Thursday, May 8, 2008

Trip to Animal Farm, Part 3

The car made a U-turn, and the bird-watchers came back to the pavilion to tell us that we were about to be rescued from our lonely sojourn.

Within ten minutes we heard voices. A group of about ten people met us at the pavilion. The leader, Mr. Cass Van Woerden, welcomed us and invited us all to follow him back to the learning center. We did.

Seating ourselves in the bamboo chairs or on the large window seat, we listened eagerly as Van Woerden, relaxed and happy, told the Animal Farm story.

The first tour stop was the bathroom hut: a two-toilet facility located between the pavilion and learning center. We didn't go in the bathroom. Instead, Van Woerden lifted the lid of septic tank and invited us to peer into it. I saw not one eager face at this instruction. Instead, the visitors sidled cautiously nearer until they could actually look in and see all the disgusting. . .

leaves, nothing but leaves. The system, explained Van Woerden, consisted of leaves and thousands of worms.There were three more underground reservoirs downhill from the primary tank where the water was filtered. A Montessori class comes on a regular basis to camp on the premises and even under their heavy usage, there has never been a problem with the system.

Next we visited the Van Woerden home. Van Woerden's wife Gita had prepared vegetable wraps, fresh from the garden, and deviled eggs for us.

The house features many sliding glass doors. The outside appears to be inside.. When we were in the learning center, one of the ladies asked about using wool batts for insulation because she had an excess of them. I glanced at Emma, and she gave me the secret eyebrow raise to let me know that she had recognized a fellow fiber nut. She made a beeline for this lady while we were in the house.

We left the house and began the tour of the gardens, all ten acres of them.

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