Sunday, January 31, 2010

why is it so hard to let my ego go?

I made a really fantastic vegan crumb cake today- from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's "The Joy of Vegan Baking." The recipe quadrupled fantastically, and was moist with a great crumb. I was only laughed at a tiny bit for taking a photo of it with my computer.
Really crappy day so far. In general I think I'm a kind of mean person and have very little tact, so those are things I try ridiculously hard to change. I put so much energy in to trying to be kind, and compassionate, and sensitive of people's feelings and how they need to be communicated with and today I didn't do that. I didn't think before I spoke and forgot how easy it is fore someone to take things as a personal attack on one's character, self worth etc. I feel really shitty about.
I need to figure out how to begin to repair that conflict, but be firm (while being loving ) on why I think those specific things I was thinking....albeit in a less direct more loving way.
off to curl up with "the bean trees" (only 30 pages left to finish) and cuddle a blanket.
please send me some patience.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I know where my satisfaction lies, way beyond the blue Horizon

yesterday started with breakfast- blueberry/ raspberry muffins that I cooked up Thursday night, followed by a full day in the kitchen. I was only scheduled for breakfast, but we got a huge produce order in and Friday marked the beginning of 3 classes and 30+ people for every meal. So I put the order away and helped prep a ton of food for the next few days. I also decided to deal with... the storage closet. This involved, taking everything out, cleaning sticky honey mess and other goodies off the shelves, organizing it all and making an inventory sheet, now on the doors. So satisfying to have (even the tiniest bit that will be gone in a week of) order. Overall an intense day in the kitchen, but really what I needed. I was able to have some lovely, lovely conversations that helped me put aside some frustration I was having, and got to meet a whole new batch of students.
A fellow intern was playing the top 25 from his I pod and the Anais Mitchell song "come September" came on. And I launched in to my "she's so amazing, I saw her at a house show in Minneapolis last year where I went to be the rock as my bestie met her significant other's friends and it was amazing but I had to go upstairs in this house and hide in a bedroom halfway through the show to make a conference call for the bike trip I was going on..." And his response was, oh yeah, she's amazing and a really good friend of mine... crazy!Vermont just keeps getting better and better...

Today I made an asparagus, sun dried tomato, onion, parm, mozz frittata that turned out fantastically! and because Heidi loves me, she bought 25 pounds of eggplant! and a case of red pepper. This means I get to make a roasted eggplant soup tomorrow, and all kinds of eggplant things to come. Yum!
this afternoon I am going to a seed swap in Barre and this evening either a bluegrass band on the mountain or square dancing. so many fun choices- woot!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

thoughtful thursday

ah, Thursday!
this morning I made breakfast sandwiches and finally figured out a good way to make eggs for 12 people. I scrambled around 16 eggs together and then took a half sheet pan, lined it with butter and poured in the eggs- added some grated mozz, and baked for 20 min or so, cut in to 12 rectangles and then scooped up each one, folded over and had perfect scrambled eggs for a sandwich- they were so fluffy, and so easy to clean. I'm a fan.
The timber framing class is out on site today putting up their structure (!!!) so they made themselves sammies at breakfast and everyone was out of my hair for lunch! so I made Isa's fudgy wudgy blueberry brownies, and some blueberry muffins for tomorrow. We are getting solar panels installed on the roof and one of the burly 'grow solar' guys is a vegan- and has been for 16 years...pretty cool.

I've been really frustrated yesterday and today with middle aged (white) men with entitlement issues who are not signed up for the meal plan but come and eat breakfast, help themselves to things in the fridge, and eat our fruit, cookies, etc. Why do they think that this is OK? I know that $25 is a lot of money- but for 3 meals a day, all freshly made, often meat, help yourself to as much food as you want, juice, coffee and dessert- it's really not a bad deal. \
so, thinking of them, and trying to be mindful I leave you with some Thich Nhat Hanh- so we can all take a few seconds to be grateful, and to be kind and compassionate (I really need to work on being compassionate to a few I 'm frustrated with)
Nourishing Awareness
When we sit down to dinner and look at our plate filled with fragrant and appetizing food, we can nourish our awareness of the bitter pain of people who suffer from hunger. Every day, 40,000 children die as a result of hunger and malnutrition. Every day! Such a figure shocks us every time we hear it. Looking deeply at our plate we can "see" Mother Earth, the farm workers, and the tragedy of hunger and malnutrition.
We who live in North America and Europe are accustomed to eating grains and other foods imported from the Third Worlds, such as coffee from Colombia, chocolate from Ghana, or fragrant rice from Thailand. We must be aware that children in these countries, except those from rich families, never see such fine products. They eat inferior foods, while the finer products are put aside for export in order to bring in foreign exchange. There are even some parents who, because they do not have the means to feed their children, resort to selling their children to be servants to families who have enough to eat.
Before each meal, we can join our palms in mindfulness and think about the children who do not have enough to eat. Doing so will help us maintain mindfulness of our good fortune, and perhaps one day we will find ways to do something to help change the system of injustice that exists in the world. In many refugee families, before each meal, a child holds up his bowl of rice an says something like this: "Today, on the table, there are many delicious foods. I am grateful to be here with my family enjoying these wonderful dishes. I know there are many children less fortunate, who are very hungry." Being a refugee he knows, for example, that most Thai children never see the kind of fine rice grown in Thailand that he is about to eat. It is difficult to explain to children in the "overdeveloped" nations that not all children in the world have such beautiful and nourishing food. Awareness of this fact alone can help us overcome many of our own psychological pains. Eventually our contemplation can help us see how to assist those who need our help so much.
Thich Nhat Hanh

