This week, Museum and Permaculture

This week was well packed. We’ve been getting more offerings from parents and our weeks are really starting to fill out.

Lilly has been teaching Chinese. We did numbers on Wednesday and some simple words on Friday. On Thursday we visited the Frye Museum and saw a cool audio video show. The students did most of the planning for the field trip and it worked out really well.

After that we came home to work with Tim on our first Permaculture project, composting! Read about composting on Jakie’s blog.


Tim told us about compost then took us out on the land around the house and we determined a few places that we could put our compost system.


It was a lot of fun exploring the lands around the house.

I’m looking forward to more Chinese and Permaculture and field trips!

Composting with Tim

Friend of the school Tim came today to begin our permaculture project. He told us a bit about the history of permaculture and then got into composting.

Here’s the wiki article about compost. Here is a great primer video on compost:

We are working to answer these questions:

How much work do you want to put into it?
What methods are there? (Describe at least 2)
What method do you want to use?
Building a box or buying a plastic bin?
Where are we going to put it? (think about animals and bad smells)
How does composting happen in nature? Is it natural? Can we learn from it?

Movement, Lunch, and Making Plans

I had a good day today. I feel really good energy coming out of the school and am excited to see what grows this year. Tomorrow is our first Chinese class and the day after that is our first permaculture day.

Today we planned a trip to the Frye Museum for this coming Thursday.

We had a killer game of GeoGuessr as well with a score of over 15,000!

We had our first day of focused lunch time. Katie and I were discussing the eating habits of the students and observed that they didn’t eat (maybe they snack, but didn’t eat) and didn’t drink much water while she was around. It’s true, we often get caught up in play and forget to stop and eat. So we’ve implemented (at my request) a 12:30 stop everything and eat policy. I hope that this will lead us to eat more and better. In the future I’d like to expand the lunch time into something that facilitates lunch preparation and group meals. I’ll write another post.

Even though I’m sore from my trip to Vancouver this weekend we took advantage of this amazing day and went outside. I played “two boots” a game I was taught at Cloud House, I’ll write a post about this too.


Our blogging question for today is What is your art?

I’ve done a lot of things that would be considered art. I draw, I’ve painted, I’ve made jewelry and installations. I play music and when I’m all alone I sing.

It is said that code, too, is poetry and I write a lot of code.

I feel, however, that my art is something a little more abstract. I like to think my art is one of facilitation. Coaxing things together and helping bring people’s dreams to life. I’ve done this mostly as a web developer and now I do it as an ALF. The art of creating space for other’s art to flourish.

What five things do you like to do outside:

1. I love to hike, here’s what I did yesterday:

That's me at the top
That’s me at the top
This isn't just a pile of rocks, it's the trail...
This isn’t just a pile of rocks, it’s the trail…

2. Disk, I love to play disk. Ultimate frisbee is my jam.

3. Capture the Flag

4. Biking, all the time

5. Reading or drawing in the sun

Quick, Pickling!

Katie came by today and taught us some knife skills then showed us how to quick pickle. If you’d like a better explanation that I can muster, head over to Katie’s cool homesteading website, ie & y ( and download the PDF worksheet.

You’ll be making one jar with these instructions, here’s what you need:

  • A jar
  •  Spices
    • Mustard seeds (1/2 teaspoon)
    • Whole allspice (1/2 teaspoon)
    • Black peppercorns (1 teaspoon)
    • Fresh dill (6 bunches)
  • Brine
    • Water (4 cups)
    • White vinegar (1/4 cup)
    • Sea salt (1 teaspoon)
    • White sugar (2 tablespoons)
  • Veggies (choose enough to fill the jar)
    • Carrots
    • Cucumbers
    • Onions
    • Cauliflower

Let’s get started!


Combine water, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then set aside and let cool.


Add the mustard seeds, peppercorns and allspice to your jar.



Wow, look at you go! Now that everything is in the jars it’s time to stuff them with veggies.


Once they are packed nice and tight just add the brine! Lock those lids and stick it in the fridge for 24 hours. After that they are good for 2 weeks.