Last night at 7:25, Bob reminded himself to bring his flashlight and I slipped my camera in my pocket. Then we picked up a pot of pasta and beans, headed out the door, and walked down the driveway to the house where Jessi, Ian, Greg and Jack live.

The Sunday night potluck is one way our eclectic and busy group stays current with each other and our ever-evolving ideas. There are eleven of us living at Oilseed Community, six at Biofuels Coop two miles down the road and another half dozen regulars from other neighborhoods.

The food is always interesting. Among the offerings last night were tamales made with rabbit and pigeon and a variety of fermented chutneys and slaws. One night the gang at the upper house surprised us with a freshly butchered guinea.

Most of the food is locally grown or intercepted from the locally landfill. We really enjoy the variety and look forward to tasting new dishes although we have to admit we have not sampled any of the meat.

Ping pong, fooseball and the latest rage – a board game called Settlers of Catan are standard after-dinner activities. Settlers, in which players build roads, settlements, and eventually cities is appropriate for our group in the same way Monopoly was appropriate for our parents.

And for the non game players, there is always conversation, ranging from silly to serious. Lately we’ve been discussing the future of our community. All of us seek to reduce our dependence on petroleum products and some of us fantasize about creating a new settlement. Each week we share tips and stories for reducing our ecological footprint.

I always look forward to Sunday evenings – to the people, the food, the games and the conversation. When all is said and done, we return home with full heads and hearts and an empty pot.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

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