Saturday, December 5, 2015

Farm Stay 2, November 30 - December 17, 2015

by Adeline
December 3

I know that some people who are thinking about joining Lake Country School, or the Junior High, but are worried or confused about Farmstay. I have decided to write my blog entry on the day I had yesterday, or a normal day.

7:10 Wake up and go to do Farm Chores. Every morning there are three jobs available: Farm Chores, Breakfast setup, and Breakfast cleanup. We rotate jobs every six days.

7:30 Eat breakfast, so kindly put out by the breakfast setup. Breakfast is usually pretty quiet.

8:30 Math. We have a website that I can go on to get math sheets, score, and take tests on. Dave emails Katie when we need to test. In math class we work on our practice sheets or take tests.

9:30 Morning Meeting. Everyone meets together in the classroom to share the weather, headlines, and announcements. We then have ten minutes to write about a topic, usually from a prompt.

10:00 Occupations. Occupations are extra things that we do around the Land School. Right now we have two occupations, Facilities and Food. Facilities helps make systems at the Land School work better, like repainting the biffies or fixing the floor of the Red Barn. Food cooks lunches and learns about where our food comes from.

12:00 Lunch. Lunch is a fun time, and is usually louder that breakfast. Yesterday we had visitors from EI who were cooking shortbread, so we had lunch with them.  

1:30 Micro Economy. Micro Economy, or Micro Eco, is a class we take in preparation for our winter craft sale. Everyone will make two items, a food and a craft. This sale is also welcome to neighbors, which makes it very big and exciting.

3:30 CEPE. CEPE stands for creative expression, physical expression. Yesterday’s creative expression was talking about the Poetry Blog and figuring out who would write on what day. Guess who was first? Physical expression was a hike, solo sit and run/hike back.

4:30 Daily Chores. Daily chores are different than the morning chore rotation. Everyone gets one chore space to sweep, vacuum and wash. I have the hall, steps and phone booth. I spent my free time after chores playing with a cat we found, and are giving away to a neighbor, and talking on the phone with my sister. Everyone can call home as often as they like, as long as it is less than 15 minutes.

5:20 DIY Dinner. Every Wednesday is a DIY dinner. I teamed up and made a stir-fry, grilled cheese sandwiches, and a Norwegian rice pudding. 

7:00 Study Hall. Study Hall is a time to work on any work you might have.

8:30 Evening Meeting. At evening meeting, everyone gets one minute to tell a story, usually based off of a prompt.

9:30 In wings. This is a time to get pajamas on, brush teeth and get ready for bed. In the boys wing it seems to be the best time for running up and down the hallways. In the girls wing it is a time to talk to the people in the other room.

9:50 Lights out. You can still talk, but should be quite and in beds.

10:00 Goodnight.

Morning Pages
by Kyra
December 4
Every morning on farm stay, we get a chance to reflect in our journals after one of the staff gives us a topic. On Wednesday, December 2nd (our third day of Farm Stay), Donna gave us the topic ‘A sense of place’. To give us some more ideas of what to write about, she asked us some questions: When do you feel most connected to where you are? Who has also spent time in the places you love? How does the environment affect your sense of self? I chose to answer these questions a bit differently then some others on my Farm Stay. Here’s my entry:

Feeling connected to a place, that sense of home, safety, happiness, and belonging, it’s a feeling that can be rare, and it’s a feeling that some people never experience. It’s a sense of place. It’s this certain, hard to explain feeling of peace when you know you are connected to somewhere. It could be more than one, and it doesn’t even have to be your home. There’s this place in Portland, Oregon, the house I used to live in. The house is high above the trees, almost on a cliff. There are two giant windows, and when you look out of them, you can see tall trees below and three mountains in the distance. It’s like you’re in this giant tree house and you can see over the world. I haven’t been back to that house since I moved to Minneapolis, almost three years ago, but I can still remember that feeling. I felt so connected when I was there, and that’s one place I remember feeling safe, peaceful, and happy. I can name many more experiences like this, a sense of place. Many of these experiences happen in nature, in a beautiful place where you can just listen and look at what’s around you. I get this peaceful feeling that can’t really be compared to when I’m around technology and factories and buildings. Only when I get the chance to be outside with wildlife and nature do I get this sense of peace, this sense of home.  

by Sage
December 5

What does home mean?  What does family mean? Those are too questions that I have been trying to answer for a very long time, and now on farmstay, I am able to answer those two questions.  Home means a safe, comfortable place to live or be in with family or friends to live with.  It could be your grandfather’s farm that you visit every weekend or your cabin that you lived in all your life.  It is made up of memories and stories that shape the person you are today. The biggest part of what home means is the people that live inside it.  So if no one lives in your house, or you like no one in your house, your feeling of what home means will change quit a bit.   So what does family really mean? Family is your life.  Without family you won’t know what love means.  You won’t feel protective or safe.  Family can mean friends, cousins or aunts, just whoever you feel safe with, loved and protected by.  They will change your life, and help you through the next big steps that are yet to come.   The difference between home and family are very similar in the way of, to make either family or home to the fullest extend of what it can mean they both have to have a little of the other (meaning that if home means a comfortable and safe place to live in, but your peers that live with you dislike you and you dislike them home will be a little less comfortable and safe).    

Over farmstay the experience with your peers is phenomenal, as they become your family.  A family that you eat with, play with and do just about everything with.  There are six main things that you would notice right away, that specifically could make up your “family”.
Laughter- laughter that fills the room and never stops.
Fun- laughing, talking, making jokes, playing games.  All part of having the fun you want.
Sticking together- working through problems together and never giving up.
Helpfulness- helping each other with homework, chores or making food.
Smiles- always smiling to keep everybody up and going and to keep the moods happy/up.
Tiredness- tired of work, each other and not getting enough sleep.

Farmstay and your home are similar in many ways, but two things that really stick out are:
1) They are always there for you in many ways like making you laugh, and/or helping you out verbally/physically.  
2) You have to make it fun for yourself your parents or peers at farmstay aren’t going to put in the effort to entertain you. 

On the first day of farmstay we are just a bunch of teenagers put together in a house, but by the end we are a COMMUNITY! On farmstay everything becomes your home, the kitchen, dining room, classroom and house itself.  You feel safe and secure. 

Some goals for next year on farmstay are to reach out even more (to everybody), than I did this year and to stay in the present. My one wish for next year, if I am on farmstay 2, is for there to be snow.  

by Ruth
December 5

There’s no place like home. To me there are two main definitions of home. One is the place you are located or living (which is your house). The true definition of home is a place you feel safe and loved. Home is really home when there are memories and you have family. Family also has two definitions to me, one being direct family, which are people with whom you share DNA. The other is people with whom you share an emotional connection, relate to, and love. Here on Farmstay, we have all become a family, everyone feels safe and loved. The Land School has become home, we’ve made memories and a loving family surrounds each of us. I am not going to say that I have loved Farmstay the entire time. At first, I was very tense, stressed and honestly I wanted to go home more than anything. It wasn’t that I was homesick… I didn’t feel safe. I remember on Friday of the first week, I began to open up; everyone around me was kind and open. To me, that was the day we became a family, and finally I felt loved and safe, I’m at home.

Goals for the Next 5-10 Years
by Eloise
December 6

After my school conference, before thanksgiving break, I walked away feeling proud and accomplished. I also walked away seeing how far I’ve come and how much more work there is to do for the future. This year was the first year that I decided to do competition for my dance studio. My schedule was already packed with dance and homework. My parents were worried about me taking on more dancing. They were concerned about me falling behind in my schoolwork and that I would have to drop competition. But here I am, still in dance and doing great in school. This school is built on trust, helpfulness and working together, so when I needed help to achieve my goal these students and staff were always there for me. My dance studio is also about working together as a community to build up the group as a whole and to be on the same level as each other. I wanted to surround myself with people who would lift me up with them and make me stronger. A school conference is in a way like a dance performance. You get to show how much work and effort you’ve put in throughout this period of time. My goal for the next 5-10 years is to keep reaching new heights and to work hard. Like a good family friend say’s “Plan your work, work your plan”.  

by Noah
December 11

Wow! I finally got my energy back! Oh, sorry, just my own thoughts there, but farmstay can be tiring! And I got sick, so… but the important thing is, everything is coming close to a spectacular finish! And not just any finish… the holiday fair!!!! I am really exited for that event, and especially for the food there! Expect buttermilk biscuits, spring rolls, soup of three kinds, pie, scones, cornbread, grilled cheese, and much more! And not to get started on the crafts, but the crafts! Woodburned necklaces, bath salts, cutting boards, wreaths, and local vendors, like Julie Ann, (the guide of class g) and farmer to farmer, an organic coffee co-op. it will be held on Saturday, at the land school, so try to come!!! See ya there!


