When folks think of living a self-reliant outdoor lifestyle, usually what’s envisioned is picturesque tent sites and all the things that go along with camping. However, that’s not the whole picture. A large part of living a sustainable lifestyle in the modern world is maintaining systems that provide renewable resources without damaging the land we live on. So this upcoming year we’ll be implementing some more of those on our field school in northern Maine. We’re already big believers in the “Humanure” composting system, and we use solar for all our electronic needs on the property. This year we’ll be establishing a renewable food system on campus. This will include chickens, a garden, transplanting some local fruit trees into a small orchard and experimenting with harvesting, storing and maintaining crops of local wild edibles. It’s an exciting addition and one that will keep growing year by year as the infrastructure grows, new crops are added and we can add more homesteading experience to our courses.
The planning process alone has forced me to consider the field school property in a new way, thinking about the best areas for each project, and understanding what plants are hardy enough for our northern climate, and how to manage ones that aren’t. It’s made the sense of stewardship for the land we occupy that much stronger, and I haven’t even gotten a shovel in the dirt yet.
Keep an eye on the blog, and we’ll keep you updated on the process.