Thursday, December 1, 2016

Farm Stay 2, November 28 - December 15, 2016

by Oskar
December 15

So far, this Farm Stay has been full of many adventures. Some good, and some bad. But what they all have in common is that we all learned something from them, and were able to laugh at ourselves after they were over. One if these adventures has been harvesting brussels sprouts.  On day three, Jack and I were on dinner crew. We were told to harvest three stocks of brussels sprouts from the field inside of the electric fence. We walked out of the classroom door, and over to the field. We got to the electric fence surrounding the small area of the field. We touched one of the wires on the fence very quickly to test if it was on. It didn't shock us, but we still weren't sure because there was no gate. Jack had the idea to dive through the wires without touching them, and into the patch of brussels sprouts. I wasn't sure about this idea, but Jack was positive that this was the best way to get in. He took a few run ups to the fence, and finally went flying in between the wires. But when he was about halfway though he got caught in the wires and fell to the ground. It took a little bit of time, and a lot of shocks, but after a while I helped him out, and we were able to get the brussels sprouts in time for dinner. This may be one of my favorite memories from this whole Farm Stay, and Jack and I are still laughing about it today.                                                                                                  

by Eloise
New Beginnings
December 15

As an 8th grader I have already experienced Farm Stay before. But no two experiences are ever the same; that is definitely true with something like this. When I first got my list for who was going to be on my Farm Stay I was glad to see that my friend Tessa was on the same Farm Stay as me. But as for the rest of the people I was a little nervous, considering I didn’t really know them that well. My experience as a seventh grader was for me at least a little easier considering I was comfortable with the students because I knew them better. But this year it was a total surprise to see how fun a brand new experience can be. The girls on my Farm Stay were the best to have because every night before bed we would tell stories, and I would learn something completely new about them. Over the stay we became more than just friends; we became sisters, looking out for each other, laughing with each other, sharing really embarrassing moments together, going through the good times and bad times with each other. We also got to know the guys better and we laughed and shared stories with them so many times that it was a complete blast. I had heard other students saying that our group was going to be boring and that no one would talk to each other because we were all so different. But it was actually that which made us an extraordinary Farm Stay. We came on to this experience as a bunch of small friend groups that did not know each other and are leaving this Farm Stay as a group of friends that I think will always remember each other. As an 8th grader it is my last year, but something that I will always remember will be knowing that I was on not the 49th nor the 51st but the 50th ever Farm Stay and that our group lived up to the name by being a pretty cool Farm Stay.   

by Billy
December 12

Well this is it. The last time someone from my family will go on a Farm Stay. In total my family has gone on 5 Farm Stays and 1 Residency, and as far as I can remember we have always loved going to the Land School. We have even come up for more time when we were working on a pipeline that goes from the sugar shack to the road in hopes that it would be a useful tool for the Land School to use so they don't have to carry the large buckets of sap up the hill back to the homestead. We have always loved coming up here and have taken every chance we can get to come up here again. But in 2 days it will be all over. No more weekend visits, no more festivals, no more Farm Stays, and basically no more Land School.  My family will severely miss the Land School and always he hoping to be able to come back someday. 

by Jack
December 10

The Holiday Fair was a lot of fun. I loved seeing my family and friends from the Junior High. It was really good to catch up with everything that is happening at school and everything happening in my family. I loved selling all the micro-economy products with Oskar, Aidan, and Alden. We worked very hard on all of our products and we are glad they sold well. Overall it was a fantastic experience and I am really glad I got to be apart of it.

by Kumi
December 10

Yesterday was the Holiday Fair, and we all had a lot of fun setting up for it. We sold wood crafts, candles, photo cards, hats, snow globes, lotion, bath bombs, lip balm, and a variety of food. We all worked very hard on our crafts but also had a lot of fun making them. Yesterday, many people came, and everyone was happy to see their family. Other vendors set up shop with us, and many had crafty, artistic things that they sold, and I had a fun time looking at them. During the fair, there were lots of conversations, and laughter which brightened up the room. Many families, including mine, went on short hikes, and got to see a beautiful snow covered landscape. Overall everyone had a wonderful time at the Holiday Fair.

