Gypsy: a nomadic or free spirited person
My name is Michelle LaForest Roberts and I am a gypsy. Spirit directed me in November of 2013 to get in the car and drive, listening to Spirit for where to go. My journey started on March 28, 2014. I have been led to Earthaven Eco Village in Black Mountain, NC. Earthaven is a sustainable community of intentional living. It is made up of several neighborhoods. I am currently living in the Medicine Wheel neighborhood as a work exchanger. I work 17 hours a week in exchange for a room. I pay a specified amount each month for food. In addition, I work 16 hours a month for Earthaven itself and pay minimal fees to them. There are 13 people living in Medicine Wheel, 8 are work exchangers, 2 are renters and 2 co own the house. Each person cooks dinner once a week with an assistant who also has dinner clean, each has a weekly chore and is on day clean. This is not a part of the 17 hours a week. Breakfast and lunch are cooked independently and dinner is communal. All food in Medicine Wheel is vegetarian, homegrown or local. If one eats meat, the person must purchase it and cook it in a separate pan. So far no one has done that. The only dairy is butter and eggs.
My 17 hours a week consist of working in the orchard and greenhouse. I have 4 plots that I have taken stewardship of and I am reorganizing the greenhouse. In the orchard, I have transplanted kale, and made a potato bed! I am thinking about planting tomatoes in the empty bed and the other has garlic and onions. For the first few days I was directed to take my urine to the potato bed, pour it in and then water it. Everything that can be composted, is. Did I mention there are outhouses for bathrooms where matter is composted? My bedroom is on the third floor and the outhouses are a distance away so we are directed to use a bucket at night for urine. Waste not, want not! In the greenhouse I have planted seedlings and transplanted shoots.
Another activity I've done is called cobbing. Cobb is made from red clay, sand, straw and water. It is rolled together in plastic and then stomped like grapes. Then it is made into balls and thrown on whatever structure is being built. It is similar. I'm told, to making adobes. We are making a chicken coop. The owner wants to raise chickens in order to gather her own eggs and not buy them from neighbors. We eat a lot of eggs. As Patricia said when 9 dozen were brought in, "That should carry us through breakfast!" We normally cobb on Tuesday and it is called, guess what, Cobb Tuesday!
On Sunday, March 30th I went into Asheville to what is called Dance Church. It is actually ecstatic dance based on Gabrielle Roth's Five Rhythms. Music is played and we just dance whatever we feel. There is no talking during dance. We can dance with a partner if someone is doing the same movements and invites you in with a smile or their eyes. Its fun and exercise as well. I met some amazing women there who appeared to be kindred spirits. Later I walked down to the Green Sage Café for brunch. Best grits and gluten free biscuits I've ever had. I like Asheville and may journey there next.
On Monday mornings, assignments are made for the week on a blackboard. On Monday nights, we have check in. Everyone gets to talk about whatever they wish without interruption and say check when they're done. We can give feedback and ask questions if we wish. I experienced so many emotions that I chose to go last for fear of crying, which would have been ok.
There is so much to tell but I will wait until Sunday. I will be posting on Sundays from now on. Thanks for reading.
Gypsi Mama Michelle