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

wicked wednesday

I really like alliteration, and I really don't like trudging back up to the school to blog some nights, so apologize for my lack of entry yesterday. I know, I know you were thinking "Gosh Lylee, how dare you not update, my whole Wednesday was just awful not knowing what exciting things you did on Tuesday!"
here are the photos from my awesome romp in the woods on Sunday.

Yesterday I cooked lunch and dinner- and made an eggplant moussaka, which turned out super well. Eggplant, lentils, potatoes and a homemade red sauce with a B├ęchamel sauce on top to finish it. Yum! This morning was kind of long and hectic. Made molasses cinnamuffins and smoothies for breakfast- I even snuck seaweed and Kale in to them!. Heidi was in a bad mood, two different orders came during lunch that had to be put away, and general negative energy around. Today was suppose to be "intern fun day" after lunch...which got delayed but ended up being late afternoon intern fun few hours- we went to a co-worker's outdoor hot tub, made some drinks, and proceeded to have a music 'jam session' with a trombone, (unplugged) electric guitar, egg shaker, harmonica and spoons... super fun. Taco bar for dinner, a few episodes of freaks and geeks, and viewings of 80's video's. Ready for the rest of the week now. recharged.
excited to take some time this weekend and next week to really plan seeds, and think about starting some seedlings inside.

Monday, January 25, 2010

just another manic monday

(oh oh oh )
actually another rainy Monday.
and our first successful formal Monday, where about half of the interns and our awesome long term work trader dressed up in suits and dresses and even glitter! just to break out of the winter blues/ we never get to dress up/.
it's the end of January and today was 45 degrees and raining all day long...
I'm beginning to think that blogging everyday is silly, as there isn't much exciting or new to talk about.
It reminds me of a Greg Brown song- on the album from the kate wolf festival. He talks about how he has to write songs about other people and stories because if he just wrote songs about his life they'd be so boring and repetitive.. they'd go something like "do do do do do do not a bad day do do do do filled the bird feeder ,damn those lil fellas sure at a do do do do do not a bad day do do do Joe stopped bye... do do do not a bad day.."
worked half a day today and took a nap and read the rest of the time.
kind of blue for no particular reason.
kind of exciting though- I'm making drawings to go over the lights in the kitchen...
yesterday i went exploring in the woods in my head to toe ski suite- most fantastic Christmas present ever. It was nice to run outside- I slid all the way down the hill back towards the cabin on my bum and made a stop at the tree house, which still has a hammock up even though it's winter. perfect. I'll post photos eventually.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

getting out of the bubble

slept in today because I didn't have to cook breakfast- hooray!
last night I spent a few hours working on a new drawing and listening to the news, something I haven't done in a few days (the news part.) I feel like each headline that was read made me more and more frustrated and weary of the state of the world... It was the first I had heard of the Senate bill

followed by lots of news on what is actually happening in Haiti... It's so nice to be here and to focus on cooking, and animals and beginning the process of growing things- I feel so out of touch with the community though, and with connecting with the rest of the world. I guess going to protests and benefits, and minimal amounts of organizing in Minneapolis wasn't really doing much, but at least it felt like something...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I love you most of all...

at dinner the lovely Erin asked me if I knew much of the beach boys. I don't really know much aside from pet sounds and she introduced me to this epic song that is "totally my song"

How we gonna kick it?

