The Federation of Egalitarian Communities - East Wind Community Click Here to view the East Wind Image Gallery East Wind Community HC-3 Box 3370-WEB Tecumseh MO 65760 phone: (417) 679-4682 fax: 417-679-4684 email: web: Established in 1974, we are a diverse group of about 60 adults and 4 children living on 1045 acres in Missouri's beautiful Ozark Hills. Our businesses include all-natural East Wind Nut butters and Utopian Rope Sandals. Our membership is very diverse, we have no central leadership, and we practice democracy. Our work lives are busy and varied, but we always find time to relax and enjoy community meals, music jams, and Ozark sunsets. Our land is one of a kind, very rural, and filled with all sorts of wildlife. We encourage individuality and diversity in our members. We are looking for skilled, hardworking, responsible and self motivated individuals that share in our values. Prospective members are encouraged to contact membership; currently we are most in need of plumbing skills, electrical skills, and carpentry. Drop ins are not accepted, you must contact membership to visit. Below are stories, blogs and articles on Eastwind Community. en agriculture versus wild foraging <p>I've spent the past seven years building my gardening skills, and the past five years standing firmly behind permaculture as a solution to saving the earth. I love gardening. It calms my anxious mind, so it has made so much sense to me that being physically active and working outside with plants is my heart path. <br /><br />Last summer, I showed up at Teaching Drum, permaculture certified, with my Newcomb's wildflower guide in hand, looking for someone to teach me something, as I've done my whole life.<br /><br />But no one wanted to "teach" me anything. They wanted to create the space for me to learn more about myself, and find out what I really wanted to learn and do with my time. <br />I knew that I wanted to gather wild food and learn practical, primitive crafts, such as hide tanning and basketmaking, so I structured my days around that. <br /><br />Even now I struggle with creating my own structure here, which means figuring out what I want to focus on, and pushing myself through the fumbles of learning something new, and then not feeding the thought that's often in the back of my head that says, "You're wasting your time. Time is money, Wren. Your input is only worthy if there's output."<br /><br />Last year, we gathered hundreds of pounds of wild leeks(ramps), wild rice, black walnuts, cisco fish and sucker fish, and deer meat, and our freezer was packed full of food for the winter. Aside from this, we ate seasonal greens such as milkweed and basswood leaves, and berries here and there.<br /><br />Throughout it all I wondered how wild gathering fit with gardening.I imagined having my own land in the future; hunting, gathering, and gardening.<br /><br />About a month ago, I got into a debate with someone about agriculture. He shared his perspective that any type of agriculture, even permaculture, was just another way that humans play out the modern mindset of being in control of the land, and as soon as humans transitioned from hunter gatherers to farmers, the population began booming and continued to grow to an unsustainable amount. <br /><br />I defended permaculture as the solution to feeding such a huge population.<br /><br />Now, the population sits at 7 billion people, so many people that we would need 2 more planets to sustain us if we continue on like we do. But the harsh reality is that humans are reproducing and destroying the earth at a rate so fast that some kind of natural disaster will most likely kill most of us. We cannot continue like this much longer. And this trend all started when we began to control the land through agriculture.<br /><br />I started reading and studying this perspective more, and I realized that maybe I was defending myself in this debate. I was afraid of letting go of an easier solution, and my identity as a gardener. I was afraid of that hopeless feeling that I don't fit into the modern world anymore, and that there's no way things are going to change until they really have to. But here I am faced with it. People are jumping on the organic gardening boat, while I jump off it.<br /><br />And what do I do now? I could sit in fear of it all, fear that I can't do anything to help anymore. But, what if there is something I could do? Maybe it would start with just a small step in a big project that seems overwhelming, just like the projects that I take on here at Teaching Drum.<br /><br />Maybe it would just start with learning how to make a fire- a fire without matches, with just two pieces of wood held in my bare hands. <br /><br />Maybe it would start with really, truly listening to someone when they are speaking. <br /><br />Or...maybe I could learn to tell a story, a story passed on through many generations, that gives a lesson about how to live life simply; a lesson that guides our children on a path that looks at the earth and sees how symbiotic the relationship really is, and that control will only destroy us.<br /><br /><a href="">Is Sustainable Agriculture an Oxymoron?</a></p> East Wind Community Sun, 02 Feb 2014 15:16:00 +0000 Wren Adi 3839 at processing sinew <p>Northern Wisconsin has reached the middle of the coldest time of the year. To know that I am halfway through feels like a bit of a relief. The sun is gradually rising earlier every morning, giving a very subtle sign of the distant spring. Right now, it's hard for me to see the beauty of winter. My hands are cold, and my face is cold, though I feel incredibly alive in the discomfort.