Wish You Were Here!


What an excellent day! This year, we had check-in all day on Thursday at Retreat 2012 to allow attendees to arrive at their own pace, and by afternoon, most of our over 60 attendees were in camp and WORKING!

Before attendees started arriving, we made Grandmother Bread buns for 75 (over 60 attendees plus staff and helpers) for our laidback Thursday sandwich supper. Wednesday, we did all the shopping (LONG, LONG DAY) and had unloaded all the food at the camp, so we were ahead of the game and ready to kick off Thursday in high gear.

As soon as attendees started arriving, we lassoed them into a variety of activities including apple butter making.


(If anyone thinks they’re coming for a vacation, we disabuse them right away!)


If you say you’ve always failed at pie crusts and can’t possibly make a pie crust, that’s a good way to get handed a rolling pin.

And that’s only part of the pies that were baked.

Cleaning gourds for the gourd birdhouse painting class:

And this is only part of the gourds that were cleaned.

Classes at the retreat this year include cheesemaking, preserving, soapmaking, breadbaking, candlemaking, natural skin care, spinning, felting and fulling, quilting, container gardening, mushroom log inoculating, apron making, dulcimer playing, painting, goat milking/husbandry, and power tools. Classes start this morning.

It’s just us chickens. We’re having a fabulous time!


  1. Jane L says:

    Well, I wish I was there too! Have a great time everyone!

  2. AspenFlower says:

    60 attendees! Wow, your retreat groups sure are growing. I hope I’ll get a chance to make it out there one of these years. I admire your perseverance to maintain your farm but most of all I appreciate all your helpful tips on crafts, cooking, and well…pretty much everything you have going here on this ever increasing/growing blog! Joys & happiness to you and yours! :happyflower:

  3. SarahGrace says:

    Hope everyone has a marvelous time! I want a piece of pie! :hungry:

  4. twiggityNDgoats says:

    Oh I’d be one of those people handed a rolling pin. Getting excited about teaching my class today though! Hope the goats cooperate 🙂

  5. rurification says:

    I am so so so wishing I were with you! Have a great weekend, everyone!

  6. Barbee says:

    Where in the world did you get enough rolling pins?! Glad to see the name tags on everyone. I know everyone is having a super time. Thinking of you.

  7. KarenAnne says:

    Looks super – wish I lived closer.

  8. KarenAnne says:

    p.s. When is the new book coming out?

  9. FujiQ says:

    So, if I may be so bold as to ask: who is teaching the power tools class??

  10. fowlers says:

    Oh, how I wish I could be there:::and not here at work:: today::: is going to be a sucky day !! to say the least:: take lots of pictures PLEASE so I can live vicariously thru all of them::and pretend that I’m in WV learning and having fun! Those pies and biscuits look fantastic! Job well done: I’m sure they were very tasty too:

  11. Launi says:

    Oh, OH how I wish I was there with you. I wanted to come so badly–but…
    I hope you post about every second, and I’ll pretend I am there.


  12. whaledancer says:

    I’d hate to have to choose among those classes; they all sound great.

  13. Sue, a Florida Farm Girl says:

    I’m so glad you’re off to a great start for the weekend. Looks like a fun time.

  14. RosieJo says:

    This makes me think of a folkschool experience. I would love to be there. Maybe ’13 will be my lucky number! Do any husband’s attend? Mine likes to take cooking classes.

  15. mamajoseph says:

    So much fun! Enjoy yourselves, chicken-friends. :wave:

  16. willsahna says:

    I’m with you in spirit! Looks like a great time. I’m already planning to be at the next one.

  17. copgrrl says:

    Looks like this pacific northwest girl is going to have to make a CITR retreat a goal for the next one I really would like to be there!

  18. Pete says:


    And to answer the question about husbands attending – yes indeed – there were at least 4 with us this year.

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