Wow what a super fun MudBall Ball!

Outcomes of May 24,2015  If folks can pleaseeee 
Send feed back …  and what could help the next MudBall be like what you want your piazza to be like.   (Are you asking What is a mud ball? Click here.)

The Loisaida Festival

Saturday we got a last-minute invitation to be involved with the Loisaida Festival at 11am on Sunday, at the height of Mudball Ball prep. They invited the Mudball Ladies to lead the children’s parade in costume! So I crazily said yes, and added it to a full plate.  We didn’t actually end up leading a parade but we were able to twirl around in our dresses with our Beneficial Mudball Banner! We’re excited because this seeds the possibly of leading a children’s parade with mudballs and seedballs next year!

I had to use a bit of “parade line up time” to get the village signs out of InDesign to TextEdit for Nadette to print. Thank you Nadette for getting those done in magical time.
Then, luckily, Italo and Pamela for showed up at a perfect time. In no time flat, Pamela slipped on a Mudball gown and swayed beautifully! These Mudball ball gowns are only tied & safety pinned together so we need constant primping as they fall off us — ephemeral gowns.

We had a great time at the Festival where we met up with JK, Marta, Joanne, Derek and Bella, the pug.


Photo by Annabelle

DD, Italo and Pamela got the basics to El Jardin — thank you! and Jimmy the Greek for helping set up musicians and thanks to Kevin of The Peace Now Dept for playing: people are still raving about it.


The Bio-Bike Ride

Follow the Curious Gil as he rides you through the nooks and crannies of the Newtown Creek.  Riders: Gil, of Smiling Hogshead Ranch, Damon, of NomadCycle, Jeanne of Bicycle Utopia with Oliver with the beautiful voice + more,  arrived as others were arriving just before 3pm.  Jeanne shot some video.  I hear it was really fun and interesting. They threw EM Mudballs.

Set Up: Barn Raising

Bill, of Times-Up, was there again with his volunteers to set up the table. “Permies”, Monica and Rachel from Beyond Organic Design were there to be greeters — they were great at explaining what we were doing! Paula was there to get the oysters started and share the audio tour 595 Acres made of the History of El Jardin. Great fun seeing everyone arrive, put out their interesting projects and offerings into the village we were raising.


Monica, Angelo and Sasha are pictured here.

People brought delicious food (which I would call out but I didn’t have time to see or eat it myself because of the flurry of Mudball activity!
Andrea, from Roma, donated 12 bottles of delicious Rosé from La Corsa Vineyard in Tuscany– not local- but Andrea was local. The wine went perfectly with the oysters from Pura Vida Seafood at the farmers market on Ave A. He donates them for cost every year plus let’s us pay after we sell them.

We started the village piazza program an hour late, but no problem. We will change the schedule to match what happened because that is easier than changing what happened.

photo by Annabelle Meunier

Mud ball Station: photo by Annabelle Meunier

Proposal: “Barn Raising” 3-4
(A change in program) New: Starting with a “barn raising”, as suggested to me. Next time the barn raising might be signaled by bike bells arriving from the bio-tour.

The bio-bike-tour planned to free chained up stripped down bike frames that Damon would then make into groovy rolling stool (it was one of the raffles.)

So I told Dena it would be good as a hairdresser’s stool.  Opps, they didn’t end up doing that. Therefore, Dena made a chair with an empty barrel! Also on her way she found he perfect table to place her tools. During post-bike-bells, Activity People built our spaces, said hello as piazza guests settle in, sound checks etc – ‘raised the barn”.

How was the beginning hour for you? Please let us know — we love feedback!


Marta making birdhouses.

We placed the picnic blankets in a peripheral structure for activities to roughly organize themselves.  The concept was of a progressive spiral of outputs creating resources for the next activity.  We started with guests “arriving with food”, and welcoming table. We spiral on to food offerings, eating, then food waste and packaging waste goes to compost, coffee grinds to body scrub, an oyster shell stockpile, oyster shell grinding for soil, plastic containers make self watering planters. Then there are products and wastes that come from each of those activities that feed even more activities. Eventually everyone is connected and receiving and offering resources to others. What we are working toward is no more need to pollute with non biodegradables. We want to keep the resource train going but with organic materials that biodegrade or are ephemeral.


