Monday, November 10, 2014

Farm Stay 1, October 13-30, 2014

Castor and Pollux
by Rachel
October 14
Today is the second day of Farm Stay 1. The weather is really nice. Some E1 and E2 students came out and helped with projects around the Land School. It was really fun and the E1 students made apple crisp and they shared some with us. It was really good. This summer we got two orange kittens. They are still smallish but really mature; except they are still working on landing on all their legs. Their names are Castor and Pollux. Pollux is more orange than Castor is. They really like chasing long plants and being held. They are really fun to have around and I think they like the farm.

The Hay River 100 Mile Local Food Challenge
by Sally
            For the next ten days, farm stay one will be participating in a local food challenge. This means that we will only be able to eat food that is produced within a hundred-mile radius of the Land School, with a few exceptions. These exceptions are that the group is able to choose ten exotic foods- foods that aren’t gown in a hundred- mile radius- to eat during this period of time. The exotic foods that we chose include: cinnamon, chocolate, salt vanilla, baking soda, rice, sugar, olive oil, pasta, cumin and pepper. (We realize that these are eleven exotics, but we decided that cumin and pepper were going to be combined into one…). Choosing these was very hard; we realized that we took so many things for granted, like spices that mainly do not grow very near to us. One thing that we enjoyed finding out was that we could remain eating cereal for breakfast- we had already gotten rid of the bagels an cream cheese, and the toast- because the malt-o-meal factory, which already supplied much of our cereal, turned out to be 98 miles away- located in Northfield, MN. This challenge has been very hard on us, even though it’s only the first day. The first thing that we realized was that, to have toast, we had to make our own bread. Then, during do-it-yourself dinner, we were struck with the fact that we couldn’t have as much freedom as we usually did in the kitchen. Instead of making Mac-and-cheese in a box, we were forced to make our own cheese sauce. By the end of this, I am sure that we will all be very grateful to have non-local foods again, although it will be a great experience.

To find out more go to…

Cumin or Pepper
by Mehek
            I am a strong pepper advocate, “What else is going to flavor the food? ” I ask those who believe our last exotic food should be cumin. I suppose my viewpoint is because I don’t spend much time in the kitchen cooking meals, and apparently cumin is useful in that setting. But, for me, food is almost always bland anyway, and I would be in deep doo-doo if I didn’t have pepper to help a bit with that (of course hot sauce is the most optimal but that has too many ingredients be one of our exotic foods.) “They” insist that we need cumin for our chili tomorrow, I insist that is one meal, and pepper is used for every meal (and if it isn’t, it should be.) Apparently, this discussion was taking up too much of our morning meeting, so Katie decided that “cupper” would be our last exotic food item. No one could argue with that. Though it may look like we are cheating to a critical eye, this ten exotic food limit is meant for one family, and though we are like a family on farm stay, a twelve person one, is quite sizable. Coincidentally, we have twelve exotic foods as of now, because yeast was added on the next day when we started to make bread.

by Remi
October 18
Today was the last day of the first week of Farm Stay 1 2014-15. We are mostly settled in and adjusted to the schedule. We all went apple picking this morning for cider and sauce apples then we had an extensive free time where we played games explored the outdoors and some did micro eco work. We are still in our 10-day 100-mile challenge, there have been some mistakes but mostly we are doing well. Today was also the first snack day so we are able to eat the snacks that we brought from home.
by Will
October 19
            Farm Stay 1 closed out a great first week on October 19, 2014. We spent our first week getting used to our daily schedules. Working on the farm has proved to be a lot of fun. The first week was a mix of work, planning, pranks (a lot of time goes in to those), and more fun. It has been great getting to know everyone better.
            Today, we had great weather, just like we’ve had all week. We got to sleep in this morning (finally!!!). We had a great brunch, then had free time until dinner. A lot of free time was spent playing foosball or doing fun activities outside. Those activities included going to the tree house, the red barn, or exploring the woods. Many people took that time to work on getting ready for the “Spooktacular”. We finish the day with dinner, study hall and a meeting. All in all, it was a great week and a great day.

by Walker
            Over Farmstay one we’ve been doing a local food challenge. The challenge lasts ten days and we try to eat food that have only been grown and produced within 100 miles of where we live, or in this case the Land School. We are also allowed ten exotics per household, but because our group is so large we have 14 exotics. They were vinegar, ice cream, cumin, pepper, yeast, cinnamon, chocolate, salt, vanilla, baking soda, rice, sugar, olive oil, and pasta. It’s been hard and we have had to improvise and try new things like making mayonnaise, and buying venison sausage shot and processed within 100 miles. But I know many of us have broken the accidentally, like when we had do it your self dinner and I put soy sauce in my stir-fry or, some people sneaked ketchup on their burgers. But its really cool because it makes me feel better about my carbon footprint.

