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We have hops at the house. They are doing pretty well on the trellis at the west corner of the house. Maybe in a month we’ll be able to harvest the cones and…make some beer!

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We have a little vegetable garden area in front of the house. We don’t get a lot of sun due to the surrounding structures, but in the afternoon, it gets serious solar energy in the months of July and early August.

Years ago we took apart some of the old back deck and some of the front porch and created raised beds. We’ve tried to improve the soil over the years but the nearby trees have really gotten the better of it all. Insidious roots!

So on the raised beds, we do container gardening.

This year we have some tomatoes and some cucumbers:

There are some “walking Egyptian onions” which create onion sets at the tops of their leaves and then they fall over, and start growing from the set where they’ve landed. So they sort of “walk” around. Ours have propagated a bit, but it’s a tough site.

You can also see some of our herbs – we have lavender, various mints, and rosemary. I think the large star-shaped thing is evening primrose, just starting out. And you can see some marigolds that don’t much like the soil.

Then (below) we have the west bed, and it really looks like it needs some carpentry. Meanwhile, there are cucumbers and basil, and then a lot of tomatoes in containers up at the front fencerow. Usually we get a lot of cherry tomatoes out of the one little corner of the yard which gets more than 4 hours of sun per day!

There are some Jerusalem artichokes in the left side of this pic, and they are growing quite well. Hope we can remember to pull them up so we can cook them this year!

Yummy Dinner

Each Wednesday evening, we put together a nice meal. Usually we have guests. It is often quite fun.

One member of the house cooks, or rather, engineers the entire meal and does all the clean-up, for all the other housies. Sometimes the other housemates help out. Actually, some housemates always do some part of it – like set the table, or, set up the tables in order to be set.

The meal is always awesome, and it’s a great way for people to stay connected in these busy lives we lead.

This was a meal by Samantha (on right) – here she is explaining the meal to everyone. Looks like we are set up here to eat out on the deck! Yay for summer!

The salad looks AMAZING!

Yum!

On June 2nd, we hosted a delightful gathering of friends, neighbors, and even a few alumni (who are also friends!) at the house at 64 Wendell St.

It’s been 76 years since people came together to be a cooperative group, and 56 since they purchased 64 Wendell Street in 1963.

Each year we host an “open house” to welcome folks into the scene and to share the space. Often, we have a lot of guests who have never been to the place. It is good to provide an introduction and orientation.

This year we had quite a few alumni and we held a “story time” for about half an hour and people shared some of their recollections of life in the coop. Here are Paul, Fred, Litu, Nancy, Laura, and Dan, spanning the 60’s up to just a couple of years ago.

Below is a good full-porch showing of some of the guests!

Here are a few of Fred Myer, one of the founders of the current CCC Trust in 1963, who helped purchase 64 Wendell Street back in the day. He loves telling the stories:

Paul Hollings who lived here in the 80’s and 90’s for about ten years shared a recollection:

There’s always a party in the kitchen!

We found some old photos and had Paul re-create the pose from back in the day! [We are still one of those rare places that subscribes to a paper newspaper for the kitchen table…]

Here are the current trustees of the Cambridge Cooperative Club Trust, one current resident and two alumni.

Here’s some of the alumni again. The place seems to create smiles all around…

Here’s a couple of the old-timers catching up…

Current members and guest enjoying the beginning of the party.

Some guests getting a drink. It was good to have some kids at the party.

Litu catching up with Fred in the living room. We did not quite get the musical instruments playing, but it was a very fine party.

IMG_0518Warm, sunny weather was late in coming to New England this year. But that did not deter the intrepid Wombats from heading north the first weekend in May—into the cold, dark and wet woods of New Hampshire for our annual weekend getaway.

If you knew us, you’d know we find beauty everywhere and enjoyed exploring the woods outside of Wolfesboro and the little village on the lake.

What do we do on our retreats, you ask?

Mostly, retreats serve as an opportunity to reset and regroup on issues we identify throughout the year as needing our attention—everything from developing better communication skills to updating/refining or devising new policies and procedures. Most important is the time we spend together for camaraderie—cooking, games and hanging out sampling local brews, coffees, recipes, etc.

One of the more memorable moments this year was an exercise in developing empathy through listening. First, we paired up and spent an hour one-on-one discussing our personal stories with two separate partners. Then we met to recount our partners’ stories—identifying some key messages and takeaways, and the process by which we improve our listening. Without getting into too much detail, the exercise provided good learning around empathic listening, something we’ve identified as an critical skill to building a successful cooperative environment.

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We had a wonderful party on the Saturday night of Halloween weekend. Tons of people came over.

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Everyone was generous and we raised over $650 for the Lambi Fund – to help with huricaine recovery in Haiti.

Thank you to everyone who got into the spirit of the holiday and dressed up – it was a lot of fun.

Thank you to all who brought goodies to the party and to those who were able to make a donation.

See you (or your alter-ego) next year!

Summer is here!

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Summer is here and we are enjoying some pleasant Wednesday dinner’s on our back deck. Never wanting to adhere to the regular “norms” of others, here’s a view looking up from the deck of our natural tree canopy that offers much appreciated shade in the summertime.

We have now found out 11th housemate to move-in on Sept 1. Stay tuned for updates on our recent changes at the CCC!