Afterwards we went to see the Amish woodworker who supplies the community with bed frames, chairs, and cabinets. Then we went back to Tom and Sandy’s house and drove to Coweeta heritage center which is a place where they have chickens and goats and they’re off the grid and they get all their electricity from a hydro electric dam that’s connected to a small trout pond. The man also has a small sawmill which he sells the lumber that he makes.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Today we all woke up before the sun and packed up our stuff and ate all before 8am. Then we headed down to Carolina Friends School (CFS) to meet Tommy Johnson and his class. We arrived where we were introduced to the entire school. We talked about AMS then presented our power point presentation which was all about our field trip. We finished with about 15 minutes left of “class” so we headed out to the garden and pulled up weeds and talked with the students of CFS.
During break/snack time we got to tour some of the CFS campus. Then we went back and talked about the same thing to another group of middle schoolers. At first we were asked what were some of things we like about AMS, so we said some things like chores, work projects, boarding house life. Then we did our presentation. Another 15 minutes left, more weeding and throwing worms at teenage girls (or at least watching CFS boys throwing worms at grossed out teen girls). After we said “farvel” (goodbye in Dainish) to our new friends and got on the road. We went grocery shopping and then stopped to eat lunch in a lovely rest area where we made a classy belt for Poalo out of a orange bag!. Then we drove a while blasting Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and we eventually arrived at the driveway of a Amish couple. Across the street lived a bunch of unhappy CAFO chickens that belonged to Tyson. We got out stretching our legs and then jumped into WORK PROJECTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!!! We planted 6 rows of potatoes, 3 ½ rows of Yukon Gold and 2 ½ of Red Pontiac and then working to haul wood from one pile to another.
Then we ate delicious snack of popcorn and tea. After that more work projects which consisted of shelling corn using a corn sheller! SO MUCH FUN who knew a bunch of children could have such an amazing time doing work!!!
All done working, now chill ‘til dinner! Dinner was mashed potatoes, turkey, meatloaf, veggies, and breads of different sorts. Chores, then card games!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well sleep tight
After lunch we drove 15 minutes to Fickle Creek Farm where Ben showed us around. Fickle Creek uses animals to prepare the soil for market gardens. First they let their goats, sheep and cows graze and eat all the saplings so the forest becomes more pasture like. Then they put pigs on to root up all the big rocks and roots in the ground. Then they put the chickens on to peck up bugs and fertilize the soil.
They showed us a pasture that had chickens on it last year and you could see where the eggmobile had been because the grass was tall and really green.
They had egg laying chickens living in the eggmobiles which produced about 1,000 eggs a day.
There broiler chickens, unlike the ones we raised at school, could walk around and be chickens as well as grow big enough to be profitable. We also got to see the pigs who looked much, much happier the CAFO pigs. They were rolling around in the mud and reminded Michelle of her great love for swine.
Ben also told us about agro forestry which means interspersing trees and animals throughout the farm. This benefits the animals with shade and wind blocks and the soil with bio diversity and fallen leaves for compost. Before we left we bought some meat and eggs some of which went to tonight’s delicious but vegetable free dinner.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Today was pretty awesome. We woke up to an amazing breakfast then we went to Tybee Island to swim. I was so bummed to feel the air when I stepped off the bus. It was cold but some of us got in the water anyway. After our kill the man with the ball session and swim extravaganza we went out to lunch. After arguing for a while we decided to eat lunch and it was pretty awesome I liked the food and I think some other people did too but it wasn’t amazing. We took a tour of the light house which was 160 feet tall. It was amazing. After our tour we went back to the beach and chilled for 45 minutes then headed home for a relaxing afternoon. We ate chicken and Coos Coos then had strawberry shortcake for dessert. Then we cleaned up. Pretty great day.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
This morning we went to White Oak Pastures, which is a sustainable farm in southern Georgia. They raise cows, sheep, chickens (for meat and eggs), turkeys, and vegetables. The Harris family has been running this farm for 5 generations. Unlike many factories that slaughter 500,000 chickens per day and 6000 cows a day, White Oak only kills 500 chickens and 30 cows a day. The reason for that is White Oak uses the most humane practices they can. They graze their 700 cows over 1000 acres of pasture and use Temple Grandin’s methods for slaughtering their animals. You can buy their meat online or at Whole Foods stores.
