Archive for March, 2008

It looks as if I will be robbed of the most exciting time of the spring,  Ithaca and surrounded area’s of upstate New York get ‘VERY’ few tornados.  Have a look-see!

Tornado Alley Map


Read Full Post »

All Together Now!

After 4 hours spent surrounded by the smell of french fries in the Veggie Turbo Diesel (Joe’s Veggie grease car) we piled out into a sunny spot where an overgrown shale driveway ended and our imaginations began. Joe and I had been eating Family Dollar spaghetti and sauce for 2,2oo miles the week before, hunting for land and couch surfing from Saranac Lake, NY to Dorchester, NH. The coincidences and accidents of vagabonding led us further west than we expected, to find this particular spot ten miles from Ithaca, NY. Already there was a sense of beginning, here in a clearing where a house project was abandoned by the current owner.

Initially, things seem anticlimactic. The March landscape greets us without greens, leaves or flowers. We are lucky it isn’t raining. Instead, we see bare limbs of young trees and the glaring rooftops of neighboring houses. The ground is muddy yellow and thorny brush bites at our coats and scarves. Some abandoned concrete forms are scattered at one side of the drive, building bones in the snow. We set out to explore.

bare land pic

Despite it all, this is a special day. All six of our crew is here, a rare thing today since Sharon is currently doing an MFA in Cali and Marina just started putting on a suit in Manhattan. Lea and Danila have no wheels to get them out of Philly, while Lily and Joe are practically living out of the car. But with some luck and a lot of willing, we’ve all made it to this bare land. We’re happy to reunite, comfortable and generally goofy as we follow a trail past deer tracks and occasionally stop to listen to bird calls.


Read Full Post »

Tomorrow is a monumental event. Thus far our extensive, exhaustive and sometimes circus-like search for land has produced little in the way of results. However, Ithaca seems to be beckoning us like a siren calling through the misty seas. A call so strong even munchkins have flown in planes and business executives from Manhattan have taken off their suits in favor of knee-high rubber boots.

Tomorrow, the brothers and sisters of the still to be renamed Green Nettle Dacha shall all go together to look at a place that they just may decide to call home. That is of course barring unforeseen disasters such as broken limbs, chiggers and people who don’t like overly motivated and under skilled farmers.

Pictures will be forthcoming!


Read Full Post »

warmer weather?

So the Dacha still wants to be up north, but maybe a wee bit less north, since the growing season starts in June up in the ‘dacks. A new possibility, inspired by my reading of a book on Eco Village at Ithaca, the Dacha might want to be friends with the Eco Village. And here is weather situation for any carrots that might be interested:

Click for Ithaca, New York Forecast

Read Full Post »

In honor of St. Patrick, who always keeps green in style, I thought I’d post this article from The Seattle Times about diversifying the environmental movement:

Although Paula Bock deals mostly with urban landscapes (specifically in the northwest) & we are currently fleeing for the country, I think it’s imperative that we keep these issues close to hand&heart when thinking about community outreach and our own privileges in building our Green Nettle Dacha. How amazing would it be to create an urban sister dacha in a city (or cities!) of our choosing one day?

Keep thinking big (but sustainable)!

❤ sharon

Read Full Post »


Back in the days of my teen angst–when I was just learning how to slam the bedroom door to achieve thecollage by Quinn McDonald most effective sound to destruction ratio (keep the volume high while retaining the basic integrity of the frame)–I used to write down all of my favorite quotes in a college-ruled notebook. Magazine cut-out letters collaged between the faces of Claire Danes and Kurt Cobain, gazing at me from behind the laminated, packing tape covers.

Most of my quotes came from episodes of My So-Called Life or Ani Difranco lyrics which spoke so completely to my adolescent gut. Now, inspirational quotes seem nothing more than fragments of Hallmark cards or banners to put on flyers for non-profit fundraising solicitations. But it’s good to hold words in your mind, to write & document sentences or phrases that open up the synapses to a glowing show of fireworks–no matter if the display is contraband or water bound.

So in dedication to my black combat boots and the shadows of Pink Flamingo Manic Panic still slightly visible on my parent’s bathroom floor, and because we’ve had a bit of a cell-phone service set back of spirits, I will share with you my inspirational QUOTE OF THE DAY brought to you by Mr. John Cage:

The practicality of changing society derives from the possibility of changing the mind.

Put on some Bikini Kill & ruminate on that for a while,

❤ sharon

Read Full Post »

As much as this blog will document our smooth success along the road to building the Green Nettle Dacha, it will just as often descry the obstacles. Swinging both ways, this blog will hopefully become a useful reference tool for those looking for inspiration and advice when it comes to building their own off-the-grid home with their own hands.

Let’s blow the trumpets now so the kiddies know that we’ve been taking cellphone service for granted. I’ve got Verizon, you’ve got T-Mobile, and either plan is useless in most parts of the Adirondack State Park. Big deal for a bunch of peeps that want to live in the middle of nowhere? Sure is! Especially since we won’t be connected to a land line. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »