Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Midsummer at TMS

On July 19 TMS hosted a Summermusic and potluck event for friends and the local community. More than thirty five people came from all over the area to share in wonderful weather, food, song, and fellowship. During the singalong about a dozen Farm and Wilderness campers sang an a Capella piece about compost, which was a big hit. Craig Waterman was the song leader with his guitar; people sang songs from Joel Hayden's song book, including "Monadnock." We also sang from "Rise Up Singing" and the school's own songbook - including Sheila Garrett's request of "Fields of Gold." Several Quakers from Concord Meeting made a special effort to attend.

Last week math teachers Laura Brown and Richard Kleinschmidt attended a course called "Teaching Everyone Algebra" at the University of New Hampshire. Funding for the week-long course was provided through a federally funded grant. Laura and Richard joined 21 other math teachers from around the state to share best practices in algebra teaching. The course focused on using manipulatives including algebra tiles, hands on equations, a calculator-based ranger to help collect real world data to be graphed on calculators. TMS was also given $800 to buy manipulatives which will be used in math and science courses at TMS this year.

The Summer Getaway, one of The Meeting School's summer programs now in its sixth year, just concluded its two week presence on campus. The program, designed to provide a free vacation to people and their families in exchange for modest labor on the TMS farm, is coordinated by former TMS board member Zane Knoy. While here, participants cleaned up the grape arbor, liberated a pear tree from grape vines, and weeded raspberries, as well as shared time with faculty and enjoyed our lovely campus. To find out more about Summer Getaway, contact Zane Knoy at zane6@myfairpoint.net.

Harvesting is in full swing on the farm - we've had former faculty member Craig Jensen providing invaluable help over the summer. Last week faculty and interns harvested hundreds of heads of garlic. We're currently harvesting cucumbers, peas, beans, and basil. Pesto or pickles, anyone?

Finally, on July 27 six piglets were born to the pig Sally, one of the recent additions to the TMS community.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Farm and Wilderness Girls Visit The Meeting School

From July 9 - 12, TMS hosted eleven 11 -12 year old girls and two counselors from Farm and Wilderness camp (http://www.farmandwilderness.org).

They were the first of three Farm and Wilderness groups we will host on campus this summer. The campers typically spend 3 - 4 days doing gardening projects as part of the camp's service component. Other camp activities include hiking, canoeing, and art projects.

Thanks to their visit, we have now reclaimed our squash and corn. The campers also picked apple droppings, inventoried the food supplies on campus, sampled the remaining strawberries, helped out with chores and got to view the milking process.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Bringing in the Harvest

Weeks of rain have given way to several days of sunshine, and The Meeting School harvest is in full swing.

To date, staff and interns have harvested and put up more than 50 lbs of spinach, 5 lbs edible pod peas, and 24 lbs of strawberries for the upcoming school year, and have taken 10 heads of lettuce to the local food pantry. Bruschetta, the School's milking cow, is producing approximately four gallons a day and the chickens are laying 1/2 dozen eggs a day.

Farm intern Joan Johnson has been busily picking potato bugs off of the potato plants; it took her almost ten hours to pluck them all off over the weekend and she will be feeding them to the ducks on campus.

We have also harvested scapes, which are part of the top of the garlic plant. Scapes can be used very much like the garlic root bulb.

Here are some garlic scape ideas:

  • Add sliced scapes to any stir fry recipe
  • Chop and add to softened cream cheese
  • Sprinkle on bruschetta (the food, not the cow) or pizza
  • Slice and sprinkle over any pasta or sauce recipe
  • Chop into guacamole and fresh salsa