Posted September 29th, 2010
Four weeks have now passed since the crew change. So much has been accomplished and there is still so much to be done. The garden is marching ahead as planned. A small house has been constructed to cover our new water pump. A dangerous tree has been cleared away. And the list goes on….
This week has been one of great focus and spiritual growth. All preparations were made and a full moon sweat lodge was held on Thursday evening. The positive mindset created by such a powerful happening carried straight through the weekend. As Friday arrived, so did all the guests for the Aum Tala Fundraiser. Thanks to Ian Boccio and Karen Dorfman’s demonstrated experience everyone had a wonderful time. There was even time for everyone to pitch in on several projects to beautify the Hostel. We truly thank everyone that shows up and throws down the way this group did.After such a busy week, the departure of some fantastic staff and three straight days of rain, a time of relative rest and refocus has come upon us. We are now looking ahead to upcoming projects and exciting workshops. Please stay tuned and let us know what you are feeling by making a call to see how we are or coming for a visit and bringing your skills, wisdom and truths our way. Namaste. May the Forest Be With You
The Hostel Staff
Posted September 21st, 2010
The past week at the Hostel started to see the benefits of our hard work and a bit of fun on the polish horseshoe court. There were two days of collecting firewood on St. Simon’s Island, thanks to Mr. Allen Burns. A revolution came about in the kitchen as Bill Chalk, a skilled carpenter, showed up to design and build a new bulk food storage system and nifty spice racks to hold the numerous flavors that brighten our meals. Speaking of meals, the vegan dinners have continued to flow out of the kitchen like dietary gifts for the soul. Tomatoes were donated by Chokye and turned into a special red sauce. Muscadines were donated and harvested on site to become a quite delicious grape pie and two jars of super reduced muscadine sauce. To top it all off, Saturday was our garden guru Jeremy’s birthday. This was the reason for an unprecedented bacon chocolate cake. The likes of which this manager has never seen before.
Upon Jeremy’s return from Tallahassee, we were blessed with the finest organic seeds and seedlings provided by Turkey Hill Farm. The haul consisted of cabbage, kale, broccoli, collards, garlic, shallots, arugula, beets, carrots, fennel and parsley.We sincerely thank everyone for their beautiful energy and positive contributions to the Hostel. As long as you all keep coming and learning and sharing, this place will continue to flourish as a shining example of sustainable living practices in the southeast. Please keep an eye on our site and plan to participate in some of the upcoming workshops as they are posted. May the Forest Be With You
The Hostel Staff
Posted September 13th, 2010
As the week flew by, we made much progress. The time for action is now and our team has embraced the opportunity to live in harmony with the Forest. All of the new energy that arrived two weeks ago is becoming grounded. Egg production is now being recorded and has doubled. The Secret Garden is still in transformation, but with the generosity of a local horse farm, much composted manure has made its way to the beds. Seeds are beginning to sprout and more have been laid to ensure a good succession of harvest throughout the coming months. We are currently searching for seedlings to add to the mix.
This past weekend brought the ever-inspiring knowledge of our favorite ethnobotanists: Marc Williams and Mycol Stevens. Beginning on Friday night with a slide show of several interesting species, the group geared up for a full slate of activities. Saturday morning began with an introduction to ethnobotany and a short plant walk to the glass house. After lunch everyone met at the lake for a much-needed swim that led directly into an extensive plant swim/walk around the property. With a current list of edible/medicinal plants in hand, many species were identified and discussed. We then took a break to dine on the fine vegan cuisine that comes out of our Soul Kitchen. Always delicious and always made with hefty doses of love.
Saturday night consisted of another mead-making workshop and the basics of fermentation. Samples were had by all and ingredients gathered from the day’s activities were used in the new batch. The joyous atmosphere of the workshop and mead-tasting carried well into the night as laughter echoed all through Forest.
Sunday brought another full day of learning as we took the time to walk through the Secret Garden to identify the abundance of volunteer plant life growing amongst our food crops. Some invasives were discussed along with methods for eradication. After the morning walk the whole crew jumped into Bethany the RV for a trip to Jekyll Island and Driftwood Beach. The estuary was explored for edibles and we scoured the beach for interesting specimens. Some “chicken of the woods” fungi were harvested and turned out to be quite delicious. As the day moved on, the rains came and we all decided to take a spontaneous swim in the ocean. With the feeling of love and joy very high, we were all blessed with the site of dolphins, fish and several rainbows that came and went. It was the most amazing end to an educationally immersive weekend.
We would like to thank everyone that participated and brought their loving spirits and positive attitudes. We would especially like to thank Phil who brought us some homemade mulberry and mayhaw jams from the panhandle of Florida, Marianna who brought a basket full of fresh organic vegetables from a farm in Gainesville and Amanda who traded us a very exquisite hammock made by weavers in the village of Peguche, Ecuador. More information about this fairtrade cottage industry can be found here.
I am making a call out to all you hostelers for involvement and inspiration. Please let us know if you have a skill, knowledge or idea and would like to share them with us. We are always looking for ways to promote the path of consciousness and sustainability.
The old-timers at The Hostel will remember that today, September 13th, is a special day… so raise your glass of Miller High-Life.. and celebrate on Louise’s day of remembrance.
Peace to all and may the Forest Be With YouRyan
Posted September 7th, 2010
Spirits here are high and the absence of our beloved Hart is still fresh. All gratitude is given to the energy that has sustained here and to the new energy that has recently arrived. This week has been full of conscious action and the opportunity to live by example is gleaming in our eyes. As new staff get acquainted with the bountiful activities of the Forest, positive change is seen around every corner.
The Hostel was blessed with a great cast of characters this Labor Day weekend as guests came and went, bringing with them intention and leaving with fervor. A fabulous mead-making workshop was offered on Saturday night by our very own Critter. The result was five gallons of elderberry honey mead that should be ready just in time for the cooler months of fall. Thank you to all of the attendees and the helping hands that picked, processed and crushed all of the berries on site.
The fall garden is slowly taking shape after reclaiming the Secret Garden from the wilds of summer. Lettuce, beets, radishes and spinach have been seeded. We expect the ground to be fully sewn in time for the full moon.
All of our free-range exotic chickens have also been getting a lot of attention. New roosts, feed systems and water troughs should go a long way to solidifying their schedule and getting them comfortable enough to offer us top quality eggs everyday.
Saving the best for last, the Hostel in the Forest is now an official 501©(3) non profit organization. So if you love this place and have thought about donating in the past, now is the time! You can now receive a tax deduction for helping sustain this wondrous place. Thank you so much to the Board for everything they have done to make this a reality. Without their time and love, none of this would be possible.
Looking ahead, we are excited about all we have planned and always looking for great ideas on educational workshops, sustainable systems, healthy living and anything else that contributes to the betterment of our community. Please contact us if the passion moves you.