‘Shire by the Sea’ is one of the pet names we have bestowed upon this land we are dwelling. Evocative of Tolkien’s Middle Earth, this magical place seems cloaked between an elusive Elvin mist of the Undying Lands, and a forgotten Hobbiton nook beyond the South Farthing. If this sounds strange to your ears or you’re not familiar with Lord of the Rings lore, take heed, you will feel the magic stir the moment you step foot on the land, as a long forgotten memory seems to shimmer in the mind’s eye…
The 3 Sisters is a gigantic Ent triplet Sitka Spruce that is the tallest tree on the land, overseeing the greatest 360 of the surrounding vistas. Juan de Fuca spreads out towards the South and the old John Muir Barn hails to the East. The 3 Sisters has swings, including a surfboard and tire swing, climbing platforms and will gradually have up to 7 levels reaching towards the Sky.
Nootka Roseis a prolific companion on the land, providing lots of food for the local bees 🐝 and delicious medicines in the forms of teas, meads, and marmalades.
The tipi is a sacred space devoted to ceremony, celebrations and sleep by the cozy fire 🔥 We had a bear tear into it this year, and although we patched it up, it looks like we’ll be getting a new canvas in the coming year, with the old canvas being up-cycled for our sweat hut.
Nature is our playground and school~Elemental Academy
This years Autumnal Harvest Fest at Chautauqua Cascadia was a resounding success! From the juiciest blackberries and dripping ripe plums, we gathered and made honeyed meads right off the Shire premises. A roasted pig 🐖 from the local Cast Iron Farm was a highlight….we selected, harvested, processes, shaved, and bathed our pig in a salty brine…only to finish it on our cast-iron tub which was transformed into a giant Dutch oven grill! The taste of this slow cooked offering was beyond description as many of the attendees (including this scribe) could hardly wait till dinner proprieties and sampled handfuls with guttural grunts and irrepressible squeals of animal joy! So much love was poured into every process, from the harvesting of food, such as Haida potatoes 🥔 and wild Shaggy Parasol mushrooms right from our land, to delicious seasonal elixirs. Our community is growing stronger and more integrated with every Chautauqua. Even with the inevitable hiccups in beginning a visionary enterprise like our Elemental Collective, we are rocking it. With martial arts, yoga, live music, dance, elemental spa, and the planting of Garry oak acorns 🌰 for future land regeneration, we have begun to coalesce our mission with gustatory gusto! But enough words…let the images speak for themselves…enjoy!