Daily Life in Winter

“The winter is so beautiful, and yet it can be so hard sometimes that it makes me cry happy-tears thinking about the summer. This winter has been extra hard. Crazy amounts of snow and extreme cold weather for over 3 weeks. It takes a lot of energy to keep up the normal life. But it also gives a lot of energy with all the beauty that the winter brings. It’s a love-hate relationship.

In this video I share glimpses of what I’ve been up to for the past month. Both the struggles, but also all the beautiful moments. I also share some behind the scenes of my previous video, when I went on a road trip to the very North of Sweden to record some footage.”

~ Jonna Jinton

The Farm Community – Summertown, Tennessee

The Farm is the oldest and biggest intentional community, at its peak in the 80’s it had over 1500 members. It is an intentional community that fostered spiritual growth, world peace and ecological harmony. Today the Farm has about 175 residents. 

It was founded in 1971 by Stephen Gaskin and 320 hippies from San Francisco. Gaskin and friends led a caravan of 60 buses, vans, and trucks from San Francisco on a four month speaking tour across the US. Along the way, they became a community, lacking only in land to put down roots. After returning to California, the decision was made to buy land together. Combining all their resources would finance purchase of only about fifty acres in California. Another month on the road brought the group back to Tennessee, where they checked out various places that might be suitable to settle. They deciding on property in outside of Summertown south of Nashville. After buying 1,064 acres for $70 per acre, the group began building its community in the woods alongside the network of crude logging roads that followed its ridgelines. Shortly thereafter, an adjoining 750 acres were purchased for $100 per acre.

Gaskin and friends led a caravan of 60 buses, vans, and trucks from San Francisco on a four month speaking tour across the US. Along the way, they became a community, lacking only in land to put down roots. After returning to California, the decision was made to buy land together. Combining all their resources would finance purchase of only about fifty acres in California. Another month on the road brought the group back to Tennessee, where they checked out various places that might be suitable to settle. They deciding on property in outside of Summertown south of Nashville. After buying 1,064 acres for $70 per acre, the group began building its community in the woods alongside the network of crude logging roads that followed its ridgelines. Shortly thereafter, an adjoining 750 acres were purchased for $100 per acre.

In 1983, due to financial difficulties and also a challenge to Gaskin’s leadership and direction, the Farm changed its agreement and began requiring members to support themselves with their own income rather than to donate all income to the central bank.This decollectivization was called the ‘Changeover,’ or ‘the Exodus.’

In the nineties, with the community back on solid ground, The Farm returned to its original purpose of initiating social change through outreach and example. The Ecovillage Training Center was established as an educational facility in new technologies such as solar energy, bio fuels, and construction techniques based on locally available, eco-friendly materials.

Gaskin’s wife, Ina May Gaskin and the midwives of the Farm created The Farm Midwifery Center, one of the first out-of-hospital birth centers in the United States. Family members and friends are commonly in attendance and are encouraged to take an active role in the birth.

“Gaskin, a longtime critic of American maternity care, is perhaps the most prominent figure in the crusade to expand access to, and to legalize, midwife-assisted home birth. Although she practices without a medical license, she is invited to speak at major teaching hospitals and conferences around the world and has been awarded an honorary doctorate from Thames Valley University in England. She is the only midwife to have an obstetric procedure named for her. The Gaskin Maneuver is used for shoulder dystocia, when a baby’s head is born but her shoulders are stuck in the birth canal.”

~ New York Times

The Farm Community – Beliefs and Agreements

The Farm Community is comprised of many individuals, each with their own vision and ideas about spirituality as it applies to their daily life. It was founded on the principle that we respect all religions and practices. There are many basic agreements that were telepathically understood, however in an effort to avoid the creation of dogma and ritual, no formal document exists that defines the spiritual beliefs of The Farm.

Some years ago, several members of The Farm Membership Committee endeavored to create such a document, researching through previously published books and materials to identify statements that could still ring true for most members of the community. Although we make no claim that it represents every person completely, we present it here to give you some concept of our original beliefs and agreements.

As a church, we live in community and our reverence for life has always been central to our ways. Within The Farm Community, people could live together and pursue a spiritual path that includes, but were not limited to, the following common beliefs and agreements:

We believe that there are non-material planes of being or levels of consciousness that everyone can experience, the highest of these being the spiritual plane.

We believe that we are all one, that the material and spiritual are one,
and the spirit is identical and one in all of creation.

We believe that marriage, childbirth and death are sacraments of our church.

We agree that child rearing and care of the elderly is a holy responsibility.

We believe that being truthful and compassionate is instrumental to living together in peace and as a community.

We agree to be honest and compassionate in our relationships with each other.

We believe in nonviolence and pacifism and are conscientiously opposed to war.

We agree to resolve any conflicts or disagreements in a nonviolent manner.