by Martha
December 14

On this Farmstay we’ve talked a little bit about climate change. It’s an issue that we’re all experiencing first hand because it’s December 14th and there’s no snow. During the first community meeting that we had we discussed the fact that to make a positive impact on the issue we need to give up things that we like and take for granted. One example is taking shorter showers. Turning off lights when we’re not using them. Conserving, re-using and recycling. All of these simple things seem so hard to humans to do in their everyday lives. I think one of the reasons that climate change has become so much of an issue is because many people don’t get to experience how wonderful our world really is. A few nights ago for closing we went outside and laid down on the snow-less ground and looked up at the stars. It felt like I was in a snow globe. You could see a faint outline of the Milky Way and many shooting stars flew overhead. The majority of people living in cities do not experience this very often. They don’t realize that we only have one Earth and if we don’t preserve it, we won’t have a home. It’s not really their fault either; living in cities we barely ever get to see a shooting star or go for a hike in a forest. So how can we change this? How can we preserve our planet and home? Some changes are out of our reach. An average person can’t stop factories from blowing pollution into the air. We can, however, contribute on a small scale. We don’t need to use our cars everyday; we can bike, walk or even take the subway. We also don’t need 15-minute showers. Sure, they might be nicer, but you can get the job done in 5. And there aren’t any imaginary people who use the lights in rooms when we’re not in them. We also can all grow some of our own food. If every person had a small garden, thousands of fuel that would have been used to import some corn from Mexico could be saved. If we all cut down on small things in our lives, we can make millions of lives better for everyone on our planet.   

Cold and Wet
by Anonymous
December 14

Cold and Wet.
Still no snow.
Feels like Summer, it’s Winter though.
Maybe just a little, that might be nice.
I’d be pleased with just some ice.
Waiting yet for this snowy season,
Winter’s crime upon us all, a rainy act of treason.
The forecast tells us tales of storms,
But the temperature is just too warm.
Just the very next morn’,
The sounds of storms,
Patter against our windows.
We laugh, we yell, we shout with gay,
Just to find out the weather’s like May.
We eat our breakfast,
Raining still, 
Eating our toast with little thrill.
But there’s still hope for snow today,
When rain turns into sleet, hooray!
When lunch is called,
We look outside, to find out our land is still bald.
Oh well, no snow, whatever then.
When we look outside right then, 
The sky is colored white again!
We shout, we yell, we laugh with glee,
Guess this means White Christmas,

Morning Pages: Technology
by Theo
December 15

In the 21st century, technology has become a part in most of our lives. There are countless things that technology is used for, which people would never have believed 25 years ago. Technology is a tool when it is used to do something productive, such as researching on the internet and doing schoolwork. It is used as entertainment with video games, youtube, and so much more. There isn’t anything bad about being entertained with technology, but doing so too much isn’t good. On the Farm Stay, we have access to the internet, but it is limited. We are allowed to research information about whatever it is that we are studying, and also write e-mails to our family and friends. We have also been able to stay in touch with the news online as well. It is less than most of us are used to, but it is very easy to adapt to and to also stay away from. In the past few years, technology has been consuming us more and more. If we continue to progress at this rate, who knows what it will be like in 10 years.

by Rylan
December 16

This morning, we had an assignment to write an ode to something or someone we love. Because we are at the Land School, I was inspired to write an ode to nature. We had ten minutes to write, and this is what I came up with:

You are what makes me feel alive,
With an array of creatures and objects,
You dazzle me with your creations.
You are the earth, you are the sky,
You are the fire, air and water,
You are the creator,
Where we come from and where we go,
Each thing, you create with a purpose,
To do something and to be something,
You are a story that keeps unfolding,
You are where we all belong,
 You are life, you are death,
Beginning and end,
You are here,
You are now,
You are joy,
You are happiness,
You are all.

The Land School is a place where I can be connected to the beauty of nature. I have enjoyed my time on Farmstay 2, because I have had more than two weeks to feel connected to the land. I am sad that we are ending farmstay, but I am very grateful for this opportunity.

Photo by Rylan

by Anonymous

On the bus, the wheels go round,
We watch out the windows as snow falls to the ground.
When we arrive, the land school staff are here,
We begin the day with a great big cheer.
We enter the homestead with smiles on our faces,
Drop our stuff off and go find our places.

The rest of the week we get to know the new space,
Soon we are settled and find the right pace.
Every day is different, everything is unique,
We have so much fun in the very first week.
We get used to the chores and all the new things,
But we still have plenty of time to sing.

Every night at closing, we all tell stories,
Just one minute each and that’s the glory.
The days are long and filled with fun,
We laugh and we play until the day is done.

After the first week the snow is all gone.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Harvest Baskets

This past Thursday marked the end of this year's vegetable market season. Thank you all for your support and love of the Land School and its many fruits.

We are now taking orders for our annual Harvest Baskets. A Harvest Basket is a bushel basket full of goodies! The baskets include winter squash, garlic, onions, shallots and brussels sprouts (all from the Land School), maple syrup (bottled by Lake Country students at the nearby farm of Land School friends), and Wisconsin cheeses (from our local dairy store, Bolen Vale).

