The dome of enlightenment

We have built a school house, it’s a work in progress, right now we have a shell of a structure with roofing supplies on the way. We have planted our seeds and we will let it grow.

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Here we are putting up the dome, everyone needed to get involved at some point to make it possible.

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Me and Dusty will be working together to make this school a place to learn and grow. When we first started our season here we built a people’s library in the community cabin, now we are on to bigger ideas, a whole school to feed the mind. Our school is as much a seed as any tiny seed planted in the garden.

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And what we are growing is a Revolution

“Organize, agitate, educate must be our war cry” Susan B. Anthony

if you would like to make a donation to support the work we are doing click on the link below.

http://www.gofundme.com/6wtxio

A Food Forest

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At shut up and grow it we are building a food forest. The first addition to go along with some fruit trees already growing in the orchard we bought more fruit trees. 14 fruit trees this trip.

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And all these trees were bought with food stamps. Yes food stamps, did you know you can buy fruit trees and all kinds of seeds with them, anywhere food stamps are accepted. Unfortunately these trees were all purchased at Walmart, since they do accept food stamps and also have a garden section, and they were on clearance so each tree cost about $11.

 

Here’s a link with more info on SNAP gardens

http://www.snapgardens.org/

Some people living on the farm have food stamps so as a contribution to the farm they used them, these trees will benefit us far into the future, but what will we eat for now? A lot of our food is dumpstered  and what can’t be what is left over from the purchase of the fruit trees can be used, but in the years too come we will have fruit fresh from trees instead of from stores. The trees are guaranteed for a year too so if they die we can get them replaced.

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So all our trees are in the ground, with lots of mulch around and retention border to hold the water.

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A buffalo was moved into the orchard which we will pump water into from the pond at the bottom of the hill so it will be easy to water them and keep them growing.

Spring is here, now is the time to start planting your garden, so shut up and grow it!

If you support what we do, you can help us with a donation by clicking the link below

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Yard Sale Fundraiser

A few weeks ago for two Saturdays in a row we held a yard sale here in the church yard. Some my stuff from downsizing to live on a bus and some abandoned belongings from previous tenants who lived on the property years ago, when they left, they left all their stuff behind. So we were raising money for our trip and we were also raising money for the church.

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Veda sold home-made chocolate chip cookies and made a few sales, all to us, I ate myself sick of chocolate chip cookies. We had fun and out of both days made around $60 for our trip and around $60 for the church.

If you would like to help support the occupy bus tour with a donation, click on the link below

http://www.gofundme.com/6wtxio

 

New York and Woodland corner protest

Every Friday here in DeLand at the corner of New York Ave. and Woodland Blvd. from about 4 or so until about 6 or so there are people waving signs. Who are these people?

There are two groups of people. The first group all belonging to the same church in DeLand, their church believes in street preaching, handing out tracks on the street corner, holding signs for Jesus, and telling people they are going to hell.  In the opinion of many they are aggressive and keep people away from the area on Friday afternoons. So much so that the music store on the corner closed on Fridays in protest. They have been coming here and to other downtown areas for years. I can hear them yelling from down the street.

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The second group comes to basically give their opinion of what they think of these people from the church standing on the corner screaming at people all afternoon.

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There have been city council meetings about what can be done and a petition was signed of people who wanted action taken against the church group. In the end though I’m afraid that they do have a right to be there and I wouldn’t want it any other way since if they told them they couldn’t stand there and voice how they feel about their religion, what comes next?

I stand on the corner every Friday I come with my sign that has said things like ” Just Love”and “Smile your beautiful just the way you are”, to name my favorite signs. One day I handed out bible verses like fortune cookie fortunes, most of the people wouldn’t take them and one guy after refusing it yelled out street preaching and it was all towards me. I had a kid tell me his story of being saved as having a nightmare that he went up to heaven and God looked through his book and his name wasn’t in it and he was sent to hell to burn and he was so scared he got down on his knees and was saved, but I felt sad for him. It was interesting talking to everyone at the corner over the winter. The people countering the church with signs of love and acceptance, but sometimes just ridiculous funny signs to to make fun of the whole thing, they were also nice to get to know. The conversations you have with people standing on a street corner for a few hours are always interesting. I would like to spend time standing on the street with a sign especially maybe for peace for one. There was a time at the beginning of the Iraq war we stood on the same corner each week for peace, and music for peace at cafe da Vinci. We are still in Iraq after 11 years.

If you like what we are doing on the occupy bus tour and would like to help us along the road click the link below

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Hatter Harvest

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     Hatter Harvest is a community organic garden at Stetson University run by the students.  It was founded in 2009

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This is Hatter Harvest with Russell the vice president of the club working on planting some seeds, preparing for the spring. The group meets two times a week, Monday and Friday afternoons to work in the garden and also figure out the business aspects of things. Russell is a multi-generation farmer, his mom founded and runs planted earth, one of the many organic gardens in Deland and most of the other members of the club are earning their degrees in environmental studies. This is not just a garden for the school, it is also a garden for the community, anyone and everyone are welcome to come and help and share in the harvest.

