Posted by: csdailyblog | November 19, 2010

Shared Earth Symposium and Harvest Fest

Jandro, Field Instructor Jess Kavanaugh, and Erica at the Harvest Fest dinner.

Every autumn, we hold a Shared Earth Symposium, which we think of as a fall Earth Day — a time for the whole Conserve School community to spend an entire day together focused on learning about and celebrating the natural world. This year Field Instructors Rachel Maxwell and Anita Olson volunteered to head up the organization of the event, and they did a wonderful job developing a program of workshops and speakers revolving around the topic of sustainable foods. Topics included organic farming, composting with worms, sustainable gardening, preserving foods, wild game, and cooking from scratch.  

Students had earlier in the year suggested that we hold a Harvest Fest, so that’s what we did in the afternoon. Following the workshops, small groups gathered in student and staff apartments to create meals made, as much as possible, from local, organic, and/or whole-grain foods. Then we all enjoyed an immense potluck in the dining room, complete with tablecloths, centerpieces, and placecards. Students and staff dressed up for the event. The food was amazingly good — and plentiful. The buffet and dessert tables were crammed with home-made souffles, pizza, soups, salads, turkey (free range), cheese made earlier that afternoon, potatoes, and hummus. Desserts ranged from apple pies to cream cheese cookies to pistachio fluff.

Dinner began with an inspirational reading by students Annelise and Alex N. and ended with staff members pitching in together to clear tables and do dishes.

We all loved the day so much we decided we had started a tradition — the Harvest Fest idea is definitely a keeper. Thanks for the suggestion, students!

I’ll be posting more photos of this big event over the next few days.

Mary Anna

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  1. I have really enjoyed reading your blog. My son Jennings will be joining your wonderful school on January 29, 2011. It has been great to see all of the outdoor learning and all of the hands on school cooking you share in your blog.

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