by Bea
December 9

We have learned many things on Farm Stay. I think that many of us have learned a lot about ourselves as people and even how we fit into a community. Sometimes even the smallest things we do together, like closing the chickens' door at night, helps us realize more about ourselves, and helps create more friendships with people we would otherwise ignore. Wether we are playing capture the flag with Calvin, or doing DIMPs (daily independent math practice) together, we are all learning and bonding.

by Alden
December 8

Today is day 11 and it was quite a busy day from my perspective. It was an average day with the whole Farm Stay waking up and doing farm chores or breakfast set up while one group slept all the way to breakfast clean up (like usual). Today we had math in the morning having had 41 D.I.M.P completed. But all of us had come against compound and simple interest in our D.I.M.P so we had to get a youtube lesson from Dave (our math teacher). Later on we had our morning meeting and occupations from 10:00 to 12:00. I am in food occupation and I worked a lot on my food occupation research and on making lunch. In fibers occupation they did a little weaving and wet felting. After lunch Sara Nelson (our english teacher) came out to the land school. We had english and discussed our books we have been reading over Farm Stay. We are supposed to have by now 2 reflections of our book about social issues. I am reading the “Lord of the Flies,” other people are reading “The Giver,” then there are many others reading different books. We also had Micro-Economy today to give us some time to work on our Holiday Fair work (which everybody should come to). Then we had my favorite time of the day: P.E (physical expression). Throughout the day it had been numbingly cold and Billy still only wore a sweatshirt. After the school day we had D.I.Y (do it yourself) dinner, which is my favorite. We are all alive and well on Farm Stay 2 and I know everybody is having an amazing time.

by Sydney
December 7

On Farm Stay we do a lot. One thing that we do mostly every morning is either science or math. In the first morning of science we did an activity outside. We made observations of what was around us and wrote five sentences. I will share a little of mine

I see…
Snow falling, trees without leaves, dying flowers, and buildings
I hear… 
People moving, people breathing, water dripping, and snow falling
I smell…
The cold air in my nose, the pine, the woods, and the snow

by Tessa
December 6

Day 9, so that is 9 days on a farm. I have been living at my school's rural campus for a little more than a week. So many things have happened since I stepped off the big yellow bus, not expecting any of it. 

At the Land School Farm Stay (the 50th ever Farm Stay!) there are so many things to do. You can hang out inside and cook, do crafts, or you can run around outside in the sprawling fields. You can walk the many trails, or go off trail and explore the woods. You can visit the animals and you can play in the treehouse. You can climb trees and you can laugh with friends in the gathering room. I have done all of these things in only 9 days! I still have another 9 days here, and am excited to do more of all these things, and to maybe even find more activities. 

Farm Stay, and being at the Land School in general, is an experience I will never forget, I feel independent and free. I almost never want to go back!

by Cooper
December 4

Homestead after sunset

Today was the first big snow, and the first time it actually looked like Christmas

Every morning a group of students does various animal chores for the llama and the chickens, one of which is bringing the compost over for the chickens to eat
A black and white photo of the farm before the snow

A black and white photo of the woods after the snow

by Matthew
December 4

by Marie
December 3

I pull my soft cotton sheets over my face, trying to avoid the sunlight that is streaming into my room. I close my heavy eyelids, hoping to get a few more moments of sleep. I’m finally drifting off when I hear heavy footprints approaching my door. I ignore the creaking door handle and the sound of the carpet sifting. Instead I curl up further under my covers. My friend, Sydney, tells me that it’s time to wake up, but I pretend not to hear her. When she persists, I finally stumble out of bed moaning and yawning. 

I shuffle into the bathroom where I brush my teeth. My soft, flannel pajamas are so comfortable, so when it comes time to change my clothes, I decide not to. In my flannel pajamas, half asleep, I walk to the kitchen and begin to set breakfast up. My hand shakes as I carry the milk, and I think about my warm bed. 

