Saturday, October 28, 2017

Farm Stay 1 Student Reflections

October 19th

I think I can speak for everyone here on Farm Stay 1 that we are having a really great time. We've been at the Land School since Monday, and are getting into the groove of staying out here. Along with regular schoolwork, we have been helping to finish harvesting of the last of the fruits and vegetables grown here. I personally have helped with apples, potatoes, tomatoes, arugula, and squash, but others have harvested just about all types of the bounty the Land School has to offer in terms of fruits and vegetables. But it hasn't been all work - I've been out on hikes almost everyday, enjoying the nature of the Land School and enjoying the the large area of land and the opportunities it affords us. Just yesterday I went on a hike during the evening free time. We were gone for about 45 minutes, and walked far around the Land School. We ended up by the Tree of Life, where we played Thicket many times. I'm really happy to be on Farm Stay, and am so glad we get this opportunity.


October 20th

Farmstay has been full of memories that will last a lifetime. We have become better friends and have learned how to see the bigger picture. Farmstay 1 has the opportunity to harvest plants. Some of the plants we have harvested are hot peppers, kale, cabbage, carrots, herbs, potatoes, apples and many more. We have washed these plants and either put it on our table or sold it to the rest of the community.

When we put the food from the land on to our table we sit down together and enjoy. Every meal has vegetables of some form, and even though sometimes it's a little too much veggies, we love it. On days when we harvest and then eat the food those meals are always special because someone in our group has touched that food that day.

I think that Farmstay 1 gives us a special opportunity to pick the food we eat and to harvest food for our community members. When I was in the lower levels of the school I didn’t get the same appreciation that I get now when I pick it, cook it, and eat it. Farmstay 1 has made me a better person who has more appreciation for food waste and for the land. I hope that every child who goes on Farmstay 1 will have the same appreciation.


October 21st

Today, we woke up and had a make-your-own breakfast. We then had our work for credit, which is where you do work for the Land School and get paid.
For the first shift, we went to the apple orchard, and picked the rest of the apples on the tree. It was pretty fun, because it was raining, and everyone was helping and contributing, and we ended up picking all of the apples in the orchard. For the next shift, we harvested and prepared paprika. Half of this was outside, half inside. We first harvested the paprika from the greenhouse, and then we went inside to prepare the paprika in the kitchen.
Few people did the third shift, but it was cleaning the llama pen. After the shifts, we had a bit of free time, and then we ate lunch. Once lunch was over, we had a lot of free time. Probably 2 ½  hours. We then had P.E., where we played awesome games of Capture the Flag, and Blob Tag.
We did our daily chores, and then we had dinner. For our evening activity, we had one of the best Gallery Night I have ever experienced. We were joined by fortune tellers, the Sorting Hat, detectives, an improviser, a pianist, and even the Kardashians. It was a really fun night, and everyone went to bed with a smile on their faces.



Sunday, October 22nd

This afternoon for P.E. we played ultimate frisbee and the ‘Most Dangerous Game’ (not that dangerous). Especially during the weekends, it’s really great to have some scheduled outdoor time. Usually we stay cooped up inside doing arts and crafts or reading, so I was reluctant to go outside. But once I did, I was really glad because the Land School has such a beautiful outdoor environment. Who wouldn’t love P.E. here?

My favorite part about being on such a different Farmstay season-wise is that the stream is so different. It is no longer a stream but just a pathway covered in leaves. While I was walking down it I imagined the change in the stream through the seasons and I really appreciated the thought of being here all year.


Oct 24th
- Stefan


Oct 24th

Today, the Junior High came to visit the Farmstay 1 students at the Land School. Russ. the science teacher, brought kids out into the forest to hunt for buckthorns. We pulled up buckthorns and cut down buckthorn trees too big to pull out of the ground. We also marked buckthorns that were too big even for us to cut down so that later groups could get rid of them later. Finally, we organized the buckthorns so that there roots were facing the sky and wouldn't grow back into the ground. We then retreated back to the Homestead for lunch and had a short free time before the Junior High returned to Minnesota.

- Oscar

October 26th

Today, Class H, E2, came to visit the Land School. The Farmstay JH continued to do their normal schedule by doing their Occupations. The cooking Occupation cooked potato soup with cheesy bread and broccoli. The other Occupation, climate change Occupation got to help the E2 class plant garlic. I was in the group who got to plant garlic.
It was very cold outside, and most of the kids who were planting garlic were wearing blue surgical gloves. It was great to see the kids get into the land and help plant. I taught/ reminded the kids how to plant garlic. Always have the flat part in the ground, and the flappy part sticking out.
The kids who were inside cooking were making potato soup. It was so yummy and it was great to eat something warm after being in the cold wind.

It was so fun to work out on the land with all of the kids. It was great to get to know them better.

- Eva

October 27th

Our last day before the big Spooktacular. Everyone is finishing their projects and is crowded around the kitchen and classroom helping to prepare for the potluck. I am waiting till my shift that is an hour before the Spooktacular itself. We are preparing for a lot of the activities today like: Pumpkin carving, cider pressing and etc… There is a lot of screaming and yelling all around the Homestead from things falling or people trying to find what they need, and reading a book at this time is not a good idea. You should come to the Spooktacular!