In the garden there are  blueberries, collards, hot peppers, quinoa, parsley, cilantro, aloe, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, wild tomato plants growing out of every crack, baby peas planted just a few weeks ago, baby okra too and that’s what we are planting more of today. We are filling a few more beds with dirt, soil from the dwindling mountain along the back of the garden, planted seeds and watered it with worm tea. Worm tea is water poured over the worm bin they have and the watering can below it to catch the water, this cleans off the worms and using the water fertilizes the soil.

these are the worms in their stackable home

these are the worms in their stackable home

below are some links about worm farms

http://ourvitalearth.com/ove/

http://wormfarmguide.com/

Here’s a picture of what Hatter Harvest looked like a few years ago, when our 4H group, the bee attitudes, helped at a work day, a few other groups also showed up to help. The garden grows along with the students who help to continuously create it by coming together to work in it while planning for the future of it.

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A few years ago the students before them started a Stetson farmers market once a month during the Stetson school year, these students help continue the market.

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Local organic farmers set up to sell their produce to sell on a Sunday afternoon.

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Why organic?

Lots of reasons to buy organic

Find the local farmers markets near you

http://www.localharvest.org/

Here’s some information on community gardens

https://communitygarden.org/mission/

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And Hatter Harvest is growing still, the Bee club at Stetson has just added 2 hives to the native area of Stetson.

If you support what we do on the Occupy bus tour and would like to help us along the way click on the link below, we are powered by the people.

http://www.gofundme.com/6wtxio

Random acts of kindness

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I love random acts of kindness, I love when people show me random acts of kindness so I also love doing random acts of kindness myself. One day when it was raining and I was walking my bike in the rain with my umbrella over me walking to pick up Veda from school, a women stopped saying, she saw me everyday and wanted to know if I wanted a ride today and her daughter lived right around the corner and I could store my bike there, so I did, and the chance meeting was nice, interesting, and the kids were just as surprised as us when we picked them both up, also 2 times since I have been here in DeLand random people in front of me in line bought my meal and when I got up to the register the cashier told me the person ahead paid for you, once at berryville and once at subway, I consider all these random acts of kindness, the cashier said to me at berryville, must be one of those pay it forward things, that was pretty awesome.

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So it’s almost Valentines day and I love to make Valentines and give them away to random people, and my friends, anyone I see around Valentines day, the most fun thing about it is that it is socially acceptable to give someone a Valentine, so people take them without hesitation and a smile, always, sometimes when I hand out flowers or other things to random people just as an act of kindness they hesitate to take it or won’t take it, but everyone loves getting Valentines, I’ve been working on them for weeks getting ready for this one week.

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So the day came and went and most of the week before and Valentines day itself I had fun giving them to whomever I came across and mailing them to people who sent me their address. What random acts of kindness have you experienced?

We are getting ready to be on the move again, working our way up north, helping people along the way and you can help, click on the link below to help support the random acts of kindness of the occupy bus tour and thanks for your random act of kindness ❤

http://www.gofundme.com/6wtxio

Interfaith Kitchen

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Occupy Bus Tour has been volunteering at a local church that feeds people, four nights a week, the kitchen is open for dinner Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, they run the kitchen out of the basement of the church, it is set up with a full commercial kitchen, a serving station outside of the kitchen and a big dining room space where all the tables and chairs are set up.  The interfaith kitchen is a co-operative effort from many churches, schools; such as Deland High School and Stetson University, and other organizations; such as Florida Hospital, the Neighborhood center, and don’t forget Occupy.  We volunteer alongside them all.  Some of the volunteers from Stetson are a part of the Bonner Program, (http://www.stetson.edu/other/academics/programs/bonner.php), which helps students at the school get scholarships in exchange for their service in the local community.  DeLand students are also working on volunteer hours for scholarships, and I would hope they are learning that helping people is needed,  feels good and is also fun. There are over 25 organizations helping to feed people.  The interfaith kitchen feeds about 80-120 people on an average night, so any group signing up to cook dinner needs to bring enough food to feed that many people, and they do and usually by the end of the hour, cleaning up there is little to nothing left, if they do have extra food about 15-30 minutes before the end of the dinner hour seconds are given out in the form of to-go boxes.

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The girls volunteering from DeLand High decorated all the placemats for the tables.

and here they are getting ready to serve dinner.

and here they are getting ready to serve dinner.

These girls were one of the many groups who showed up to volunteer this night, there’s always one group who is set up to bring all the food served, but others who come to help set up, serve, and clean up. Sometimes there are to few, some times too many, but it always somehow works out, like magic.

hamburgers for dinner on the grill.
hamburgers for dinner on the grill.

Brownies for desert.

Brownies for desert.

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Just another night at the interfaith kitchen.

