School of Living News 

November 2019

Welcome to our School of Living electronic newsletter where you can catch up on what is happening in our land trust communities and SOL committee work.


Will Pierson, an active School of Living board member, volunteers with the non-profit called One Spirit. He recognized similarities between the mission and interests of SOL and One Spirit such as building healthy communities, land trusts, small scale agriculture, social justice and more. In his article, A New Cottage Industry, he sites specific examples in which One Spirit helps to manifest the initiatives of individuals toward strengthening their local communities. Will suggests that SOL could, similarly, help individuals in our land trust communities to make progress in their projects through grant seeking and writing. Will has been developing his own skills in grant writing and, in his article, shares ideas about looking for and applying for appropriate grants. Please, read Will’s full article published on the SOL website.
In late fall, we celebrate the abundance that we (thanks to the good soil, seed, sun, and rain) have been able to bring to our tables during the growing season. Our outdoor work and projects begin to ease up in their demands for attention. Soon thereafter, we begin to get a little itchy to live the day to day that includes the tending of gardens and growing food. That is where wonderful winter conferences come in! They bring the information, resources, networking, and inspiration that we all need! Here is a link to a Calendar for Sustainable Agriculture Winter Conference EventsThis calendar represents the SOL region as well as in Northeastern and Southeastern US regions. 
Chainsaw Maintenance & Basic Forestry
by Paul LeVasseur 

Do you know what a “scrench” is? Until recently, I didn’t; although it turns out I’ve been using one for years.

On November 9th, The COOP at StellaLou hosted a chainsaw maintenance and basic forestry class led by Seth Wheeler. Seth’s class covered an impressive scope of subject matter, including the various names, functions, and upkeep requirements of chainsaw components; a wide range of additional tools and techniques for forestry and land management; as well as the vitally important precautions and safety measures necessary for operating such equipment.

The class was a great opportunity for people with all levels of experience to learn fundamentals and even a few advanced techniques. And, in addition to some very insightful and engaging demonstrations, there were plenty of opportunities for participants to learn by doing:

Image courtesy of StellaLou Farm
Personally, I’m thrilled to have been able to participate in such an enjoyable afternoon gaining knowledge that I can put to use on my family’s homestead. I’m also thrilled to finally have learned the name of “that weird sockety-screwdriver thing” I was always losing while cutting logs. Turns out, it’s called a scrench.
Image courtesy of StellaLou Farm


Hi Ya Honey Infusions & Facials

The Coop at StellaLou Farm, also, had the opportunity to host Alicia Falco from Hi Ya Honey for a hands on class. Using StellaLou honey and various aromatic and health promoting herbs, flowers, and spices; the instructor, Alicia, guided us in making delicious infused honeys and honey based facials. 

Image courtesy of StellaLou Farm
Mick Vogt wrote a beautiful article for Communities magazine which is worth sharing, here, in the SOL newsletter. Here is his bio from from the Fall 2019 issue of Communities magazine: “Mick Vogt is a 72-year-old retired educator/environmentalist currently residing in Stewartstown, Pennsylvania. He has been a non-resident member of the Heathcote Community (in nearby Freeland, Maryland) for over 10 years, and knew and studied with the founder Mildred Loomis in the late ’60s. He commutes to Heathcote almost daily and works hand in hand with the residents. He has been published in The Sun literary journal and other smaller periodicals. He is founder (1996) and chairperson of Oberon Associates, Inc., a non-profit which propagates and saves heirloom seed stocks and plants.” 

Image courtesy of Mick Vogt
Please, read Mick’s full article, Loneliness in Community, pages 46-48 in the Fall 2019 Communities Magazine. The Communities magazine editor, Chris Roth, gave permission to include the article here. He also shared that the magazine is looking forward to working with a new publisher. Keep an eye out for changes on their site!
With education being held as a priority for School of Living, a collaborative google document has been created. It is a brainstorming opportunity and it is a survey. What skills and knowledge do you or your community have to share? What would you like to see offered? Here is the link to the editable google document. Please contribute your ideas! 
A packed sustainable agriculture winter conference schedule is available here.
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