Tag Archives: Sterling College

Natural Dyes

Jody has been a busy duck dyeing yarn in the fiber arts room on campus. She used a variety of natural dyes to get these wonderful colors: logwood, indigo, cochineal, onion skins, walnut, weld… and a whole passel of other dyestuffs I can’t remember at the moment. I hope MY summer will be filled with such things too!

350 dot ORG

It’s 350.org global action day! Sterling celebrated by having an upcycling workshop, trail crew,  grain threshing, leaf raking and bread oven baking.

The product of all that leaf raking!

I went down to the farm and helped Andy, Abbie, Rihanna, Sarah, Erin, Jackie and Josh thresh the grain Andy grew all summer. Here is the process…

Undo a few bushels and gather them in a circle with their heads pointing inward…

Take some flails (that Andy made last night!) and thresh the heck out of those stalks. You’re separating the grain from the straw… here’s a video too!

Then you gather the straw into a pile for bedding later and pour all the grain into bins.

Then pour the grain into another from a height so that the wind will carry away the hulls and chaff that you don’t want and the grain falls right into the bucket. Repeat.

After a few hours you’ll have 5 bags of grain and a smile as big as Andy’s… Happy 350!


This is a rather belated post. My parents visited us… Oh… last month and I’m just now getting around to putting up all of the photos they took with their fancy phones and the hipstamatic ap that goes along with all that tom-foolery. It was such a great visit and I’m glad they took all of these pictures because I certainly didn’t remember to!

Jessie, on the last leg of  the Top Notch triathalon. Go Jessie!

Paul, with the Sterling Oxen: Bronze and Chrome.

A Sterling Turkey-Lurkey peering out at the wider world beyond the barn.

More meat bunnies!

Bonnieview Farm dairy sheep, peacefully grazing their way down a hill.

The Cheap Art Bus at Bread and Puppet!Lastly, some of the masks in the barn at Bread and Puppet.

If you want to see more pictures, you can find them over here!

Dorm Batik

So. I threw two batik “parties” (I’m using that term lightly… there were brownies involved) and this is what those crazy kids made (more or less). The fabric is about 4 feet long (shorter in some cases because, as the glue was drying, two strips got stuck together so firmly that they had to be amputated) and roughly two feet wide. We used elmer’s glue, watered down acrylic paint and plain ole white cotton fabric. It doesn’t get any simpler.

Now these beauts are hanging around the common rooms. The process and results were awesome, but I’m not quite sure that these are as impressive as I’d imagined them turning out. Ah well…

The Great Craftsbury

So, I thought I would finally show you a wee bit of Craftsbury Common. It’s where I’ve been living for the past three months which makes it about time that I did this, eh?            DSCN1242

Do you remember that crazy shop update a I did last week? Well, this is where I took all of the snowy pictures. This is the Sugarbush where students take the draft horses to practice moving logs and where they get the sap to make syrup in the appropriate season. It’s a pretty magical place where leaves carpet the ground and then snow drapes itself over everything later. I can’t wait to see what it’ll look like in spring…

DSCN1243The Sugarbush is just right down the road from Sterling itself and this is the sign along the road halfway between.


And this is what the (paved) roads look like in winter: all ice and cracks and frozen grasses.DSCN1245

If you keep going until you’re right across from the dorms there’s a little cemetery, peopled with very, very old graves.


Old graves… and this one. DSCN1252DSCN1253

He’s gone to the great highway in the sky.DSCN1254

Back across the street there’s Merlin dorm where our apartment is, next to the logging shop.


Here’s the front side of Merlin. There’s a volleyball court in front and a nice grassy lawn where all of the picture of Linus were taken. Our apartment is the fifth window from the left on the second floor. It goes all the way back to the other side of the building and it’s a perfect size for two people and a little furry bunnyman.DSCN1258And here’s is the other dorm on upper campus, Madison. It’s not quite as nice as our building… there’s no radiant floor heating, carpet or new beds. There are two more dorms about a 15 minute walk away and that pretty much accounts for all of the Sterling students.

So that’s a mini snapshot of the Sugarbush, the road and the dorms. I’ll probably get around to doing more of Craftsbury, but not tonight. Ta ta!

From Here to There: A Small Eternity

So, I moved. Yep, I’ve mentioned it before but now it’s suddenly become real. The bags were packed, the car washed and there was a map created. YES! A map! I went from Sandy, Oregon to Salt Lake City, Utah over to Omaha, Nebraska up to Champagne-Urbana, Illinois on up to Rochester, New York and finally over to Craftsbury Common, Vermont. It’s almost been a week since I got here. I’ve gone out to Bonnieview Sheep Dairy twice to milk sheep and make some cheese and I’m moving out there into the yurt officially tomorrow morning.

This is the dairy… or at least the majority of the outbuildings and the house.DSCN0270

And this is the yurt! It’s perched way up on a hill (I think it’s about 1/4 of a mile from the house up to the yurt which means it’s very very quiet and pretty).


This is the inside. It’s less bare-bones than I thought it would be… but there’s no running water, electricity or outhouse so it’ll be an adventure living there.DSCN0272

And this is the view! You can see the farm house peeking out through the tress down there… that’s how far away I have to trundle in the mornings. Not too bad.DSCN0263

And this is one of a pair of ox that live at Sterling College. I don’t know what his name is but he has managed to wrap his tongue all the way from one side of my face, under my chin to the other ear when I wasn’t paying attention. I’ll definitely get some pictures of the farm, the sheep, milking and cheese making and post them eventually. The internet has been incredibly spotty and I get no cell phone reception here. But I do have a PO box and some sporadic internets so we’ll see how that goes. Oh I’m so excited!