Sunday, September 21, 2014

a day in the life at the Ecovillage

so M-F we have this stiffish schedule with 8am check-in after chores and breakfast prep & eatin.  then by 9 we are mixin clay & sand, 2 parts to 3, respectively.  usually 10 shovels of clay with 15 shovels of sand, on a blue tarp, with one person holding firm each corner, then two on one side walk toward the two on the other side, pulling the tarp up so that the sand and clay mixes and flows over itself, then the two sets of two reverse roles and pull it back the other way, and back and forth until it looks pretty mixed, then instead of left to right, they go top to bottom, so to speak, and mix it the other way for a few rounds.  then they shape it like a volcano with a cauldron, into which we pour water of (hopefully) just the right amount, or a little too little, and continue the tarp mixing until the water it mixed in evenly, then test it to see if it's right mix by (1) rolling a fat cigar shape and seeing if it can hold up on its own or fall, and (2) making a ball tennis-ball sized, throwing it up and catching it on our flat palm, and if it holds together, it is ready and right.
         if we're using it for plaster, that's it, it's ready to apply with a hand-spade or whatever it's called, or just with our bare hands.  if we're to use it for cob, then we sprinkle straw (wheat straw, at the moment) on top of the mess and stamp & stomp it in with our bare feet like a dance, add/sprinkle more straw on, stamp it in, until there's just the right mixture of a bit of straw throughout, which is entirely dependent upon who's doin the cobbin.  cob is used to fill in larger areas than plastering, and sometimes the main thickness of the wall is actually clay-straw, a wet mix of a wee bit of clay on a whole lot of straw—it makes light-weight and inexpensive insulation for the whole wall of a house.  one process we did in June was called clay-straw slip, where we temporarily nailed in plywood sheets (slips) as a form within which to pack and tamp clay-straw.
         but you could just use solid cob, which has much less straw, and dries thick and solid like rock, and stays that way longer than our own lives, as long as it is not exposed much to direct soakin water.  for that you need to have a good overhanging roof, and diversion of any ground water to avoid it washing up onto the wall even during a storm.
         all of this is for building walls to buildings and houses.  we are doing this on a large open and chambered structure with a large fireplace and chimney in the middle, and lots of every kind of shaped windows and doors, and a kind of upstairs lofty area in the inner middle.  it's roof has plants of many sorts growing on it, nothing as big as a tree so far.  the whole structure has been a demonstration in-progress building for the school for 15 years.  Albert Bates  the orchestrator and prime teacher of this whole Ecovillage Training Center, and who is listening to a book on tape of Naomi Cline's new book in the car on the way to Adam & Sue Turtle's ecological experimental garden of everything and most expecially bamboo of all nature and kinds, and back, for the regional Green Party gathering last nite and this morning, so that he can write a review of it.  he is keenly interested in and knowledgeable and experienced in the topic.  and he claims we will finish the building this year by the end of October if we keep at it.  it is called The Green Dragon.
         we do that plastering and cobbing for from 9 to Noon most days, so far.  and again from 2-3:30pm.  then break for lunch 12-2pm, and for 4pm-5pm lecture each weekday on permaculture.  then there are supportive movies/videos/ shorts/longs abounding, never ending, usually several each weeknite from 7:15-8:30 or 9pm.  this last is the part i have contracted out of, my self, so that i can go to sleep at 7pm, but they are rare and rich and each hold crucial relevance to permaculture, which is an ever-widening field including design of life, transition towns, etc, etc..
         so we are learning hands-on how to make cob houses, clay-straw slip houses, clay brick houses, earth bag houses, and several other similar kinds, all earthen and quite renewable & inexpensive in material.  somewhat labor intensive, but not necessarily more labor intensive than other forms of building.  and to me very beautiful.
         the labor is rough enough with this just 5 hours a day being really hard, but not destructive, for me the first day or two, then being hard, but feeling very good and building up for me physically.
         we make our own meals, rather irregularly, supposedly to a schedule, but in the end quite amply, and then this group likes to eat out relatively often, pile in a car and go to a drive-in fast food (Sonic) or the Yoders' (Mennonite) General Food Store on US-20 for sandwiches on their home made breads.  and then they're always askin for a ride to buy cigarettes.  and for weekends, beer.
         James from NC, Shanti from Montreal, Freye from Australia, Conner from Connecticuit, and me.  Conner, Shanti, and me don't smoke; i'm the only one who doesn't drink.  i'm the only one much over 30.  Albert's a year shy of my age, came to The Farm in 1973 or 4, barely out of law school.
         we have chores, also scheduled and rotated each week, such as letting the chickens out in the morning and putting them in in the evening before the nocturnal predators are out (raccoons, armadillos, opossums), cleaning the coop; tending the compost pile; watering, weeding, & harvesting from the organic garden; dishes; sweeping and putting in order the common area.
         oh, and off the subject, i went a week up to my h.s. 50th reunion, and my brother Tom negotiated a day with me and our cars got to meet for the first time and we had fun with that, fast foods, and the very dear usual brothers sharin life.  so here, finally is what he's asked for since July: a picture of my car, "Boose", his car, and two bruds.  red & green.  jus in time.
         love.  wasn't that the message?  to you too.  marty

