Adamewsletter- Summer 2006 photos
Welcome to the first ever Adamah Newsletter. Shamu and I have been marveling at the success of all of our work and the ways its becoming part of the everyday lives of those here at Isabella Freedman. So this newsletter is a summary of what’s been happening ‘round these parts so y’all can read up on how our Avodah has evolved through the seasons.
I’m writing from a chair by Aitan’s milking stand up on Beebe Hill. He has three milking goats in Alan’s old barn, and Moriah’s sons- Yisroel and Eliyahu- over in a pasture across the road. He’s been making cheeses and made his first three sales today, slowly expanding his operation. Aitan is amazing, he can prevent the hoofy with his eyes closed. He wants to appreciate the 8N fanclub and says that soon- once his cheese empire is vast and grand- he will invite you all to a pool party from Beebe Hill to Bangkok. And he wants to tell you that if he can start his own enterprise, so can y’all… or at least join others’s.
I just saw pink lightning behind a cloud and then one of 8N’s ‘ladies’ came running in to be milked. So yeah, things are evolving quite naturally here. I’ve been up at Freedman for the past week and am happy to report on the current scene, since everyone else is way too busy to do it. Somehow we haven’t found a way to incorporate Newsletter writing into the Adamah schedule.
So here’s what’s been happening this summer from the kfar to beis adamah and beyond (with photos to phollow). Our old timers- Ian and Aitan have been living in the kfar with the other kfarniks, a few porch plants and a freshly gutted composting toilet. There are more leaves than stars these days, and the Geese are flapping like its nobody’s businness. They hold a pretty simple schedule as do the beavers and wildflowers. The clouds have no schedule… at least none that we can get access to. The cucumbers and squash keep a tight schedule of doubling their size about every half hour, and, as I type, there are adamanix in the main kitchen (with the fifth Mashgiach of the summer) processing pesto, pickles and p…squash.
From the kitchen, the food scraps go down to the pasture where they are fed in troughs to the goats and chickens, and then their leftovers go to feed a hungry crew of rat proof compost bins, (carefully designed as they were constructed by Gabe and Shoshana (fall ’05)). Two of the three bins are full. After resting and digesting for some time, their contents will be emptied into a pile in the Sadeh.
Speaking of Sadeh… it is so beautiful- emphasis on full. The Serious Summer Shefah is well under way. Three big hurrahs to this summer’s fellows for taking such good care of our Sadeh. Under the melodic and organized guidance of Tali Weinberg (this year’s Farm Manager) they have carried out our largest Sadeh planting plan ever- about 180 beds of produce. The only transplants that we purchased this year were some of our peppers. The rest were started on site in our new greenhouse/ Chammama.
Now the challenge is to know where all of this food is going. There have been three big donations each week to food banks including a soup kitchen in Torrington, where the Adamanix have been working on their Sadeh cooking skills. Every week, yeah!
At the beginning of the week, the Adamah fridge down in Rootie was packed full and today, Bruce (the new Chef) has just what he needs for Shabbat in the dining hall. Plus, I’m sure some of each veggie will be making an appearance in Beis Adamah this evening. We are also getting ready to sell some veggies to Robbie and Shema for their wedding (first Adamah wedding ever!) and the Hazon riders and crew will be eating righteously next Shabbat before they take off to the big Tapuach. So like the Hollenbeck, our produce abundance ebbs and flows.
But Shuv- let’s return to the present: The weather could not have been more perfect this past week. Rosh Chodesh/ new moon= good time for planting seeds for fall greens in the greenhouse, seeing stars in the sky and loving life. But Shuv, that was last week- now it’s Friday, the Adamanix are on a drizzly bike ride training for Hazon, I’m helping Aitan make Feta Cheese and the forces of transition are fully steeped.
From the week into shabbos, summer into fall,
From the field into our bellies, can we really use it all?
From everything to nothing, back to everything again
We strive to find the balance… every now and then.
But back to now, or rather, soon
What will we see under Elul’s moon?
Transition… Transition! Yai dai dai dai… Transition!
Teva Arrived today, It’s the last day of Senior camp and Elat Chayyim is coming after the Hazon ride, and the new Adamanix too. The bees are on the move too. Last week half of one of our hives swarmed off into the treetops, and Jaimie is ordering a new queen from the internet to rule over the remaining bees in that hive. Our second hive is kickin’, getting busy in the field, and we await the second honey harvest of the year in September.
And what would Honey be without Biodiesel and their beautiful offspring named Yonah! Yonah and Jaimie went on the swings today in their rain gear. But Biodiesel- yes the Adamah Chevre has been running on Biodiesel for the past three months. The Ofenshmaltz Center for Alternative Transportation has been pumping out 30 gallons of fuel a week. It’s rather incredible. Meanwhile, we are gearing up the Chmmamah so it will be heated with used veggie oil. Preperations for the cold season are under way to feed us tomatoes through the winter.
Speaking of transition, here's a bad transition: Naf (Summernik ’04) is using his landscaping wisdom and skills to lay the foundation for relocating the Sephirah Garden. It will also double in size in its new home on the lawn infront of Kaufman. In its place will be a new yurt, which will expand the amount of programming space at Freedman. Yay for transition!
The garlic is in transition too. From the Sadeh to the wire netting under the new cob oven roof (courtesy of Stuart, and whose posts could not have been possible without Rebekah Robinson and her chainsaw last fall). The eight beds of garlic that we planted at the reunion were harvested last month and I had the pleasure of sorting through all of it for our seed stock. I am pleased to report that we have 715 heads of garlic being saved for seed. This is way more than we need, beacuase I am playin’ it safe by trying two storing methods, one in the garlic closet of B.A. and the other, in mesh onion bags from the cob oven roof in the gan. And we’re praying and awaiting the reunion when we’ll plant 8 beds of garlic again. Tradition, tradition! Yai dai dai dai…. Tradition! In the making…
And finally, a word from the goaties (as translated by Aitan):
It’s Angie, Zilpah, Omer and Nes here- we’re all doing fine, eating well, drinking well, pooping well. We’re horny… not the way you think, you dirty people. We have horns and we play with them ok?! We’re really living our hoofprints out here. Berman would be proud.
We’re feeling the oncoming transition too. So we didn’t feel left out in this influx of new faces, Adamah brought us 24 new young pullets with whom we shall share our paddock. They’re not getting in the way too much, but they’ve definitely been laying more than the old ladies. They try to come cuddle at night but our responsible caretakers shuttle them over every evening back to the coop.
We can’t wait to nibble out of your holy hands in November.
I hope you enjoyed the first Adamewsletter and before I end this, I’ll say-
The Reunion Committed has little to report right now- but I can tell you these two things:
The reunion will take place on the first weekend in November and it will be an option to arrive on Thursday afternoon.
Camp Isabella Freedman will cover a portion of the costs of transportation, namely, %60 of the total cost up to $200. Bring you receipts and you will get back %60 of what you spent, but no one will get back more than $200.
So from the Tachlis to the Sublime=
I bless that you are all finding sparks of the Adamanik in you on a daily basis!
We hope to send out more photos soon!
Love and hugs,