Gonna kick it root down!!!!
from our local Edible green mountains, advertising the co-op in Burlington. So cute!! it makes me smile and laugh every time I see it. Brilliant.
After a full day the chickens seem to be doing ok. This morning there was a tiny bit of a face off between the two roosters (they just stood outside looking at each other for a while) but no huge altercations.
In the morning our rooster and 3 of his chickens left and stood watch by a tree on the other side of the kitchen just standing guard- not eating, or pecking... when I went to close the cage all of them were on perches, sleeping except the three new Plymouth rocks (pretty black and white feathers) were on the floor pecking and chatting. In general lots of chicken talk and bickering, I think everyone is doing all right though.
I have a day off tomorrow (hooray!!!) so I'm hoping to spend some time with them just trying to put them at ease and hang out/ get more comfortable with them. I'm a little afraid to really hold them and such because our rooster Bill is good at his job/ quite territorial. I think everyday this week he has pecked/ puffed up at one of the interns- sometimes worse then others.

Breakfast went well today. I made biscuits and cooked eggs in muffin tins (an idea thanks to the egg legacy steph left) fried some ham and made lil sammies. A good idea in theory, but in practice a bit crumbly and perhaps not the tastiest, but people seemed to like them. Made a soup, did some tasks...

Skip came to teach a class and brought A bunch of plants for me, and I'd never even met him before!He knew that the past kitchen/garden intern really appreciated getting plants from him/ was really excited, etc. (Another big thank you to steph ) so that is really exciting.

above find a few photos of my walk to work. It was beautiful this morning, everything covered in ice crystals...and cold cold cold... It was so sunny today, Minneapolis sunny.

Friday, January 22, 2010

color me changing

sorry for all of the format and background changes... i can't quite find one I like, perhaps I can figure out a way to design my own?!

c on the way to begin

h- your the second letter in oh
I i am the third oh
C I'm the fourth letter in that bird.....
k i'm fillin in
e- i'm near the end
oh C-h-i-c-k-e-n that's the way you spell chicken!

that is a camp song aunt kathy taught me when I was a short lil one in pigtails helping her make chocolate chip cookies..(can you tell she worked at summer camps? there's a chocolate chip cookie song too- but i'll spare you that one for now.)

Today was an 11 hour day. cooked breakfast (mexicanish black bean and egg burritos) helped prep lunch, then all afternoon was spent moving the kitchen back in to the kitchen...and it looks great. We made it just in time. a 13 person timber frame class starts today and a 13 person solar class starts we had a huge welcome dinner tonight, and i helped heidi get dinner together too. She was quite stressed out- we had a bit of our first kitchen disagreement this morning- she doesn't like the way i make quinoa.. and that's fine- i didn't take it personally, it was just a long morning.
breakfast tomorrow then I'm off the rest of the day, Sunday and Monday.

other exciting news, we had 5 chickens and a rooster donated to us- so we snuck them in at dusk while everyone was asleep so we'll See what happens tomorrow morning and they think "who is this stranger sleeping in my bed?" we now have 14 hens and 2 roosters...if they don't get along though we'll have 14 hens, one rooster and a tasty soup.

happy weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

for your viewing pleasure

photos of our makeshift kitchen, so you will appreciate the photos of the new kitchen!

Left- where the dishwasher and sinks go

Right- looking in to the main part of the kitchen

Right (below)
the makeshift storage in the studio

Left- our makeshift dining and serving station in the studio

Right- the little kitchenette that we are cooking food for 14 out of, it's fine but tiny, are supplies aren't in it and it's an electric stove......grrrr. I can't even tell you how many things I have burnt this week- I'm not use to cooking on an electric stove at all- so spoiled I am...


the chalet with our kitch in tact now!!! Rob and Erin, ah movies on projectors!

Dear Blog,
we were just talking about how amusing it is that people don't write "dear diary" anymore...
So many exciting things today. The most exciting for you ( the lovely 5 of you that read this little blog) is that I finally bought batteries, which means I can give you actual photos vs. walking my computer around and taking crummy pictures with the built in camera while trying to keep my fingers out of the frame.

