Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rainforest fern: Fern Community Kitchen is for Harbin visitors, Like a youth hostel kitchen, Cook, Meet, Talk, Float, Watsu

Harbin ethnography:

... In nice weather, it's so very pleasant just to linger in that corner or this cranny of this varied garden, so full of growing things.

Fern Community Kitchen, above the pool area, is for Harbin visitors, and, in many ways, is like a youth hostel kitchen, where people can bring their own food, store it in cupboards or large, stainless steel refrigerators. There are two stoves, with 6 burners each, around an elevated food preparation area, 4-5 sinks, a big counter for food preparation, 3 long, wooden tables with blue (there used to be folding chairs) chairs around them, dishes (some plastic for taking out to the sun deck and into the pool area) and cutlery, and two free boxes, one in a refrigerator. The kitchen area has a restroom with a toilet and sink. It also has bulletin boards for Harbin events, as well as for events outside of Harbin, with decidedly 'New Age' announcements in 2011, in the aggregate. And it has large windows along the pool area wall, with a little bit of a view of the Harbin warm pool. People meet each other, cook a meal for themselves, or share cooking a meal in a kitchen with fairly limited resources. Fern kitchen can be very colorful, with people who are somewhat 'out there.' (Harbin attracts a fair number of such folks:). It's also a place where people can meet, talk and then go do Watsu in the warm pool, for example. And the food people make in Fern Kitchen is often very innovative. From at least around 1994 (when I first came to Harbin) until 2005, Harbin residents, many of whom lived out of doors in tents, yurts and other interesting shelters, also prepared their food in Fern Kitchen. When Fern started getting a little too crowded, and Harbin also wanted to create a space for Residents' space, HCC built the Community Center (for Residents' only) near the middle parking lot. Not only was this a kind of giving back to Harbin's residents, but everyone cooking together in Fern Kitchen for decades is also a further example of how intermingling residents and guests have been at Harbin, as place, probably since 1972.

The Community Center for residents only was finished in the spring of 2005, when I was a resident at Harbin. It has cooking facilities and is quite communal. …

( - March 30, 2011)

1 comment:

Doug Chambers said...

Ah memories of Harbin. looking forward to floating and cooking there this Summer.