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.

Stone Soup Institute Website
Stone Soup Tiny House Blog
Stone Soup Flickr Stream

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Fall Semester

  As the Fall season really begins to come fully into it's own, the days are considerably shorter, the weather is beginning to take on a chill, the trees are in full Fall color, the wild Mushroom harvest is in full swing and the garden has gone past its full vigor.Most of the canning and freezing are done but there are still Pigs and Chickens to butcher, beets,carrots and rutabaga's to put in the cellar.We have made wine from the Summer fruit and now it is time to make wine from Apples, Pears and Peaches. It is time to store the firewood for this Winter and start cutting firewood for next Winter. As we are driven inside earlier by the shortening days there will be more time for making music and more elaborate cooking.The social gatherings will take on the flavors of the Fall season as the house is filled with the smells of Apple Pie, Pumpkin Donuts and Mulled Cider.
  To this end Stone Soup Institute is offering a Fall Semester to four students who are curious and adventuresome enough to explore the experiential learning opportunities on a small homestead in Maine.


  • Gardening and Crops
    • Storing root vegetables for Winter
    •  Cover Cropping 
    • Planting garlic
    • Threshing dry beans
    • Shelling corn
    • Saving seed from fall crops
  • Animal Husbandry
    • Butchering pigs
    • Daily care of laying hens
    • Butchering broiler chickens
    • Daily care of draft horses
    • Logging with draft horses
  • Craft
    • Wild harvesting mushrooms
    • Wine making
    • Baking in a wood-fired outdoor oven
    • 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. There is also 16 foot diameter tipi and campsites available.
In the house, there are two bedrooms available to students; one in the north end which sleeps two; one in the south end. Students will prepare meals using the electric stove, outdoor grill and bake oven. Meals are served on a common table. There is one television with cable with VCR and DVD. There is computer access and wireless internet.

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 hiking.
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: Oct 15 – Dec 15, 2013
Fees: $2300 which includes full instructional program, seminars, and room and board.
Click here to download an application form. 
The Fall 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.

Stone Soup Institute
298 Allen Point Road, Harpswell, ME 04079, USA
Phone: 207-833-2884

Monday, May 20, 2013

Another Cycle Begins

 As the light rain falls on the Corn and Peas we planted yesterday I take some time to reflect on last years garden. Like most years there were some things that did well and others that did not. The Cilantro and Basil did not germinate well, the beans all got the Mosaic Virus, and the Squash and Cucumbers died from Squash Mildew but not  before yielding 29 Butternut Squash and 37 quarts of pickles and all the Cucumbers that we could eat. All else did fantastic. From a 6,300 Square Foot garden we ate all we wanted and stored the surplus for Winter. We canned :
  28 quarts of Tomato Juice
  18 pints of Salsa
  10 pints of Ketchup
  We froze:
  19 quarts of Spaghetti Sauce
  6 gallons of Tomatoes
  10 pints of Shell Beans
  10 pints of  Peas
  11 pints of Sugar Snap Peas
  In the cellar we put in:
  1 1/2 bushels of Carrots
  1 1/2 bushels of Beets
  2 bushels of Rutabagas
We dehydrated 11 quarts of Tomatoes and 11 gallons of Mushrooms, canned 4 quarts of Mushrooms and pickled 10 pints of Fiddle heads that we wild harvested.
  We made 10 pints of Pear Butter and 12 pints of Peach Jam from trees around the neighborhood that have been abandoned.
  We made:
  4 gallons of Raspberry Wine
  5 gallons of Rhubarb Wine
  5 gallons of Dandelion Wine
  5 Gallons of Pear Wine
  5 Gallons of Elderberry Wine
  5 gallons of Peach Wine
  We planted Byron Flint Corn which we ate all Winter and still have enough to last two more Years.
  We raised 30 LaRouge Broiler Chickens for the freezer
  Some of our bounty is long gone and some is still bountiful. We are adjusting, and planning and planting,singing and celebrating as the new Season unfolds.
  It is indeed Magnificent to bring the cycle around full.