Day 4 of Breakfast duty in our makeshift kitchen/ Dining room. Last night the Skin on frame cannoe class started. It's nice to have new faces around here, and some lovely people. Breakfast today was round 2 of Good morning Muffins, and lunch was build your own salad featuring (local- though here they call the local produce 'native' which is confusing to me) honey mustard roasted beets, hard boiled eggs from our chickens, and toasted walnuts...yum! and a broccoli soup started by Heidi and finished by me. Had a meal planner tell me it was the best meal she's had since she has been here...
The kitchen is coming together- the floor is in, and it looks beautiful! we had a major cleaning party and started putting things away and tomorrow we start moving all the appliances back in, in time for the large welcome dinner for the Timber Framing class starting tomorrow evening.

tonight we watched a fabulous film "The Garden" about the community garden in south central LA in the mid 90's and it's trial and tribulations...the largest community garden in the states fighting for their land...I highly recommend it (netflix)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

nothing clever

Just a Wednesday here, nothing too exciting. Cooked breakfast, just for the interns and one work trader. I soaked steel cut oats overnight with ground flax seed and a bit of lemon juice. This morning I threw them on the stove with cinnamon, a tad of sugar, and vanilla and in about 15 min. they became creamy deliciousness... turned yesterday's peanut butter rice in to a coconut curry soup for lunch. It turned out pretty well- Heidi is a fan of cook once eat twice, though I totally misjudged and cooked enough for thrice.

I decided that I hate spreadsheet- it's just so square and boxy and hard for me to work with- so after a few hours on it trying to redo the components sheet, i decided to draw it all by hand- and it looks amazing!

We found out today that we can start moving the light stuff back in to the kitchen, so I spent the better part of the afternoon cleaning cabinets, windows, trim, baseboards etc. and liberating them from the coating of dust they received during the floor installation...

Karie and Mary Kate cooked an amazing dinner of sweet potato black bean enchiladas, Spanish rice, a mescalin salad and cream cheese peanut butter pie (Heidi made it actually, in her beautiful blue ceramic heart shaped pan...)


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I'm gonna miss the trees

Apparently today has been the day of songs.

we just had a 2 hour long intern meeting- unlike any other living collective meeting I have had it was really unstructured, honest and fun. I laughed so much, and I think the current intern group dynamics are really good... and have the potential to stay really good. Working on thinking before I talk, Saying what I mean- meaning what I say, having projects (tangible art projects) that I am working on... especially while I am cooking and planning so much, I think it will be important for me to feel like I am still making and creating...

so, the opposite of the last song I posted- here's a mellow sad song, but beautiful, to sing you to sleep... to dream land

Holy moley me oh my, you're the apple of my eye

(a picture of some of our chickens - in the summer. I'm working on getting some batteries and taking photos...soon)
A dreary Tuesday here. Snowing all day, but 35 degrees, so melty snow..
I have become super obsessed with the Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zero song Home - and it seems like the perfect winter bleary song, so I thought I'd share it with you

I just went out to close up the chickens and fell on the snow and landed on my face, funny though because it happens almost every day. I wrote such a long bliggity blog last night that I don't think I really explained the kitchen situation. Since the floor is getting redone everything is out of the Kitchen...sinks, stove, cabinets, tables, etc. so everything is set up in the studio makeshift style. Breakfast this morning required all kinds of running back and forth from the main fridge through the studio to the Kitchenette, and back and eventually I got breakfast out and the potatoes I made were tasty. (Heidi bought me a huge bag of dried Chipotles = so excited!)

Working on Kitchen organization = making spreadsheet lists of what we order (currently it's all handwritten- I feel like I'm channeling Anika, Jen, and Caroline as I make spreadsheets...)
and kitchen duties, etc.

Really exhausted today for some reason. I need to find a way to eat better here- more veggies, less bread, less sweets. It's particularly hard to do because Heidi is amazing and always making treats- today's lunch dessert was chocolate cake.... I took an afternoon siesta which helped, but is not always the answer...

Highlight of the day, amazing Aunt Kathy mailed me a bunch of stuff that wouldn't fit in my suite cases (and took the rest of it home to her house to later transport back to STL) anyway box # 2 showed up today. I now have all of my heart shaped pans here (2 cake pans, 2 muffin tins, 8 little heart pans, 5 cookie cutters, 2 egg/pancake 'rings' ) and scarves and shoes and wild rice. yum! and cozy.

stay cozy friends!

Monday, January 18, 2010

another traveling song

best 2nd weekend in a new place ever! This weekend was the big trip to Worcester (reason why the northeast is crazy #281- this town is pronounced could something spelled so differently than that be pronounced as wooster? ) for the Northeastern Organic farming alliance winter conference. we drove down the night before and stayed with one of the most giving, friendly, amazing people I have ever met- someone who has taken classes here and lives in this rad earth shelter that she built- so cool.
The conference was so much fun. Oddly, I love tabling- I think its' so fun to talk to people- the last time I tabled a lot was for nonviolent peaceforce, which is a little harder to talk about- so it was so nice to be able to talk about something as concrete and easy to explain as a school. Joel Salatin's keynote was pretty interesting. It was titled "Food from farms for families" (subtitled by Joel " vs. stuff from CAFO's for corporate interest")
a few brief points of interest from the talk...

