Monthly Archives: August 2011

Growing Possibilities

Visualizing the future of Maya Creek can be double-edged sword.  The possibilities for this place are incredible and less and less difficult to see even to outside observers.  On the other hand, the amount of energy needed to realize those possibilities can be stifling and disheartening.

Still, over time I get used to the pace of growth and accept that it may be many years before it even approaches what it could be.  Every year and every day is different and fulfilling, and there’s really not much more you can ask for out of life.  The work here will never be done, or at least I should hope it never ends.  As the saying goes, the day you stop learning, is the day you begin to die.

Guest Cabin Progress

We’ve finished applying the last thick coats of earthen plaster and floor to the cabin.  It’s a very labor intensive process since the infill coat of plaster can be a couple inches thick.  It’s worth it though, because it really smooths out the walls, and is going to provide lots of thermal mass to moderate the temperature.

We also installed the foundation insulation, and mortared in the scrap granite chunks around the base to protect the bottoms of the walls from rain.  We stuffed the area behind the granite with misprinted polypropylene feedsacks filled with scrap alpaca wool, which we affectionately named, “fur turds”.

Yesterday, we went looking for a screen door and found one at the Habitat Restore for $20.  It was the only one they had and it was heavy duty and just barely the right height.  We took it back and it fit perfectly.  Dumb, but very awesome luck.

John should be able to move into the place after the walls and floor finish drying in several weeks.  We’ve still got to put the metal roof on, install the doors and windows, and put the finish exterior plaster on, but we’re getting close.

Garden Raids

The garden has been under siege ever since the sweet corn started coming in.  We’ve trapped ~7 raccoons and 2 opossums, and we probably would’ve gotten more if they hadn’t finished off the 400 sq. ft. of corn completely.  The fence we’ve set up works well on deer and rabbits, but climbing critters don’t mind it at all.

We’ve got a new solution though that I think will work.  We’re going to set up a stereo hooked up to a small solar power system.   We tried it out for about 5 days and the garden was left alone all that time.

Playing conservative talk radio seemed like the best bet, because it has the most yelling and angry sounding voices… and it’s just scary in general.  However, I had the idea of making a long MP3 recording of the sounds of common predators in the area and having it loop.  I’ll probably throw in some weird tiger roars and other foreign animal sounds too just to keep ’em freaked out.

The tomatoes are still coming in pretty heavily, and so are the squash and cucumbers.  I’ve been dehydrating a lot of the squash and tomatoes for winter soups.  They should go well with the ~50 lbs of potatoes we’ve got left from out harvest earlier this year.

The Possibility Alliance

Last Saturday Jesse, Jessica, John, Nic, and I went up to the Possibility Alliance in northern Missouri to take a short class on sustainable forestry.  It was actually more about just seeing the place and meeting the people.  It was a short, but sweet visit and I was really excited to see a project working that’s so similar to what I currently hope Maya Creek will turn into.

They’re creating a sustainable community, teaching workshops, and permaculture certification.  All just for donations!  I’d noticed that all the places that teach these types of skills and certifications were really pricey, and it seemed to defeat the point.  Most people interested in learning these skills don’t have a lot of money, and if you think the skills are that important then I would think you’d want to give as many people access to them as you could.

Today John and I went back for a more in-depth tour.  We got to explore the site fully and get a lot of questions answered.  The amount of energy that Ethan exudes is staggering, and I’m amazed he’s able to maintain it.   He and others at PA are part of the superheroes organization which ride bicycles in superhero attire offering help to people.  Perhaps he really is a superhero in more ways than one.

I’ve created an album of photos from the tour here.


We had a nice visit from Bob and Kelly earlier this month.  They were out from California looking around the area at permaculture related projects.  They’re planning on moving out this way in the near future, and are planning to help out at Maya Creek after they get settled.

Nic just left to help set up a camp at Burning Man.  He was here for about a week helping us put in some earthen floor and just checking the place out.  He came down from Minneapolis, but has been traveling around all over.  It’s always nice to have a new person with new stories and perspectives come and share that with us.  I’ll be seeing Nic again at Burning Man in a few days.