We agree to keep no weapons in the community.

We believe that vegetarianism is the most ecologically sound and humane lifestyle for the planet, but that what a person eats does not dictate their spirituality.

We agree that livestock, fish, or fowl will not be raised in the community for slaughter.

We believe that the abuse of any substance is counterproductive to achieving a high consciousness.

We agree to strive for a high level of consciousness in our daily lives.

We believe that the earth is sacred.

We agree to be respectful of the forests, fields, streams and wildlife that are under our care.

We agree that the community is a wildlife sanctuary with no hunting for sport or food.

We believe that humanity must change to survive.

We agree to participate in that change by accepting feedback about ourselves.

We believe that we, individually and collectively, create our own life experience.

We agree to accept personal responsibility for our actions.

We believe that inner peace is the foundation for world peace.

Viking Art: Antler, Bone & Ivory

Bone and antler objects occur throughout the Viking world. Bones of pigs, cattle, horses, goats were used, and antler came from deer or elk. 

Needles and pins could be produced in a different shapes and sizes to serve a variety of purposes such as sewing clothes, nalbinding (a Scandinavian technique for making a strong, elastic fabric), net-making, securing a cloak, etc. 

Other products included spindle whorls, weaving tablets, needle cases made from small long hollow bones, knife handles, strap ends, gaming pieces, bone flutes, and ice skates. 

Combs were also made and could be quite basic, or very ornate and decorated. Even the basic combs required considerable work, as the teeth can to be cut separately into bone plates which were fitted into the handle pieces. 

Whale bone could be used for special objects such as the decorated linen smoother from the Scar boat burial. While whale teeth and walrus ivory could be used for objects such as the Lewis Chessmen.

Source: the Viking Archaeology News Blog

Lavender Wands

The wand is made by weaving a ribbon over and under adjacent stalks, so you must use an odd number of stalks. (I suggest using 13). Harvest only the most robust and straight flower stalks.

• 6 feet 1/4-inch satin ribbon
• 13 stalks fresh, straight, long-stemmed lavender
• Heavy thread
• Clippers
• Scissors

1. Align the flower heads and wrap the thread tightly below the flowers, including one end of the ribbon. Knot the thread and trim the ends; leave 1/4 inch tail of the ribbon.

2. Turn the wand so the flowers point downward. One at a time, bend the stalks over the thread. (Pressing your thumbnail into the stalk above the thread as you bend it prevents breakage if the stalks have dried out a little.) Space stalks evenly like the spines of an umbrella.

3. Bring the ribbon to the outside of the umbrella and begin to weave over and under adjacent stalks. As you weave, pull on the ribbon fairly hard and make sure the flowers inside are covered. As the pulling causes the stalks to twist, realign them after weaving three rounds so they are once again straight and evenly spaced. Repeat this step if necessary after the sixth round.

4. After weaving beyond the flower heads, form a handle by weaving the ribbon tightly for 4 to 5 inches. Tie it off in a bow. After the wand dries, reweave the ribbon on the now shrunken handle and retie the bow.

Source: Mother Earth Living

The Wolf Song – Nordic Lullaby

This version of the lullaby from “Ronja Rövardotter / Ronia the robbers daugther” written by beloved Swedish writer, Astrid Lindgren, whose books have been read for children all over the world:

Lyrics in Swedish and English:

Vargen ylar i nattens skog
(The wolf is howling in the forest of the night)
Han vill men kan inte sova
(He wants to, but cannot sleep)
Hungern river i hans varga buk
(The hunger tears his wolven stomach)
Och det är kallt i hans stova
(And it’s cold in his burrow)

Du varg du varg, kom inte hit
(Wolf, wolf, don’t you come here)
Ungen min får du aldrig
( I will never let you take my child)

Vargen ylar i nattens skog
(The wolf is howling in the forest of the night)
Ylar av hunger o klagar
(Howling out of hunger and moaning)
Men jag ska ge’n en grisa svans
(But I will give him a pig tail)
Sånt passar i varga magar
(Which suits a wolven stomach)

Du varg du varg, kom inte hit
(Wolf, wolf, don’t you come here)
Ungen min får du aldrig
( I will never let you take my child)

…(First verse again)

Balancing Stones

“The very first time I tried balancing stones was back in 2010. I saw some stone sculptures in a park, when an old, wise man told me that it was a symbol for the balance of nature. I liked that idea, and after that I started making easy stone sculptures. After a while, I started experimenting with balance and I tried to make stone sculptures that had such small balance points so that it almost would look impossible. I really loved that. Both because it felt like a challenge, but also because it forced me to get really still and quiet, and focus on one thing only; to find the tiny, tiny balance point. It more and more turned into some kind of meditation.”

~ Jonna Jinton, Swedish artist, musician and filmmaker and I live in the beautiful woods in the North of Sweden