* There is a Food Modernization Act that passed through the Senate and is in the process of being passed through the house. It is so, so, frightening. In a nutshell, part of what the bill does is give the FDA (note, not the USDA) the authority to come in to your farm, without a warrant, to see if you are using methods that are not science based. (which means pretty much any organic method of farming). There has been a lot of fear around the bills, and thus a lot of blogs and mainstream papers debunking the 'myths' on how damaging the bill is- from the parts I have read, I think that there is reason to be concerned.
please check out the bill, contact your house reps. etc. (this is a link to the bill)

*In this country we have twice as many people incarcerated as we have farmers

* In reference to CAFO's and factory farms he said something to the idea of "a culture who views their animals that way (as a means to an end, to be manipulated and produced as cheaply as possible, etc.) obviously thinks of its' citizens and other countries that way too.

* At one point he called someone an "earth muffin" best phrase ever- in all my days of calling people muffins, i had never thought to call someone an earth muffin

Other exciting things about the conference- It was a potluck- an 800 person potluck. And It flowed really well, there was tons of food, and it wasn't mass pandemonium... best idea ever!!! I had copious amounts of great food- and contributed a loaf of chocolate chip walnut banana bread.
I also went to a great workshop about starting seeds, talked to people from Vermont soil and high mowing seeds- exciting!

Sat. night we stayed in Northampton with Emily and got to see Kesa- fun to have Minneapolis in MA. yummy food, bars and dancing...

Sunday we got back to craziness.... a bunch of Marmoleum (a floor covering) was donated to us (awesome) so it's getting put in the kitchen, but we had to move everything out of the kitchen (not awesome)I missed the hard work this weekend, but had to deal with cooking breakfast and lunch today in the Kitchenette- a small windowless kitchen with an electric stove (eek!!!!) It was ok, but I burnt a bunch of stuff.

whew, a long one. apologies
and hearts!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Twin Peaks, VT

Today was filled with excitement. I had a meeting with the executive directer and got a better sense of kitchen budgets, sourcing, the farmers we will buy from, and the farming I will do. It feels so good to have a better plan of what I should be doing at this point. In the late morning Erin and I cleaned out the chicken coop. This meant digging out totally frozen poo and wheelbarrowing it all over to the compost pile. The chickens now have a plethora of fresh straw, leaves, and sawdust- they are hella happy with it too, making all kinds of chirpy chicken noises of contentment.
We have two new stop saws, table saws in the shop and got to watch a demo of how they work. The stop saws are the kind that have a phenomenal sensor that drops the blade when they sense skin and -demonstrated with a hot dog- the blade drops leaving only a nick on the finger- technology is so amazing.
Made a few loafs of Banana bread for breakfast tomorrow and for the organic farming conference this weekend. Used the Laurel's kitchen recipe- an oldie but goodie, and it happens to be vegan.

Tonight we went out for drinks and shuffleboard to the Pitcher Inn In Warren. Warren is the town a mile south of the school that is pretty much a town playing to tourists. The "Warren Store" is the swankiest general store I have ever seen, complete with a boutique upstairs. So the Pitcher inn is on the main block of town and was recently rebuilt (designed) by the local architect David Sellers- they employed over 150 local artisans, and each room is it's own theme. Everything in the place was hand made with an exquisite old lodge sort of feel. As you walk in past beautiful wood chairs a taxidermy standing bear greets you, then downstairs to the lounge/ bar/ more cozy dining. The fireplace is beautiful, the moose head behind the bar is expertly done, and the pool table has hand engraved details. - you can even have a romantic dinner in the wine cellar.
The place is like walking in to the lodge on Twin Peaks. I really want to set a TP spin off there...
we joked about having formal Mondays, where we dress up for Dinner (the idea arose when Rob told us that one of the 4 outfits he brought was a suite because he came here directly from a wedding...) I think we also need to implement billiard and shuffleboard Thursdays...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

planers and jointers and chop saws, oh my!

