Monday, March 8, 2010

Bee Keeping, Tree Hugging, Whale Watching

Friday was our first community orientation day, and we spent the morning learning about our on-site organic/biodynamic garden that supplies the interns and staff with most of their food. I assumed there would be some lettuce and a few fresh herbs, but I wasn't prepared for artichokes, asparagus, peaches, pears, cherries, plums, quince, chard, kale, beets, garlic, and an entire mini-forest of pecan trees and blueberry bushes! In the afternoon, we got started on weeding the asparagus bed and snacked on a few stray stalks in the process.

On Saturday morning, we drove out to John Shaeffer's property (i.e. Founder of the Solar Living Institute) to help with some bee maintenance in anticipation of an upcoming workshop where we'll be separating a bee colony into two. John's house was spectacular -- completely off-grid and constructed with super-insulating rastra blocks that are made from 85% recycled styrofoam and 15% concrete. The home's clean energy comes from a few rooftop and ground-mounted solar panels as well as a mini-hydro source from a nearby creek.

On Sunday morning, we drove through the Navarro River Redwood Forest to the Mendocino Coast for the annual Whale Festival, where some 20,000 gray whales migrate north from the birthing grounds in Mexico to their winter home in Alaska. We didn't see any whales, but had an incredible picnic on the coast!

1 comment:

  1. EWoo!
    I am SO happy to hear your adventures are going well so far and that you are already getting your hands dirty! From your pics, the SLI looks so beautiful. Can you post some of your solar, hay bale bedroom!? Where are the other interns from? Are there other Canadian there? What kind of meals do you eat? So much I want to know!

    Keep up the adventures,
    Miss you,