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Historic Zoar Homeschool Days

April 28th, 2012

Yesterday I met my sister and my nieces/nephew down in Historic Zoar Village for their homeschool days. The kids had a great time and really enjoyed the educational exhibits. The blacksmith shop was a huge hit, the kids were especially interested in that process (probably since there was fire involved). They also visited the wagon shop, the bakery, the garden center, the historic center and the dairy. Here are some of the things we saw:

The kids especially loved the hands on nature of the day, they got to use their hands for: kneading bread, wool rug hooking, using a manual lathe, making bird seed pine cones and so much more (head on over to Flickr for more photos of the day). Zoar has so many wonderful festivals and interesting things going on throughout the year, they also offer classes on everything from blacksmithing to weaving. Behind the Fences is their annual garden which I’d love attend, but I always seem to be booked for the date and haven’t been able to make it. Someday perhaps, I’ll just head down to walk around the town looking at the lovely gardens.

If you had to pick a manual trade to do for the rest of your life which would it be? I’m pretty sure you know mine would be gardening, though baking would come in a close second.

Gardens Dreams

December 8th, 2011

When we were down in Zoar on Sunday we stopped in the greenhouse. I was pleasantly surprised to see that they had tons of tropical plants, among them many fruit trees.

It’s a heated greenhouse, of course. These plants would not survive in our cold northern climate without some added heat. The building is designed to maximize the light and heat produced by the sun which helps with the heating costs. The lady working the greenhouse said it was 80 degrees the day before without any alternative heat source. It has nice thick brick floors and wide walls on one side to absorb the most heat from the sun as it can during the day. These then radiate the heat during the night.

They had a bunch of banana plants, one was blooming, an avocado tree with one beautiful fruit, and a lemon tree that was loaded down with lemons!

A greenhouse like this would be quite an oasis during the long cold winters here in the north. I’d love nothing more than to have a greenhouse in my garden and someday I will. I’m saving my pennies and maybe in 10 years so I’ll have enough to get myself a nice little greenhouse to putter around during the winter. Or maybe I should just buy a second home in Arizona and spend the winters somewhere warmer!

Do you have a greenhouse in your garden? Is it something you’d like to have someday?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.