By the time I’m finished eating though, I’m fully awake and ready for another amazing day of Farm Stay. I’m ready to run through the brisk wind, laugh with friends and work on my crafts for micro-eco. I’m ready to learn, grow and laugh through Farm Stay. I’m not tired at all, in fact, I couldn’t be more awake.

by Aidan
December 1

Today is the fourth day of Farm Stay 2. I think that everybody is enjoying their time at the Land School so far. I started the day off by going to the barn to do animal chores. I brought the compost over and gave the animals water and food. We ate breakfast and got ready for our period to work on math. We had the morning meeting, and then started occupations. 

For my occupation we make lunch for the group as well as making a project relating to food. Today I made cookies and bacon for lunch. We then had creative expression, which is sort of like art. Calvin told us to imagine that we were going to be attacked by zombies, and we had to make something to defend ourselves. He brought out boxes, string, popsicle sticks, sticks, hot glue, and many other objects. We got to make whatever we wanted; the point was for us to be creative. Following creative expression we had physical expression, kind of like gym. For that we were able to go outside and do what we wanted. Those two activities were the highlight of my day. 

We did our daily jobs and then had "make it yourself" dinner.  We had study hall, a closing, and got ready to head to bed. So far I have enjoyed my time on Farm Stay. I am excited to see what we will be doing next. 

by Will
November 30

Today is the third day that our group of fourteen has been out at the Land School. I think we are all really enjoying being at the Land School. So far we have done many very fun activities, of which one of my favorites was Science, which we began this morning. During science, we went outside, near the Homestead, and wrote down what we heard, saw, smell, tasted, and touched. It was a great way to allow ourselves to really become absorbed in what our senses encountered.

In the afternoon we went to the woods and played a few games of Capture the Flag, for Physical Expression. Although by the end we all were covered by the abundant burrs, teams were evenly matched which allowed for long and fun games.

I know I, and I think I can speak for the other Junior Highers on Farm Stay as well, are having a great time so far, and can’t wait for the adventures to continue

Friday, October 21, 2016

Farm Stay 1, October 16 - November 3, 2016

by Max
November 2

So far, Farm Stay has been pretty fun, we have done a lot of fun activities including but not limited to: the Most Dangerous Game (though it's not that dangerous), felting, whittling, and cooking.

We also do micro-economy. In micro-eco we get to make a craft and sell them for real money. This year I made cutting boards and pumpkin spice bark with my friend Jonah.

We also have occupations. This year the two groups are woods and food. In the woods group we get to cut down trees and make various crafts out of that wood. In the foods group we get to make lunch for everyone.

I think that farm stay has been super fun, and though I want to come back, I can’t because I am in 8th grade so this is my last year of the school, I can only hope that the future Farm Stays will enjoy it as much as I did. 

by Jonah
October 31

On Monday October 31st we celebrated Halloween by going to a bowling alley. I found out I am not very good at bowling but it was still fun. After that we ate pizza and went "tritty treeking". Tritty treeking was uneventful for the most part (we got a lot of candy though). We were probably the oldest kids tritty treeking. I was of course dressed up in a FS1 made Barry.B Benson (bumblebee) costume. It was amazing and I got a few strange compliments from random people. After we went back to the Land School there was an intense candy trade, but i was to tired that I just gave people candy. All in all I am very glad I got to spend Halloween with the awesome people on Farm Stay 1. 

by Grace
October 27

This Farm Stay has been so fun, and adventurous. Throughout all the days we have been on this Farm Stay, we have grown closer and closer. There seems to be hundreds of inside jokes, and fun stories to be told. 

My favorite thing that we have done so far is chopping wood, in the woods occupation. I felt like a lumberjack. It was great to be able to do some work, but have fun while doing it. Throughout the woods occupation, we have learned so much about wood, and how to carve it. We are starting our end of occupations projects, and it is going really well. So far no injuries! 

Micro Economy was a process, that we will always remember. It may have been long, but it was a lot of fun. We had some points that were stressful, but we always had some fun with it. Our products turned out great, and everyone is excited for the Spooktacular.

