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Dancing Rabbit 7-9

Cob here, coming to you live from DR Ecovillage for a report on what us rabbits have been up to so far this July. You’ve probably noticed the heat yourself, but it hasn’t been hot enough to slow down our schedule of activities. Gardens and buildings both keep growing, but July is clearly an outstanding month for celebration.

We began our largest-ever visitor session a week ago Monday…hosting 19 folks, including many young children, in the first week. One of our own little rabbits made good use of the opportunity and held his 6th birthday party a day early to include all the visiting children. They had a grand time with Meadow playing the piano for a game of musical chairs before moving outside for a hidden-candy hunt. A rollicking game of pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, a no-hands Zimmerman’s donut eating contest, three-legged races, and other games served to completely exhaust the adults well before the cake and watermelon made an appearance.

Most of the visiting children have now departed, and we’re down to a normal-sized visitor group. Whew. Before the one-week folks left, the whole visitor group spent days preparing for and hosting an ice cream social for the entire community…with homemade ice cream, vegan sorbet, and an amazing variety of toppings foraged locally. It was all delicious, and certainly set the bar high for future visitor groups since they pulled this together secretly even while helping to plant trees, attending DR workshops, helping with different rabbit building projects, and of course playing ultimate Frisbee. One of the visitors even gave a workshop of his own and taught Morris dancing for interested rabbits.

I haven’t run the exact numbers, but we seem to have more birthdays in July than in any other month. Several members even share the same dates, so we have both birthdays and observed-birthdays to celebrate. Last week Cecil (one of DR’s original founders) arrived on his own birthday to participate in a few others; Jennifer celebrated by taking a number of rabbits on a canoe/kayak trip on the Fabius river; Meadow spent hers the following day in recovery, making good use of her new hammock while others stopped by with birthday greetings; and Alline postponed her birthday a few times (neat trick, if it could only be done indefinitely) finally turning a year older at a 70’s dance party, complete with a suitcase full of polyester and pleather clothing so we could all dress “appropriately”. Saturday night fever ran rampant, and we proved to ourselves that we ARE the original village people!

Not all the social happenings were quite so energetic. Folks from Sandhill and Red Earth Farms joined us for a more casual picnic-style gathering at DR’s new pond on July 4th for good food, swimming, horseshoes, impromptu music and singing, fireworks, and in true Dancing Rabbit style….a meeting to determine the name of the new pond. We did not reach true consensus, so we’ll see which of the final two or six most popular suggestions survives into common usage. Suggested names included everything from an obscure (and long) acronym to the cleverly crafted “New Pond”. The most popular options included “North Shore”, “The Bay of Ralph” or simply “The Bay” after Ralph Erickson who dug the hole for us, “New Pond”, and “Cottonwood Pond” after the big poplar that was removed during pond construction. What will the final answer be? Stay tuned.

Not all the celebrations were entirely happy, and we all extend our condolences to Ziggy, who traveled back east for his grandfather’s funeral. His passing was unexpected, but at 80+ years there were many good memories to look back upon. Ziggy will be gone for another week to attend a wedding before returning to DR and work on his new house. Meanwhile Thomas has led the DR Tree Team, visitors, and other volunteer rabbits on many forays into the bottomland to plant literally hundreds of trees. Ted, Sara, and Aurelia are back from a month of R&R, so no doubt the remaining hundreds of trees will go in the ground even faster!

Several new residents will arrive over the next few days, the Food Network is already on-site filming, our visitors continue to help out and learn about living in an ecovillage, and we have a private tour for roughly 90 people scheduled in addition to our regular public tour this week. Be sure to read next week’s installment for a report on these activities plus results from Bear’s rockin’ karaoke-birthday-ain’t-over-till-the-batteries-are-dead-party, and Liat’s one-year anniversary and bus-naming party…feel free to submit your own suggestions!

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is a nonprofit and residential community that demonstrates ecological sustainability in Rutledge, MO. We offer tours on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month at 1pm. Our next tour this season will be on July 12th. Please call us at (660) 883-5511 to let us know you plan to attend. For more information about Dancing Rabbit, please see our website at, or come join one of our tours…we’d love to show you around!