<br /><br /><br /><a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="" height="320" width="240" /></a>a photo from the ice storm in Michigan<br />We've been eating a lot of fish lately, which I've been enjoying, but it's nice to have a change sometimes. Yesterday, we picked up a a very young deer that got hit by a car. I spent the morning skinning and butchering the deer, outside in the cold. I cut off the backstrap for dinner-it's the most popular part of the meat because it's so tender and tastes the best. While in the process, I decided to save the sinew. Sinew is the tough piece of tissue in the meat that can be dried, pounded, and used as a really strong thread for sewing. The backstrap and the achille's tendon contain the best quality sinew.<br /><br /><a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="" height="240" width="320" /></a>I laid the sinew on a board to dry by the woodstove.<br /><a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="" height="240" width="320" /></a>pounding dried sinew from an achille's tendon<br /><a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="" height="240" width="320" /></a>Sinew can be used in leather working for sewing items such as knife sheaths<br />I was really happy to share a dinner of wild meat last night; wild meat from a deer that I helped carry off the road and then process with my own hands, while taking a moment to pause and feel the sadness of mourning its death, and thanking it for nourishing my body.</p> East Wind Community Thu, 23 Jan 2014 02:04:00 +0000 Wren Adi 3822 at What does eating a 50 cent donut really mean? <p><br /><br />A few days ago, I made a much stronger commitment to myself than I ever have before. The commitment was about healing my relationship with food. <br />I went into town yesterday to take a book order to the post office. When I got there, I realized I had forgotten to bring the address with me. I asked the woman at the counter if she had a phone I could borrow to call someone back at the Drum who could tell me the address. She said, “No.” <br />I felt angry at myself that I had wasted time and gas to drive into town. I stopped at the gas station to get gas, and when I went in to pay, I saw donuts sitting on the counter for 50 cents. I chose not to get the donuts after convincing myself that they were no good for me, and remembering the commitment that I had made to myself.<br />When I got back in the car, I felt really sad. I realized that I usually look forward to going into town so that I can get a special treat that isn’t at Teaching Drum, but I chose not to this time.  I felt sad because I didn’t want to be in town. I didn’t want to have anything to do with the individualized, broken culture of “town.” The special treat I looked forward to was just distracting me from really seeing that. <br /><b>What does the eating the 50 cent donut really mean? </b><br />It means I’m lying to myself about my feelings, and about the reality of my participation in a sedated culture. Sugar is a drug. It gives us that high just long enough to think that we’re content in our lives; content with our 9-5 jobs, with living for the weekend, and by the clock; with our television dramas, or the obsessive hype about weather or celebrities. As if there is nothing else to talk about. Ever wonder if it’s just a distraction?  <br />I don’t think I could have gotten in touch with such an awakening truth if I hadn’t pulled myself away from a distraction. And each time I do, I feel a strong emotion, and I write, and what comes out is surprising, and slowly teaches me more about my place in this universe.</p> East Wind Community Sat, 11 Jan 2014 19:47:00 +0000 Wren Adi 3802 at Christmas 2013, for me, is... <p>An ice storm in Michigan.<br /><br /><a href="" imageanchor="1" title=" "><img border="0" height="240" src="" title=" " width="320" /></a><br /> No electricity, in a candlelit cabin in the woods.<br /><br /><a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="240" src="" title=" " width="320" /></a><a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="240" src="" title=" " width="320" /></a><br />Lots of vegetables cooked over the fire in the woodstove, long walks, and winter craft projects.<br /><br /><a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="320" src="" title=" " width="240" /></a>...and warm fuzzies from the holidays this year, to keep me warm through the rest of the winter.</p> East Wind Community Sun, 29 Dec 2013 23:55:00 +0000 Wren Adi 3789 at Winter is Here <p>About two weeks ago, I came up to Wisconsin from Missouri after being gone for a month. A friend from Teaching Drum picked me up in Milwaukee, and we spent the day there before heading further north.<br /><br /><a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="240" src="" title="" width="320" /></a>at Lake Michigan, in MilwaukeeThe temperature was -5 once we got up to Teaching Drum, and when I stepped out of the car, I felt the hairs in my nose freeze. It was the night of a dead moon. I felt ready for a good night's rest. I made my way down the familiar, dark and narrow path to the cabin where my bed lay. When I finally lay down, I slept lightly, because I was cold. I found more blankets, and then slept well through the rest of the night. When I awoke in the morning, it was -11.<br /><br />The next day I started to settle in. I put on my thick wool pants. I rendered bear fat and cleaned and cooked fish for dinner. I felt happy and at home again.