As a group we seem to gravitate towards reading. You can usually find most of us in the gathering room with our noses in books. Even though we read a lot we have some really fun times, that we will never forget.

by Kate
Farmstay 1
October 26

This morning most people were up by seven. Some of us enjoyed chocolate mug cupcakes for breakfast. It was raining when we woke up and it rained for the rest of the morning. We had science and many of us did our observations. I observed the clouds and the sky was completely covered by them. We had occupations and we discussed the different food groups. We made a delicious lunch of squash soup and caesar salad, along with some bread. We took a field trip in the afternoon to see the neighbors. The term neighbor has a different meaning out here then in the city. If people live 15 miles or less away they are considered neighbors. 

The man we visited was the inventor of the sky chair. We got to see many of his creations. He made his own shoes out of leather and felt, which we got to see. We got to sit in sky chairs throughout the trip and some of us really liked his cats. We saw some umbrellas that he had made and learned about wood. Many of us were cold but we got to warm up over a mini fire. 

When we got back we set to work on our projects for the Spooktacular. We are baking and crafting many different things such as dreamcatchers, soap, candles, as well as many pumpkin treats. We are also preparing for the fun activities and a pizza party featuring the pizza oven. Everyone has been getting very busy in preparation. 

Come to the Spooktacular, Saturday, October 29th from 4-8pm.

by Lily
Junior High visit
October 25

Today the rest of the Junior High came to visit us on Farm Stay. I was thoroughly excited, but a lot of people had mixed feelings. Everyone was excited to see their friends but we knew we would have to prepare for the awkwardness of interacting with a group 4 times larger in number than us. But still they came. They arrived before we walked over to the long barn, so we showed up to a mass of our friends walking towards us. To be honest it was quite overwhelming, but as we all got more comfortable, the fun started. After the teachers gave us a little time to reunite with our friends, we sat around the fire circle to hear our stewardship groups. Once we organized into groups, we started working. I was in the Garden and Greenhouse group. For part of the time we were working Lexi and I harvested and banded parsley, cilantro, and mint for the Land School market. After we were finished with that, we went into the small greenhouse to harvest some peppers, there were all kinds of peppers growing there: red rockets, jalapeños, highlanders, and a few more. It was pretty fun. Once we finished with the peppers I went into the long barn, where I only got to braid one garlic bunch, that was also pretty fun because I’m getting better at it with practice. After we finished working, and lunch, we got free-time, which was really fun. But soon it was time for our friends and teachers to leave us. We were a little sad but we knew we would see them again soon. We all turned out to enjoy the visit and reconnecting with our friends.

by Micah
October 25

far out in the field
their crestfallen stalks swung low
we harvest the kale

ten leaves in a bunch
stacked in the bin, a tall mound
they might overflow

sizzle and sauté
jumping out of the warm pan
the kale finds our plates

i left it for last
the rest of my plate is gone
cold, wet, kale is gross

by Naci
October 24

Farm Stay 1! The first 2 1/2-week long stay in the school year. When Farm Stay 1 rolls around, you know it's that time of year again--the Spooktacular!!! Sometimes spelled with a q (Spooqtaqular) and/or with a Bostonian accent (Spooqtaqulah), the Spooktacular is a fun-filled festival of Halloween!

Know this: many different things will be there. Cutting boards, walking sticks, pumpkin bread, even donuts, the Spooktacular will be one of the most diverse festivals in years! Many students are looking forward to it. Jonah, a student at Farm Stay, writes,

"I'm looking forward to seeing all of my hard work paying off and making a few bucks on the side."

Have fun browsing the length of merchandise here at the Land School as we celebrate Halloween in style! Decorations, a haunted hike and a pizza party will be sure to come. Merchandise will range between $0.50 and $40, and activities for children and families, like pumpkin carving, will be there. Take your pick of assorted baked goods as you walk along the haunted trail!

