With apologies to the Beatles, the Federation of Egalitarian Communities, and the state of Vermont.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Chapter Three: The Group Gathers

   "Now Luna Lagoon, was back in the commune..."

Luna was showing Ralph (aka ex-best man friend) and Ed (aka pretty city boyfriend) around the place she had invested their cash in.  They had brought a friend from Boston with them named Cat.

"All it's gonna take is some folks to work the land," Luna said.  She waved her arms over a patch of weeds.

"I'll help you," said Cat.  "I'm getting tired of life by the airport anyway.  I can't even think when the planes take off."

Luna was delighted.  She didn't have time to reply because there was a rundown old Rabbit pulling up the dirt drive.  Out popped four folks.  She recognized Dan but he had companions.

She was surprised to see Ed make for the car even faster than she did.  "Stan, you old dog," he said.

"Ed!  Ed!  What are you doing here???"

"I put money into this land.  Luna here is trying to build a commune."

"I know!" said Stan.  "I'm here to join!"

"Oh, no," said Ed.

"You two know each other?" asked Luna.

"We dated for a while," said Ed.  "Then Stan found some fairy folk who were going south to join a farm in Wilmington.  That was before I met Ralph."

Luna turned to Stan.  "Oh, wow.  So you're my ex-lover's current lover's ex-lover.  So pleased to meet ya."

"Likewise!  Absolutely!" said Stan.

"This is Sal and Nancy," Dan said.  "They're from Old Corn.  They want to see what it's like to farm in the north country.  Sal, Nancy, Stan, this is Luna, the brains behind all this."

Luna waved Cat over.  "This is Cat, who just decided to join us.  Hey, now there's six of us."

"What about them?" Sal asked, pointing at Ralph and Ed.

"I think we could be in the frequent visitors category," Ralph said.

   "Now she and the man, who called himself Dan, were in the next room at the farmhouse..."

The next morning, after everyone wished Ralph and Ed goodbye, Luna dragged Dan into the den for a private conversation.

"Okay, now that we got people," she said, "I think we'd better get farming.  Got any ideas how to get all these folks organized?"

"At Old Corn they had all these community meetings to figure out what they were doing."

"Sounds good to me.  You want to run it?"

"Sure.  We can do it the way they do.  They make all their decisions by concentrating."

"What does that mean?" Luna asked.

"Well it seems like if they concentrate people hard enough, everybody ends up agreeing."

Fifteen minutes later, the two of them plus Sal, Nancy, Stan, and Cat, were standing together looking at the land.

"I'm calling on Luna," Dan said.  Fortunately no one else really wanted to talk at that point.

"We got to get farming.  Anybody know anything about growing food?"   Luna actually knew lots about growing food but didn't want to be the only one doing anything.

"Sure," said Sal.  "At Old Corn there was lots of farming to do."

"We did farming in Wilmington!" said Stan.  "And I helped!  Sometimes!"

"Well, we're gonna need to start with getting rid of some of these weeds."

"We picked weeds at Old Corn," said Sal.

"And packed them," added Nancy.

"I know every weed that grows in East Boston," said Cat.

"Well, I'm sure that some of them are growing up here," said Luna.  "Let's see if we can get a few of these weeds out of here so we can plant some stuff."

By noontime, the two largest fields on the land were bare.  Sal and Nancy had organized the picked weeds into twelve categories and were busy packing them up.  Cat had several piles of Boston-like weeds.  Stan was leaning on a shovel, supervising.  And Luna was going over the next stage with Dan, talking with him about what they would plant.

At some point it dawned on everyone that no one had made lunch.  For some reason they all turned and looked at Stan.

"I'll make something!" he said.  "Right away!"

By one o'clock it became evident that the food stash that Luna had gotten from the general store earlier that week was getting low.

"Okay," said Luna.  "At these Equal Opportunity Communes everyone shares their income."

"That's right," said Nancy.  "We been sharing our income with everyone at Old Corn for the last six months.  That's why we don't have any."

"I'd share with you!" said Stan.  "If I had any money!"

"I've got two dollars," said Cat and handed them to Luna.

Luna sighed and looked at Dan.  He reached into his wallet and pulled out a twenty.

"That's the last of my cash," he said.

"We're gonna need to figure out a way to make some money," Luna said.  "It's going to be a little time before the stuff we're gonna plant this afternoon will be big enough to pick."

They all sat and thought for a few minutes.

"I can bake," said Nancy. "Bread and muffins and biscuits and cookies.  And lots of different kinds of pies."

"Me, too," said Cat.  "I bake really good organic vegan gluten free cupcakes and I can make a really mean stevia frosting for them."

"I was thinking of putting a farm stand up by the road anyway," said Luna.  "Maybe we could use it to sell baked goods while we wait for our crops to grow."

"I could build a roadside stand," said Sal.

"I can help," said Dan.  "I don't have a lot of experience farming, but I can swing a hammer."

Nancy and Cat drove into town to buy supplies, while Dan and Sal helped Luna begin planting.  Stan cleaned up.

When Nancy and Cat came back they began baking, and baking, and baking.  Luna continued sowing seeds while Sal and Dan started building.  Stan was everywhere, holding seeds for Luna, nails for Sal and Dan, and pie plates, loaf pans, and muffin and cupcake tins for Nancy and Cat.  He also managed to squeeze in a nap.

  "Luna had come, covered with crumbs, to taste all the breads on arrival..."

Of course there were taste tests.  Of course everyone ate up the first batch of goods that Nancy and Cat made.

"That was excellent bread," said Luna.

"And amazing cupcakes," added Dan.

"Thank you," Nancy said.

"Thank you," Cat said.

By the next morning, the stand was up and filled with goodies.  Sal had made up a sign that said, "Chthonic Baked Goods and Yggdrasil Cupcakes".

The road by the farm was not a busy route, but there was very little to do around the town and the word spread fast.

Within days, there was a line of cars waiting to pick up pastries, mostly from the surrounding towns, but some coming from as far away as New York and New Hampshire.

Suddenly, there was money coming in and crops coming up.  There were also interesting things they were learning about living together.


  1. Huh? Why did they pack weeds?

  2. This is a play on the work at Acorn of packing *seeds* (for their seed business).

    Two of the most common jobs they have at Acorn are packing seeds (putting the seeds in packages for sale) and picking seeds (picking packages of the various seeds for customer's orders). For humor in the story, I've changed it to picking and packing 'weeds'.

    1. Huh. Sorry, not funny... baffling. As is "onassis." You have a warped sense of humor, my friend... ;-)