After lunch we helped plant trees in the campground for an hour.
When we finished we had fun running up the 81 stairs to get to the top of the mound as fast as we could. For dinner we made delicious burgers that we got from White Oak Pastures.
We started the day leaving Sharon and Tom’s house and we drove to Oxmoor farm. They grow a diverse variety of vegetables on 8 acres. It works with the Food Literacy Project which shows people where their food comes from. Both of the groups think it’s important to feed people healthy food and not fast food which is what most people in the city of Louisville eat at least twice a day, sometimes even three times a day! Ivor runs the farm and he also is a co-founder of Grasshopper’s distribution center. The food literacy project brings people out to the farm and runs a year-round program for people to come and plant crops and while the crops are growing they work on the farm. When the crops are ready they harvest and cook them so the people can learn how to cook/prepare vegetables. On the farm they have three rules: 1. Get dirty. 2. Show respect for something. 3. Try something new.
Then we ate lunch and went to Heine Bros Coffee. The reason we went there is because they compost their coffee grounds. Then we drove to Nashville and I played halo ‘cause that’s what AMS is all about.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Then we went to a community distribution center for local farmers so they can pool their resources and run a giant CSA. They showed us their HUGE freezers and fridges and coolers that they store their foods in. We also chatted about the farmers and other things. Before we left we were given a little bottle of honey that they were selling!
After that we drove down to Portland elementary and toured their gardens and outdoor classrooms.
They are a public school getting grant money to have an environmental focus. We were invited to dine in their fancy cafeteria and eat like an elementary student. The meal was very educational and made some of us (including me) long for good ole lentils and quinoa.
The best part was there was a really cute bunny running around!!! We drove by a store that sold healthy foods! We stood at the edge of a lock and dam to witness a large boat go into the lock but then we got to cold and left. We headed to the Youth Build- Louisville to study their gardens, chickens, compost and green house and learn about what they do. Which is they get students who have dropped out of high-school and teach them academics, gardening and woodworking/shop skills and then have them go build houses and garden beds!
Later we drove all the way to California (or at least the town) to look at a preschool that is solar, energy efficient. We learned that they don’t use solar panels but instead it’s passive-solar. They use the heat from the sun to warm the building. The heat warms up the building and then gets transferred through pipes (big blue and red ones to be exact!) and then goes through the heating vents on the floor to heat the room again!
We finally got back to the house and hung out, playing pool and using the wii. We ate and then played more pool and listened to a few accordion songs. Then chose a movie which happened to be Cirque Sol Le! J Happy Trails,
Peace, Love, Pool Playing!
Sunday, March 4, 2012
This morning we got up at eight and had bagels and eggs that had celery in them. Then we packed up all our stuff before nine when quakers started arriving to sing songs. After they were done singing some students went to an hour long silent meeting and others went to the youth group. Then we had a potluck lunch which, surprisingly, had neither lentils or tofu. After Anna was done talking to quakers from her childhood and all the dishes were clean we all loaded on to the bus. We drove through Berea where Anna pointed out points of interest such as the garage floor she fell through and the fish pond she ran away to. After two hours in the bus we reached Tom and Sharon Ash's house where we will be sleeping tonight and tomorrow. We thoroughly explored the giant house complete with at least five bathrooms (there could be more...who knows), a pool table, a poker table, a bar, two hot water heaters, and a theater room complete with reclining seats and a framed Pirates of the Caribbean poster. Despite the luxury there is a weird and stark contrast between this house and the ones at Egrets Cove. While they were simplistic and earth friendly this one is fancy and big. However even with this feeling we will be watching a movie in the theater playing pool and taking long showers in the many bathrooms.
Driving. Lots and lots of driving. 5 hours to be exact. We began our descent into the not so depressing portion of the trip. We went to Berea, Kentucky, where we met the director of a nonprofit organization called Leaf for Life. It’s an organization that deals with malnutrition; they grind up leaves and put it on the food because the leaves they use have more Iron and Vitamin A.