The Spooqtaqulah. For all your haunted festival needs!

by Maggie
October 23

The kids on farm stay 1 have had a great weekend. Today we woke up late for a delicious brunch, then had some free time. Some of us worked on our micro-economy projects, while others relaxed to spend a little time to themselves.

 We then packed up for expeditions in groups of two or three. Different groups had different fun. My group visited the pine forest and the ravine, eventually looping around to the climbing tree and sending some time at the bird-blind before finishing off with hanging out at the slackline we had set up. I’m told that some of the other groups hung out at the tree of life, pine forest, and the pond. We all came back with smiles on our faces and stories to tell. 

We came back in time for a little more free time and then a delicious dinner of chili and cornbread. Some people tested out recipes for their micro economy projects, and the rest were more than happy to test out some yummy cupcakes and pumpkin bread :). We had a lot of fun this past week, and are excited for the week to come. 

by Abbe
Gourd Crafts
October 22

Farmstay 1 just finished the first week. I would say one of our favorite parts was gourd craft. We had about ten gourds, so each person got one. We then washed the gourds until we got the dirt off. After that you could cut your gourd. Many of us cut them so they could be bowls. There were some forms of decoration. One was wood burning the bowls; another was painting. The bowls turned out beautifully. Of course, not all of us made bowls. One person decided to make a friend for a zucchini that we had adopted from the field (the zucchini had not been harvested and was really big). Overall, I think Farmstay 1 had fun during gourd crafts.  We all hope to see you at the Spooktacular next Saturday (we will be using the pizza oven). 

by Georgia
Day 4
October 20

Farmstay 1 has been off to a great start. Even though it has only been four days, we have still all bonded and formed many blossoming friendships. We have also gotten used to a normal day of school on the farm. For example: today.

After waking up this morning and getting ready, we all had one of these three tasks: either setting up breakfast, doing farm chores over at the Farmstead, or cleaning up breakfast. We rotate these tasks every week so everyone can help out in a different way. After breakfast, we had an hour of math, which is sometimes an hour of science. Then we had our morning meeting where we talked about the weather, what is going on in the world, and went through today’s schedule. To complete our meeting, we have morning pages, where the group reflects on a topic. Today it was Health and Happiness, and yesterday was Kindness. 

Then we break in half for Occupations. The occupations for this Farmstay are cooking and wood. In cooking we focus on how to cook, and what did or didn’t go well in a meal. We cook lunch sometimes, or reflect on how a meal went. In wood they have learned about wood and its grain, as well as chopping some wood today. 

We eat lunch after occupations, followed by lunch cleanup or quietude. Quietude is a silent time for everyone to kind of recharge and have some time to themself. On most days we have Micro-Eco after lunch, but today we had CE. CE, or Creative Expression, is a time to express yourself through art, whatever you consider art to be. Today we did gourd art, so we cleaned out the gourds, then cut them however we liked. There were options to either paint, sand, or wood burn the gourds.

After CE, we had PE, Physical Expression. Today we played capture the flag, in the woods between the homestead and farmstead. After PE, we came back inside and did our daily chores to keep the homestead clean and in good condition. We then had a little free time before dinner. Tonight we had DIY dinner, and many of us had pasta related items. Then we had more free time, followed by study hall. At 8:30 we had our evening meeting, where we tell one minute stories about ourselves, as well as talk about the day tomorrow. Then we get ready for bed, and have quiet talking. At 10:00 we turn off the lights and go to sleep, ready for the day tomorrow. 

Student projects: bowls created out of birdhouse gourds

Journal made by Max

Monday, October 3, 2016

October's Monday Melodies

by Laura 

Moving towards the winter
October 3, 2016 

This is a time of gathering.
The squash are carried in from their piles in the fields,
the carrots unearthed from their rows.
I heard today a white-throated sparrow, who last sang to me in the early days 
of spring. 
He who is always home is calling my home home for now. 
If for only today
I find relief in the drying of the leaves.
There is a time to ask what lives in the darkness
There is a time to become what the darkness holds.