If you would like to support what we do; Please Donate to Occupy Bus Tour:

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Godzilla Reborn

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Here I am dropping off the bus with Florida RV custom coach creations to get the bus made over. It all started with the fact that I needed to get more seatbelts installed in the bus so I can put a baby seat in the bus, but instead of just getting the bare minimum of what I needed, I decided to get just about everything redone, after living and traveling in it for a year I found out what worked and what didn’t. I needed to access the batteries better for maintenance, one of the tables was breaking, I took up most of the floor and had rugs over the bare plywood, we had many things hanging on by bungee cords, and we needed a bigger bed so we would have plenty of sleeping room.

I took everything off the bus and stored it at chrysalis, while we moved into the main house for the two and a half weeks until renovations were completed. We also moved our kitchen into the main house. The house has a double kitchen, but one side wasn’t being used so we cleaned it up and now have the room to live in, even now that we have the bus back. My Grandmothers table is the center piece, and I can’t fit that on the bus, and soon we would have a kitchen table of our own.

Before;

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This is a before picture, the 2 tables and the 2 beds in the back

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Another before, from the back of the bus looking to the front.

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talking about what will be done, figuring the best way to set things up.

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This is the kitchen we set up in the main house.

After;

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And this is what the back of the bus looks now. A dinette with 2 seat belts and a couch on the other side. The couch can be used as a bed and so can the dinette side, the table folds down and the cushions from the backs get moved to the middle, also the two backs from the couch can fit in the middle to form one big bed.

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And here it is as one big bed.

Now the next occupy bus tour will have us all sleeping in a big cuddle puddle.

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Now we are back in the bus and I am slowly, very intentionally putting everything back in its place.

So as we plan our next tour I am looking forward to everyone being even more comfortable than we were last year. One more step done in getting Godzilla ready to hit the road.

And if you would like to help support our next tour, you can make a donation by clicking on the link below.

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Hermitage Farms-Enjoying the Harvest

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Mr. Ben Walter, an organic farmer of Hermitage Farms is reaping what he has sown; tomatoes, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, kale, lettuce, sage, oranges, carrots, raw milk from his cows, and much more!  We have been working at his farm in exchange for organic food.

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This baby calf is 4 months old and we got to feed her mother’s milk from a bottle.  The calf was with her mother for a short while after birth, but now they are separated. The baby still gets mother’s milk though; a few bottles worth a day.

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Cows are a new addition to the farm since we were here last year. Ben has just a few cows, and milks them by hand everyday. Ben also plants gardens for the animals, where he grows what is specifically good for their nutrition. They are kept healthy with food, that’s their medicine.

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This is one of the main fields with the chicken coop and greenhouse in the background.

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I’m foraging in the midst of Kale.

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Also on the farm, Ben has a few pigs. We got to feed them some greens.  They are in a field where they get to run and lay around in the mud.  There’s a little swimming pool full of water for them too.

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In another field there’s chickens and turkeys. They roam free in and out of their coop and around the field all day. They have plenty of trees around for shade. The chickens even have their own garden with greens and chia growing.

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A few different species of chickens live on the farm. One on them looks like the Kellogg’s Corn Flakes mascot!

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One day when we were there we helped them get produce ready for the farmers market in Artisian Alley, downtown DeLand. We did a harvest, then cleaned and prepared baskets with everything going to market that day.

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I am carried hay from the bale to the field.  I am wearing the mask because of dust flying from the hay; it has such tiny particles that I didn’t want to breathe in.  Jose is holding an intact batch of sweet potatoes pulled out of the ground.  For the most part they don’t come out that easy.

This is just one farm making the world a better place. There are many others out there, I am finding out that no matter where I go, if I look, I find them. so chances are where you live there is a farm similar to this one, not very far away.  Probably closer than you think, and if there’s not, you can always start one.

Here’s a photo of our pay;

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If you would like to support what we do; Please Donate to Occupy Bus Tour:

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#This Is What Community Looks Like

Inspired by some of my friends serving soup this winter up north, the SouperSistas,  I wanted to do something here in Florida, so on one of our cold days, I made a nice warm soup, kept it warm on the hot plate and went out to look for friends in the cold in need or want of a warm bowl of soup, and we found some. One of my occupy friends Preacher was my first bowl, I saw him sitting on the grounds of the library, the library being closed to renovations, and he was happy to climb aboard the bus and relax for a few minutes with us and have something warm to eat and then to join us serving more people.

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The soup was a pumpkin, split pea soup with carrots and potatoes, with bread and butter, the pumpkin came from hermitage farms and the bread from the neighborhood center.

By the end of the afternoon most of the soup was gone, we fed people outside of the library and at one of the local churches, and also the people protesting on the corner of New York and Woodland, we offered it to everyone, regardless of what side they were on in their opinion, but the ones holding signs with a message of love versus you are going to hell signs accepted the offer of hot soup on a cold day, I held their signs while they ate their soup.

The day was a success, Veda, Jose, Preacher and I all traveled the day feeding people and we got to eat too, the spirit of the people’s kitchen alive and strong in all that carry it forward on the streets all across America.

If you like what we do and would like to help us continue, you can make a donation. Click the link below.

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