The Seasons at the Homestead

The Seasons at the Homestead 

On the Homestead, the seasons have a driving effect on what activities and tasks are at hand. In spring students and staff cultivate new life, planting seeds and watering them in the warmth of our greenhouse. We eagerly anticipate a call from a local shepherd who will bring us baby lambs whose mothers can’t care for them. Our students learn how to care for infant lambs with round-the-clock bottle feedings, warm bedding, and frequent cleaning.  

As spring flows to summer, warmer weather chases off the last threat of killing frost. Our garden plot fills up with plants and our students learn about cultivating plants, protecting from pests and harvesting of fresh produce. Summer is a productive time with weekly trips to Farmer’s Market to sell the fruits of our labor. Students spend Saturdays connecting with the community while selling fresh produce. 

Fall brings a respite from the heat and the cooler nights bring with them apple harvests from our orchard to make into pies and to press into fresh apple cider. Animals that have been raised for meat on the Homestead are scheduled to go to the butcher. The nightly frost kills off the remainder of the garden and chickens are invited to roam in the garden beds, eating insects and plants alike. Then comes winter. 

Winter is the season of rest. It is a contemplative time, discussing ideas for next year by the warm fire in the den. Without the busyness of weeding and harvesting, the focus shifts to rest and replenishing. There is more time to spend caring for the animals that live on the Homestead year-round. Students share ideas for the next year and wishful thinking for what animals and plants they wish to have. Our Greenhouse is a sanctuary where plants are untouched by the winter chill, offering a quiet place to reflect on the past, present and future. 

Thoreau wrote, “It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”. As we celebrate the work and effort invested at the Homestead this year, we embrace this time for rest and reflection and all the joys that come with living in a snow nestled Farm. Before we know it, spring will be here and with it all the joys of new life on the Homestead. Life is about finding the balance between being productive and taking appropriate rest. The natural seasons and flow of the Homestead provide an analogy for the balance we work with students to find in life. We work together to identify what season we are in and what season we need to move forward in our personal growth. 


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