The Coop at StellaLou Farm

In January, School of Living (SOL) extended its network of fiscally sponsored projects to include The Coop at StellaLou Farm! Our wish in becoming a project of SOL is to expand our capacity, share our strengths, teach each other valuable skills, and to achieve common goals.

The “Coop” is an agricultural education program that shares the skills and design work that helps to make the farm grow as a sustainable and productive homestead. The Coop at StellaLou Farm pursues a simple goal: to make something everyday. It’s an inspiration and an aspiration. It’s a call to action that is vital in developing resiliency in our community. We look to empower our community to produce food, build infrastructure, and design and create opportunities for beauty and joy in life experiences.  As we connect with the land and people of our community; we respond to their value and care for them deeply.

We will be hosting regular informal skill shares as homesteading, permaculture, and art projects come up at the farm. Skill shares are hands-on exchanges of information, collaborations, and experiments. There will be no fee for these events. More formal workshops with a variety of instructors from our local community will also be offered in partnership with The Coop. These facilitators will share their knowledge and passion in experiential workshops at StellaLou Farm for a fee that provides for instructors’ time and for any materials needed.

Some of the skills we are planning to share:

  • Growing, preparing and preserving food
  • Light construction and woodworking
  • Permaculture design 
  • Beekeeping
  • Orchard planning, planting, and pruning
  • Earthworks
  • Chicken tending
  • Painting and drawing
  • Weaving
  • Trellis building
  • Bread baking
  • Mead making 

In addition to our formal and informal classes, we will host one large annual community event, free of admission charge. These events will be organized in a collaborative way to build community connection and to share a variety of theme-based making activities. The Coop will host the first of these events in partnership with Little Free Library Cochranville and School of Living in July 2019. Check out our debut event, “Better Together, A Come as You are Event” at StellaLou Farm!

We hope to see you at The Coop in the near future as a learner and/or sharer of skills! Please reach out if you would like to take part and get on the schedule!

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Better Together!

We have been very busy scheming something special for our friends (you!) and are so excited to be sharing it now! We are partnering with School of Living and Little Free Library Cochranville, associated with Street Road Artists Space, to host our local community and friends to a free creative gathering at StellaLou Farm. I’m going to let the event website tell you the full story. I’m so excited! We are getting the word out early so we can attract activity facilitators and to give you a little tease. Put it on your calendar! We are…Better Together!

Check out the “Better Together” website here!

Categories: Art, Community, Events | Tags: , | Leave a comment


The very strong bamboo grove at one “corner” of StellaLou doesn’t stay in the lines. Its fuzzy edges are mischievous and reach into the woodlot, the pond, and the neighbor’s yard. Yes, I admit that I’ve grumbled at the enormous crops of bamboo shoots that threaten to take over the land each spring and summer. I’m hoping that they will serve as dinner for goats in the future! With proper preparation, they are edible for humans, too. 

We, occasionally, end up with a pile of drying surplus bamboo from thinning the grove and tidying the gardens. I am intrigued with the idea of making biochar from the bamboo but it takes proper preparation. For now, we Bam-Boom! The bamboo is segmented and with sufficient heat; air and moisture trapped in those segments begin to steam and expand and, then, explode. For safety, we avoid burning a large amount of bamboo that is too green. The video below is fire from 2 year old drying bamboo. Still pretty good Bam-Boom! 

Bamboo inspires the imagination! It’s made for awesome playgrounds and clubhouses for children in the past, and will, very soon, in the future. It is material for bean poles and pea trellises and tomato stakes. Birds and deer and bunnies find food and shelter there. Our graceful grove sings and dances with the wind. It’s year round greenery droops in the rain and bows in the snow. We love our beautiful bamboo. 

There is no end to the creative purposes the bamboo grove can serve! We have plans…so many plans. Stay tuned! 

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