Cost is $50. Baskets will be available for pick-up in the Lake Country parking lot on Thursday, November 19, from 4 - 5:30pm.

If you would like to order a basket, please send an email to, and give money to Brooks, in the office.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Farm Stay 1

Spooktacular Event Schedule!
Saturday, October 24th, 2015, 4-8pm

4 - 5:30
     Markets (Land School produce, student products and food)
     Face Painting
     Pumpkin Carving
     Find the Eyeball!
     Guided ¨Haunted¨ Hikes (for lower Elementary/CH; parents, please accompany
      your children)

5:30 - 6:30
     Baked goods available for purchase

6:30 - 8
     Markets (Land School produce, student products and food)
     Guided Haunted Hikes (for Elementary and JH students and adults)
     Campfire w/s’mores

by Aidan
October 13

This was the first day of the farm stay. For all of the seventh graders and new eighth graders this was very fun as well as confusing. The returning eighth graders really helped us stay with everyone else. We went on hikes around the perimeter of the farm to refresh our memory and even show others for the first time. Over all it was a great orientation day that will make sure we don’t screw up in the future.

by Thea
October 15

On Saturday October 24th from 4:00pm-8:00pm the Land School is hosting our annual “spooktacular” event! This will be a fun and Halloween-y event open to all locals and Lake Country School family and friends. The students staying on the farm this month will be selling different types of food and crafts ranging from brownies, cheese curds and rice crispy bars to candles, coasters and warm fleece blankets. There will also be all types of events like a haunted hike in the woods and pumpkin carving. We are also hoping that you can bring a dish for our potluck because that will be our dinner for the evening, but we do ask that that dish is nut-free and isn’t a dessert. We hope to see you there!

by Holden
October 18

We have had some time to get used to life here on farmstay. Our group has learned how to work together and we have been able to find our peers strengths and help them with their weaknesses. We are working in groups to make great quality and variety of micro economy projects. As a group we are staying on top of our work very well, both for the farm and for school.

We are also doing lots of fun activities like capture the flag and ultimate Frisbee. All together the beginning of this farmstay has gone very well.

by Sophia
October 19

Today on farmstay 1 we are preparing for our event called the Spooktacular.  We have been settling in on farmstay and some would say it is starting to feel like an extension to our homes. 

For work we have: micro-economy, a science project (many of us are either studying weather at the Land School, while some of us are working with the animals or going out to the bird blind), occupation work (where if you are in the food group you are doing a small project on food. For example, some of us are comparing how much sugar intake has increased in certain years until now and making a graph). We also have our English books that we started when we were at the urban campus, either: Blood on the River or The Scarlet Letter.

Today we had students from Class E come and visit us at the Land School and they made apple cider, and shared with us!

All of the Farmstay students are looking forward to the visit from our Junior High classmates tomorrow!

by Lily
October 20

Today was day nine. It was the day that the whole Junior High came to visit us on Farmstay 1. Personally, I was very excited for this event; the Junior High coming meant that I got to see my sister and a lot of other friends that I missed. But, for others there were a lot of mixed feelings. Now you might think that that sounds crazy, I mean why would anyone not be excited to see old friends? But when you spend so much time being in a group of 12-13 you get used to being in small groups, and it is kind of hard to interact with a group of about 40 people. But by the end everyone got to see their friends from school, say goodbye to them, and get back into the natural rhythm of Farmstay. During their visit we got put in groups to work in. In the end, it was a great visit, we got a lot of work done, and I am excited to hopefully see a few of them on Saturday for the Spooktacular.

October 24

Today was the day of the Spooktacular. It was very exciting and everyone had lots of fun. People were selling a variety of different products, from candles and tie-dye shirts, to coasters and bird whistles, along with many baked goods. I enjoyed seeing all of my family that came to the event. For activities we had pumpkin carving and painting, "find the eyeball", face painting, and a haunted hike. It was very exciting and everyone enjoyed it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lovely Land School Days with Class F (and this Week's Harvest List)

Class F had the opportunity this week to spend three beautiful days at the Land School. After coming this past May to plant this year's potato rows, they were now able to harvest the fruits of their labor! As is the yearly Class F tradition, the work in the field was followed by the crispy snack of french fries, made by the 3rd years.

Harvesting potatoes!
The potato washing team
Following the potato harvester

Much time was spent playing games at the Athletic Field and on the sidewalk, visiting the sheep, llamas, and new chicks, and playing at the Tree House. 

Playing games on the front sidewalk 
Meeting at the Homestead Fire Circle 

While Monday afternoon's activities revolved around potatoes, Tuesday's variety of activities included work with the bees, study at the pond, and book binding in the classroom. Having just returned from the Junior High Odyssey, we were happy that Doug was able to come out for the day, suiting everyone up in bee suits to extract honey from the hives! It has been an abundant year inside the honeycombs.

