Wednesday, August 26, 2009

TMS mentioned in The New York Times

Dan Hall (61') forwarded this article from the August 25, 2009 New York Times. The piece is about people who pay to vacation on farms and get a taste of farm life and work - with a focus on former TMS faculty Kate Marsiglio's farm in the Catskills. TMS is mentioned - favorably - as a catalyst for Kate and Dan's efforts to help reconnect affluent urbanites with the earth.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Alumni Weekend at TMS

The Meeting School held its annual alumni weekend on August 14 - 16. Organized by Mary Ruth Crawford ('60), the weekend was a low key affair with sun, good conversation, and delectable TMS meals from the farm.

On Saturday afternoon, a memorial service was held for Elizabeth Waterman in the barn. Alumni, faculty, former faculty, family and friends came to take part in the service. Elizabeth, a former faculty member and beloved member of the TMS community, died in March 2009.

Jim Clark ('62), founder and owner of Black Bear Roastery came with a mocha java blend in hand. He left the "Charbucks" blend at home (visit the Black Bear website for more information about the litigation with Starbucks).

Visiting took place around the campfire, on the lawns, and in the garden. The meals used many ingredients straight from the farm. We invite you to try our Balkan Cucumber Salad recipe, which included cucumbers, yogurt, garlic, parsley, scallions, and dill right from our gardens.

Balkan Cucumber Salad (six servings)

1/2 c thinly sliced red onion
4 med cucumbers
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 c yogurt
1 or 2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 to 2 tsp honey (optional)
2 tbs. freshly minced mint leaves
1/4 c finely minced parsley (packed)
2 scallions w/greens, finely minced
1 to 2 tbs. freshly minced dill
1 c chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

Soak the onion in cold water for about 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry before adding to salad.
While onion is soaking, seed cucumbers and cut them into thin rounds. Place in medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients except walnuts, and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. Sprinkle walnuts on top and serve.

Monday, August 10, 2009

when more than was lost has been found

Rose Mohan, an alumnae of the class of 2006, returned to TMS on August 5 to volunteer on the farm for a week. While here, she took a few minutes away from the gardens to reflect on her experience with TMS Blogger. The interview took place in the living room of Mountain House.

TMS Blogger: So - academics first. What were your favorite classes at TMS?

RM: I'd have to say farm science, and a really cool poetry class. We studied and memorized the poetry of Pablo Neruda, ee cummings, Jane Kenyon (a poet laureate of New Hampshire) and others. We also had to write our own poems in the style of the poets we studied.

TMS Blogger: Can you still recite any of them?

RM: ee cummings..."it’s spring (all our night becomes day) o,it’s spring!"

TMS Blogger Note: The line comes from "when faces called flowers float out of the ground":

when faces called flowers float out of the ground
and breathing is wishing and wishing is having-
but keeping is downward and doubting and never
-it’s april(yes,april;my darling)it’s spring!
yes the pretty birds frolic as spry as can fly
yes the little fish gambol as glad as can be
(yes the mountains are dancing together)

when every leaf opens without any sound
and wishing is having and having is giving-
but keeping is doting and nothing and nonsense
-alive;we’re alive,dear:it’s(kiss me now)spring!
now the pretty birds hover so she and so he
now the little fish quiver so you and so i
(now the mountains are dancing, the mountains)

when more than was lost has been found has been found
and having is giving and giving is living-
but keeping is darkness and winter and cringing
-it’s spring(all our night becomes day)o,it’s spring!
all the pretty birds dive to the heart of the sky
all the little fish climb through the mind of the sea
(all the mountains are dancing;are dancing)

RM: I also really liked a course I took about the benefits and limitations of technology. It really made me think about the pleasure derived from doing things simply, by hand.

TMS Blogger: Tell me about your post-TMS experience.

RM: Well, immediately after graduating I went to work on a farm - an intentional community - called Cold Pond Land Trust, in Acworth, New Hampshire. I now attend Naropa University, in Boulder. I'm studying performing arts there.

TMS Blogger: How did your experience at TMS affect you?

RM: TMS definitely helped me figure out what I am interested in and influenced my choice of Naropa University. At TMS, my classmates and I were constantly discerning who we were - students here are encouraged to create and explore both our inner and outer worlds. I remember there was a student here who wanted to build his own bow and arrow. So he did some research, and then whittled and constructed the bow and arrows from wood he found at TMS. He also whittled a working flute. Other students built elaborate, insulated forts in the woods, and it seemed like there was always live music coming from somewhere. Also, I had never been part of a community like TMS and didn't know how important it is. Everyone feeds each other, and off of each other. Now I realize how important it is to me to be living and working and learning with a community around me.

TMS Blogger: So what are you doing during your week at TMS?

RM: I am going to help out wherever I can. So far I've blanched broccoli greens and kale for freezing, and processed a bunch of spinach, basil, and green beans.

TMS Blogger: Hmm...sounds delicious. Any final thoughts?

RM: I invested so much in TMS and TMS invested so much in me - I am so glad to be back! A big part of my heart is here.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Living in the Round: TMS Yurt Gets Eco-Friendly Upgrade

The largest of three Meeting School yurts, tucked away behind Red House and some fields (where the new piglets are now scrambling about), just had its ceiling and bathroom insulated in preparation for Sheila Garrett's upcoming move there from Thomas House.

In keeping with our commitment to be increasingly sustainable, we used a new insulation technology called Icynene foam insulation, put in by 4 Seasons, an insulation company based out of Keene, New Hampshire. The insulation can reduce heating costs by as much as 50%, which also reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, it is 100% water blown, contains no harmful PBDEs, contains renewable content (it substitutes some castor oil for petroleum) and has no loss of R-Value over time. (Please visit if you want to know more - posting a question on the blog probably won't get you an answer.)

And for those of you not yet familiar with The Meeting School yurts (or yurts more generally), they have an fascinating and multi-continent history.

Our yurts were designed in the early 1960s by Bill Coperthwaite, a faculty member teaching mathematics who was inspired by the Mongolian yurts he read about in a National Geographic magazine. Chuck Cox, who was one of Bill's students, built the yurts. (Later Chuck and his wife Laurel produced a set of portable yurt plans that became the basis of modern canvas yurt design in North America.) Bill Coperthwaite is also the author of the book A Hand-Made Life: In Search of Simplicity, which won the Nautilus Award in 2004 for Ecology/Environment.

Sheila was not on hand to see her new dwelling insulated, as she was on her bicycle headed for New England Yearly Meeting.