October 28th

Today was the Spooktacular. we had great food and crafts, and amazing activities including pumpkin carving, cider pressing the haunted maze, etc. The turnout was great as over 60 people showed up. People were everywhere talking and having a good time. Most of the crafts made by the Farmstay 1 student sold, as well as the desserts and treats; and we had a great assortment of food for our potluck. If you didn't made it to the Spooktacular this year, definitely come next year. We'll be waiting!

October 29th:
“Thoughts I Thought While Doing Farm Work”

By Evelyn
This Farmstay was my first Farmstay and the year’s first Farmstay. It was great and wonderful, and those two adjectives don’t even begin to describe it.
Last year, when I first heard of the Farmstays, I thought, “A bunch of adolescents on a farm, being farm-y and doing farm work? No.” I think I even told my mom I did not want to go on  Farmstay. But now, by the near-end of my first one, I realize quite the opposite of my opinions last year.
“Wow. Was I wrong.”
On Tuesday, I was out by the red barn, picking mint for my Spooktacular project. It was sunny, but chilly, and all at the same time beautiful. I was kind of just walking, and then I started thinking, “What does it mean to be American?” So while I was picking mint, I sat down and philosophized.
Truly, everyone who lives here could count as American. If you live in the country or the city, if you are rich or poor, regardless of your heritage, you are American. At morning meeting one day we talked about stereotypes, of country people and of city people. I think what some city people don’t understand about country people is that they are also American. We see our country as a place based upon the economy, people who entrepreneur and follow big documents made long before their birth. But really, the land is the source of our country. Without this land, there wouldn’t be an America which the Paleo-Americans discovered and Columbus claimed to have discovered. There certainly wouldn’t be an economy. I’m realizing that city people rely mostly on the economy, and country people have vast expanses of land.
Today I was thinking of this theory I dove into on Tuesday while I was cleaning up from the Spooktacular. As I carried the carved pumpkins out from the basement of the Land School, I realized how Farmstay was near over, and how precious this place and this land had became. On E2 two-day overnights you don’t really grow that sense of appreciation.
I’ve noticed the pictures on the walls, memories of students who had previously gone on Residencies and Farmstays, all the way back to 2004, who are now full-grown adults. It may sound cheesy, but I feel incredibly honored to earn my place on that wall, to have my name in this school, forever. In 40 years, I hope this place is still standing, and I hope a 7th grader will look at that wall, and say, “Wow. Farmstay 1, 2017. They must all be adults now.”

I’m in 7th grade right now, so this Farmstay was not my last. I don’t know what Farmstay I’ll be in next year but I can say for certain I’m coming back.


November 1st

Yesterday was Halloween. We had a normal day in the morning, math, morning meeting, and harvesting. IN the afternoon we read the horror stories we’ve been working on in English to the group.Then we went bowling. At the bowling alley there was a contest to see who could guess the weight of a pumpkin. Oliver won and was awarded a bowling pin signed by the owner of the bowling alley. After bowling we went and visited Evie’s great aunt who lives outside of Menomonie. We got to see her dogs. Then we went and ate pizza. After that, we went treat or treating. Our costumes were a lumberjack, a unicorn, Sherlock Holmes, a pumpkin, a pig, Tigger, Eeyore, an old lady, a fox, a care bear, and two Daleks. At on of the houses we went treat or treating at the guy giving us candy was amazed we were from Minneapolis. When we got back to the Land School we traded our candy with each other and then played tiger, witch is like hide and seek but when you are found you have to scream really loudly. Overall, it was a very enjoyable day. - Zoey B

Friday, October 27, 2017

Video: Come to the Spooktacular Spook-a-Rama at the Land School!

Design and Editing Credit: Evie

Bring Money When You Come to the Spooktacular

The Farm Stay 1 students have been busy making desserts, drinks, and crafts to sell at the Spooktacular. Here is a small sample: There are also calendars, gourd art, coasters, key chains, pie, applesauce, pretzels, apple crisp, and more.

Zoey's Handmade Cards

Ivars and Abbe's Photo Cards

Aksinya's Caramel Apples

Evie's Homegrown Mint Tea

Ocsar's Cribbage Boards

Stefan's Cutting Boards

Farming and Climate Change

by Solenne

October 26th 2017
Today is day 11. I can’t believe farmstay is flying by so quickly! We are more than halfway over and we have all had so much fun. We do many fun activities during the day and one of them is occupations. My occupation this year is climate change and we have been doing so much research on climate change and how climate change and farming link to one another. I have learned so much during this occupation and we are all motivated to learn about how we can help the climate. For the climate change project, Eva and I decided to make a binder of articles that we found very helpful and full of information. These are articles that we had read in advance for small presentations everyday. We thought that it would be a really good idea to make a shared binder with helpful information on climate change for everyone to use whenever they want. I decided to choose a few of these articles to share on my blog post for everyone to access:

Friday, October 20, 2017

Farm Stay 1 Photo Hike

The Noticing of Science

by Andy

I'd like to take a moment to appreciate Katie. She has developed a Science class at the Land School that focuses the students on noticing the changes that are happening in the natural world and finding ways to record and measure those changes. It is an open-ended class that allows the young people to decide what they want to learn and how they want to learn it. It starts with a lesson on how to "notice." This lesson includes a chance for them to practice noticing by doing a blind figure drawing of a peer. The technique is to not look at the paper while you are drawing someone's face.

Here are some of the portraits: