Thursday, September 29, 2011

Market Today!!



Winter Squash!!!





And so much more!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pumpkin Harvest Photos

Thanks to Catherine, Phillip, Jordan and the five E1 students who helped harvest pumpkins today!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Rural Campus news for Sept. 26

Land School News

Harvest Festival Soon
The LCS Harvest Fest is just around the corner, on Sunday October 9th. We aim for the potluck at noon with hayrides and activities to follow. Everyone is welcome to this great community gathering. If you want to lead an activity or volunteer in other ways, please contact the Land School staff. We welcome participation!

Wednesday Visits Begin
Every week, Elementary 1 and 2 students have the opportunity to plan a "going out" to the Land School. On Wednesdays LCS provides transportation and Mr. Fitch leads. Students will do some stewardship work (this time of year it is harvesting in the garden) and then have the rest of the day to pursue their own objectives for the "going out" with support from the rural campus staff. We also encourage students to plan a trip to the rural campus on Wednesdays or other days with an approved parent chaperon. This past week we welcomed our first group from Class D. Thanks Mr. Fitch and students for a great day!

E2 Visits
Thanks to Class G for a great harvest day last Thursday! Next week we welcome Class F and Class G as we prepare for the Harvest Fest. 

Rural Campus Lost and Found
Please look for any items left at the rural campus in the new plastic bins found under the bench in front of the elevator next to the Pleasant Ave entrance.

As always, remember to check out this blog for news, stories, recipes and photos. If you have anything to contribute to the blog, please send it the Land School staff.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Tart

Heirloom Tomato Tart

Thank you to Kirstin S. for trying out this recipe and recommending it for us. Found on Epicurious.


For black pepper parmesan pastry
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water

For filling
  • 3/4 lb fresh mozzarella (not unsalted), very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cuppesto
  • 2 lb mixed heirloom tomatoes, sliced 3/4 inch thick

  • Special equipment: pie weights or raw rice


Make pastry:
Blend together flour, butter, shortening, parmesan, pepper, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size lumps. Drizzle 2 tablespoons ice water over and gently stir with a fork (or pulse in food processor) until incorporated.
Gently squeeze a small handful: If it doesn't hold together without falling apart, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) after each addition until incorporated, continuing to test. (Do not overwork dough, or it will become tough.)
Turn out dough onto a work surface and divide into 2 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather both portions of dough into 1 ball, then pat into a disk. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch round and fit into a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable rim. Roll rolling pin over top of pan to trim dough flush with rim. Lightly prick tart shell all over with a fork.
Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights or rice. Bake in middle of oven 20 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights and bake until golden, about 15 minutes more. Cool in pan on a rack.
Fill tart shell:
Remove side of pan and slide shell onto a platter. Arrange one third of mozzarella in bottom of shell and drizzle with one third of pesto. Arrange one third of tomato slices, overlapping, on top of cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat layering twice.
Cooks' note: Tart shell can be made 1 day ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature.

Read More

Recipe: Live Spring Rolls

Thank you to Kirstin S. for contributing this recipe which she found in the Vegetarian Times online.

Live Spring Rolls with Lemon-Ginger Dipping Sauce

Vegetarian Times Issue:   p.   —   Member Rating: 111
For a party icebreaker, serve these rolls Vietnamese style, with the fillings and the leafy wrappers laid out on a plate so everyone can roll their own.

Ingredient List

Makes 8 rolls
  • 3/4 cup raw tahini
  • 2 Tbs. raw agave nectar
  • 4 tsp. nama shoyu or soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 8 Swiss chard or romaine lettuce leaves, tough stems trimmed
  • 1/2 cup grated or julienned carrots
  • 1/2 cup grated or julienned raw beets
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced or julienned (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup mung bean or sunflower sprouts
  • 8 large fresh basil leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh mint


To make Lemon-Ginger Dipping Sauce:
1. Whisk together all ingredients and 1/2 cup water in small bowl.
To make Spring Rolls:
2. Fill each chard or lettuce leaf with pinch of carrots, beets, bell pepper, and sprouts. Top with basil and mint. Roll chard leaf around filling, tucking in edges. Serve with Dipping Sauce.

Nutritional Information

Per roll: Calories: 167, Protein: 6g, Total fat: 11g, Saturated fat: 2g, Carbs: 15g, Cholesterol: mg, Sodium: 282mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 6g

Recipe: Oven Dried Tomatoes

Oven-Dried Tomatoes 

Thank you to Nicki M. for supplying this recipe.

(photo: Nicki McCracken)
Whether you eat them as is, or pack them in an herbed oil, these tomatoes are flavorful and versatile. You can oven dry any tomato variety; each of the quantities given below generally fills one baking pan.
Martha Stewart Living, September 1998 

Yield:  Serves 4


24 cherry tomatoes 
- or - 
8 to 10 plum tomatoes, cut in half
- or - 
8 to 10 yellow, orange, red, or green tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick or thicker slices

1 tablespoon sugar
Herbs, such as basil, oregano, or rosemary, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 200 - 250 degrees. Line a quarter-sheet pan or cookie sheet with parchment. For thinnest chips, use a Silpat baking mat. Arrange tomatoes, cut sides up, on pan, spaced 1/2 to 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with sugar and herbs; season with salt and pepper.

