Monday, April 24, 2017

Farm Stay 4, April 17 - May 4, 2017

by Myra
May 4

It is currently 2:55 on May 4th, 2017. It is day 18, aka, the last day. My Farm Stay 4 experience has been wonderful. I never thought that 18 days living on a farm with 13 other kids could be so life changing. Everyday has been a new adventure and I have become such good friends with everyone here. I had some bad days when I've been homesick but it's hard to stay sad somewhere as beautiful as this. Yesterday was one of the best days of all on Farm Stay, even though I nearly murdered my leg. We played The Most Dangerous Game, and I got my leg stuck on a barbed wire fence. I've started taking the game quite literally. Anyways, the time here is coming to an end, but I'm not too sad. I'll miss my room and the amazing food and many other things, but I'm so glad I had the experience. I grew so much academically and as a person. I'll never forget this experience. 

by Imelda May 4 

Today is the last day of Farm Stay, and I am really sad. I’ve made so many good memories with my friends, and I don’t want to forget them. What I have mostly enjoyed about this Farm Stay is that the days are REALLY long. I like that because I am given a lot more time to make a decision, and when I make that decision, I know that it was thoroughly thought about. I think this Farm Stay is by far the BEST Farm Stay I have ever had. Everyone got to know each other so quickly, and we all gained a deep trust for one another. I am really glad I set goals for myself on this Farm Stay, and I am even more glad that I accomplished all those goals like taking advantage of every single day (no matter how good or bad it was), spending a lot of time outside, racing people in the A-Field, and so much more.

Last week, during Morning Pages, I wrote a poem. Laura wanted us to write about what made us vulnerable, and so I wrote about how I was feeling at that time. I really wish it was my Coffee House poem, but I think sharing it in the blog is good enough too.


I felt sad and alone. 
My friends were confused. 
I had to tell them. 
But I was scared. 
Not because I didn't trust them, 
But because I didn't trust

"What would happen
When they knew?"
"What would be different?"

I finally told them. 

Not all of it, 
But enough to help them understand. 
Now they are less confused.

But something's missing.
But something's not right.

I've figured it out. 

I still have more to tell. 
But I don't trust myself,

"Will they ever know?"
I ask myself. 

I guess not. 

by Lexi
May 3

Okay, so blog, I’d rather be outside. Outside… 

Well, for science I’ve been checking on the nest boxes and seeing how the eggs are doing, seeing if they’ve hatched yet. So I went out to the nearest box, which, as I’ve seen from previous days, has five bluebird eggs in it. But when I open it up, I see a small, fleshy, slightly fuzzy mound, with little beaks poking up. They hatched.

Sometime, in the last 48 hours, the eggs hatched. After spending a good fifteen minutes writing down every detail of the hatchlings, I head back to the Homestead to check my favorite nest, the robin’s nest.

The robin’s nest, which has four beautiful teal eggs in it was perched precariously, so I cautiously lifted it down, so as not to damage the eggs. I peer inside, and something’s off. There's a hole in one of the eggs. I look closer, and I see the tip of a little beak poking off chips of the shell. I watch in fascination as the hidden chick pecks its way free.

But before the chick can finish, I’m pulled away for occupations for a few hours. When I return, there are three eggs, and one fleshy, wrinkled, very alive, baby bird. It has a few tufts of white feathers on its head and back, and thin bald wings, which wouldn’t get it very far. But all I can feel for this small creature is affection.

So that is what happened to me today.

by Naoise
May 3

I am Naoise (pronounced nee-shuh) and today, or should I say three days ago, all of the students in Farm Stay 4 participated in a festival where we sold projects that we had been making for two weeks. We made craft items as well as food for a lunch. I was making my products with Henry (who is cool). I made maple cream soda and french fries while Henry made cigar box guitars and oven-cooked broccoli (I helped with the broccoli). 

It was a fun experience because I got to see my parents who I hadn’t seen in two weeks. I also liked the spring festival because it was fun and exciting to sell your products and see that people actually care about something you did. Henry and I both sold out on three of our products. We sold out on the broccoli, the maple cream soda, and the french fries. We almost sold out on the cigar box guitars. We were really happy because we made around 160 dollars total and subtracting expenses we made around 60 dollars each, which made me very happy. All in all it was an experience worth while.

by Aidan
May 3

Now that the spring festival is over there isn’t a lot to look forward to on Farm Stay, but we are all determined to make it the best. The spring festival was great and everyone had a great time and also made quite a bit of money. The scavenger hunt wasn’t well advertised but we still had a pretty good turnout for it. Even though nobody actually went to all of the locations and got the prize it was still fun. After everyone had left, clean up went smoothly.

The next day we died, or tie-died. The day was full of dying jokes such as: How would you like to die? You can’t die on the floor, it would be too messy. And then someone would respond “no, these dying jokes are killing me.” Jokes aside, most people’s shirts turned out nicely and it was a fun day. 

by Solenne
May 1

I can’t believe Farm Stay is almost over! The hours and the minutes and the seconds and going by so fast! It feels like just yesterday that we got off the small bus and walked up to the homestead excited to start Farm Stay. Everything has been going by very quickly and I’m liking and appreciating every moment of it. At the beginning of Farm Stay, the days would pass by so slowly and I would often think that we were having dinner when it was lunchtime. It was like we were living in a time-warp, time felt so much different out here than back at my home in Minneapolis. After about a week or so, I started to get more into the rhythm of how things work and everyday now goes by in a flash. Especially today has felt fast. I barely remember waking up this morning, it feels like that happened a couple days ago. Another reason for me thinking this is because I’m tired. These past couple days everyone has been in a really tired mood. I’m guessing that part of it has to do with the stress of getting ready for the spring festival and part of it is because we have had a really busy Farm Stay. There is a lot of rest time during the day, but still, we are busy. We have done four big things so far that have kept us busy. We went to the science march in St.Paul on Saturday the 22nd, the JH visited on the 25th, we went to the french competition on the 24th, and we had the spring festival on Sunday. Yes, we have had a busy and exciting and fun Farm Stay. Tonight we are going to go to sleep earlier so we can be (hopefully) less tired tomorrow. I know that tomorrow is going to be yet another fun day of Farm Stay.

by Lily
April 28

My stay at the Land School has been the incredible experience people have told me it would be. I have made friends with people I had barely talked to before, and created memories and experiences I could never have anywhere else but at the Land School. Farm Stay has been a great way to disconnect not only from technology, but from the city and the busyness of the outside world. I'm not saying Farm Stay is not busy, but it is a good relaxation and reflection period. I am on the last Farm Stay, which obviously takes place during the end of the year. Lately, I have been finding myself reflecting on the school year as a whole, during my free times. Farm Stay is a great time for this, thanks to the peace of the wilderness. 
Today we had a Community Work period in which my mentor group traveled to the peninsula to de-barbedwire the forest, or “Forest Liberation” as Calvin called it. We snipped the barbed wire fences from poles stuck in the ground, and then pulled the poles up. I worked mostly on pulling the poles up. The poles were stuck in the ground every six feet with rusted barbed wire connecting them. Most of the fence had collapsed thanks to fallen trees, interrupting the steady pattern of fence, bending the poles and sending them deep into the ground, and creating a struggle to reach most of the wire, which was underground or under leaves. Some of the poles were stuck in the vast root systems of trees, and took several tries to pull them up, even with the lever like tool that helped us pull the poles up. Once finished, it looked as if we had pulled up approximately 20 poles, which seems like a lot, but in reality, we barely got half way done. We pulled the barbed wire and poles back to the Land School in the red van. It was satisfying to look back at the de-barbedwire forest as we drove away, and I am glad I could be a part of the Forest Liberation. 

by Clayton
French Competition
April 27

Today we went into Minneapolis for our french competition. We have been practicing our french song for a while now, and we were nervous to perform it. The french competition is held in the University of Minnesota; some middle schools and lots of high schools come to perform poems, small group songs, small group skits and large group songs. Farm Stay did a large group song; a few people from Farm Stay did other performances too. 

No one was excited to get up an extra 30 minutes early from the already 7:30 wake up call. There was very few successful conversations as people got ready, got breakfast and did farm chores (in the snow!). Donna, Laura and Calvin drove us in three vans to the french competition. When we got there we still had a lot of time until our performance so we were able to get food, talk and watch our classmates do their smaller presentations. I had a lot of fun watching Oscar, Saxon, Max and Rohan do their small group song. I also enjoyed the diversity of junky and bad food that the university provided.

When it was finally time for us to perform we went into a hallway and practiced twice with Brooks watching us, and then went into the theater space. After two groups from Lake Country had gone, it was our turn. We did pretty well, but we were kind of quiet. 

Overall, I really enjoyed the french competition and I had a pretty good day. I ate lots of food that we don’t normally get on Farm Stay, which is probably a good thing (us only having healthy food on Farm Stay, not me eating lots of bad food).

by Grant
April 25

I’m at the halfway mark for Farm Stay 4. It’s hard to believe that it’s already halfway over; these past days have gone by in a whirl. Everyday has been packed with activities and lengthy cook crews, but it still seems like they fly by so fast. I wish Farm Stay were longer so I could finish everything I wanted to, but here we are at the halfway mark, day 9. 

Even though everything has gone by so fast, I’ve gotten used to it - gotten used to getting up early in the morning to make pancakes, gotten used to setting up a dish cleaning cart for everyone else, gotten used to playing piano after 8:10, gotten used to preparing lunch and cooking the meat, gotten used to cleaning all of the surfaces after, gotten used to working on micro-economy and academics, gotten used to sharing stories at closing and I’ve gotten used to feeling so tired at the end of the day that I can’t walk straight. But I’ve gotten used to taking hikes with my friends, gotten used to throwing sticks around like javelins, gotten used to laughing so hard I get an ab workout, gotten used to saying bad ironic memes, gotten used to trying to jump riverbanks (not always successfully) and I’ve gotten used to the people that I’ve been living around for the past 9 days.

Although today was the JH visit and I was able to reconnect with other friends and classmates. It felt weird at first since I was so used to a lifestyle in the country and on farmland. I almost felt overwhelmed since I wasn’t used to that many people. It was almost like I felt a different personality in me through my friends in the city compared to the ones with me on Farm Stay. I guess it just goes to show how much Farm Stay has changed me. 

It’s still hard to believe that it’s halfway over. I’ve learned so much but it’s felt like I’ve been here for so little time. When it is over I will have a lot of things to take back with me, like how to tell when you should flip a pancake, how to throw a branch and make it stick in the ground, how to play part of Cascades on the piano, how to engage in a good conversation at dinner, how to jump a riverbank and how to write a blog about living on a farm for 18 days. I think the most important things I’ll take home are memories, memories of foosball, memories of awesome hikes and corn stock chucking, memories of javelin throwing, memories of getting burned by bacon grease, memories of new bonds and friendships that I have made on Farm Stay and I’m only halfway in. Well hopefully I can make the best out of the 9 days I have left on Farm Stay 4.

by Oliver
April 24

Today was the prairie burning. I could see smoke begin to rise around 10 o’clock and all the kids rushed to see the big fire. The first prairie burn was controlled because they didn’t want to burn down the pine forest. The second prairie burn was free; it started off slowly and then climbed into a raging fire. It was so hot, that everybody decided to take a few steps back. When it had burned out, a giant smoke cloud hid the burnt grass. When no more crackling was heard, we ran back to the Homestead to watch what we thought would be the greatest burning. The workers finished lunch and then watered down all of the areas that fire shouldn’t spread to. It started from the other side and slowly peeled away, until they started more fires along the other edges. It wasn’t as great as we thought it was going to be because smoke covered all of the fire. All and all though, it was a pretty crazy thing to have experienced and I may never get to see it again. That’s why Farm Stay is so much fun, because a lot of the things that you do here, you may not ever do anywhere else, and that’s pretty special.

by Eliza
April 22

I woke up this morning knowing that it was going to be a very moving, inspiring, and exciting day. The sun was shining into my sleeping eyes for the first time in a while after days of drizzling and overcast weather. My entire body was exhausted as I got out of bed, but the excitement for the day to come immediately rushed from my messy bed head to my cold, bare toes. The morning went by very slowly, waiting for everyone to eat breakfast and get their gear on for a day in the city. When our silver van finally peeled away from our new home, it made me realize how weird it was going to be to be in the city, even though it had only been six days since our rural experience began. 