by Noah
October 21
            Today, we had a fun visit from the Class H students. All the kids came at around 10:30 and quickly got to our work. We had a blast harvesting, planting, and preparing vegetables. In small groups, we went off doing different things like harvesting corn, shoveling leaves, separating garlic, and planting it. They got the opportunity to work with the Junior High students on these activities as all of us got to interact with fellow classmates.
            The weather was perfect and sunny, and it was a fabulous experience for both the Junior Higher’s and Class H students.
            As we near the Spooktacular event on the 25th, everyone is beginning to work hard on their products for the store. There’s many food items, and craft items that we’re excited to sell. The micro-economy so far has been a crazy, but fun experience that is helping us explore and learn all about the economy with our products, on a micro and independent scale. There’ve been many test batches and experiences as we prep for a great event!

by Noah
October 22
Hi! At this point in time, there are two days until the spooktacular! People are starting to feel the tensions of living together for so long. Just like a family, we are starting to annoy each other. People have also been not getting enough sleep, just adding to the mix. Alone time, suggested by donna, is the only remedy, but it works wonders! Work for the spooktacular is coming along nicely. It is going to be truly awesome! It is taking place at 4 o’clock on Saturday, and will come to a close at 8. If you are open on that day, I highly recommend coming to enjoy this event. Three reasons why you should come:

a) there will be a store selling both all manner of deserts and snacks, and cool crafts.
b) we will have fun activities like a maze and a haunted hike.
c) one word. POTLUCK!!!!!!!!!

And your Saturday night is booked. Bam.  

Life on the farm is a great and refreshing experience. I realize how lucky I am to have the opportunity to come here.

by Eliana
October 25
            Today is the big day of the Spooktacular! All of the Farmstay students are very excited to host the Spooktacular, and sell our products that we have been working on since the beginning of Farmstay.
            Before we could even host the event we had to set it up. I worked on moving the couches and plants in the gathering room, moving the tables in the dining room and classroom so people could sit and have their dinner, and setting up spider webs to hang in the windows. By the time we were done working on the set up the homestead looked great. In the afternoon I helped get the apple cider press and the bobbing for apple’s buckets into the van so we could bring them over from the long barn to the homestead. After everything was done I was very exited to see my family and friends that were coming to the event.

by Sophia
October 26
            Yesterday was the Spooktacular event it was a lot of fun, and more people then I thought showed up. Everyone’s product sold and all of us enjoyed seeing our parents and friends that came. Today we had a clean up day but it was not that bad. After the Spooktacular we were all very tired and Katie was very nice and let us watch a movie.
            At the Spooktacular event I was in charge of the bobbing for apple station and on a half hour crew on potluck clean up and the out side casher. I really enjoyed seeing my family and friends and the event over all was a lot of fun
            We were all getting used to our new jobs because we switched our morning jobs yesterday. There is Animals, breakfast and breakfast clean up. I am on animal chores now and I am doing the llamas and sheep chores. The only thing I do not like is having to get up at 7:30 to do them.

by Davis
            The Lake Country Land School Farmstay was great. There were many challenges. Such as the 100 mile food challenge, but the challenges made the Farmstay a much more realistic experience.
            Interacting with all the animals was a cool thing to do. We got to feed the animals, pet the animals, clean up after the animalsL, and much more.
            Getting to know the other 11 people was great. I am excited to come back next year.

"Last Day" 
by Sarah
October 30
            Today is the last day of Farm Stay One, 2014. I have learned and experienced so many great things here, and I am sad that this experience is almost over, but I am glad to go home.
            Over the past eighteen days I have grown, both literally and figuratively. On October 19th I had my thirteenth birthday, and my parents came over and gave everyone a can of silly-string, and we had a silly-string war.
            But I have also learned a lot about independence, doing my own laundry, cooking meals, and so much else.
            Right now I am listening to a song called “coming home”, and I can’t think of a more suiting song.
“I’m coming home, I’m coming home,
Tell the world I’m coming home,
  Let the rain wash away,
All the pain of yesterday
Now my kingdom awaits,
And they’ve forgiven my mistakes,
Tell the world I’m coming home.”