On the way to the bee hives!
Preparing to extract honey

And lastly, a harvest list for the week!

Cabbage (Napa, Savoy, Green)
Green Beans (actually, Purple Beans!)  
Japanese Turnips
Kale (Dino, Curly, Red Russian, Siberian)
Lettuce Mix 
Melons (cantaloupe and watermelon)
Onions (bunching, red and yellow)
Peppers (sweet and hot)
Swiss Chard

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

September 10 Market

This Thursday will be our fourth produce market of the season. Class G will spend the day at the Land School, helping with the big harvest. It looks like we will have a sunny and crisp day! Our projected harvest for the week includes:

Cabbage (Napa, Savoy, Green)
This year's shallots and onions

Green Beans 
Japanese Turnips
Kale (Dino, Curly, Red Russian, Siberian)
Lettuce Mix
Melons (cantaloupe and watermelon)
Onions (bunching, red and yellow)
Peppers (sweet and hot)
Swiss Chard

I hope we will also have carrots, but they may be asking for another week to size up. If you don't see them tomorrow, be sure that they are coming soon! We began harvesting the squash with our E1 visit today, and will let it cure for a few weeks before bringing it in to market (a process which toughens the peel, making the fruit less prone to bruising, and which also improves the flavor, as starches are converted to sugars). We sadly will soon see the end of the basil this year, as it has almost all succumbed to what seems to be downy mildew. I do not see any frost projected in the forecast, so let's hope that the tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and other frost sensitive crops will continue to be with us for several more weeks!


In the past, we have grown a Vietnamese variety of shiso, which is green on the top and a deep burgundy on the undersides of the leaves. This year, at the request of one of our weekly market shoppers, we are growing Japanese shiso, which is bright green all around. Just as tasting the earthy, pungent flavor of epazote (a Mexican herb) brings me right back to the kitchen that was home to me during a semester spent in the Costa Rican cloud forests, I have had market shoppers tell me of their own experiences with shiso and the love they developed for it during time spent in Japan. It is a new herb to me and I am eager to experiment with it yet this season, and encourage you to do the same! Let this also be an invitation for you to request certain plants that you would like to see grown at the Land School and to appear at the market (with no promises, but with the best of intentions to fulfill any wishes!).

Japanese Shiso

Market Credits

For those of you interested in buying market credits, you are welcome to do so at any time. Market credits are a way to ease your experience of shopping at the weekly produce market by eliminating the need to bring cash. You may simply drop a check off in the office (for an amount of your choosing, depending on how much you anticipate spending this season) and then fill out a form in the binder that will be at the market each week. While market credits are non-refundable, they can be used for other things throughout the school-year, such as harvest baskets, winter produce markets, and Land School syrup. 

Our Beloved Oak Tree

Those making a visit to the Land School this fall will surely notice the fall of the great white oak tree that for many years graced the front yard of the farmhouse. Because of a significant split running down the length of the trunk, the decision was made that it needed to be taken down. While this news is shared with sadness, it also comes with the exciting prospect of a sunny yard full of flowers, herbs, and fruit trees. If you have any perennials that could be divided sometime this fall that you would like to have find a home at the Land School, please contact me (Laura) at

Monday, August 17, 2015

First Farmers Market

With the first day of school approaching in just a few weeks, it is time for the farmers markets to begin! Our first market will be this Thursday, August 20, from 4-6 pm in the school parking lot. We hope to see you there!

Here is the list of what to expect this week:

Cabbage (Green, Napa)
Green Beans
Herb Bunches (Basil, Parsley)
Kale (Dino, Curly, Russian)
Onions (Red, Yellow)
Peppers (Bell)
Radishes (Red)
Swiss Chard
Tomatoes (Heirloom, Slicing)
Zucchini / Patty Pan



1 head napa cabbage, chopped into thin strips or chunks
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into strips or disks
5 radishes, cut into disks
1 chunk ginger
2-3 garlic cloves
1 shallot / onion
hot pepper


Mix together a brine solution of 3 tablespoons salt / 1 quart water. Place cut cabbage, carrots, and radishes in a large bowl and cover in brine (multiplying the brine recipe as needed). Let sit ~8 hours / overnight. 

Drain vegetables, reserving some brine. Mince ginger, garlic and onions, as finely as possible. Mix with the drained vegetables. Pack tightly into a large jar. Add enough brine as needed to submerge vegetables. Fill a small leak-free plastic bag with brine and place inside of jar, on top of vegetables (this serves to keep the vegetables submerged). Lightly place lid on jar. 