Transfer pan to oven; dry until juices have stopped running, edges are shriveled, and pieces have shrunken slightly; timing will vary depending on the variety, ripeness, and desired degree of dryness, 1 1/2 to 6 hours. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cook's notes: Don't be surprised how long these take to cook! A couple of my batches took up to 8 hours in a 200 degree oven-- I think the 1.5 hour time range is unrealistic. 

I used a variety of tomatoes and just sliced them to the same thickness: 1/4" to 1/2". I didn't use herbs, but I did add several cloves of peeled garlic on one batch. I used a Silpat liner on one pan and nothing on another and noticed little difference. I also didn't bother with the precise spacing of the tomato slices-- I just threw them all in the pan and made sure they weren't touching.

I read a few different recipes for oven-dried tomatoes and the consensus is that they will keep "forever" in a ziplock bag in the freezer. I haven't tried the in-oil storage method. Some recipes called for removing the seeds before drying, but I think that's unnecessary. Also, some recipes did not use sugar.



main ingredients: 
tomato, salt, pepper, sugar, herbs

Tuesday Memo from September 21st

Rural Campus Update

Eventful Summer at the Rural Campus
Lake Country's rural campus buzzed with activity all summer long. There were Great Gatherings, Junior High Apprenticeships, an E2 Camp, a Garlic Festival, and many work days and harvest days for the garden. Read all about our summer by scrolling back on the blog.

E1 Orientation Visits
Last week and this week, we have hosted each of the E1 classes for their annual fall orientation visit (Class D today!). We count on these visits as a time when the children pick the pumpkin patch and learn about all of the interesting things they can do at the rural campus. Our goal is to give the children the rural campus as one of the special places that they can plan a "going out" or a trip with their family. This visit we also got to pick apples from the orchard, see the tree house, and feed the animals. Thanks to all the parent chaperones and staff for helping make these visits great. 

Great River School Fall Trip
Last week we hosted the 9th and 10th Grades of Great River High School for their annual fall trip to the Land School. It was four full days of fun and projects. Thanks to students and staff for all your great work.

Class G Harvest Help This Week
We are looking forward to Class G coming this Thursday to help with the produce harvest. We are hoping to get a big chunk of the winter squash harvest in to start curing, as well as all of the usual produce. Thank you Class G in advance.

Markets Every Thursday
Each week we bring to LCS the fruits (and veggies) of all of the work done by the children,staff and families during the spring and summer. Please stop by the LCS parking lot from 4 to 6 pm every Thursday until the end of October to get your fresh chemical-free produce. All are welcome! 

Photos from the Local Food Meal Great Gathering

Thanks again to Mary for sending these photos from a Summer 2011 Great Gathering. Thanks also to Julie, Rob, Beth, and Dale for hosting at the Land School.

Photos from Ukulele Great Gathering

Thanks to Mary for taking these photos during the Ukulele Campout this past July. It was a hot humid day, but it cooled off a little in the evening. Also the water balloons helped.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Rural Campus News September 12th

News from the Rural Campus

Summer highlights:  Our summer was eventful as always.

The weather was like a roller coaster, starting the summer cool and wet and about 2 weeks behind, and then seemingly overnight the extreme heat hit. Then August and Early September have been beautiful, seasonable weather. Except for some mid-summer dry spells, there was enough rain all summer, and sometimes too much. The effects on the garden were to go from a slow start to an explosion of growth. The explosion of growth also included the weeds, which are as numerous as ever this year.

Our summer programs were fully enrolled, with 5 weeks of Junior High Apprenticeships and our most-ever Elementary 2 Campers. The Garlic Fest was well attended and much enjoyed, despite the rain. There were a record number of Great Gatherings at the rural campus this summer – see other blog posts for photos and stories from those events.

Our Summer Intern, Anne Nichols, proved to be a great hire, bringing great energy, enthusiasm, and ideas to the farm. She will be extending her stay, and raising some organic chickens to sell to the LCS community. Look for more info on those birds.

The end of the summer saw the departure of Katy Hunt, who served at the Land School for two years. We’ll miss you Katy and good luck with your next adventure! We also welcomed Kate Flick, who will be Lake Country’s new Environmental Education Specialist. She’ll live here at the rural campus, but advise the whole school. Welcome Kate!

Market this Thursday. There will be a produce market this Thursday at LCS from 4 to 6 pm, and every Thursday until the end of October. There are many items available to non-members of the CSA. So please stop by and shop and socialize. All Lake Country community members are encouraged to come out to help on Thursdays with the harvest, whether they have a share in the CSA or not. Call or email to schedule your day!

This coming week we are hosting Great River School’s A2 students for their annual fall visit. Their whole 9th and 10th Grades will be here doing innumerable projects. We always look forward to seeing their incredible staff and students.

We are also Hosting Classes E (Wednesday) and C (Friday) for their annual orientation visits. They will be harvesting pumpkins for the Harvest Fest!

Yoga Great Gathering Photos

Thank You Terry for taking these awesome photos. Thanks to Michelle and Laura for hosting their fifth annual Yoga Great Gathering at the rural campus! Thanks to Michelle for leading the group.