This Week's Projected Harvest: 

Bok Choi
Brussels Sprouts 
Daikon Radish

Japanese Turnips


Peppers: Red and Orange Bell, selection of hot peppers


Winter Squash

A Request for Perennials:

In an ongoing effort to transform the farmhouse yard into a haven of flowering shrubs, fruiting trees, and aromatic herbs, we are in search of perennials that could be divided and brought here to the Land School. Please contact the Land School staff if you have perennial flowers or herbs that could be divided! Autumn is a perfect time for transplanting. We can come to you to do the digging, or you can dig and bring us plants at the weekly produce market.

The Harvest Festival:
This year's Harvest Festival is this coming Sunday, October 9, 11am-3pm. Apples will be pressed, hay wagons will be ridden, songs will be sung, a feast will be shared, fun will be had! This is a great opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Land School and the company of many many Lake Country friends. 

Thursday Community Workday, October 6: 

This week's Land School market will be on Thursday, October 6, at the usual 4-6pm time. We will then resume to Tuesday markets for the remainder of the harvest season. If you would like to join us this week for a community workday, please consider coming to help with the weekly harvest, which this week will be on Thursday. As always, please be in touch if you have any question or would like to join us for the day: 715.265.4608. We would love to have you here!

Market Credits:

If you are interested in using the credit system at the Land School markets, please send a check (for an amount of your choosing) to the office (attention to Brooks) at the urban campus. The credit system is simply a way to facilitate your market experience by eliminating the need to remember cash. Every Lake Country family has the option of buying market credits, giving them a total sum from which to subtract as they shop at each week's produce market. 

Milkweed 9.30.2016

Sunrise 9.29.2016

Front yard asters 9.28.2016

Monday, September 26, 2016

September's Monday Melodies

by Laura

September 26, 2016

This Week's Projected Harvest: 

Brussels Sprouts
Daikon Radish
Japanese Turnips

Peppers: Red and Orange Bell, selection of hot peppers


Winter Squash

Tuesday's Community Workday, September 27:  

For the next two weeks, the Land School markets will be on Thursdays - September 29 and October 6 - at the usual 4-6pm time. For this week's Tuesday community workday, we will be busy harvesting winter squash and transporting it into the greenhouse to cure. As always, please be in touch if you have any question or would like to join us for the day: 715.265.4608. We would love to have you here!

Market Credits:

If you are interested in using the credit system at the Land School markets, please send a check (for an amount of your choosing) to the office (attention to Brooks) at the urban campus. The credit system is simply a way to facilitate your market experience by eliminating the need to remember cash. Every Lake Country family has the option of buying market credits, giving them a total sum from which to subtract as they shop at each week's produce market. 

Goldenrod 9.25.2016
Japanese Indigo 9.22.2016

The ache of leaving home
September 5, 2016

life stretches
not without leaving what we once knew as the boundaries of our home.
three words reach me when others drift away. 
expansiveness, openness, acceptance.
dark and rainy, through closed windows rain washed down my face
for the corn and the friends and the trees I am leaving.
for only two weeks I am leaving, and I think
of how many people must leave against their choosing
of how many people must leave without returning
with the silent fervent hope that home is the vessel we carry inside
and plant in the ground wherever we land
for however long we land
with whomever we have surrounding us.
the grief is not merely sadness. 
it is something enormous
that stirs awake the voice that remembers.
how grateful I am to have something somewhere someone to miss. 
how grateful I am to long for more. 


I depart Tuesday morning, with much gratitude and excitement, as part of this year's Junior High Odyssey South. We gathered for a trip orientation this past Friday on the banks of the great Mississippi river in anticipation of our upcoming journey together down her powerfully flowing waters. I hope to update you with words and photos along the way! Expect to find harvest lists here and beautiful food and flowers at the weekly market while I am away. 

Fermenting hot peppers; fermenting carrots and kohlrabi; canned enchilada sauce 9.4.2016 
The compost heap has been home to exuberant pumpkins and corn 9.3.2016
Sweet little sunflowers 9.2.2016
A family of rutabaga 9.1.2016
Llarry! 8.31.2016