The hour and fifteen minute drive from the homestead to Saint Paul went by in a blur, and I couldn’t believe that we were going to participate in something so important and so moving; the March for Science! When I first heard of the march, I imagined a much smaller crowd just being together and talking about science, but as we were driving through the endless city streets, struggling to find a parking spot, I saw floods of people in the streets, carrying signs and gathering as one massive group. I had no idea it was going to be such a large movement and I felt truly inspired seeing all those people there supporting the same cause: the cause of the protection of science and the world.

Participating in the march and the rally was not only incredibly fun, but I felt like I was changing something and making a statement that is very necessary. It felt amazing to be with all of those thousands upon thousands of people having a great time and making a difference in this world.

by Stefan
Land School Activities
April 21

I have been doing a lot of hiking around lately, and while walking and enjoying nature is fine, I always like to be busy with my hands. So here are some really fun activities to do while on a hike or a walk at the Land School:

Spear Throwing 

At first this may sound a bit violent, but trust me, it’s not. Spear throwing is something that you can do while on a hike along the stream. Some things you may need are: a stick, and a whittling knife (optional). First you have to find a stick that is not too long but not too short either, usually the size of your wingspan is best. Then you have to hold it close to the middle and throw it at the banks of the stream. It may seem a bit weird at first but when you try it it feels really satisfying. 

Corn Husk Throwing  

Another really really fun activity at the Land School is corn husk throwing. Some required materials are corn husks, and work gloves. For corn husk throwing you first have to go to the cornfields, but only while there is no corn growing. You then have to grab a corn husk that is stuck in the ground and pull it out. If the husk breaks while you are pulling it out it’s no good. What you have to do is pull out the roots. It may seem dirty at first but it’s not that big of a deal once you have started. After you pull out the corn husks you spin in a circle and let go as soon as you are facing the way you want it to go. However you may want to wear gloves because the husks have a tendency of cutting your hands. 

These are just a few of the fun things you can do on the Land School. I have enjoyed them very much and am happy to teach you how to do them so that you can enjoy them for yourself when you come to the Land School. 

by Holden
April 20

Farm Stay 4 has just started and I have already done many exciting things. We have started our occupations, our micro-economy projects, and have had many bonding experiences (such as outside organized play time) along the way. My favorite part of Farm Stay so far has been the small amounts of time we have had playing games outside with Calvin. The first time we played capture the flag in the woods, which was a great competitive experience that I think we all enjoyed. The second outdoor activity we had was a game called thicket which is pretty much a more advanced version of hide and seek in the woods. I am really looking forward to how this Farm Stay unfolds, not just the free time, but the physical work and outings that the land school staff have planned for us. The Farm Stay experience has always been something I look forward to and is one of the things I appreciate most about the LCS school philosophy and schedule.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Farm Stay 3, February 21 - March 9, 2017

by Robby
The Last Day of Farm Stay
March 8

This Farm Stay was far beyond what I thought it would be, it was fun, it was blissful, and it was reconnecting. We did many fun things, and I liked almost all of it, but here are some of my favorite things: I really liked the three times we played The Most Dangerous Game, I liked going outside while the wind was blowing over twenty-nine miles per hour, and I really enjoyed the general joy and fun of my friends on the Farm Stay. I thought that it was very nice to have a hot meal, for every meal, seven days. Everyday you have free time to explore the land school. You can also pretty much do anything you would like during this time. Your daily schedule will be filled with a mixture of outdoor time, school work, and creative expression. On the weekend, the whole days are pretty much all free time, but make sure to not lose track of time and miss any of the meals. This Farm Stay was an amazing experience, and I am so sad that it is over, and I cannot wait to go back next year.

by Will
March 8

Today is the last day of Farm Stay and there is a lot to be done. We know we have to clean our rooms, but first we need to play one last game of ping pong. We should finish our Micro Eco reflections, but we also need to have a water war in the bathroom. We have to finish our occupations, but we also need to change all of the screen-savers on the computers, and before we clean our cubbies, we have to play one last prank: so much to do but so little time. 