Sonia with ehr hebal bath salts.. Delicious and tasty smelling with garden herbs.

We seek to make better products and packaging with multipurpose packaging, better excess to make clothing and decorations for the ball. At the end of the food table we gain:  more soil, decorated people, home decorations, bike decor, gardens with art, artisan hand made goodiees all from which joy is created and healing is given to others. The result is less and less “waste to trash” and more “waste to resource”. Pretty soon we have a healthy biophilic waste free lifestyle which is bioremediating “beneficial succession”– no more toxic lifestyles. 

*** Mud Village has factories and sweatshops but they are so progressive they double as wellness day spas. Sick people work in Mud village sweatshops to get better.

The Village Chimes at 4pm


Pamela and Italo’s coffee grinds used to make body scrub and homemade Oatmilk.

The musicians quieted down, someone or something became ready that makes a resonating sound with something at 4 pmish. That will be the sound for the “opening breath” and welcoming. In the fall it might be a hot water kettle whistles. (Who has a nice sounding kettle?)

At this Spring MudBall Chana made a rocket stove for camping. Nadette brought it with her and Oliver able to fire it up! All we needed was a kettle for hot water.  Next time this will happen maybe. The hot water will make coffee, then we use coffee grinds to make bokashi which makes better soil to grow better food to eat. Also Pamela uses coffee grind waste for a body scrub so her skin is very healthy and radiant.  Yes, all is connected to the village chime (a sound that indicates the beginning of the plaza).


Angelo’s Opening Breath . Photo by Jhon Gonzalez

Opening breath”

Thank you for your patience Angelo, waiting with his wife and his infant, until people were all settled in. What a beautiful and empathic opening he created. Namaste to Angelo for sharing his delicate life experience with us. He spoke from the center of the earth and out beyond. Everyone moved closer and closer in to hear … a perfect circle formed. He offered a few resources to help people work through loss with some ch-gong-like movements and guidance. As a whole we started off with deeper empathy, self empathy and trust through this opening breath.

The Piazza Starts 4:15

Piazza intra-exchanges is for a mere ephemeral 90 min.


Making mUd balls. Photo by Jhon

Thank you AP’s! click (link) for list of participants
Submit your stories click here.


Mudball Making and Shig’s recipe for them. Photo by Jhon

DNA stepped in at this time to be the “White Rabbit” to keep things on time. She balanced our time and our objective to create a special experience, cued the musicians and herded chatty people in directions.

photo by Annabelle Meunier "hot Air" performance by The  Living Theatre

photo by Annabelle Meunier “Hot Air” performance by The Living Theatre

A street performance by The Living Theatre Called “Hot Air” which was a poetic empathic play about climate change. Climate change is something the MudBall Ball does not ruminate on in these few hours.  The buy product of the piazza is the what. Free speech in this town… a village needs everyone.

 The piazza is full of life activities — each one of us chooses out of free will.  Activities that will redesign everything to help purify water, air and soil and selves. Everyone was welcome to do what they can to tweek design and culture.  We focus on the daily life in our world with intention of great design and a by-product of beneficial succession.  To create a complete village we need to disagree with people to help contextualize our views. If we spoke to only people who agreed with us… we wouldn’t design as well.

We build piazzas, community gardens, plant food and nourish playful joyous communities that create bioremidiating lifestyles and collaboration.  We are people who are the change and we practice it. The piazza is an active living space to see people.

Would we like a longer piazza … thoughts? Is an hour and half long enough? One option to shorten the time is that people can keep working during the explanation and raffle. We want to add the auction so we propose doing the raffle in glass vases with tickets in them next to each item.


