Ancona Ducklings at Hawk Holler

Raising heritage fowl off the grid challenges us on how to increase the flock. Not enough power for a typical incubator. Difficulties providing consistent heat for babies when they hatch or come from mail order. We have been experimenting in using the old fashioned way…..a broody hen. Simple so you say…let the mama do it. Well there are some points to consider.

You are at the whim of nature. This plays out in several ways. The sex of your hatch is up in the air. Not just pullets (females), guaranteed a few or most will be roosters. Are the eggs fertile and will they take?  Candling is an art to figure out. The learning curve is accelerated by the first rotten egg you experience. Will the broody hen be a good mama or will she abandon the nest  for some reason. And with ducks, all domesticated ones except the muscovy came from the mallards, and have had the broody instinct bred out.                                     

Fortunately for us we were able to convince the sort of broody duck hen to sit for 28 days on her nest. So now we have 4 ducklings. They escaped the black snake by the savvy mother getting them out of the nest when they were less then 1 day old. She did abandon the 4 other eggs.  One was actually hatching, so some quick thinking, a hot water bottle, and wool sweater sleeve allowed the duckling to survive.  All are doing well and growing so fast.  Still don’t know if they are hens or drakes, that will take awhile to figure out. And the black snake…it got away. Let’s just hope it’s pulling double duty on the voles and mice!

 

Steve Torma ~ Keeper of the Flame

In this post we profile one of our villagers.

“My whole life has been leading toward me doing this role.”

Steve Torma is guiding Earthaven through the awkward teen years as Earthaven’s Fire Keeper. As Fire Keeper, Steve seeks to honor and value the community history while accepting change and valuing transformation.

Steve sees Earthaven as one of the places on the planet that’s grappling with what humans need to do to evolve as a species. Steve believes that for Earthaven to thrive, we need to balance our attention between developing the physical and cultural aspects of the village. To keep this balance, he uses the four-quadrant view of the Integral Model:

  • I quadrant – how I view reality, what I like and don’t like
  • It quadrant– my body and things, such as food and housing
  • We quadrant – relationships between two or more people
  • Its quadrant – systems that we are part of, such as collective buildings, the ecosystem, and external governing bodies

During the first 15 years of the community, Earthaven placed most of its attention in the It and Its quadrants — developing the roads, water systems, community buildings, housing, and farms needed to house the village. With some of those completed, Steve sees “my role is being a catalyst in the I and we quadrants so we can evolve more successfully – be more creative and productive.”

Steve explains more about the Integral Model at Earthaven in a series of videos:

Steve has a strong appreciation for “the value of the group mind and synergy of the collective intelligence.” As Fire Keeper, he is the leader of the Fire Orbo, which is responsible for the overall well being of the community, including peace, safety, spirit, and community process, and is also the President of the homeowner’s association. He is supported in this role by his co-Fire Keeper, Kimchi Rylander, and a committee of Fire Tenders.

Steve’s personal transformation mirrors Earthaven’s. When he came to Earthaven Steve was in poor health and made his living selling books at conferences. After rebuilding his health and co-creating the Village Terraces neighborhood, Steve turned his attention to developing a teaching and coaching practice. Steve teaches through the REAL Center where he offers courses on compassionate communication and the art of intimacy. He also offers personal coaching and mediation services, and is available for workshop and consulting for groups and businesses.

For fun, Steve likes to build and fix things, enjoys lifting heavy objects, and gets deep satisfaction out of seeing the richness of life at Village Terraces and Earthaven. “With each passing year we become more of a village. I enjoy watching the children being able to walk around and knowing that they are held in the safety of our village. I also like having our own cow and chickens.”

What is Earthaven?

In this video, Earthaven Fire Keeper, Steve Torma, answers the question “what is Earthaven to you?”.