We also need to say goodbye. We have lived here, with the same people, in the same place, with the same schedule for more than two weeks; after that, you get pretty used to this. But now it’s time to go home, and we all want to, but at the same time, it is hard. We have had so much fun here; we have created new friends, new experiences and new stories, so leaving that here is very difficult and very sad, but when we go home, we will still have all of the memories.

by Zoe
March 7

I can’t believe that we only have two days left on Farm Stay; it seems like we just got here! This morning was very interesting: we woke up and the bathroom lights wouldn’t turn on but we didn’t think it was a big deal. Then we tried to turn on the sinks but they didn’t go on and then we found out that the power went out because of the giant storm last night. The power came back on around 9:30 a.m.. After that we unloaded four crates of soil for the rest of the year. Some of the bags were frozen! Then we had PE (physical expression) and for that we play The Most Dangerous Game, which is when we all start out in a building called the Sugar Shack and we all scatter and hide for the first five minutes and then we try to make our way back to the Sugar Shack without being tagged. We played that for two hours until it was time for daily jobs. After daily jobs we normally have free time but I got to collect the maple tree sap and ride in the back of a tractor! That was super fun and I even got credits for it! Farm Stay has been fun and I’m sad that I’m leaving but I’m looking forward to going home.

by Zoey
March 6

Farm Stay is really fun. I have so many memories from it. One was when we went sledding and Katie said “look, an eagle” but I thought she said “look, Smeagol.” Yesterday was the pancake breakfast. It was really fun, but very tiring. It was really great to see my parents, my brother, and my friends. I cooked pancakes for around an hour and a half. Afterwards I was really tired and read for around three hours. Adeline and I have a lot of fun observing Queenie (the peahen) for our science project. We made lots of weird jokes about how she was double crossing us because she was going on the neighbor's property. Another fun thing we did was bowling and pizza. Rylan, Zoe and I made bad puns and talked about Doctor Who while eating pizza. Zoe and I figured out that we are really alike (besides the fact that we have the same name). These are just a few of the amazing and fun things I’ve done on Farm Stay. I wish Farm Stay were longer but for now I’m going to make the most of these last four days. 

by Rylan
March 5

For the past few days, we have been getting a lot of wind here at the Land School. It has caused us to lose power, torn through the greenhouse, and given us some fun play time outside. Here is a poem about the wind:

Strong, destructive,
Blowing, tearing, never stopping,
Crashing through anything in its path,

by Peter
March 3

So far Farm Stay has been great! We’ve done a lot of great stuff and had fun. Micro economy will probably be one of my most memorable experiences, hopefully because of it’s success rather than its failure. On Friday morning Robby and I had a ton to do: we had to tie dye 25 shirts, make 25 fruit cups, and make a ton of whipped cream. By the end though, we had managed to finish it all. I am very excited to see how the breakfast goes!

by Molly
March 2

Today is Thursday, two days before the Pancake Breakfast. Everyone is getting ready, and there is a nervous energy flowing through the air. We are finishing up our projects, and finalizing everything. We are beginning to set up, and clean up for all the people coming. Everyone is excited, and nervous, but everyone will have a good time. As the day ends, and the sun is setting, everyone is getting very stressed. None of us are completely done, and we have barely any time the next day to work. We are all scared, but we all go to bed and get a good night's sleep for the day to come.

by Sage
March 1

I remember waking up Tuesday morning the day before Farm Stay and feeling sick to my stomach.  The kind of feeling that doesn’t just come from being hungry or excited.  Truth was, I was nervous.  You wake up one morning in a different bed with different people, surrounding you.  You ask yourself, “how did I get here?”.  You can’t think of an answer, so you get out of bed, and head for morning chores.  By the time it's over, you're still half asleep, eating your same old, same old, granola and english muffin for breakfast.  Then your face falls in the granola. Closing your eyes you chomp on the cereal until you drink the very last of it.  You wash your face with your sleeve and prepare for the day.  You start the whole process all over again.  Get up, rub your eyes, ask why and how you got there, eat breakfast, and you're ready to start the day.  So now you know when somebody asks you how you spend your mornings, you know what to say. 

by Rio
February 28

Today the Junior High came to visit us at the Land School. Last year, I remember not wanting the Junior High to come. This year it was the same case. The whole morning we were dreading the moment when the bus pulled into the driveway. When they arrived we went to say hi and almost instantly the situation became a lot better. We did our stewardship jobs, ate lunch and reconnected with our friends, who we haven’t seen for almost 2 weeks. Then, we had free time. I had a lot of fun talking and telling stories about Farm Stay. I think it is a good idea to have the Junior High visit because it is a good reminder that eventually Farm Stay will have to end. But until then, I am going to have fun and enjoy the time I have here.

