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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Snow falling, trees without leaves, dying flowers, and buildings
People moving, people breathing, water dripping, and snow falling
The cold air in my nose, the pine, the woods, and the snow
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!
|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|
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.
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.
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