Leave the kimchi to ferment on the counter for 7 - 10 days. Taste it as it is fermenting, and place in fridge when it has fermented to your liking. Kimchi will keep for many months in the fridge and is an excellent way to preserve the bounty of the summer!

Apprenticeship 2, August 9 - 13

by Hazel

During this August apprenticeship there were lots of things that all of us enjoyed. Here are the top 11...

1. Catching birds in the chicken coop! There are always lots of little sparrows that get stuck in the chicken coup and can't figure out how to get out, so they keep smashing into the windows. We discovered that as soon as we caught them they calmed down, so then we went outside and threw them up in the air like in the movies and they flew away! We also enjoyed naming every one we caught: Sebastien, Samantha, June, Judy, Harold, Liam, Lexi, Stewart, and Callie.

2. We enjoyed cooking our own meals as well, including doing the dishes!

3. Watching the chicks hatch!

4. Getting up at 3am to watch the meteor shower and at 6:30 to watch the sunrise

5. Playing with the cats and mocha

6. Getting to know each other much better

7. Working in the garden and on the pizza oven

8. Making and listening to our playlist

9. Picking two water bottles full of wild berries and making an awesome pie that we ate with ice cream by the lake. 

10. Cleaning out the animal pens

11. Playing tiger, swimming at the lake, and movie night

We all loved the peacefulness and serenity of the Land School. Even though for many of us this will be our last official trip to the Land School, we are already making plans to come back often. And while this is only a five day trip, we appreciate and cherish the time that we got to spend here this week and thank the Land School staff for all the hard work they put into making this the best experience possible for all of us. 

The dome of the oven is complete!
Oven Door Facade
By Rio

This is my first Apprenticeship and it has been amazing! I got to know a lot of people that I hadn't known before. We have worked very hard and and had fun while working.  The first day when we got to The Land School we went on a hike and then went right to bed when we got back. The next day we woke up at 7 O'clock made our own breakfast then did animal chores and Stewardship. Some of us weeded and some of us helped build the bread oven. Now that I look back on that day it seems like it was so long ago, and everyday since has gone by WAY too fast. Today we did more Stewardship and in the chicken coop there is a hen named Mrs. Hen who laid 15 eggs and today one of them finally hatched, we named her Delilah. This has been SUCH an amazing experience and I am totally coming back next year!

¨Life Force!¨ - Cleaning out the root cellar
of last year's remaining aspirant potato harvest

Monday, July 13, 2015

Blueberry Season

Dear Lake Country Families, 

I am delighted to announce that we have reached blueberry season! We are enjoying the sweet blue jewels off of our own Land School bushes, as well as those from a blueberry farm about 25 miles from the Land School. This year at this blueberry farm, the Land School is caring for two rows of berries in exchange for the entirety of the harvest. I would like to invite you to come harvest with us, with the arrangement that you take home half of whatever you pick (at no cost), giving the other half to the Land School (to be frozen or made into jam). The bushes are loaded with fruit and we would love help picking and enjoying this beautiful harvest! Please let me know if you are interested: 715-265-4608. 


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Apprenticeship 1, June 21 - 25

by Grace

We have done so many marvelous, exhausting, exciting activities, including: weeding the garden in pouring rain, playing with the adorable cats, planting trees, and much more. Not only do we get to physically exhaust ourselves during the day, we get to wake up at seven in the morning. In the evening we get to relax. One night we watched a movie, another we went swimming at Clear Lake. But when the night ends we have to wake up at seven, to yet another marvelous, exhausting day, where we must either haul mulch up and down a hill for hours, or haul straw back and forth, each time wishing we could be in air-conditioning. Every morning we must make our own breakfast, which is totally different from our normal city life, where we have our parents bring us breakfast, while we watch tv in our pajamas. Of course in the city we also don't have tics crawling on us nonstop. The chores we get to do each morning are to collect eggs from the chicken coop, and feed Llarry, and Precious the llamas. Of course we also get to scrub their water bowls, which of course I'm always "excited" for.

by Sage

The day the apprenticeship took place started off with a nice relaxing “stroll” in the forest as we took our time examining the flowers, plants and other surroundings.  The following day we had the exciting job, and yes I do really mean it, of weeding the garden.  It always meets my satisfaction after the day’s work to look back and see all the weeding that we had accomplished.  We also spent much of our morning, the next day, planting oak trees so that some day when we're about 60 or so we could come back to see the big and strong trees bringing shade and life to the Homestead.  Each moment each day was new, wherever we went or whatever we did.  There was always work to be done and a long list to fill out for chores and work stuff that needed to be finished or started in the fields.  As the many activities filled up our day like weeding, planting and picking vegetables, I could have never forgotten the evening activities of watching a movie, hiking and swimming at clear lake.  I loved each event more and more as each one was new and fun.  I hope to come back next year for the apprenticeship once again.    