<br /><br /><a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="240" src="" width="320" /></a>I missed bear fat cracklins!<a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="240" src="" width="320" /></a>Sisco caught in NovemberThe temperature stayed sub zero within the first week I returned. I began learning about how to feel comfortable outdoors, by wearing layers of wool clothing, and staying physically active. Myself and about four men were having "work parties" every morning to split and stack wood. All the mens' beards became full of icicles after being outside for a few minutes, and the hair around my face froze too.<br /><br />I've been staying comfortably warm, even though I was really afraid of winter here. Yes, I am cold sometimes, but I don't really mind it, and when the temperature went up into the 20's this week, I felt incredibly warm. I never thought I would appreciate 20 degrees so much.<br /><br /><a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="240" src="" width="320" /></a>Our hides wanted sign at the front entrance.The beauty of the snowy northwoods is hard to describe, and I would trade it over the mosquito summer any day. I spend the days working on the projects in the community, and "wolf running," doing push ups, and climbing trees. Wolf running is running through the woods, imitating the person's movements in front of you.<br /><br /><a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="240" src="" width="320" /></a>The view down from up in a red pine that I climbedYesterday a group of us went on a hike for a couple hours, and we wolf walked the whole way, including across a lake. Wolf walking is simply walking in another's footsteps in the snow. We were all in a line, sometimes losing balance, and laughing to catch our feet in the exact same footprints as the person in front of us, climbing up and down hills, and identifying animal tracks along the way.<br /><br /><a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="320" src="" width="240" /></a><br />Winter is just beginning. It will get colder. I think I'll enjoy it as long as I remember to stay active and spend plenty of time outdoors.<br /><br />More people have come to stay for the winter, so we're pretty full right now. I'm happy there are more people here. There are definitely stressful relationship dynamics, but I feel confident that we will work through it, because we have shown to in the past. I think it's important that we continue to have our healing circles, and practice truth speaking and flagging to give us more clarity about ourselves, and help us in our healing.<br /><br />Flagging is used as a tool to help give someone more awareness about an unhealthy pattern they have. I just recently started flagging other people. I was afraid to flag others for a couple months. I didn't want to be blamed for someone's emotional reaction to being flagged, but then I realized how unhelpful and enabling that is. I would want someone to flag me even if I reacted to it, and blamed the other person, because once I calm down after being flagged, and look at the flag, I am usually really grateful for it.<br /><br />Teaching Drum is not always an easy place to be. Sometimes I get super caught up in self judgement, and it reflects in all my relationships. I think of places I want to run away to, in which I don't have so many mirrors looking back at me. But the reality is, I can't hide anywhere for very long.<br /><br />The saying "Wherever you go, there you are" resonates with me a lot, these days. I'm gonna have to face my fears and self judgement wherever I am. I might as well do it here, while I am young, and have supportive, encouraging people around me who all want the same for themselves too.<br /><br /></p> East Wind Community Sun, 22 Dec 2013 05:25:00 +0000 Wren Adi 3780 at from the quiet cold woods to the warm hilly ozarks <p>I've been living at Teaching Drum for about 2 1/2 months now, and I'm currently in Missouri visiting friends at East Wind, and family in Kansas City.<br /><br />Being away from Teaching Drum has helped me look at my life there more objectively. I spent a lot of emotional energy there trying to catch up to others, and getting down when I perceived myself falling behind.<br /><br />I think that going through the yearlong makes people more adaptable, creative, and strong-emotionally and physically. I haven't done the yearlong, and most of the people I live with right now have.<br />I've seen my clanmates run from place to place, do push ups, climb trees, eat fish heads, canoe for miles on the lake without exhaustion, and then at the end of the day, speak their truth even when they are afraid.<br /><br />To get an idea of some of the people I live with, here's a video someone at Teaching Drum just made, about running in the woods. It's called intuitive running. <br /><br /><a href=""></a><br /><br />I was recorded to be in it for the shadowing piece, but then wasn't put in it because apparently I'm not "very easy or fun to shadow" because I'm not very expressive when I talk.<br /><br />----------------<br />So, the more I pushed myself to become stronger and heal my emotional wounds, the more I got victimized and closed myself off from others. <br />We're all a little too hard on ourselves, and I'm guilty of that. I want to remember that I can choose to be kinder to myself.