Some other things we did when we got there is we took a tour of the houses in the intentional community Egrets’ Cove. They were nice cozy houses. The people who lived in each house built them themselves in simple sustainable way. After we took the tour and learned about Leaf for Life, we made spaghetti with different leaf material for added nutrition. We got all kinds of different colors and flattened them. Then we put them in a hand machine that you crank to cut them into spaghetti. We also made our own art out of the spaghetti. It was like edible playdough.
We played a lot of basketball which was fun, we got beat by a 60 year old! Then we ate. We had Alfredo sauce pasta and tomato pasta. Afterwards we went to the Quaker meeting house. There we played a little on the playground. Then we went to bed. That’s about all. Peace and Love to everyone. See ya in 13 days!
Friday, March 2, 2012
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Today we went to the John E Amos Power Plant. We watched a cheesy video about the plant, and how “good” it is for the environment. After the video we got a tour. First we went in one of smoke stacks and learned about how it was made.
Next we went to see the big pile of coal – 60 days worth.
Then we saw the water cooling towers. The shape of tower makes a very good wind tunnel and the wind cools the water so that it can be recycled.
Last but not least we went to the power generation building. On the first floor are the pulverizers, which are the machines that crush the coal. On the 6th floor were the turbines that the steam spins to create electricity. The 18th floor was really hot because that is where the furnaces are.
After the tour Anna asked our guide what he thought about mountain top removal. He said he did not like the look of them but once they were “reclaimed” but he thought they made great golf courses, basically saying that he thought a flat grassy area is better than the second most diverse area in the world, after the Amazon. Tonight we are staying at Anna house.
On day two we went and hung out with Coal River Mountain Watch. We had a very depressing conversation about how the coal sludge affects the community. Then we went to Kayford Mountain. The mountain used to be pretty small until Massey Coal Company came and destroyed the mountains around it. Now it stands being the biggest mountain around. Then we drove to a pretty nice school but the coal company came and built a processing plant 30 feet away from the school. That’s not all. They also had to put a coal sludge dam there too. So when the kids come out to play they have to breath in toxic air that can kill them. Then we came back to the volunteer house and played games and had a blast. To finish our trip to West Virginia we had a bon fire and sang songs. (Pictures to come soon)
Friday, February 10, 2012
Monday 2/27: Drive to Beckley, WV
Tuesday 2/28: Meet with Coal River Mountain Watch and visit with Larry Gibson. Stay overnight in Charleston, WV
Wednesday 2/29: Visit coal-fired power plant, drive to Anna Zakelj's house in Modoc, IN
Thursday 3/1: Visit CAFOs
Friday 3/2: Visit Johno Zakelj's school to see a wind turbine, visit Ethanol plant
Saturday 3/3: Drive to Berea, KY. Participate in Leaf for Life with Quaker youth
Sunday 3/4: Visit Friend's Meeting in Berea. Drive to Louisville, KY, to stay with Sharon Ash
Monday 3/5: Visit coffee house that shares compost with community gardens, visit passive solar buildings. Maybe go to Berry Center to learn about Wendell Berry's role in preserving sustainable agriculture
Tuesday 3/6: Visit Food Literacy Project and Grasshoppers distributing center. Drive to Nashville, TN
Wednesday 3/7: Drive to Kolomoki Mounds State Park, GA to camp
Thursday 3/8: Visit White Oak Pastures, who provides humanely slaughtered beef to Whole Foods Markets in the southeast
Friday 3/9: Drive to Savannah, GA, and stay with Anna Raymer's aunt and uncle
Saturday 3/10: Fun day at Tybee Island!
Sunday 3/11: Drive to Efland, NC, and stay with Ann Shy
Monday 3/12: Visit Fickle Creek Farms, a sustainable organic production farm
Tuesday 3/13: Drive to Tom and Sandy Colleti's in Union Grove, NC, where we will stay in an Amish community
Wednesday 3/14: Drive to Coweeta Heritage Center outside of Franklin, NC
Thursday 3/15: Back to AMS!