“Shut Up & Grow It” Part Three

We left off cooking breakfast and talking about the resources these guys were developing.  So let’s look at a few more things around the “farm”, like a couple of buildings… and of course the mud.  Though it wasn’t raining most of the time we were there it had rained for days before.  And we dodged the front edge of the storm as we headed east.

Cleanliness is a virtue, as Brenda points out.
Cleanliness is a virtue, as Brenda points out.

The community shower is supplied with solar heated water from a large container up the hill.  So that gives them probably 40′ or more drop to build real good water pressure.  And the Tennessee winters help to conserve water since the showers are open.

I found the very important building and brought along my own V.I.P.
I found the very important building and brought along my own V.I.P.

Another aspect of off-grid living is dealing with your own waste.  They have three outhouses on site.  Let me explain, it’s not that there’s that much poop, but you do have to rotate these things.  One is closed, one is covered over with the house removed and one is a very fine “two-seater”.  The ladies side is a little more enclosed for privacy than the guys.  What can I say?

This was the one closed down.
This was the one closed down.

So as time marches on the building of new things continues…

The beginnings of a new community. Did I mention there was mud?
The beginnings of a new community. Did I mention there was mud?

This is the community learning center that is being built.  You know those old tires that are just thrown away or cost a disposal charge?  That pile to the right is the beginning of a “rammed-earth” wall.  There were several examples of renewable or re-usable technology here.  The conversations in the kitchen and around the campfire reflected the ideas and dreams of where this community is headed.  The children are being home-schooled with “traditional” education and learning a better way by living their lives with those that love and teach them.  They had a library stocked with all manner of books from  fiction to philosophy to “how-to” books on building and farming.  One of the two geodesic domes that I pictured in the first part is serving as a green house to extend the harvest.

Glimpse's of personal expression
Glimpse’s of personal expression

And everywhere you look you find expressions of life by the people that are here living it.  From little things hanging in the trees, to the painting of sayings, to just the amount of art that pops up everywhere.

A Motto to live by
A Motto to live by

For some more beautiful pictures of this place visit this Facebook post…  “Shut Up and Grow It’ Facebook post

And yes there does seem to be a theme…”Shut Up!”  I think that too many times people speak about things that they have not yet tried and so their words echo the hypocrisy of their world view.  Here at this place, the world view is lived out not just talked about.  There is also the association with “Shut Up and Eat It” an organization that uses a mobile kitchen to provide meals across the country.

To close this post I want to say that Brenda and I are really looking forward to visiting again a little later in the year when the crops are in and I hope we can help them with some of the things going on.  Here’s a link to their website…      Shut Up and Grow It

Back to our travels, it’s time to leave this library and get back on the road.  I’ve got a couple of things to do to the van today since I finished the solar panel hookup at the beach yesterday.  Yeah, yeah that’s a plan let’s go back to the beach!

 

And  So . . . Get Out, Be Safe, and Go Adventure.

“Shut Up & Grow It” Part Two

First, let me say it has been great having a companion that is experienced in the ways of the road.  Brenda Durbin and I have been travelling together and it just works so well it’s amazing.  She and I stopped at a  library this evening to write this post and upload it to the blog.

Also, A special thanks to all the folks at “Shut Up & Grow It” for sharing their Christmas dinner with us.

Christmas dinner spread in the community kitchen.
Christmas dinner spread in the community kitchen.

 

To get you up to speed on this post we first have to go backwards a little bit…

I encourage you to follow the link to the first visit to this intentional community. https://dancordray.com/2014/07/08/just-shut-up-and-grow-it/  Now that you’ve seen where they were back then let’s fast forward to about a year and a half later.

The kitchen has been improved
The kitchen has been improved
The community table is a little less exposed since the last time I was here.
The community table is a little less exposed since the last time I was here.

The kitchen has been closed in more and the cooking area gained an oven, a griddle surface, and the grill has been rebuilt.

