The theme for the last several weeks at Prairie Hill has been working together, and stretching ourselves thin with the work required. But the results are inspiring. For instance, our living room has been transformed by beautiful pieces of furniture, a rug, lamps, and expert skill in arrangement by some. We are now having meetings here, as well as just hanging out between tasks. It has a wonderful feel. It is beginning to feel like home.
On another front, we're developing the outside of our community, the land. Up on top of our site, there are more than three acres free of construction. It's a beautiful, high and sunny area, and we have fenced in a generous space for a garden. Already there are kale, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, beans, squash and herbs up in the community part of the garden, and some individuals are also planting on separate plots inside the fencing. We've planted several fruit trees up there, and soon will be "heeling in" 125 small bare-rooted saplings from the state forestry nursery: 25 red oak, 25 white oak, 25 river birch, 25 nannyberry, and 25 redbud. These trees will be protected by the double fencing around our garden area: one sturdy wire fence, and outside that a tall 8' deer fencing net. When construction is finished, we'll have these trees to spread around our site.
Down by Miller Avenue, not only have we planted many flowering trees, but also a large bio-retention cell (see previous blog post). Below you can see that now the area around the cell has been graded, smoothed, and planted with buffalo grass, a deep-rooted alternative to regular lawn grass, not needing mowing. The bio-retention cell has now been planted with a variety of flowering plants that are hardy in both dry and wet conditions. Within the next few weeks, we'll be able to see them rising up over the sides of the cell and brightening the outlook to the east.
Now that our common house is completed, our guest rooms are available, thanks to a crew of dedicated members to set them up. Using contributed beds and other furniture, they are attractive and comfortable, and already several people have come to spend time in them. One guest room is called the Nancy Drew Room, and the other the Grant Wood Room. One of our members has taken on the responsibility for scheduling and organizing the guest room use, and some of our first visitors are shown below, visiting Michele from Denmark!