After two days of lunch and dinner shifts I had a breakfast shift today. Wasn't feeling it at all- way to tired. Trudged through it, also the days our huge natural food order comes in (like UNFI, called AB) so the joys of helping to put it all away, took a bit of time- way too use to where everything goes at Trotter's at the (what now seems like ) copious amounts of space there. I got to hang out with the Design/ build interns in the afternoon and help tear down the cube- the mock house structure that the Natural Build class uses to build up with straw bales and uses natural plaster finish on.. fun to get to tear things apart and trek the wood to other parts of the property for storage. I had my shop orientation in the afternoon- so now I can use tools. Dave, the master of the wood shop and property, led us through thorough tours of all of the parts of each tool and how they work- so detailed, i totally understand what a planer does and how it does it , which is a good thing to know. I'm still afraid of the table saw - they just look so menacing and angry with their blade sticking up and lack of safety guards - but I'll get over it...
missing minnesota winter a bit- especially art shanty projects, soup swaps, making soup in 2317, and friendly minne faces... love ya'll

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

cooking AND learning! awesome

photos= new burn, risotto dinner
'ello! another long, but fascinating day here.
Had my first solo shifts on lunch and dinner.
lunch= grilled veggie quesadilla's
dinner= risotto bar, basic risotto with topping choices of artichoke hearts, olives, cheesy garlic squash.
so tasty!!!

I successfully got my first Yesteryum oven burn today (which makes me feel tough again, as most of my Trotter's burns have faded by this point.)

sat in on two awesome night lectures. 1) on the parts of a project to think about while planning your natural building project
2) Natural building vs. green building.... the differences and intersections. so mind blowing.
more on that later.

Monday, January 11, 2010

out on the town

After Lunch Yesterday Erin and I decided to have an afternoon adventure and went to Montpelier, the smallest state capital in the Us, with roughly 6,000 people. It is a very cute, walkable city- checked out black sheep books-
an awesome book store co-found by Ace, a super amazing person who teaches some classes here at Yestermorrow, and Cindy Milstein who is this incredible activist- her talk 'educating for freedom' changed my life. (also in zine form but together by the Amazing Sarah Lawrence- and

free audio download here: )

checked out langdon street cafe= super cute,
a little art store in Waitsfield, then took a journey to Rochester, VT to one of the coolest bookstores I have ever seen. Seasoned books
located in an old house it has the best selection of new and used books mixed together- in the energy section it was broken down in to "heating your home with wood" "solar" "wind" etc. such great selection- the bakery in back had tasty bread and cookies, and had tables scattered among bookshelves. check it out if you are in the VT area.

Erin found a cheesy toy book in our library circa the 1970's and it suggested making paper mustaches with your kids. I thought it was hysterical!

Today I slept in and cooked my first solo lunch
Vermont melts (maple Dijon, apple, white cheddar & Ham melts)
potato salad, sticks & Hummus, lentil barley soup seconds, chocolate chip cookies)
Heidi came in and together we made dinner:
Steak, Veg Field Roast with grilled onions, sauteed Brussels, roasted roots (parsnips, beets, sweet potatoes) and an Carmel apple crisp for dessert.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

hi there muffins!

Yestermorrow was officially introduced to Nature muffins today- and they went over pretty well. today's variety had carrots, zucchini, rasins, crasins, flax seed, wheat germ, and a 50/50 white whole wheat and whole wheat flour mix. And agave for 1/3 of the sugar. I served them with yogurt and a fruit salad (craisns, grapes, apples, coconut, bananas, in an orange-banana- agave sauce.)

Made a vegan creamy carrot ginger soup today- so tasty!!! used a great product I'd never seen before- a vegan cream that is basically a thick almond/ cashew milk called mimiccream- it's low in fat (1 gram for 1 Tbl.) and sugar free. so tasty- I totally reccomend it for all your vegan cream needs..and it's soy free, which is awesome. whew! more than you ever wanted to know about vegan cream...

Friday, January 8, 2010

Mad River Awesome!

Friday we had the tour of the mad river valley. YM is in between two small towns -Warren to the south and Waitsfield to the North. I use to think that everything cool happened in San Francisco, now I think it's all connected to the mad river valley... The Von Trapp family originally settled here after fleeing Austria. Not to mention Dave Sellers - the founder of the Mad River Valley style of architecture- he influenced the founder of the school, John Connell, in the 70's.
great website that highlights a lot of the architecture in the mad river valley...

My list of YM connections to my architectural heroes continues as I learned yesterday that William McDonough (of Cradle to Cradle fame) roomed with Connell (founder of the school) in college and lends his name a bit to yestermorrow. Crazy!

Today Erin and I ventured off campus to the Library- and where normally that doesn't sound too exciting- it was the coolest thing ever. We started at the one in Waitsfield- they don't use computers and hand write all the check out cards- just like the library in grade school... we didn't need to verify our address and they didn't even give us a card! At Warren, they use computers, but still no card, and the librarians are the loudest, chattiest crew I've ever met.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thursday Jan 7.
I am officially absolutely and completely exhausted. The morning started with a quasi intern meeting (2 of the interns are in class- so we are short a few people.) then Kate (executive director) showed us a photo sideshow of the history of yestermorrow and gave us an overview of the master plan for the school- absolutely how far we've come..

