Archive for January, 2009

Here are the long awaited photos of our favorite spots, both built entirely by hand in the traditional way, by the Thursday Pioneers, ages 9-12. Granted, the shelters are snow-capped, but isn’t that a testimony?

Here is the Wikiup, complete with stone wall foundation, lashed poles, and goldenrod thatching. Inside is a stone lined fire pit for heat and cooking. A peace flag hangs in celebration of it’s completion.


Below is the log cabin. Inside there is a stone and mortar firplace with chimney, and on the side is their handbuilt balcony. Something to be very proud of!



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native-harvests-with-barrie-1-0071 Ahhh yes. In between snowfalls and cancelled programs, we have the Gem of January. Our Thursday brought in the brave nature souls for Barrie’s Native Harvests. It felt so good to get out of the house to learn with the kids, but somehow still allow the real rhythm of winter to reign. We trekked out into the white yard, and followed some of the littlest tracks…..

native-harvests-with-barrie-1-0031We followed these around the yard, into the stone wall, and back out again, only to fint much bigger tracks. Which led up to the apple tree. Once we were at the apple tree, Barrie talked all about how much the apple tree provides, even in the winter. All the terminal buds were eaten off by deer, and little holes at the base provided warmth and more nutrition for little critters. 

The green-blue scaly stuff along the trunk was an interesting discussion on lichens, as Barrie explained to us how they form and what important roles they play in both the history of plant evolution as well as our present day habitat. Fascinating.



We had the chance to explore some of the winter weeds with their intricate seed patterns. This bean-like plant is actually a milkweed – Dogbane specifically. It has the signature fluff inside the pods, and the stalk makes an exceptionally tough fiber for cordage. This exploration also led us along  more tracks; coyote and bobcat, with some variations on paw size leaving us to wonder if there were a couple of generations.

Inside we created our own journals and taped in our plant specimens with some written details. They all came out so unique and beautiful! And to top it all off, we made delicious snow cream. Yum!

See you tomorrow!


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dad-and-sage-making-arrowsHappy New Year Everyone! I hope you all have had a joyful holiday season and are rested up for another adventurous time with us at Great Hollow. As you can see, the vibe seems to travel with us no matter where we are; the flint knapping class has inspired some off season arrow making and memorable Father-Son time.

The snow has been beautiful and promises some clear tracking  days ahead if you are signed up for the Saturday club with Ethan and Nick. Justin and Whendi are gearing up for a multi-faceted creative endeavor with those of you who will be coming to our full semester of StoryLand (I can’t WAIT for this class!). In addition, we are blessed to have an exceptional, seasoned herbalist/author/artist/ethnobotanist with us each week – Barrie Kavasch, who once apon a time taught with our founder Eva Rupert. 

Looking ahead, now is the time for planting the seeds of our future at Whole Earth Homeschool. Do you have ideas? Do you know people who would make awesome instructors? Do you have a vision of Great Hollow that you want to see flourish? Well don’t stay quiet…. it is YOU my dear Homeschool families, that propel us to keep going and growing – so write those ideas down and send them on over to me. Planning ahead is going to be key this year. 

Thanks for coming together and making the Fall of 2008 our most abundant yet. 

See you soon!


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