Last (Two) Week(s) at the Institute — 21 Jan.–Feb. 3 2018

Behind-the-scenes work continues here at the institute as we put out blog posts, podcasts, and videos. We’re applying for grants and searching out instructors for our workshops.

Limited Projects

Cleared brush pile.

It is tough to get much done outside with the ground being frozen, but we are making progress towards spring projects. We took down the brush to clear the final area of our garden. Most of the brush was Black Locust saplings, which grow as suckers out of a network of underground roots. We also took down a dead apple tree. We did leave nonbearing apple trees; we’ll use them as grafting rootstock this spring. The brush pile could be allowed to decay over the next few years, but because it will be in our “intensive” garden area, we’ll burn it down this spring and work the ash into the soil.

I also added an “enclosed porch” on the chicken coop. The girls don’t like to come outside when snow covers the ground, but this enclosed area should heat up a little from the greenhouse effect and they can at least sun themselves for a little while even on the cold days.

We’re looking forward to some projects this coming summer, like a new paver patio built out of reclaimed bricks. We rescued our first load of bricks from a construction dumpster. Inside the house we’ve given the floors a little more luster with a deep clean and coating of linseed oil. I’ve started cleaning up the roadsides by “plogging” (picking up + jogging).


We have scheduled a few more workshops. You can already sign up for the knife-and-tool sharpening class. This week we’ll open up the flintknapping workshop and keep an eye out next week for our maple sugaring workshop.

Videos and Podcasts

IMG_20171222_151248166.jpgThis week we’ll have a podcast coming on the concept of “energy slaves,” which will discuss how we all live really well because of the energy embodied in fossil fuels. Last week we published a video on chopping wood. We’ll have another video coming up next week, either on baking bread or sewing a bee suit.


We have been busy applying for grants to support our research and educational programming. We’ve also been knocking on doors to raise awareness about the tool library.


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