In News about people Lylee is amazed by and suddenly everyone around me has connections to:

Last night I was talking to a fellow intern, and learned that he spent a lot of time growing up in Texas, and talked about being good friends with the Auburn university/ rural studio/ Samual Mockbee crew.

I was amazed- which of my favorite art/architecture hero's aren't people going to have personal connection with, goodness! Then I learned that next weekend I get to go to the Norheastern Organic Farmer Association (NOFTA) conference and the Keynote is JOEL SALATIN.

To top it off Kate mentioned that YM was featured on an episode of this old house with Bob Villa
and Bill McKibben used our solar trailer on his climate change awareness walk of Vermont- or something amazing like that...

I started feeling really awful around lunch time and proceeded to buck up through it for my 2nd kitchen shift with Heidi. It was a long 8 hours in the kitch today. At lunch we served a carrot chickpea salad with dill herbed dressing, kale-ko-pita (kale spanakopita) brown rice pudding, lemon kissed couscous, and some more things I can't think of. Dinner was a little thrown together- I love that we plan what we will make by what needs to get used of in the fridge = lots of creativity and no recipes... love it!
Dinner: I managed to get it mostly vegan...
French lentil and barley mushroom stew with vegan chipotle field roast “sausage”
caramelized maple balsamic fennel and red onions
hippy casear salad (no cheese because we were out of parm. Heidi was sad about this fact, I was quite excited)
soft pretzels we made from leftover bread dough- made in a fish/ breast cancer ribbon shape
mango curried cream cheese spirals ( made on tortillas) (yum!)
and an ice cream sunday cake (the kitchen sink mixed with ice cream and layered with goods frozen in a bowl)
Sat and Sun I have my first shifts alone! Breakfast! Sat will be tofu scramble and sunday will feature nature muffins and some other form of goodness....

so- good day, long day, ready to relax.

some photos for your eyes!!!

my bedroom- the badass bike wheel light- living room -
kitchen and dining room- poured concrete counter tops and lovely wood tables...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

classes and chickens!!!

Wed. Jan 6
no kitchen shifts so I ate breakfast and sat in on the intern meeting. Every morning the design/build interns have a meeting to talk about their projects for the day- while I don't attend these meetings regularly, I am going to go once a week just to keep up with what they are doing and build that relationship of how we can help each other in our projects. I spent the majority of my day reading a wealth of documents left for me by last year's kitchen/garden Intern, Stephanie. The wealth of info included all kinds of garden plans and info, care for the chickens and compost, and lists of people to meet with for wisdom about gardening in the area. I also learned about the locavore and gardening/ sustainable groups in the area- so much cool stuff happening here. Equipped with a tiny bit of knowledge on the chickens I attempted to get to know them a little better and give them new bedding to replace the poop covered sawdust and straw that they currently reside in(on.) I am still a little hesitant about petting/ picking up the chickens and need to get them to be comfortable with me.. we have 9 females and a rooster.. we keep them just for eggs (well, not the rooster) and for the amazingness they add to the about value added.
Our flock:
Delores: There are three Deloreses; they are our Rhode Island Reds.
Betty Davis: She is the red chicken without the comb of the Deloreses.
Bertha: The white chicken that looks dirty with the tawny streaks on her.
Sadie: The white chicken that has a couple tan spots on her wings.
Ursula: The two white chickens are both Ursula.
Mabel: The spotted black and brown hen, a real beauty.
Bill: Used to be Belle until we discovered he was a rooster. He’s pretty nonagressive for a rooster, but he will peck you if you mess with his girls.

Today I also planned out the classes I will take while I'm here. I am able to take 5 weeks of classes and as many weekend classes as I can sanely fit in.
My big classes are: Permiculture, Farm design & Edible forest gardens.
Weekend classes include: yurt design/ build, Natural paints and finishes, Root cellar design, Re-inventing small business, Invisible structures, and maybe a few others.

Our 7th intern got here today, so we get to have a house/intern ,meeting and really hang out tonight- looking forward to it. I share a room with a cool woman named Erin, I noticed that she had a copy of the second season of Isabella Rossellini's Green Porno. Tonight at dinner I gushed to her about how fantastic I think that series is and she told me that she had that copy because she helped design and build the set for the second season....AMAZING!!! I was blown away- and she told me all about having to attach the 5 foot long whale Penis to her for the whale episode... I was pretty excited, let me tell you. ( if you aren't familar it's amazing.. check it out. )

the first few days

Monday Jan 4

We had our orientation of the facilities, brief overview of our roles here as interns, and gerally got some barings. I was exhausted, and dirty after a day of traveling.

