Interdependence Day Gathering

The Day of July 4th began with a phone call from England. It was quite early in the morning here in Oregon to be receiving phone calls. What a great way to start the day though, because it was a woman calling to order our book, “We Need Each Other, Building Gift Community”. The second call was from new friends who had been planning on sharing the early morning parade with us, but alas, a Chicken Slaying Creature of the Night had taken half a dozen of their chickens and they had some tracking to do on that one. They did promise to join us for dinner and fireworks viewing from our spacious porch with a view. This slowed our pace way down and we leisurely rode our bikes downtown to get ready for the parade which is something of an Ashland legend. The last two years we had been in the parade, one with  a Transition Town float and the other, giving out hundreds of packages of  seeds all along the route. It was  a relief to sit and watch

There were some unusual entries such as the forty some people wearing deer heads who danced down the street in formation poking fun at the excessive deer population in this town, they called themselves the “volundeers”. The theme was around celebrating volunteers. The Bad Film Society float was also quite funny. In general the parade, viewed by  around 25,000 people was wonderful. The biggest challenge was enduring the traditional “Fly Over” jets  which were only going about 600 mph, were ear splittingly loud and caused great disturbance to the eardrums of all, in the name of “Freedom”.  ( Friends have shared how they have to leave town with their sensitive dogs. Some other folks who have a wild fox family living under their deck watched the young kits shaking with fear and then  observed how they vanished for three days.Imagine how people facing that sound accompanied by bombs must feel.)

Yet the parade was a joyous celebration of our larger community with all of its variety. At the end we left the milling crowd and biked home where I promptly took a long nap in preparation for our evening gathering. And what a gathering it turned out to be.

Friends Gathering for Interdependence Day Feast

I  continually ponder what makes these gathering so deeply wonderful. The food? (OK it is pretty spectacular), the setting? ( yes that is  fine as well). I think it is the weaving in of intentionality and ease. We had the thought to bring some ceremony to the day and as it turned out one of our friends had already come prepared to offer a beautiful sharing around our healthy recognition of our interdependence and wishes for release from old patterns.  When we circled up before sharing our  gratitude for the food and all the blessings, we invited people into this plan. First we would introduce the dishes that we had brought, then feast, talk, play, party then before dessert we would meet in the garden for this ceremony. Following that, we would celebrate some more with dessert and fireworks.All of this was invitational and it proved to be the perfect deepening we had hoped for. No, actually, it quite surpassed our expectations. when the fireworks began their phosphorus dance in the distant sky, I felt like we truly had something to celebrate! Over and out! From Zoe

View from the Other Side

View from the Other Side of the Group


Strawberry Pie and Community Gatherings

Summer Community Gathering recipes & The Just Right Fresh Strawberry Pie

Our Ashland Gift Circle has a tradition of surprising people with amazing organic desserts. The evening before meeting a request for help washing windows, the urge to make strawberry pie over took me. Berries were gathered from the Growers Market and by the time I went to bed a glorious pie was cooling in the refrigerator.

The next day on Saturday, our crew of window washers celebrated a task well done with this delicious pie. I was so happy, I decided to make an even grander one, a Version #2 Strawberry Pie for our Sunday Community Dinner. What was I thinking?

This second pie had too many textures and, sadly it did not get many points from me. But others claimed it was very nice. (liars)
Jeff blurted out, “It tastes better than it looks.”
My God, I thought, its appearance was its best feature.

There are three morals to this story…
1. Stick to Version #1 (Fresh Strawberry Pie) &
2. Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to substitute
cream cheese with the goat cheese..a little too “goatey”, &
Every effort can’t be a crackerjack!

The recipe for Fresh Strawberry Pie from Mom follows below. Enjoy!

Best Fresh Strawberry Pie


Here my dears, is the strawberry pie, handed down to me from my dear mum,

1. Bake a 9 in. pie flakey crust, glaze with egg yolk let cool.
This recipe is only as good as the berries you start with.( Organic, farmers market..fresh fresh fresh)

6 c. strawberries ( rinse, dry and hull; cut any very large ones in half. Measure


4 c. and set aside, Mash
the remaining berries. Whisk together in a medium saucepan:
3/4 to 1 c. sugar (or less)
1/4 c. cornstarch( Rumford now has non genetically engineered cornstarch)
1/8 t. salt
Whisk in 1/2 c. water

4. Stir in the pureed berries along with 2 T. strained fresh lemon juice and 2 T. butter, cut into pieces.
Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium high heat, stirring constantly and cook for 1 minute.
Pour 1/2 of berries into the crust and spoon 1/2 of the hot berry mixture over them, and gently shake the pan to coat the berries evenly. Cover with the remaining berries, spoon the remaining hot berry mixture over them, and shake gently as before.

5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and it will set.
Best eaten the day it is made!
Whipped cream goes nicely with this.

6. Eat and Delight ! This also goes well with a just up morning sun, afternoon picnic light, evening sunsets or starry nights and candlelight.