Monday, August 18, 2014

new home, sweet home

i am here, arrived, trying/hoping to relax & settle in after 3 very solid months of flurry.  hoping to remain inside The Farm as a long-term visitor beginning application for membership.  i have a P.O. Box of my very own in Summertown.  and this car that just took me back to Seattle and back to here—still need to get that picture in here cousin Renée took mid-way in Colorado.

what a journey.  lotta deep breathin n sighs comin out yet and still.

um in muh tent, on a wood platform, with a metal roof well over it, high and dry thru all day yesterday's, and then again last nite's, rain n lightning n a little thunder.  and a couple places to store safely all muh boxes.  at the Ecovillage Training Center, one of many non-profits within The Farm.

a whole world to tell a whole world to live.  this for now.  but let me hear from you.—i may at last have it in me to properly respond!

bless me.  bless you.  marty

Saturday, August 2, 2014

did i say every week, or every OTHER week?!?!

well, this is ONLY 10 weeks later, huh?
    i decided i was so at home at The Farm i wanted to move to be near, while i apply to become a member (a longish, healthy process).
    i'm in Ontario, Oregon whuth muh car full a allah duh stuff i've accumulated in 4 years in Seattle (furniture all to Value Village) on muh 2nd day drivin to entirely move home base to Summertown, Tennessee.
   have decided not to buy the house that tempted me so in Summertown, and to wait to buy inside The Farm once i may be admitted as a member.
   haven't quite managed to get painted on thus side of my red-box-car,
"A long lost CABOOSE BUS to the CARAVAN
still on her way to THE FARM in TN".  guess i should put a pic of it in here huh?
   at rest stops and McDonalds' (for wi-fi) along thuh way, i set out my purple clipboard whuth a flyer sayin,
"Dear Fellow Traveller!

I am moving across country to live near The Farm in Tennessee.
Along the way I am writing a pome of my journey.
Please join me and add your two bits to our Migration Pome: ___
And please leave your name (and contact info, if you will): 
___________________________________________         Thank You!  Eventually I’ll post some on
                  Bless your heart.  Marty  Please take one!  à"

an a bunch a tear-offs: 
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

i've a couple of options to rent, but i have a P.O.Box already!  

marty campbell 
P.O. Box 283

still tryin so hard to keep up with muh self!  but drivin easy & safe.
       bless yer heart.  more in less than 10 weeks!  love.  marty

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

THIS BLOG SHIFTS from an individual toward COMMUNITY

somewhere in the Midwest or South, in driving distance of my brother in Naperville IL, i am looking for an intentional community, such as an Ecovillage, that i might resonate with enuf to apply for membership and try living in long term, as my brother and i grow older.
    this entry i compose here on my second day at The Farm above Summertown in Tennessee.
    as i've voiced this desire over the past couple years to friends and family, i realize how far i have drifted WITH my "community" of loved ones from this goal and this vision of life possible that i've held so close, yet back-burner-ed in my heart all my adult life.  with only two or three exceptions, no one i love knows what "intentional community" means.  i say go to and just read, to get the most accurate definition i know of.
    something Douglas Stevenson, member and perhaps most vocal-by-pen spokesperson at The Farm, has said in something i read, has stayed with me for months as i enter this hands-on journey of old and sacred goal.  perhaps it was in his "Farm Fresh" newsletter for anyone interested in The Farm, which i've finally subscribed to.  i plan to look at back issues to find you an exact reference to it.
    but the gist is this:  the non-residential communities such as support groups, church, boy scouts, clubs, schools, etc. are actually the opposite end of the spectrum, perhaps of intention as well as product, from residential intentional communities.  this really hit me, as i have thought of all my excessive myriad of support groups i've leaned on, to rise out of my fatigue side effects to cancer treatment, as community building in a parallel and compatible sense to intentional community.  hmmm.  gotta find that quote, and think some more about this.
    when i got a diagnosis of Merkel cell carcinoma, 5 Dec 2008, i turned first to Spirit, as the greatest and most reliable healer.  for me the main avenues of relationship to Oh Wordless One are loved ones and trees.  and i sure turned toward all my loved ones i could except two, with whom i felt our love was too complicated for me to handle at such a time.  this blog grew out of that turning, as the most efficient and safe form of reaching out and holding my self open for receiving back uncomplicated, simple, healing love.
    3 months before that diagnosis, i had initiated and received this e-versation:

