Last (Two) Week(s) at the Institute — Feb. 4–17, 2018

We’re poised for winter weather to break here in the next few days. Maple sugaring will start and the busy spring season will be here. In the meantime, we’ve been busy here working around the grounds and organizing upcoming workshops.

Limited Projects



We’ll be building a timber-frame chicken coop in the rear of the institute grounds. Last year we brought down a spruce that had died on the property and made a video of it here. We’ve split out some of those timbers but need more for the small building we’re making. The spruce in the figure here was also dead, so it was brought down as we got 8 in of snow in two days, our last big snow of the season.

IMG_20180207_182738497.jpgAnother little experiment recreated the way Native Americans (and others) would use leftovers. In short, tonight’s split-pea soup becomes tomorrow’s stew by adding rice and recooking, after which it becomes a curried sauce on top of potatoes, and so on, rolling yesterday’s leftovers into today’s main course. I’ll write this up soon.


We have scheduled two more workshops. This coming Saturday will be our flintknapping workshop, where we’ll learn the skills needed to make stone tools. We’ll also be having folks over for a maple sugaring class in two weeks. We still have space in both workshops.

Videos and Podcasts

VideoTItlePage-1We have a new podcast out on the concept of “energy slaves,” the idea put forward by Buckminster Fuller and the best shorthand for making it clear how much we are dependent on fossil fuels. Last week we put out a general video on bread baking. This will be followed by videos going over specific topics, such as sourdough starters and forming loaves.


We’re partnering with local farmers who sell at farmers’ markets to study potatoes this year and last week the research group was notified that they received funding for this project! The institute will be providing online space for reporting the results. We’ve also been knocking on doors to raise awareness about the tool library.


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