Fall, 2018, Phase II Begins. Man and His Machines.

MAN AND HIS MACHINES.  Often I dream of 50 people with shovels and buckets working together doing this work.  For now, it seems, the machines and liquified dinosaur bones will have to do.  And they do it well!  Having a skilled operator on deck (Zachariah Thurneau) and a pile of work to do, the decision was made to rent a mini-excavator for a couple weeks and make the leap!

Mini-excavator arrives from Carleton Equipment

Work included: digging berm and swales, a root cellar, a walpini, a blueberry chinampa, several small ponds and hugelmound landscaping.  Ideas based on observations and intentions now become manifest.  Thanks to Zach, the machine, the fuel and the Creator of all things.

berm and swale
blueberry chinampa
ponds with hugelmound landscaping

We are also blessed to have some great friends, farmers and communitarians in the neighborhood.  We offer help to each other in many ways.  Thanks to Joe down the road for letting us use his precious Kubota for a few weeks to help get some of this work done.

Tractor from Joe Dailey from “Harvest the Good”

Using these big machines on site has been a very mixed emotional experience for me (Julian).  Over the years there has not been a tractor on-site (what kind of farm IS this, I know…well, it is not a farm, it is a community homestead ; ).

I am one who is often guided by the Divine Feminine – Pachamama – Gaia (though I don’t believe it is to the detriment of my masculine energy in any way).  The tractor and mini-excavator get so much work done, it is amazing to see and I am so thankful for the work that gets accomplished.  However, I am generally more comfortable with hand tools and smaller machines.  Even when using a hand drawn cultivator or small roto-tiller I see the devastation to plants and animals, the frogs and insects that are disrupted and killed.

The power of these machines is immense.  We look back at our work and there is a temptation to simply brush hog the entire property and “conquer” nature.  That is my Roman ancestry trying to take control.  Mayans did it too.  It is a human condition from which we are collectively evolving (however slowly it may seem at times).  This is, in essence, a masculine desire to rape and pillage the Earth for our own benefit.  That is why I call upon the Divine Feminine for guidance and balance.  When is the line of decency crossed?  How can we utilize these machines for the benefit of all life?  My wish is that, in the end, this work will help create or modify the habitat in a way that helps earth, soil, animals and humans.  That is our intention here and the application of our free will;  Human work integrated with the rest of Creation.

With a long list of projects generated from seven years of observations and refining of goals, visions, objectives and the arrival of a skilled and compassionate machine operator (Zach) it seemed like the right time to “get down to business” and the timing was good as well as the rain was quite minimal during our work.  Below are some pictures from a few weeks later, after cover crops were planted and rains came…

pond and hugelmound
berm and swale with cover

It is amazing to see all the life and growth as the water infiltrates, gets stored and dispersed more gradually.  The road on the East side of the property is also dry for the first time ever, which is a great bonus!  Thanks to the machines, the operator, the friends and family, the animals and plants and the opportunity to serve Creation.