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Day 8 (Sprouts, Education, and More Rain)

It’s day 8 at Ageya and day 11 in Alaska and I’m finally really experiencing some rain. Everyone keeps saying it was way worse (colder) in June – and I believe it – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still cold here. I spent my first night in Eagle last night and was really optimistic about the temperature at first, but it did get a little nippy around 3am (I’m getting more blankets tonight). It feels like a rainy late February day back home and I’ve been walking around in my rain proof winter coat (which seems to be the norm) but there are some people so used to the weather that they’re comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt. I don’t think I’ll ever really get to that level.

I’m also starting to get too used to the food here. I’m going to have a problem when I go back home or back to school and have to actually cook or eat something not restaurant quality (Heaven forbid). Today we had quiche, grapes, bagels, and fresh blueberry muffins for breakfast; chicken tortilla soup and quesadillas for lunch; and brown rice and curry chicken soup for dinner.

I was also able to spend a good chunk of time earlier in the day working on a project I’m really into. Another WWOOFer and I have taken the lead on developing a curriculum for a series of greenhouse/sustainability/permaculture courses to be tried this camp and fully implemented next camp. It’s supposed to span over 5 one hour classes and give the campers a chance to learn about sustainable food sources, developing permaculture and developing a greenhouse and how all of those things are done here at camp. The goal is for them to understand the concepts well enough to be able to go back to their communities (a good portion of the campers are from rural villages in Alaska) with the motivation to grow their own food at least on a small scale (like growing sprouts, creating a small garden for their family, or starting a community growing program). Speaking of sprouts, some of the WWOOFers and I got some started today so that there will be examples to show the campers when they get around to learning about them (which is also covered by one of the instructors in his plant lessons). I wasn’t (and still am not) super familiar with the idea of sprouts for food but from what I’ve gathered they’re basically plant seeds that you rinse twice daily and keep in a dark place until they sprout (pop open) from the seed casings. They can then be eaten and are supposed to be really nutritious – and easy for campers to do on their own back home. Here’s what ours looked like at the beginnning:

We used three tablespoons of seeds, three tablespoons of citric acid (a preservative), placed them in jars, and covered them with a screen (we used pieces of a tshirt).

We used three tablespoons of seeds, three tablespoons of citric acid (a preservative), placed them in jars, and covered them with a screen (we used pieces of a tshirt). I don’t remember what the far left jar is – but the middle is wheat berry and the far right is sunflower seeds. And if you’re thinking “why didn’t we use more of these giant jars?” – I thought that too, but apparently the sprouts will get big enough to fill it up.


The rest of the day I did some work in the greenhouse – re-tying tomato plants so that they don’t sag (we don’t use cages for the tomatoes, we just have a string attaching each plant to planks of wood above them), pulling up romaine lettuce roots, and making another list of tasks with the other WWOOFers to be done tomorrow. I also organized and inventoried camp sweatshirts and water bottles – but that was a very small portion of my day.

We kind of hit a lull before dinner so we sat around in the dining hall drinking tea and talking about bad horror movies and weird alien documentaries on the discovery channel.

I’m going to take a look at the camper schedule either tonight or tomorrow and find some things that I’d like to help out with or participate in and try and get in on some of that stuff. I might also be able to join in on the trip across the Bay at the end of the month (fingers crossed) if I can finagle it.

It just keeps raining, even as I’m sitting here typing. And it’s just cold enough to make my fingers a little chilly sitting next to a window, but it could be much worse – especially up here. I love it up here but I really don’t think I could live here with the winters (or falls, or springs). Summer might just be all I can handle (at least for now).

-Hannah

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