Learning to make beeswax candles

Fresh oregano from the garden, picked to be dried
for cooking in the winter

Mulched, re-trellised raspberries
Weeded garlic: the source of much satisfaction!

Tibetan prayer flags, hung in the animals' pasture

Sage, Grace, Mocha and one of our new
Land School oak trees! The two new oak trees
are from this year's graduation and were
planted during this first apprenticeship.

Flowers blooming in the Homestead gardens 

Along with herbs, we also harvested and dried
wood nettle, a relative of stinging nettle,
which can be used in soups all year long!

by Laura

The Land School is always brimming with life - the silent and raucous, the teeming and still, the subtle and vibrant. It is so alive that each time students arrive to spend time here with us on the farm, I am caught by surprise as I remember the new layers of life that their joyful presence unfailingly awakens from the land. For those of us to whom these fields, woods, stars and birdsong have become the assumed landscape in which we awaken each day, the students' enthusiasm and fresh discoveries renew our own capacities for wonder, appreciation, and awareness. Farming and teaching are two of the most exhausting things I do, and they are two of the things which most give me life and for which I feel so much love. After harvesting the wood nettle this past week, during which we got stung, upon which we found leaves of plantain to immediately sooth our irritated skin, one of the students remarked to me - ¨wow, there's so much I don't know,¨ to which I responded - ¨that's why you come to the Land School!¨ While I know that much of my life's work will involve an intimacy with and a deep listening to the land, it is only once I am able to share this passion of mine with others, only once I am given the opportunity to see a child's face brighten with wonder and to see the calm that enters them as they tuck plants into the earth, that my work finds its true capacity to fulfill me. For what are our gifts without someone to receive them? And what is knowledge if it does not continue to awaken and inspire? 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Farmstay 4, April 13-30, 2015

by Jacob
 April 13

Today there the first day of the farm stay. There was a great amount of orientation that took place. We went around the land school which was a nice way to get the place back in to our head. This farm stay is already so much fun I am so excited for the rest of the trip.

An Original Poem
by Brooklyn 

The little toy carousel left for me. Orange 
pill bottles unhidden on each shelf. An
oxygen tank as heavy as the life it provides, cattails 
from her golden fields. Picture
frames nailed upon the wall like a story book with only good things told, the
memories she chose to hold on to, chess 
pieces and cards scattered with care, the 
dear old man who wasn’t there. Jewelry; treasures from a pirate ship. Fairies
dancing all around the dearest one with broken wings,
and a tired yet determined heart.

Farmstay Pictures
by Iris
April 19

Hi, it's Iris, and this is my blog entry. Here are some of 
the pictures that I have so far... I hope you enjoy them!

Eva playing Badminton. 

The sunsets at the LS have been amazing!!

A little white flower I saw on our photo hike.

A branch with thorns on it that I also saw on our photo hike. 

Ko and Eva jumping.

Another sunset picture.

Ko playing Badminton.

A frog I saw on our photo hike.

The skull garden.


This picture is from when Sara Nelson, our English teacher, came to the 
LS with her two dogs. They were really cute and fun to photograph. 

So far, Farmstay has been really fun. It's been great getting to 
know everyone better and I am super excited for the rest of FS!

Our Crazy Camping Experience
by TeDabi 
April 19th

Last night on Saturday April 18th we went outside to camp in the field. The girls wisely set-up their tents while there was still daylight outside, but unfortunately us boys did not. So, at about 9:30 after Gallery Night (which is basically a talent show) we went into the homestead, brushed our teeth, suited up for a dark, cold night, and grabbed a whole bunch of blankets. 

Out at the A-field chaos was the order of the day. There were about 3 of us boys making an honest effort in setting up our tent, while the remainder of the boys messed around with the girls. So, after I don’t know how much time, we finally got our tent up with Katie’s help, only to realize that our rain fly was not put on correctly as to protect the whole tent from the rain. Understandably though, at 10:30 at night as it’s beginning to drizzle, you’re not so picky about where you’re sleeping, just that you’re sleeping. 

So we got into our tent and got ourselves situated, despite our unreliable rain fly. After messing around in our tent awhile we finally went to sleep all in one big row, the six of us. At 12:30 in the morning we awoke to complaints from Simon and Ben who unlucky for them were sleeping in the exact area that the rain fly did not cover. For Ben and Simon being soaked in rainwater, that was the last straw. They gathered their things and left for the homestead. We were down to 4 very tired boys who soon drifted off into a cold, fitful sleep. 