Stirring up some of the beans on the grill while using a blow pipe to stoke the fire.
Stirring up some of the beans on the grill while using a blow pipe to stoke the fire.

The addition of some LED solar powered lighting has made it a little easier to prepare meals at night.

I hated using the flash and disturbing the low level lighting that gave this a comfortable "homey" feel.
I hated using the flash and disturbing the low level lighting that gave this a comfortable “homey” feel.
A peek into the stores reveals no junk food just good things to eat.
A peek into the stores reveals no junk food just good things to eat.

They grow their own, trade, barter, or recover otherwise wasted food.   In America there are tons and tons of food that is wasted or otherwise thrown away for being beyond a “sell by date” or looking not “fresh”.  These guys are a testament to learning how to do more with less and wisely using available resources.

They even let me help with breakfast the next morning
They even let me help with breakfast the next morningL

Let me show you what I found on a stroll around… Not all food go directly to consumption, some crops are sold at the local farm market.  These guys were pretty excited about some Jerusalem artichokes bringing a little higher dollar at market.

I’m going to take a break and finish the post tomorrow night.  It’s getting late and everyone (including me) in the van is either yawning or sleeping.

Get out, Be safe, and Go adventure.

Life Happens… (sometimes that’s a good thing)

Ok, I’ve not kept up the blog quite as well as could be expected.  But that’s just it, life’s full of the unexpected!  There actually is someone cut from the same cloth as I am.

So, that is what has happened.  Layla and I will be travelling with our new companions.  So now you’ll be seeing Brenda and Liberty (her fur-baby) included in the travels and adventures of Dan and Layla.

A free spirit in the moonlight
A free spirit in the moonight

I met Brenda in the desert in January at a gathering of vandwellers and nomads.  We kept in touch throughout the year until she came and joined us a month ago.  And within that month’s time the Gypsy Woman and the Nomad Man have managed to travel about 1400 miles, have a moonlight dinner on the beach, explore old forts, and visit historic Savannah.  So things have been a little busy and I’ve let you guys just guess at what’s going on.  Now I’ll clue you in.

At Thanksgiving Brenda and I loaded up the pups and headed for St. Augustine Florida to have dinner with some of my family.  Of course after dinner we took the leftovers we packed and headed to the beach.  Nothing like a moonlit dinner on the beach.

Moonlight on Vilano Beach, FLA
Moonlight on Vilano Beach, FLA

The next day we took to St Augustine to explore the Oldest City and take in a few sights. But only after these two girls got to see the beach and play.

Layla and Dan at the St Augustine Yacht club
Layla and Dan at the St Augustine Yacht club
who wouldn't be all smiles here?
who wouldn’t be all smiles here?
Layla at the beach
Layla at the beach
Libby at the beach
Libby at the beach

That’s our two “girls”, and yes they have become the best of sisters.  They played and played and then napped that evening.

We actually did leave the beach, I mean how much sun and fun can two people handle??

We toured the lighthouse museum then actually climbed all those steps to the top, 165 feet high.

The St Augustine Lighthouse built in 1874
The St Augustine Lighthouse built in 1874
I don't remember how many I lost count.
I don’t remember how many I lost count.

 

After the climb we had a breathtaking view
After the climb we had a breathtaking view
This is what 165 high looks like.
This is what 165 feet high looks like.

We took in the the fort  Castillo de San Marco

A well designed fort
A well designed fort

I’m gonna give you a link here to Brenda’s blog where she posted some pictures of the fort.   Click Here and Visit: “The Sunny Side”  She did a really great job of capturing the feel and presence of the fort.  Besides, she also maintains a great blog.

I’m stopping for tonight, we head out south and west in the morning to go visit a place I was at back in 2014. “Shut Up and Grow It” is and intentional community I stayed at for a few days back then.  They have grown and we are excited to go check on them.

So, we’re going to bed and try to get some sleep and rest for the next adventure starting in the morning.

Until next time…

“Get out, Be safe, and Go adventure”