Tuesday Jan 5
the morning was my first shift in the Kitchen with Heidi (the head kitchen wizard.) Breakfast shift starts at 7, and I learned the ropes and a bit about how the kitchen functions, though I think it will take me a tiny bit to grasp how the organization of the space and routines work and a long while to really grasp how much more laid back it is than Trotter's. At trotter's we had meals planned a month in advance...The menu here is made a day in advance (maybe two.) In theory there should be a two week scedual, but I'm not sure if that will actually happen...we shall see. We also don;t really use recipees here, which I LOVE and is how I normally cook for myself and friends, but it's a bit intemidating to cook that way for 20+ people who expect really great food!
After lunch I participated in the monthly staff/intern meeting... learned and absorbed quite a bit about all of the projects and classes going on and my role in it all..
I spent the afternoon playing with compost- transfering the full load from bin 1 in to bin 2 to to sit for a bit, and eventually it will be put in to bin 3 to cure for the season. I was trying to sneak in and transfer the compost before it all froze but I was too late. I started shoveling from the front- then switched to the back, then finally gave up and just jumped inside with the compost and shoveld it in to the next bin (gotta love the high sorrel boots!) ½ way through Austin (one of the cooks) came out and told me that the bin door opens- and it does, but it was frozen too... so only transferred out about ¾ of the compost, but it was enough to get us throught the winter space wise..

uprooting and replanting

Hi friends and fam

this is my attempt to keep a journal of my year here at may not always be terribly interesting or well written, but it will be written with love and hopefully (mostly) spelled correctly.

It's taken a few weeks of chaos to get me here, but I am happily settled at my new home in Vermont. I attempted to move out of my apartment in mid December, which I was only about 75% successful at. After spending lovely, but busy and rainy, holidays in St. Louis I trekked to the north woods of Minnesota to spend the new year's holidays at the family's cabin. After making everyone drive from STL to chi-town to northern MN it was decided that maybe I really needed help finishing my move, and transferring the belongings I hadn't already given away or forced on to friends back up north. So my amazing aunt and mom and I spent a hectic day driving the 9hours (round trip) ,re-packing, cramming gear in the car, begging friends to let me stash belongings in basements and running errands. They are saints. After getting rid of more belongings, packing the car in -40 degree weather (no joke) cars not starting, locking keys in a running car, AAA, van still dead we made it to Minneapolis, and after a lovely but delayed flight to Burlington (1.5 hours spent circling Burlington because we couldn't land due to snow) I made it to Vermont. It snowed 3 feet the next day, and my baggage finally got to me last night, 2.5 days after I got here... whew! Hopefully that will be the most craziness I deal with for quite a long time....

Yestermorrow is an absolutely beautiful place. Nestled at the base of the Greene mountains, between the small towns of Warren and Waitsfield in the Mad river valley. The school is one main building that houses a conference room, the main office (with a staff of 5), a large studio, a smaller studio, a wood shop/ shop, 5 dorm rooms, laundry/showers etc., and the kitchen & dining room. Just outside the kitchen live the 10 chickens, an herb garden, and a lovely three bin composting system. The campus is used as site for student projects and a place to learn skills, so there are beautiful projects, buildings, and architectural art all over the grounds. Beyond the main building to the east are 3 cabins, all design/build projects of the school- highlighting different building systems. There is a timber-framed cabin, a cob cabin, and a third that I cannot recall. Nestled in the wood are 3 platforms for people to camp on during the warm season, a composting toilet, a solar shower, and an amazing wheelchair accessible tree house. Just to the south is the Intern Challet that I live in. I share the space with 4 design/build interns (who do architecture/ building things and are generally amazing) a woodshop intern, and a community outreach and communication intern. Below our house and beyond lies the main gardens. A 1,500 square foot space with a beautiful Cobb structure garden shed, a sink space, and bordered to the north east by some lovely trestles and wood fencing built by past interns. I am the kitchen/garden intern, my role is working as a cook doing mostly breakfast but other shifts as well- aprox. 30 hours during the week in the winter months and also being the head/ only/ keeper of the gardens. This includes the main garden, the herb garden, an edible forest garden and keeping up with the chickens and the compost. Exciting that I get to really start at the beginning of the growing process... I get to meet with wise garden folk and develop garden plans, start seeds, grow and harvest, and put to bed in the winter...