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?

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.



Katie’s Coming to Town

My good friend Katie is coming by the school next Friday and has a few offerings to share with us:

Knife Skills (60 minutes)
  • What do different knives do and which are most essential in a well-stocked kitchen?
  • Covering the most basic and versatile cuts: high cut, low cut, pull cut and horizontal cut
  • Whats the difference between julienne, dice, plateaus, and more?
  • How to prepare: onion, garlic, avocado, bell pepper, jalapeño, fresh herbs, butternut squash and pineapple.
  • Basic knife safety/how to not cut off your fingers.
  • Students take turns with basic knife cuts.
Canning & Quick Pickling (60 minutes)
  • Why we can, pickle, and preserve.
  • The difference between pickling and canning.
  • Quick pickling: how to make tasty homemade pickled (anything) in 24 hours!
  • Canning! The basics.
  • Students make own jar of quick pickles & take home a jar of canned food
Photoshop: Working With Layers, Masks & Filters (90 minutes)
  • What are layers? Why does Photoshop love them so much?
  • What are masks? How are they different than layers? How do they work?
  • What are filters? What’s the difference between layer filters and Camera Raw?
  • Examples include retouching, swapping faces and photo collages.
  • Students take turns creating their own artwork with layers, masks & filters

GeoGuesser – Speed round

We had a great game today and it was a super speed round of 10 minutes!

Give it a shot, but you can only take 10 minutes!

@Abe (who just got here today!) took a time lapse video: