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Day 5 (Arugula & the Raven)

Today I was able to really spend some time in the greenhouse – which was good because it’s a high of 57 outside and a high of 85 inside! I was able to harvest some fresh basil (2/3 of which will be going to two local restaurants that use it in their food! One restaurant is a pizza place overlooking the Bay out on the Spit and their food is amazing. The director’s wife took me there one of my first days in Homer). I then harvested three rows (about 30 plants) of arugula, pulled up the roots, and replanted the rows with baby arugula plants. The beds are about 1 1/2 feet off the ground so to get to the middle you have to climb inside of them and squeeze in the 3 inches in between each row – it’s not pretty. I also learned that my legs are so not in shape for gardening (which I thought was sad). My quads are going to be huge by the end of the month. While I was in the middle of this, two of the other WWOOFers came in and started harvesting rows of butter lettuce and another type of arugula and replanting rows of spinach. We ended up with about 8 (large garbage can sized) bags of greens, which we took to the kitchen to wash and store in the fridge. I learned how to use an industrial sized salad spinner which was pretty cool.

I took a break for lunch – a burger on a tortilla with fresh arugula and pesto (yum).

For the next few hours a different WWOOFer and I made a 6’x6′ compost pile behind the green house using wheelbarrows of hay, mulch, and about a dozen pounds of plants scraps (mainly corn husks/stalks and arugula roots). The shovels/wheelbarrows were also really heavy so I guess my arms are going to get pretty buff too?? (Probably not).

I also finally had a chance to take some pictures of the yurt that I’m staying in 🙂 It’s pretty cozy most of the time but I am battling with the hours between 2-5am where the temperature inside has been dropping to about 40 degrees F for the past few nights. The yurt I’m staying in is pretty much just a large tent on a wooden deck reinforced by some wooden structure with two windows (holes in the side) and a door very similar to a normal front door (it locks). Traditionally, yurts were used as portable dwellings in Central Asia but they’ve also become really common in the Northwest United States (especially Alaska).


My yurt, picnic table, and deck/platform.


the Raven. All of the girlyurts are named after birds (Raven, Crane & Hummingbird) and all the boy yurts are named after other types of wildlife (Bear, Otter, Lynx).


My “room” It’s basically just a futon couch with a mattress protector and a sleeping bag – it’s pretty comfortable when it’s not too cold. This is the right half of the yurt and the left half is similarly sized but right now it has a bunch of Birds of Alaska teaching materials in it (like the bird poster in the picture).


The view from my yurt deck. It’s mostly green rolling hills and a town off in the distance (off to to the right – not in the picture). Anywhere you look to the left of here is all mountains.

Tomorrow, the plan is to get up and hopefully meet up with the rest of the WWOOFers (there are five of us) to make a schedule so we all know our individual roles. So far everyone I’ve met is super nice. I was expecting at least one or two people to be a little cold or competitive or just not very nice (cynical I know), but I’ve been pleasantly surprised so far. A lot of the counselors/instructors/WWOOFers were around last night before a good portion left this afternoon to head back to Anchorage to pick up the campers and so we made a pizza and drank some Alaskan beer and hung out in the dining hall looking out at the mountains. I have a feeling the rest of my month is going to be a lot more hectic! We’ll see once the campers get here!


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