<br /><br />I recognize my strengths and weaknesses more clearly now. I have grown stronger from being at the Drum. I've been running a few days a week, and doing strength training on the off days. I've been eating wild caught fish and deer, and loads of veggies. I've become more assertive and confident in myself, and also more aware of my unhealthy patterns.<br /><br />Now that I'm currently at East Wind, I'm still running and doing other exercise, flagging myself, and communicating as well as I know how. I have fallen short with food stuff, though. There's an abundance of food here-especially sugar and wheat-and I've been feeling overwhelmed with all of it. I've eaten it a few times, and then felt like I was hungover the next day. The first time I ate sugar here, my teeth hurt! I could feel how it was affecting my body immediately.<br /><br />Lately, I've been feeling kind of afraid of how to relate to world when I'm not at Teaching Drum. Most of those fears come up around food. The second biggest fear comes up with communicating honestly and non-violently with other people. I've been living inside this bubble there, of limited food that fuels my body and makes me feel good, and a pre-set structure of communicating and doing healing work with other people, and I was feeling kind of safe in it. <br />My question now, is how do I encorporate what I've learned into the outside world? How do I adapt, and still be happy and fulfilled?<br /><br />Also, how do I bring back to Teaching Drum the things I miss? I miss things like gardening and close female friends.<br /><br />?? <br /><a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="240" src="" width="320" wta="true" /></a>Me--entering a birch bark and marsh grass wigwam at Teaching Drum-June 2013?? <br />And when I'm not at the Drum, I miss the quiet of the place. The cold became less scary after a while. The snow would simply settle against the deep greens of the pines and firs. So calm; and that was it. Nothing to say, really. I would just watch, and take a deep breath, and know that I don't need an answer to all the questions of my rattling mind. Everything comes slowly, and in time.</p> East Wind Community Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:07:00 +0000 Wren Adi 3735 at When I was <p>When I was at the library the other day I started reading an article in Psychology Today entitled, "Are You Too Good For Your Partner?" At the beginning of the article, and woman asks her friend, "Why do I want to be with people who aren't interested in me, and the people I'm not interested in, want to be with me?" Her friend responded by saying, "You're an 8 chasing 10's, and you're being chased by 6's."</p> <p>At first, I thought, "Hey! Maybe that's me!" and I questioned the truth in advice I had been given by someone else about how I don't accept love from those who really love me, and I seek acceptance from those who don't love, and how that mirrors a lack of acceptance for myself. </p> <p>I also questioned the simplicity of a numbered scale in relationships.</p> <p>Maybe it's true that I am lacking in self acceptance, and it's also true that relationships aren't that simple. Everyone doesn't fit under a number that relates to someone else.</p> <p>However, I've noticed the tendency of my mind to put others above or below me. Honestly, when I'm looking for a partner, I'll note their intelligence, their confidence, and their passion and self motivation for learning. I'll look at other partners they've had in the past. I want to know if we're equals, or if I am inspired by them. Maybe my instinctual nature wants to find the perfect mate to reproduce and evolve with.</p> <p>I also thought about how I spent time too much time in the past really liking people because I had put them up on a pedestal. Were they a 10, and I was an 8? I think I just created that idea in my mind.</p> <p>What does it mean to be a 10, anyway? I think on the days I'm feeling confident in myself, I'm a 10. If I'm feeling down on myself, and unexcited about life, then it makes sense that I would be unattractive, and my number might be lower.</p> <p>I have resolved that we're all ever changing and evolving, and it doesn't make much sense rate and compare others.</p> East Wind Community Fri, 15 Nov 2013 18:07:00 +0000 Wren Adi 3727 at What's going on in my life these days: <p>I've been feeling inspired by friends and people around me to follow anything that brings me joy, despite difficulties, mental or physical, that it will take to get there. I've been running regularly; pushing myself to run up hills, speeding up, gradually increasing my distance, and listening to my body when it tells me it needs rest. I started practicing sitting meditation again. I often get caught up in a frantic energy. It feels like an inability to take a full breath, and an inability to focus. Then there's the struggle of my mind trying to control it and judge that feeling. Meditation helps me slow down, and let go of the mental judgements.<br /><br /><b>My Continuing Relationship with Town Food</b><br /><br />I'm now more aware of the super old patterns that I have with food, and I'm learning that repeatedly breaking a pattern really brings change. I get a lot of cravings when I go into town and see "off diet" food, and then I feel stressed because I'm trying to decide if I should give into it. When I do give into it, the food (usually chocolate or a baked good) doesn't taste as good as I imagined it, and then I feel sick almost immediately afterward. Then I feel guilty and self judgmental about it.