Photo by Annabelle Meunier

Village explanation 5:45
IMG_9821-paul5:45 Music lowered. (To hear me we need a gentle voice-expander-gizmo)   Thank you Paul, Gaia Institute, for his scientific explanations of the garden design and importance of B12 and microbes in the big picture. Thank you Gil for framing mycelium connectivity and Shig for the Empathic World, he watches as it awakens. It was observed that only white men were speaking –  hey, Shig is Asian. I tried,  Anandi had a moment to talk about the village after the opening breath but she had to cancel. In the past the opening breath was shared by Wenting and UmaVandra has spoken and Marisa invited previously. I didn’t see them in the circle to pull them out.  I did see however, Monica, Paula and Pamela, all first timers who, next time, I will invite to them share a few words, and in Spanish.  So get ready with your 3 min shpeel.
The food table of potluck of delicacies was overseen by Joanna and Bill was shucking oysters.



Dena Cutting hair for mushroom growning

Thank-you Shirley for inviting people to buy tickets from you and thanks DNA for stepping into the drawing role, she also came up with the ticketing system using the mini invites.

Marie and Sonia making herbal Bath Salts with garden herbs they have been growing and crushing oyster shells for their soil… bioremediating and adds calcium.

Thanks to those who gave to the raffle. Dena not only saved hair waste for “hair booms” (hair in stockings to absorb oil off ocean surface) she cut people’s hair for Mycometeors. She also offered a blow out. Other raffles: Stephane at Coifeur offered a hair cut; Irina offered her botanical lip balms; Recycle a Bicycle a pink girls bike (It went to a large man who I invited to pass it on to Lily which he did). We can trade that out with something else.

Sorry but I was distracted and went away from the raffle to help unwrap Jennie who was putting on a Mudball gown. During the raffle “The Story of the King & Queen of Trash”, by Marie, was starting to unfold. The story tells a significant tale of the transformation out of our cycle of recycling into our new phase to build biophilic succession of “betterment” (a bank uses this word I saw on top of taxis- gadzooks). My area is wardrobe and haberdashery with Rolando so I was absent for most of the raffle. Thanks GIl for taking notes on who won — who won the haircut by Stephane? and the Zum Schneider certificate? Nomad bike donated a Bike Seat Stool; Bike Decorating by Nadette; Irinia Lip balms by Phoenix Botanicals; Satchel by Marie; Crack (homemade Chocolate) by Helen; Pie by Annette at Organic Soul Cafe & 6th St CSA; Zum Schneider Gift Certificate; 2 tix to Green Space Studio; wrist purse by Kappo Kappino; Queens Compost Bike tour 5/14 2tkts by Gil; 2 Ice Creams by Davy’s; a month of Filtered water at Molecule; a T-shirt from Earthdance in Plainfield, MA.


Kar making Krowns with everyone

Next year we will have many separate ticket vases for each item so people win something they actually want. (That was great when a large man won a child’s pink bike.)


Jennie making with hula hoops woven cushions with leftover jersey fabric (circulating unwanted t-shirts) Great for sitting by the pond.

Proposal:  Let’s swap the raffle out for an auction?  This cool Auction Activity did not happen because the reminders were not present. That is the way of the Piazza. The cues were not there,  the famous paintings near the information table and the artists accumulating portraits were not there so I forgot. Since I skipped the auction.


Marta and the birdhouse making for migratory bird feeding and observations

A missed opportunity for us when people do not sign up their activity. I missed the opportunity to map and match excess. Therefore we could have had art to make funny money to seed the auction bidding to buy the “famous art.”


Nadette being peace maker spreading joy and love to all beings. Zeroboy is receiving her gifts after a long performance day. A lovely garden party don’t you think?

The art money accumulated would then be auctioned too. Nadette thank you for remembering to bring her peace signs to use as bidding numbers (and printing out Piazza signs.)  Print Schedule.

