyones efforts, Emily from Tallahassee gave one of the most relaxing yoga sessions we’ve seen in weeks. In the evening, we made apple cider vinegar with the help of a lovely grandmother from Peru. It has to be stirred daily for two months before it’s ready.

Sunday brought some truly hands-on solutions to everyday needs through ingenuity and creativity. We started off by holding a toothpaste making workshop. Everyone walked away with their own supply of inexpensive, all natural, healthy toothpaste. Check back here soon for the recipe. We also used the afternoon to harvest poke berries and make homemade dye. With the poke berries making fuchsia, a turmeric concoction making yellow, and henna brown we were ready to go. Thanks to Roger Sapp at MCR Linen Service we had pounds of fresh sheets, blankets and pillow cases to try our new dyes on. The result was a laundry line full of freshly tie-dyed linens.

In the past two days we have also held an impromptu loose tea and herbal smoking blend workshop and made progress on the refurbishing of our art room, the Collaboratorium. So please stay tuned as we are always trying to stay ahead of the curve and welcome any suggestions from you. Because without you, this place would only be a dream. With everyones action and love the Hostel thrives and continues to exist as a place of growth and as a small example of what is possible when people realize that it is only through each other that we can overcome the dominance of society and truly enjoy life.

May the Forest Be With You

The Hostel Staff