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.
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!
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?