Spring Canyon Sharing

by Jesse Wolf Hardin on April 27th, 2012
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Greetings on a blustery Spring day, clouds rushing by overhead as the wind whips fallen leaves back treewards.  A sprinkling of rain evaporates almost as quickly as it touches earth, further evidence of the dangers of the coming 2012 fire Southwest fire season… and further reason to be grateful our fire protection system continues to progress.

On-Site Helpers continue to be a blessing, the rotating volunteers gained through the great WWOOF program for organic farm work-exchange.  Helper Rachel has been not only assisting with oven making, cooking and wood gathering, but also making the place safer by meticulously raking up the thick mat of dead grass around the buildings. Every day, helper Greg has been swinging a pick and prying with a rock bar, in order to complete the ditches needed for laying the water sprinkler pipe.  Hopes are that he will still be here when project ramrod Dan’l mounts and tests the sprinklers.  Already I have seen a vision of over 20 of them pumping a steady spray, covering the buildings and immediate surroundings in protective overlapping arcs that could ensure we still have a home should a fire come through, a resident center from which to reach out with healing ministrations again.  We especially look forward to sharing photos of them the first time they are tested, and to the satisfaction felt by those of you who donated to last year’s emergency fire fund.  The clouds will often be scarce during the most dangerous months of May through July, but thanks to the efforts of Dan’l and our helpers, we can make like rain!

Anima Sanctuary On-Site Helpers, left to right: Hanna, Rachel, Fritz & Greg (with visiting, computer-bound herbalist 7Song)


Other projects being worked on simultaneously are an outdoor, open-walled kitchen that will feature a porcelain sink, antique gas stove and wood stove from Trail Boss.  An amazing Dan’l-designed composting latrine with a hut that slides on wheels from one composting bin to the next.   And cold frames made of cinder blocks and salvaged windows, that may soon be getting filled with dirt and planted… our first ever critter-proof growing environ.  As I write this, talented helper Hanna is assisting with sewing projects, while her sweetheart Fritz cuts wood for the latrine framing, and Loba bakes pie and bread.  Loba has loved preparing meals for the guests, as well as teaching them what she knows, and soon she will be able to bake in the Indian style horno mud oven that Fritz and crew have very nearly finished.  In the next week or so, I will try to make time to post pictures and some of the tale of its construction, with notes about how these wonderful natural ovens work.

Anima Outdoor Kitchen construction, left to right: Fritz, Trail Boss, Dan'l (on roof) & Hanna


Fritz is a strapping tall, red-bearded, Viking-lookin’ fellow with a friendly, booming voice, who has put a remarkable amount of energy into every project that he works on.  Knowledgeable about many things, he’s also been great at instructing our other helpers and apportioning tasks, seeing that things flow and progress on the days that Dan’l can’t be here.  His glad-hearted assistance will be immediately missed, when the canyon says goodbye next weekend to him, and the helpful Hanna and Rachel.  Thank you all, from all of us, from the sanctuary itself, and from me personally.  I wish you deep blessings and wild adventures to follow!

Hanna and Fritz sometimes take jobs at the circus when not working and clowning at Anima.


Without both our On-Site Helpers and Outreach Helpers, there would be no way to get the essential projects done and still do the amount of teaching, writing and organizing we do.  They make possible the amount of focus we give students, books, magazine and conference, and in this way helping not only the land but also the Anima efforts to give to this world.

Anyone interested in volunteering for 30 days or more, is welcome to click on, download and fill out our: On-Site Helper Application

There is much I need to write today, from awaiting emails and my Plant Healer column, to a fun debunking, paradigm-bashing article for a Canadian firearms journal, pulling the veil of myth out from in front of another famous but power abusing lawman of the Old West.  The new band we hired for the Traditions In Western Herbalism Conference needs a contract, and the Plant Healer articles we’ve accepted need editing and placement.  My novel The Medicine Bear needs a back cover and website description… but before all that, I felt a need to share the latest goings-on with our extended family and community of purpose.  Hence, this blog post.

Much good is happening, and as always, that good involves you.

Categories: Our Life in The Wilderness

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