Friday, May 18, 2012

Sixth Grade Overnight

We worked. Planting trees, raspberries, vegetables, asparagus, popcorn, and melons. Clearing trails. Stacking wood. Preparing food. Cleaning the kitchen.

We played. A lot.

We ate. And ate. And ate.

We had time alone in the forest.

We met the animals.

We celebrated each other.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Rural Campus News

Big week last week. Big week this week. Big week next week.

Last week - Junior High Medieval Days at the Land School. Plant Sale delivery on Wednesday morning (Thank you to Volunteers and Customers and Student Helpers!!!!), followed by three fun-packed days of 50 fifth graders from Armatage Montessori, followed by an enjoyable overnight with 3 students from Class F.

This week - 100 Great River High School students Monday/Tuesday - planting the GRS Farm part of our gardens. Visits to Children's House and from Class H on Wednesday. Sixth graders come out for their annual overnight on Thursday and Friday.

Next Week - Hand in Hand Montessori for a day and Class E for their three-day Environmental Ed Experience.

Things are happening at the Land School! It is a lovely time to be here and we have been able to get many people out to enjoy the Spring and to contribute to the work of the land. Thanks to everyone who has come and is planning to come. You help make the Land School what it is!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Flat Stanley on the Farm

by Andy

My nephew Lucas has sent me a Flat Stanley to accompany me in my life on the farm.

Here is his photo album:

Flat Stanley with his morel harvest. 

Flat Stanley in his Morris Dancing vest.

Riding a random fiberglass pig.

Hanging out with friend Flat Luna Moth

Flat Stanley washes wool and then imagines what he will look like with a beard.

He stacked all of this wood himself.

Get down from there, Flat Stanley!

I will let you drive the tractor when your feet can reach the pedals, until then you can pretend.

Flat Stanley with robin chicks.

Flat Stanley enjoys the sunset.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Farm Stay Rain Photos

It was pouring rain (notice the river going across the sidewalk). Why not go outside and get soaking wet!

John was so wet he came inside before we took the group photo!

Advice to Future Farm Stayers

From the experts...

  • Learn to wash your clothes.
  • Try to always be cheerful and happy not mad.
  • Keep your personal belongings organized.
  • Take showers.
  • Don't get annoyed about being on cook crew.
  • Be positive, don't be down -at least try to - it is an experience that you will never get again - so spend it wisely, and enjoy it!
  • SLEEP!!!!
  • Take advantage of your work times such as study hall because then you will have freedom in other times.
  • Take in every moment of the Farm Stay because when you get home you will be surprised how fast it went by!
  • Go outside instead of always playing ping-pong.
  • Live every moment to the fullest. Before you know it, it is over.
  •  Don't be annoyed with people. If you keep a positive mental attitude everyone will be a lot happier. And don't dwell on the bad parts of people. If you keep thinking "Oh so and so never helps with work," you're not going to like them any more. And no one wants to spend two weeks with someone they don't like. So look at the good side of things like "So and so is so funny!" The glass is half FULL.
  • Get along with your classmates. Don't make foes.
  • Save some time to be alone.
  • You don't need to worry about bad food, because it is delicious.
  • The teachers are really nice and fun.
  • You will become closer to the people on the Farm Stay.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Every Night..

"It's 10 o'clock. Goodnight."
"Goodnight Katie."  "Goodnight."  "Yeah, yeah, night."

Welcome to my favorite part of a Farm Stay day: bedtime. 

Every night is the same; I go to one wing, tell them the time, wait for a response, say goodnight and repeat in the other wing.  And every night, they respond with a goodnight in turn.  I feel a little sad when they stop talking and are (presumably) asleep before I get the chance to exchange my nighttime wishes with them.  Sometimes I'm tempted to wake them up just so they know I wish them all a goodnight. 

Often times we think of ways to start the day, to celebrate a new day's arrival and exchange our hopes for a good morning (actually my second favorite part of the day, especially when they are still groggy from the good night's sleep they feel they have been wrenched from), but I think the night deserves its rightful obeisance, honoring a captivating world of darkness.  After all, without the night, or something like it, when would we recharge for a new day?  We need good nights in order to access good days.  Without that precious sleep, we lose our reasoning capabilities, already so fragile in the teenage brain.

Tonight is the last night of the 2011-2012 Farm Stays.  I will miss the antics, the questions of life, the universe and everything, the reminders to scrub the bottom of the cups, the search for bluebird nest boxes while the sun is setting, the dedicated working on micro economy projects, the ownership of adding value to this place, the mad-crazy-making-cake/frosting-from-scratch skills.  And the goodnights. 

Yeeks, now it's past my bedtime. 
Until next year Junior High,


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mushroom Gold!


A Morel Hunting We Will Go..

 For this blog essay I will be telling a story of our fabulous morel hunting. Now for obvious reasons, I cannot tell you where we were exactly. That is the first priority in morel hunting. However, I can tell you the description of the certain place where we found them.  We were near some rotten trees, and Donna had heard that our neighbor had found them in the area. We spent much time looking around the main place where most of the kids were, but with no luck. We then started branching out to different places and eventually came to the property line.  We then turned around and were starting to leave. We were walking back towards the path that led us out of the woods when I passed a tree that was rotting. I looked down and saw the un-mistakable shape of a morel mushroom sticking up from behind a leaf. I called everyone over and they started looking for them. Sure enough, once one morel had been found, people started searching with a renewed force. And once you are dedicated to find them, they pop up everywhere. People were finding morels left and right. They were branching out and every few seconds someone would shout “found one! No two! No three!” and so forth. We ended up with our basket filled with morels.  We were hesitant to go, but our CE/PE time was running dangerously low.  We made a final circle around the tree and found more of them, but now we really had to go. We gathered our things and left. After that, the next day for lunch, we had salad with stinging nettle and morels. The salad was delicious with the sweet taste of stinging nettle and the earthy, good taste of morels mushrooms.  


JH Visit

            Today at the farm we all woke up and made lunches because the rest of the Junior High was coming today and we were eating at the Farmstead.  Then we all headed to the Farmstead to prepare for the Junior High to come.  Finally, after what seemed like hours the bus pulled up.  Then we split into separate groups to carryout tasks.  My group was the facilities group and currently the main indoor project is working on the chicken coop.  Basically, in general, the current chicken coop is falling apart so we need to build a new on and take apart the old one, or more or less burn it down.  But first we need a place for the chickens to stay while we make a new chicken coop.  So we had to build a temporary chicken coop in the Red Barn.  We had gotten one wall up before today and two more to go.  I, with a few other students, worked on building one wall as the others painted primer on the fully built one.  After we were done we had lunch and then all of us split into three groups for preparation of our upcoming land school overnight. My group was the Robin Hood group and we sleep at the tree house, so we mapped out what the day would be like.  Then at two o’clock the Farmstay said good-bye to the Junior High, as the Junior High had to leave.  For the rest of the day we went on hikes and flopped around the Homestead even though we knew we’d see them in two days.