Making Maple Syrup

by Raven Glomus

It’s late winter and the nights are cold and some of the days are reasonably warm. This is when the sap runs in trees. Here at Glomus Commune, several folks, led by Taliesin, have been tapping maple trees to make syrup. The process is sometimes called “sugaring”.

I published two Facebook posts about the process, trying to document it from collecting the sap to boiling it down. Here’s the first post:

One of our neighbors, Jeff, left a comment about our sugaring history and, having only been here a bit over a year, I realized I had written “every year” in error. Fortunately, Rachael had the correct history.

Once the sap is collected, it’s boiled down. Taliesin worked at this a long time.

We now have homemade maple syrup for pancakes and waffles (and a jar of ‘maple cream’ to spread on toast). We grow vegetables and raise livestock here, but we also use our land in other ways, and collecting sap when we can is one of them.

Making Maple Syrup

Donut Privatization

You read the title right. I’ve often talked about how Twin Oaks offers public/private options. You can take something out of ‘commie clothes’ and make it yours if you want to. Of course, then you have to wash it yourself.

Apparently this also applies to food and when goodies are dumpstered and there isn’t enough to go around, privatization can be a problem. Jules from Twin Oaks published this post on our Facebook feed.

This post got quite a few comments–ranging from serious questions to humorous responses.

You can live in a commune, but folks were still raised in a capitalist culture, and sometimes a scarcity mentality prevails.

Donut Privatization

Feeding the HONK! activists

We dumpstered enough food to feed an entire festival. Here is how.

I am lucky enough to live at Glomus Commune with Theresa and Rachael and Telos and Sophia, all of whom are sitting together in the video. But there are also other communards who get involved the dumpster diving and the Honk! festival–Anande, who also lives here, and Jules, from Twin Oaks, are especially prominent in the video. It’s a way that we take our communal values out into the world. – Raven

Feeding the HONK! activists

Outside is…

In April, we reposted a couple of things from Anande Ozark’s Facebook site. Anande lives here at Glomus commune and used the site to point out the advantages of outdoor living.

Trigger warning: Contains a picture of cut up meat that was too graphic for Facebook to publish without a warning.

Here is the first post:

It’s this next one that raised controversy:

Here is what came up on Facebook under this:

If you clicked on the picture you saw the original image, which was this somewhat bloody picture:

These were the only two pictures that Anande put in this series, but they are good reminders that not everything comes from the grocery store.

Outside is…

Dumpster Hauls Never Get Old!

Folks at the communes do a lot of dumpstering. Free food, much less waste in the world, active reusing, and the loveliness of surprise–you just never know what you will find. There are regular dumpstering posts on the Commune Life Facebook page and I am not going to bring most of them over here, but I really liked this one and it reached 443 people! Theresa is a master dumpster diver and puts out a lot of these posts. Here’s Theresa’s take on dumpstering.

With that many people looking at it, and 78 of what Facebook calls ‘Engagements’, it’s curious that the post only got one comment, and that one reminding us to be very careful:

PS For those who don’t know, ‘Dump-ra’ is the supposed god/goddess of dumpstering, and who you thank for the sweet surprises.

Dumpster Hauls Never Get Old!