Proposal:  We make “newspaper” A Towne Crier

If someone turns up to help make a newsprint and work with a printer we would have a village interactive paper.  Since there is a cost in making newspapers we could ask for a donation $3 per.  What would it take to grow a program magically out of our collective skills? Who already works with printer or likes to work with one or is one? Besides asking for printer to donate (that would be great but also cheating the mud village ideal) …. maybe printing will be someone’s excess …   patience.

Celebration! 6-7



6-7.  At this time we are “The MudBall Ball Celebration”. We prepared for the Ball and procession. Since people want to be dressed up but do not come dressed up I help with that and Ann and a few other guys with Kar.  Dressing next time join us for fabric draping and pinning. Every Ball we pin another one to add to our supply … and my storage space.

A Story unfolds:

During the end of the raffle the long awaited story of the “King and Queen of Trash” finally unfolded. Steve agreed to put on a hot heavy cape and stand as The King.


He wore a crown of sharp winter flowers that cut into his forehead.

He carried the wears without a problem. He made a great King of Trash…proud, young and handsome with his fermented grape juice and tiny cigarette stub.


JK wore The Queens’ cape of solar and bioremediating sunflowers, that pull heavy metals from soil. She mourned the loss of the King, who passed away of toxic overload eating the sunflower seeds and drinking fracked gas milk from it seeping into his cattle’s drinking water.

The princess Frog, Gil, is is found hopping around clusters of people as if she were visiting lily pads. Her pass time is making lily pad cushions. She/He acts as if he/she is still a frog from the pond.

This pond at Paradise El Jardin catches and absorbs all the storm water arriving on this property so there is no run off into the combined sewers of nyc. Thereby less black water waste in the East River.  It is hard to pull our princess toad, future King of Trash, away from making lily pad cushions but she/he has learned how to introduce mycelium fungal networks to  reestablish underground communication and health. He, she, they accepted our invitation to the waterfront coronation ceremony.
… to be continued…

The Village Danced


to the Peace Now Dept’s music as it resonated throughout the garden from under the tree house with Evan, Yahote and Kevin.


People were in capes and Kar’s Krowns swirling and dancing to the music.  We dressed the last caped crusader, the music ended, we found anything u[on which to bang. This was a difficult moment for me because Paz I would play drums in the procession but he was also needed to watch the expensive amplifierNext time What do we do?  Maybe he didn’t want to come with us so  it worked out.

Procession 7 pm

We collected all the spent oyster shells and carried them on the promenade to the estuary and brackesh marsh. Through the streets with our musical chatter — voices in conversation. People stopped to wonder and others asked.


Photo by Annabelle Meunier

Our Ritual

 At the waterfront we honored Catherine Wolcott, Lou Chirichella and John Doswell all friends of mine that sadly passed away this year. I don’t know about John but Cath and Lou died of cancer. Paul added a friend to the honoring and then we all threw the shells in the rocky shallow river side toward accumulating a 10,000 shell pile as future oyster habitat in the names of our friends. (I would not be surprised if the city parks crew cleans these up. I don’t see a pile growing. Alas…)


The unfolding continued…. transition is imminent.


Picking herbs from the garden for bath salts

After the we tossed the last shell with a wish …. The Queen sought out her son, Toad, who was not so responsive. She replaced a favorite cap with the Crown of Winter Flowers (made by Rolando from his archives).  Prince Toad looked around at the river, the rocks, the shells, the skyline, the park and the people. He took off the crown, denounced the name “King of Trash” and proclaimed he would go back to the pond where his/her heart wants him. Left behind was the legacy of recycling.

The abandoned crown by Recycle and Pray was picked up by an anonymous citizen.  By taking on this burden, the perpetual cycle of need and a downward cycle of recycling.

Toad continues his mycelium work and projects designed  to work with nature instead of against it.  Like the fungal networks Toad plants in the forest. Toad helps to maintain community health. Dominant beneficial microbes work together even though they are very different.  Like the microbes and the mycelium, together we exchange symbiotically, we work toward beneficial succession and betterment.

headed back… 8ish.