<br /><br />My practice of breaking the pattern: When I catch myself craving something, instead of reaching for it, I take a deep breath, experience the feeling of craving. Then I ask myself what will come from actually eating it, and remember the past food indulgences. After that, I can watch the craving pass, and then I feel relieved.<br /><br />The food in town used to be this forbidden thing for me. I would try to stay away from it for as long as I could, and then mentally punish myself when I ate it. I also felt sadness about wanting to just "fit in" with the majority of Americans who eat that stuff, and feel healthy and not stressed around it.<br /><br />It's still kind of like that, but I'm more relaxed around it now. It just comes down to this: It's doesn't make sense for me to put food into my body that isn't healthy for me, and often makes me sick, no matter how many other people are eating it. Packaged and highly processed foods are a pretty new thing, and I'd rather stick to the old way, even if I wasn't alive when humans ate more simply.<br /><br /><b>Short Travels </b><br /><br />I spent a couple days in northern Michigan last week, enjoying the fall colors, and hiking in the mountains. The fall has pretty much passed at Teaching Drum. We've been having some light snowfalls. I'm appreciating the change in scenery. It's gradually getting colder, and I continue to add more layers of wool clothing.<br /><br /><a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="240" src="" width="320" /></a>Sugarloaf Mountain, along Lake Superior. Marquette, MI<br /><a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="240" src="" width="320" /></a>Heavy winds along the rocky shore of Lake Superior<a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="240" src="" width="320" /></a>snow in front of the quiet house, late October, at Nadmadewing-Teaching Drum <br /><b>Lately I've been working on: </b><br /><br />I've been making rugs from bear hides, processing/curing black walnuts, putting together food drops for the seekers (wilderness immersion students), cooking (yesterday I took an axe to a frozen deer torso to chop out the heart and lungs, and roasted them with parsnips for dinner.) making lots of fires, and cleaning and organizing stuff around the school. Any kind of cleaning and organizing is really relaxing to me. A friend mentioned to me that he noticed that people who struggle with anxiety seem to get a lot of relief from that kind of work.<br /><br /><a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" height="240" src="" width="320" /></a>A bear hide on a rack in September, that now lies on the floor of my cabin<br />I'm going to Missouri very soon, for a couple weeks, to visit friends at East Wind, and stay with family for a bit for Thanksgiving. I'm excited for a little adventure, but I mostly just want to settle in for the winter, adjust to the cold, and focus on the emotional healing work that's so easily accessible at Teaching Drum.<br /><br /></p> East Wind Community Mon, 04 Nov 2013 03:59:00 +0000 Wren Adi 3710 at Budding Trees East Wind Community Sun, 27 Oct 2013 20:29:00 +0000 Wren Adi 3701 at walnut harvest <p>A bunch of us piled into a van, last week, for a 6-hour road trip down to southern Wisconsin, to gather black walnuts from trees that line the roadsides. We camped out in a friend's yard, and gathered walnuts all day, every day, for a week. It was an adventure that was filled with friendly farmers and small town folk. The most memorable parts of it were when a group of teenagers TP'd the trees around our tents in the middle of the night, and when we were on our way home, our trailer broke down from being old and overloaded with nuts.<br /><br /><a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="" height="240" width="320" /></a>I found this nut while gathering, and noticed its heart-shape.<a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="" height="240" width="320" /></a>gathering<br /><a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="" height="240" width="320" /></a>some of our nut harvest<a href="" imageanchor="1"><img border="0" src="" height="320" width="240" /></a>the end result!<br />It was really warm during the day, with cold nights, and when we arrived back at Teaching Drum, I settled into chilly rain, and after a week passed, we got our first snow of the white season-which was today! It felt strange to experience snow already. We had a big feast for some guests who were departing. There were multiple dishes contributed by different people. There was a greens salad, fire roasted deer ribs, baked cisco fish that we caught last year, mixed veggies, and I made a wild rice pilaf with cranberries and nuts. We sat in a circle on the floor and held hands, the elder sharing blessings, and then one by one, we passed our bowls. I watched the snowflakes fall onto the ground. The weather and the food felt reminiscent of Thanksgiving.<br />I thought about my family in Missouri, and then I thought about what I'm grateful for.<br /><br /> I'm grateful for/happy about:<br />-An NVC (Non-Violent Communication) course I'm taking in town. I'm really enjoying it, and learning a lot. <br />-The delicious and healthy food that is healing my body.<br />-The healing circle; living with people who are all dedicated to emotional healing work.<br />-Living in the woods, right up against the national forest, and getting to see deer almost every day, and hear the birds, and view the stars so clearly.</p> East Wind Community Mon, 21 Oct 2013 02:21:00 +0000 Wren Adi 3690 at