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Whatcha Doin' Out There? – Feb 2019

Hoophouse Winter

It's been a bitter winter--though not without streaks of hope. Particularly those whose calls we've learned to recognize--as they slice through the freezing wind to land on one of our well-stocked feeders (thanks to our 3rd grade birders). And cheers to 8th grade as well, filling the the greenhouse with frilly cosmos and bright zinnias springing madly from their buds, reminding us to have faith in seeds and the spring to come.

We're looking forward to the thaw. To growth, to sun and new life. Each week on Wednesday and Thursday after school 4th grade markets a dwindling supply of storage crops and winter greens, while in class, they make our crop plans for the coming season. 7th graders study how to close the waste gap at school (ask them how COOL composting is). And you can't help but consider how this decomposition parallels our Christian lives: transforming what was meant for death into a meaningful, purpose-driven creation. We are busy creating a system so our food waste can go on to create rich soil to nourish our plants, and in turn, our bodies.

We're eagerly awaiting a break in the snow or eagerly sliding through it on sleds in snow pants, loving every flake. We're a little mourning the loss of delicious goat milk (at least Mr. Mittens is), while enjoying the break in routine, soon to be filled by a different sweet substance...

Goats Winter
Meanwhile, 5th graders have begun The Goat Project, digging-in to breeds around the world and the wonders of ruminants, knowledge growing as the next generation of kids grow too, in utero (pregnancy tests positive).

Got Yolk Cartons
As for the egg business, 6th graders are becoming (more) autonomous with chicken duties. Production is steady at around 48 eggs per day... if they are collected before they freeze, that is.

Each grade has committed hours to the log-cabin projects led by Mr. Hoo. Watching brightly suited students surrounded by the white and brown of winter, perched on logs with great focus--is a delight. The sound of scraping, notching or moving timbers (many times their size) fills the woods. Thanks to all the fun/hard work, we've got two (mostly finished) buildings waiting to be chinked. One which houses a new, functioning boiler, beginning that other sweet process of transformation: sap into syrup.

Sugar Shack 8th Grade Helpers

So whether we burrow like the snakes and frogs in the pond or cuddle together like the ladies of the barn, or find ways to embrace the drifts, we know that warmth is coming, that the sap flows, the flowers bloom, and soon, it will be spring.