From: Vickie2 
To: 'marty campbell (by way of Ecovillage Training Center)'
Sent: Wednesday, September 3, 2008 3:22 PM
Subject: RE: visit

He does want to be part of a Ecovillage. What did you tell him? If anything. Because if you, the Ecovillage, were going to have interns or apprentices he could be part of that, maybe.

Well get back with me.

Sincerely, Vickie
The Farm Welcome Center & Gift Shop

-----Original Message-----
From: marty campbell (by way of Ecovillage Training Center)
Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2008 3:07 PM
Subject: visit

i would like to visit an ecovillage outside of the state of california where i am living and going to school now.  in March 09 i am able to leave for 4 weeks, actually the last week in February and the first 3 weeks in March.  may i come and stay there in a month guest space.  i can compensate/exchange in money as well as enthusiasm and a few odd skills (mainly writing).  i would be in school and have heavy homework full time, on-line and otherwise.  but would like to be part of the community otherwise.
    i can send more info about myself.  but for now i am a male, 62, straight, white, tall, self sufficient but cummunity hearted.
                  blessings and gratitude.  marty campbell

marty campbell                
1535-E pershing drive
san francisco CA 94129-1208

    well.  here i am.  i'll go back to my family's Indiana Dunes Roundhouse for one more week of cleaning and packing, then return here to The Farm, June 5 or 6, for a week's Ecovillage Training Center orientation, June 8-14.  and hope to extend my visit here some months.
    in today's "Farm Fresh", Douglas likens joining The Farm as a member to a marriage, literally, "for better and for worse, til death do us part."  explaining that that is why the process is both arduous and lengthy.  i am preparing to ask them to accept my diamond ring.  perhaps not just The Farm, but Ecovillages in the Midwest and South in general (Global Ecovillage Network,;  i am asking to be engaged.
        love to my community.  from my community

Friday, April 18, 2014

loose again, ho lordy

i've spent the 5 months since just before turkeyDay wintering here:

literally on the southernmost tip of Lake Michigan, likely the southernmost tip of the entire Great Lakes.  Arctic Vortex and all.  a true Midwest cleansing.  wishing to be closer to my brother as we grow older.  enigma as it is.

got my annual pestilent financial review and taxes done record breakingly quickly, for the first time in near 10 years without an extension.  rewarded my self/celebrated with a week's journey to Toronto to visit a fellow unknown h.s. classmate—we discovered each other on our 50th reunion website, with unignorable parallels in our respective life journeys including fellow blogspots: — hers i recommend quite highly, after only making it halfway through this morning, full amazed and enthralled.  and me being featured poetry reader at the local (Ogden Dunes Indiana) Prime Timers' monthly luncheon.  ALL before midnight April 15.  yea wow!

now i open up to cleaning up and packing out to hands-on search for an intentional community to call my home.  i feel so released.  to the wild wide open.  loose again, ho lordy.

glad to be

in your company                   love.  marty

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

more sign of life. hard to keep up with.

i've been running all over the place trying to keep up with my new born self.  blessed to be alive.  trying to hang on.

here's today's location:


The SOPA and PIPA protests were successful because we all took part, as a community. As Aaron Swartz put it, everybody "made themselves the hero of their own story." We can set a date, but we need all of you, the users of the Internet, to make it a movement.

We’ll call you, show you a script and connect you.

at least watch the video on the front page of:

more anon.
   love to all my sisters and bothers alive and on earth.  may we one day find freedom and democracy that the US stood for from its conception up until our lifetime.  marty