The Stone Soup Institute is an international school offering courses of study which integrate traditional and contemporary practices and knowledge in the Agrarian Arts & Sciences, Crafts and Fine Arts.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

New Stone Soup Tiny House blog!

Its been a long, busy winter here. We are very excited to share our newest project with you- the Summer Semester, which will focus on learning the skills to build a tiny house.
To view the blog, follow the following link, or select the Tiny House Blog link on the list of links to the right.Stone Soup Tiny House Blog 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Summer Semester ( May 15 - Aug 15)

As Winter begins to wind down the days are growing increasingly longer, the buds on the trees begin to swell and the sap begins to flow. We find ourselves well rested after a Winter of long nights and as our energy begins to surge we are once again reminded that we are not separate from the world around us.
Our thoughts turn to Spring as we contemplate plowing a new garden plot, starting seedlings, buying piglets and chicks, wild harvesting, and wine and beer making will be filling our farming days. We are sawing lumber for,cold frames, chicken tractors, and a small greenhouse(from our stack of salvaged windows).  Raised beds and barn rafters, a hog house and pen, and windows to trim our shop. As the Tiny House movement gains momentum we will begin construction on our third one, and put a great deal of focus on learning the skills to plan and build a tiny house on a movable trailer frame.

To this end, Stone Soup Institute is offering a Spring/Summer semester to four students who are curious and adventuresome enough to explore the learning opportunities on a small homestead in coastal Maine.

The seafood season will be in full vigor as the days turn past the Summer Solstice. We will spend long days in the gardens and fields and many long evenings around the Mediterranean Grill and outdoor Bake Oven feasting on the fruits of our labor.

The Curriculum

  • Gardening and Crops
    • planting and tending seedlings 
    • direct seeding crops
  • Animal Husbandry
    • selection and care of piglets
    • selection and care of broilers and laying chicks
    • use and care of draft horses
  • Building 
    • tiny house
    • cold frame
    • greenhouse
    • hog pen
    • chicken tractor
    • raised beds
    • installation of windows and doors
  • Craft
    • wild harvesting
    • wine making
    • beer making
    • baking in a wood-fired outdoor oven
    • grilling on Mediterranean style Community Grill
    • Introduction to Fiber Arts
    • Introduction to Blacksmithing

The educational experience is designed around the practical skills and seasonal rhythms associated with maintaining a small homestead.
The primary delivery of the curriculum is through the hands-on experience where students are expected to be self-motivated and able to self-evaluate, as there is no required reading, or testing.  

Living Arrangements

Participants in this semester will live in a 2000 square foot house built by Jim Cornish, the co-founder of Stone Soup Institute. The house is heated only with wood from a cast iron Jotul in the south and in the north end, a brick Finnish fireplace, with a bake oven and hot water heater.
There are three bedrooms available to students, one in the north end over the Finnish fireplace which sleeps two; one in the south end and a loft in the west end which will accommodate one each.
Students will prepare meals using the wood stoves and electric stove and serve on a common table in front of the fireplace.
There is one television with cable, VCR and computer access.

Social Opportunities

Stone Soup Institute is located on Harpswell Neck, a peninsula that is nine miles long and ½ mile wide at its widest point. There are miles of shoreline to explore within walking distance of the house, miles of public trails for snow shoeing and cross country skiing.
A small general store and post office are ¼ mile from the house.
Brunswick, the closest town to Harpswell, is nine miles north. It is a typical New England college town with movie theatres, libraries, restaurants, small shops, etc. A health food store and Farmers Market provide opportunities to buy provisions and visit with other farmers in the area.

Tuition, Fees and Dates

Spring Semester: May 15, 2013 – August 15, 2013
Fees: $3400 which includes full instructional program, seminars, and room and board.
Click here to download an application form.

The Spring Semester at Stone Soup promises to be physically demanding, emotionally challenging, spiritually expansive, and intellectually stimulating. We hope that you are ready to stand in a place where our past meets our future and explore the possibilities.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Curing and Smoking Meat

From the pigs we processed this winter, we cured and smoked the hams, bacon, and most of the shoulders. They came out amazingly well. We gathered information from books and other farmers to devise a system that fit within our resource constraints.
Here is the smoker. A fire is built in the stove, and the smoke is vented out to where the meat is hanging.
 This bacon has been curing in the curing mixture. It was hung here so we can spray the salt off, so that it doesn't get overly salty.
The meat is hung in the smoker. The circle in the middle is where the smoke will come in.
Here is the smoker closed up.
Inside the smoker.
The final product, hanging in the house. We cut the bacon into usable sizes, and froze it.  This bacon was hands down the best bacon that most people surveyed had ever eaten.
Many a late night was devoted to grinding sausage. Here we have some smoked kielbasa- another amazing blessing from the pig.