Throughout the night we continued to wake up numerous times. Either because of the rain water in our tent, the seeping cold, or our noisy, flapping tent in the strong wind, restful sleep eluded us all. Every time we awoke, we’d just pull our blankets closer around each other, get comfortable and try to once again, fall asleep.  

Finally, at 7 A.M. we woke up tired and crabby. Our camping trip had not gone exactly as planned…

Self Image (Morning Journal)
April 20

I think that self-image is something that we, especially in the junior high to high school age, but really throughout our whole lives struggle with a lot. Once I start looking, I notice many, many people who have put on or made for themselves a very different image then their “actual selves” mostly to fit in or not be judged. I think it often makes people much less pleasant to be around because they have discarded their own values for a new set. I find it hard to remember that the way people act sometimes doesn’t necessarily showcase what that person actually thinks and often is a result of something else going on or social pressures, etc. Talking to people alone who I don’t like in a group often gives me a new view because they usually have lots of interesting things to say and a view on the world that I wouldn’t expect, as well as being very friendly and kind when in a group they are mean. It’s even harder to remember because of the groups we (including myself) put people into and then stereotype to all be the same. I try not to judge people by what they may seem like on the outside but it is very difficult. I also try to be myself and live by my values, knowing that I will change and naturally not everyone is going to like me, and that’s okay. 

Indi’s Blog

The beauty in death

The beauty in death
Blood that runs cold,
Slowly drifting away.

Body parts weak,
Eyelids that creak,
Moving Into
An eternal sleep.


Steep dark street

The walk down the street was lonely and quiet
One foot
Followed another
As I took my final steps.
Into a sea of desperation,
littered with garbage and toxic waste.
flaming stories full of lies,
And the memory of truthful words
That are now only echoes,
Constantly ringing in my ears.
But the worst part,
Was the guilt,
Which had taken the form of weights,
Wrapped around my legs.
I remember some parts of me yelling and screaming,
But the pull to continue was too strong
And my legs were too weak,
So I continued my walk down the steep dark street.

by Simon
April 22

In the last unit of the year in English we focus mainly on poetry. We are writing a lot of poems and we are learning about both the art and history of poetry. On Farmstay we are not getting many lessons on poetry, but we are still writing lots of poems while we are up here. Here is a short poem that I wrote called, “The Woods.”

The cold breeze chills my skin
While the sun sets over the horizon 
Heat vanishing.
Surrounding me the branches tangle out from the trees
Weaving and overlapping.
Silence fills the air 
Only to be broken by the song of the sparrow.

by Eamonn
April 23

This morning we had occupations. There are many great projects going on between the Facilities occupation and the Garden and Greenhouse occupation, such as herb gardens and painting the outhouse.  

Sara Nelson the English teacher also paid the Farmstay 4 students a visit to check in about their poetry and their general Farmstay experience.  

Sadly, farmstay 4 is close to it’s last week. The days are definitely beginning to go by faster now that everyone is on board with the routine.  

Today we also had an intense game of ultimate Frisbee, which ended with many tired students! 

We are currently working very hard in preparations for the spring festival, which takes place this Sunday the 26th.

by Booth
April 24

To day was overcast, but nevertheless it was fun. We started our day off with occupations. During occupations, my group, the Facilities group, made lunch and started to make food for the potluck. I made sloppy joes for the potluck (they are delicious!).

After luncheon we had a big chunk of micro-economy time, where we prepared and made our products that we will sell at the Planting Festival.

Here’s a special shout out to Teddy, my brother, who turns 12 today. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TEDDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

by Ben
April 25

I wrote and edited this poem while looking at the beautiful sunset each night. Here at the land school every night is beautiful either watching the sun fall behind the trees or watching it rise from the A-field.

Light of gold

Heavy with beauty
Resting on the horizon
Slowly moving put of sight
I try to save this light
I try to capture this shinning orb or gold
But all I do is watch your glimmering body fall into the trees
You light the world with a bright flash
But as you leave
Your sister brights the sky
With a pale white shine

by Lilian
April 26

I wrote this poem after going on a hike the first week of farmstay. It represents the connection of plant and human.

a sticky afternoon
in mid-may

the cricket sounds his trumpet of honor
and in the grass
small green garden snakes slither
around a sun-touched rock

a butterfly sits
for the sun
to brush
against her wings
blown by a mint scented wind

as the sun
slowly away
along the thick
green grass
a girl wanders home
heavy boots
scratched legs
tired yet free
her black and curly hair
flying as she runs
and holding
a small wicker basket
after a day of reaching
for the juiciest of blueberries
a break
from endless scrubbing
and confining clothes

coming home
she sees
the sun
shining on her
smearing her with sweat
and she thanks it
for its smiling light
and its reality