December 18, 2015.

Devin Floyd and Rachel Bush are into garden design now–walking the site, sizing up views and opportunities. This week, Devin reported finding the largest colony of pipissewa he’s ever seen.

Pipissewa is Chimaphila umbellata, rarer than striped wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata). Growing 3-10 inches tall in dry woodlands, with glossy green leaves year-round and tiny fragrant white to pink flowers in summer, it receives a significant portion of its nutrition from soil fungi. Its Cree Indian name means “it breaks into small pieces.” It has been used to treat a host of disorders from kidney stones to rheumatism to blisters to aching eyes, and was included in the United States Pharmacopaeia during the 19th century. With its sweet-bitter-astringent oils,it continues to be a conventional ingredient in root beer. We’re glad to have it.

In other news, the most visible progress is in the placement of Bridge #1. The photo below is several days old, and much more has already been accomplished. Ought to be finished by New Year’s Day. Many tons of #3 gravel have also been placed and rolled onto the perimeter road.

Bridge #1 in place