|The foyer of the Great Barn|
|The Great Barn|
It is called the Great Barn because it was originally Bushrod Washington's horse barn. Bushrod was George's grand-nephew, and in the 1840s built the existing mansion and barn on the 300 acre property. The Great Barn is, as the name suggests, quite large. The second floor alone has accommodations for eighty people, while the first floor has an expansive dining room, meditation room, and kitchen. We stayed in the WWOOFer dorm, which we had to ourselves, and cooked in a little kitchen off of the commercial kitchen.
Our first day of work was helping out Rob, a nearby farmer who is leasing land from Claymont for a community-oriented farm, fittingly called Community Gardens. Over the course of his ten-year cultivation, he has evolved into the niche of salad mixes and pea shoots.
|Maurice, Holly, and Rob|
One day while we were at Rob's, a team of volunteers from For the Love of Children (FLOC) came to help out. FLOC provides outdoor opportunities for youth and young adults through "adventure challenges, environmental education, and sustainability practices," sometimes bringing the children to the farm to help out. This time, however, it was just the counselors. With about eight extra hands we got a lot done, and we also were invited to an upcoming high ropes course event that FLOC was hosting.
|Enjoying the refreshing swimming hole|
As part of the workdays we worked on both the garden and ourselves. Part of the Fourth Way is balancing the intellectual, emotional, and physical aspects of the self, and exercises that help achieve this harmony are referred to as "inner work." During community garden days we would be given a short exercise or mantra to practice while gardening in order to be more balanced and present.
|Ernest and Holly at a Community workday|
|Meditation room in the Great Barn|
|The loom room|
At the meeting WWOOFers divvied up chores including watering and gathering eggs. Most of our garden time was "at will," and we were free to tackle any of the many tasks that needed doing. By the time we left we had redefined five large beds, and planted peppers, pumpkins, and tomatoes.
The high ropes course FLOC invited us to was on Thursday afternoon, so after rising early and helping with CSA harvest, we packed a lunch and set out. We arrived just in time to join the group of counselors and their visiting families as they headed to the course.
|Getting ready to zipline|
|Taking the plunge|
|Pausing mid-course for a picture|
|Carriage house by the mansion|
Occasionally we had community lunches where everyone came together to cook and eat.
|Jenna, George, Chris and Holly at a community lunch|
|Goerge, Randy, Amy|
|Carol Ann, Jenna, Holly|