8:00ish we hadd-IMG_9752-joanne-derek-bkd a beautiful sunset over the East River water. A languid meander back in gangles, gaggles, couples and onsies.  in Peace and beautiful serenity– people walking arm n arm. Wish we had photos of the procession going back. My minds eye has captured moments that will last years.

“… to live a moment in union with a dream”, to watch our cascade of connectivity unfurling, a more spectacular vision than one could possibly imagine.

I sense billions of microbes saying, wow, thanks for joining us. Please come again and make it better n better the next time.

On-going resonance…

photo by Annabelle Meunier

Many people stayed to help clean up. A magical drum circle appeared to greet our procession. and keep us going Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 6.48.51 PMwhile we packed.
A young teenage girl asked me to look at what she made while we were all down at the waterfront. I followed her over to the other side of the pond, and on the narrow dirt path she built a magical house for squirrels.  It was not a small undertaking…  she built an elaborate structure with found materials: sticks, stones, bricks and all. She left the garden enchanted. I wouldn’t mind being a squirrel there.  Pretty cool!


We packed up and put everything in the pumpkin chariot. The mud balls are in the Umbrella house.  A group of villagers went to sit outside at a cafe for some food, others hung out on the grass eating the left overs.

Photos by Annabelle Meunier, Jhon Gonzalez and dd maucher for MoS Collective.







1. 6/7 was Figment: Stockpile of Mudballs and The Story Continues to unfold.

Facebook invite

Throw the mud balls that Marta has saved from the compost bin.  We will picnic and roam the festivities.
New photos to come.



Twice a month we will make mud balls all day long! Come help and teach and pledge to make 1000! Contact to bring a group of 30 max to learn with us.  Last month we had a Meet & Eat in the series that introduced specific bio-ball tools to people in the context of bioremediation lifestyles for citizens. We have plans brewing.  The Harbor Phyto Myco Micro Moss Mollusk Program. Hpmmmm, (the p is silent).  Help teach people to teach kids and elders to teach people how to make more of these balls. Empower to reclaim our watershed estuary and healthy landscapes.  We can be a part of the nature around us again. Take appreciation in the little nature left in our hardscapes. Let’s build up our edges and nooks and crannies.. we can put in more food for the fish, mollusk, butterflies, bees and birds. Contact us.



Mudball Ball photos on FB by Annabelle. Many on this page are by her.

History of El Jardin History: maybe more community gardens could follow.

Bio Bike Ride: Bicycle Utopia, Jeanne shot video/photos so will have something to share in regards to that.
Bio-Bike Ride Facebook page:

Mudball mishap: We made a few crates of mud balls — then they were dumped in the compost —  then found and retrieved by Marta. Thank you Marta for spending a day on that. We could use a better storage area.

• Mycelium Fungal Networks put beautifully.



6/24-30 Jude Hobbs Permi Teacher Training Facebook invite Beyond Organic Design

6/14 Queens Compost Bike RIde by GIl at Smiling Hogshead Ranch

July: Urban Permaculture Conference Facebook invite Beyond Organic Design

Ongoing: Hpmmmm (p is silent):  30k Mud balls & the Launch of the Harbor Phyto, Myco, Micro, Moss, Mollusk Program!
1. Be in the bioremediators group. Teaching volunteer teachers.
Host a Garden Mud Ball making.
3. Come to a workshop at Smiling Hogshead Ranch.
Contact to participate!

6/19-21 Clearwater Festival: bike valet & bio-ball making: volunteers needed. We might make mud balls if there is enough help.

8/1-11 (and any time in between): TwoRow.Camp, Paddle, bike, walk 15 miles a day down the Hudson: Facebook  it is like a friends and family eco vacation organized by Ted Hall & Anne Apparu Hall. It follows the same landing points and days as the original Two Row. Ted & Anne Have committed to hosting this every year.  We will be throwing seed balls and mud balls. We want to build local community at the ports as we travel down the Hudson river watershed.

10/4 Fall MudBall Ball at Smiling Hogshead Ranch

Complete list past present future: