Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend 2013

Some Soldier visitors for Memorial Day weekend. CPT Nat and SFC Dennis - great to see these old friends from Afghanistan 2010.

Cpt. Nat (holding Valkyri the puppy), SFC Dennis, and
Valhalla Project Founders Gordon and Chris Cucullu (seated).

Nat didn't think he could cook a restaurant quality gourmet lunch by himself, but with just a little instruction he in fact cooked up the most marvelous pasta dish ever! Valhallans take turns preparing meals from scratch, with a little one-on-one coaching upon request.

Capers, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, troll-caught albacore tuna, some wine plus red pepper flakes infused in olive oil, all tossed with small-shell pasta... a very simple recipe that he's taken back to New York City along with his new confidence in the kitchen. 

Growing top quality vegetables, herbs, and flowers requires a bit of effort yet cooking up the results is certainly worth it!

SFC Dennis, who plans on earning his degree in forestry, did a bit of the watering after a introductory briefing on permaculture design
while walking through Valhalla's pastures and forests.

We completed the fourth unit of Valhalla's Hospital Row over the weekend and were able to move a mother hen with her four young chicks into it. Hospital Row is also home to a midget white turkey who was beat up by a gang of turkey hens, the four January poults who are just starting to integrate into the main turkey flock, BlineGai the turkey who is partially blind and will always require a little  special care, a small flock duck hens who needed a break from too much attention from overly romantic drakes. Hospital Row is only a temporary home to recover or raise young before joining the other animals outside the fence.

Valhalla's Hospital Row. Each unit is made from cattle panels bent into an arch and then covered
with poultry wire and tarps to provide shade and protection from rain.

Stripes the Freedom Ranger rooster supervising the Turkey Chalet
roofing project
The temporary plywood roof on the Turkey Chalet that SFC Michelle built last year was finally  prepped for a permanent tin roof. Nat and Gordon also installed a tin roof over the small apartment where one of the midget white turkeys is raising two tiny little poults - that family will be moved down to Hospital Row in the next week or two.

One of the four turkey poults that hatched in January
checking out my camera. They're almost fully
grown now, and incredibly curious and friendly!

It was a great Memorial Day Weekend - although in fact every day is Memorial Day, and every day is Veterans Day - here at Valhalla!

* * *
The Valhalla Project needs your help and support
Just getting a project like Valhalla up and running has required a significant investment in time, money, and labor. With roughly $500,000 already invested over the last two years into the Valhalla Project for property acquisition, feeding and housing Soldier participants, infrastructure and facility improvements, animal purchases and feed, tools and building supplies, forest and pasture management expenses, and much much more, resources are running thin. We need YOUR help to keep Valhalla functioning efficiently - while at the same time expanding vitally important programs to assist post-9/11 combat Soldiers and war zone civilian workers to transition back into the civilian world. 

The Valhalla Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity recognized by the IRS.
Nobody, including cadre or board members, draws a paycheck here, nor will they ever: we simply give everything we have to make Valhalla possible. 100% of your donation via Paypal will go directly to program expenses, period. If you'd prefer to instead directly donate four new tractor tire, a truckload of straw bales, a pallet of dimension lumber, or even a few dozen 10' sheets of forest green tin roofing, that would be absolutely wonderful - yet perhaps polking the "Donate" button above to contribute $10, $20, 
$50 or even more might be a little easier and more practical!

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