by Stone
February 28

So on Monday I made carnitas in the morning on my own with a little help from my friend Saxon. We made it with my mom's secret recipe and everyone loved it. So we started out with 5.5 pounds of pork, orange, onion, cloves, and other spices. It took about 8 hours to cook and at the end i felt really good because I made everyone happy. 

by Saxon
February 27

This morning I went on a hike looking for animal tracks, although it had snowed all last Friday almost all the snow had melted at this point, which made searching for tracks more of a challenge. I was hiking with my two friends Peter and Stone, we were searching for tracks as a part of the science observations we do on Farm Stay. We hiked for a while until we crossed paths with Robby who is mapping the stream as his project. We ended up walking with him because we found most of our tracks by the stream he was mapping.

As we were walking we came to an area that had a steep incline almost like a small cliff that we could climb up but was still steep enough that it was easy to slip down. Luckily there was a very small frozen pond at the bottom of it and we could throw things down through the ice.  We got to the top where we found a small stump which gave us the idea to push it off the cliff and into the frozen pond. I did film our whole adventure on Peter’s camera but it's twenty minutes of raw footage and that would be a little bit hard to get onto a computer and edit.

Overall our adventure/hike was successful; we found many tracks, but not too many that we hadn’t seen except for one odd track that we couldn’t identify. Near the end we met up with Will and Beno who were just a little bit upstream from us. We walked with them through the stream but very carefully so that the ice didn’t break. The camera battery died just before we reached the homestead but we got good footage to document our adventure and we completed part of our science observations all while having a good time.  

by Aksinya
February 27

My experience at the Land School is great. The best part so far is the Most Dangerous Game that we played. We had lots of fun and had a great time at the same time. I am making soap for our Micro Eco event that is happening on Saturday, March 4, 2017. I am looking forward to that moment. I have made new friends and figured out things that I didn't know about them. Everyone is being funny, kind, nice and helpful to me and others. I am glad that I chose this Farm Stay and the people on this Farm Stay are great. 

by Beno
February 25

There have been many different experiences on Farm Stay for me so far. I have climbed trees, run away from Calvin, and burnt myself on wax while making candles. Today, since I forgot to do my blog, it is Saturday, one the best days on Farm Stay, in my opinion. We have farm chores, breakfast, optional work for credit/free time, lunch, free time, dinner, and closing. There is so much free time if you don’t do the optional work for credit, that you can hike anywhere around the Land School.

During the first free time, Saxon, Will, and I ventured out on a real perimeter hike that took us almost the whole free time. We went around the farmstead, and skirted around the outside of the creek near the sugar shack. We then found some small maple trees and cut tiny holes in them and sucked the sap out. It tasted like Dr. Pepper. We were going to go on the real border between properties but we had to circle around back to the fence because there were a ton of thorns in the way. We made our way past the hunting blind, and all the way back to the corner of our property. There, we turned right and were able to look out onto a bunch of vast land. Not. Barren corn fields were all that we saw there and so we walked into the ravine by the pine forest.

In the ravine, we saw a deer carcass that had been chewed up by something that it looked like I wouldn’t want to encounter. We made it past the ravine, and headed into the maple forests, where the climbing tree stands. We were able to experience the maples without the sap bags for one of the last times in a very long time. We turned right, and after a while of walking, we found the pond, where Will screamed super loud because he almost fell in the ice. That was the end of our adventure for the morning, but we thought we had something planned up for the afternoon. We ended up just playing ping pong in the basement the rest of the day.

by Adeline
February 23

Once, a friend of mine told me that Farm Stay is all inside jokes. I would maybe change this to Farm Stay is all memories. Even though it is only the third day, I already have so many memories. One of them was when a mysterious thief stole all of the knobs off of the boys’ drawers and cupboards. They were returned later that day, but we still don’t know who it was. Another great memory was taking hikes around the fields during free time. When we were done, we went to check the mailbox and found out that my dad had sent me a toothbrush, and Zoe received socks. This made us laugh at the randomness of the gifts. Today, Rylan brought a Dalek alarm clock back from the cities. It says ‘exterminate’ when it goes off! I am cracking up so much, and Zoey would like to steal it. Although Farm Stay has just begun, it has already been so much fun and I am looking forward to other memories!