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Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Reason to Live and a Reason To Grow

To Trust.  

Life happens and it's good.  Updating you all on what has been going on.There has been a lot on my mind and I am finally writing some things down to you. 
First, to recap a bit.  Craig was back home from working in Afghanistan and we took some time for a vacation. The end of the vacation we went to Maine.  Staying in the woods at Foxgreen Farm was too short and just as much fun as ever.

To Hope.

The Sea Buckthorn field was mowed releasing the plants from the overgrown grass. They are doing very well.  After one year, nearly every one of them is growing.  The ones I mistakenly cut with the sickle bar mower are growing from their base, as I predicted.  The other plants- serviceberry, plum, apple, pear, peach, cherry, elderberry, and hazelnut are all doing well too!  All of these plants were planted last year and, like the old saying goes, first year they sleep, second year they creep, and third year they leap. That seems to be what is happening.  The plants are healthy and the growth is strong but not leaping quite yet.  The plants are smiling at us and we are smiling right back at them!

To Care.

Craig has gone back to Afghanistan.  Every night after he left and every day since I am so glad we had the time together and with our families.  I know we'll always be what is in our heart.  Stay safe buddy!  

We recently received a letter and I would like to share.  The Seaberry experiment is gradually expanding and the letters and response is a good way to show you the ways it is moving. (edited)

Hello Craig, 
Boy am I happy to discover this little green gem in Maine! I love your attitude and ideas man! I'd like to come out for the remainder of warm season at the very least, I just have some questions for you.. First off my name is Al, I'm 34, single male. Been living the suburban life in southern California for the last 20 years and I am just itching to get out of here and into a rural Eco village setting where so can live true to my inherent values (earth care, people care, fair share) in harmony with nature and like minded neighbors. I am not religious, maybe spiritual.. Deep thinker, writer, musician, artist.. And I just love permaculture more than anything. 

So please get in touch with me to discuss moving me out to your Eco village. I know I will be a great asset to the group. I don't know how I feel about the winters there, but perhaps I'll "warm up" to the idea ha 

Hi Al,
Tom here. Craig is back in Afghanistan.  I try my best to convince him to stay home each time he is back in the States, but so far, no luck :(,  That is selfish on my part, he does some great work over there and certainly there are many people who have a better life because of him.  I know he saw your post but I don't think he has responded to you, so I will try.
First, you are right, it is a gem.  So much potential and the permaculture experience is very attractive and definitely trending upward.  There are so many good reasons and they range from just living more economically, to providing local food for the local population, to a very real and essential component of national security.  What's that last one, you might say?  We have seen all over the world both man-made and natural events which have disrupted normal supply lines.  We believe this country, in particular, is very vulnerable to those supply disruptions since so much of our food is centralized and factory farmed.  Kinda scary that as little as a three day disruption in the supply chain would result in empty supermarket shelves.   Then what?  Could be an ugly scenario.  
So where are we now?  Well we are still working hard to get thing rolling faster and faster.  There are so many t's to cross and i's to dot.  Insurance, community buildings, etc and these things take some time and money.  Honestly between the two of us the investment has been well over six figures and that's a good thing. There is still more to do to get the basics or foundation of the project solid.  For example, after 14 years of paying insurance premiums and never filing a claim, the insurance company has declined to renew.  We are working on getting another one and we will.  The first community building is getting a roof soon and that is going to be a huge boost to the project.  If you haven't read through a bunch of posts on the blog, I encourage you to do so.  At minimum, you'll get a better sense of what's there and our focus on what we call Agro-Ecology and Seabuckthorn farming.  By no means is the intent to box in the future possibilities to what has been worked on so far.  The sky is the limit and a dynamic, integrated, and diverse farm and especially community of friends, of farming, and of fun.  
Thanks Al and the very best to you. ---Tom

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