USF Garden Project

Occidental Arts and Ecology Center Field Trip Report (10/4-5/2008)
November 6, 2008, 7:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


The field trip to OAEC was by far our most fun and eye opening experience yet. Not only was seeing their beautiful garden inspiring, but our collaborate effort to turn the soil really showed just how much our group can do together in a short amount of time. Each experience where our class works together in the garden helps us to figure out each individual’s strengths, and that helps us to be more successful and efficient as a team.

            Turning the soil was a new experience to me, I never knew what that activity consisted of, and so that was an important learning experience. It was inspiring to see how healthy soil can be when a lot of love and care and time is put into maintaining it’s health. Pretty much any crop could grow into that soil, it had living creatures thriving from its fruitfulness. Paulo informed us about permaculure, compost and soil maintenance throughout our hands on session. He said that soil requires specific care depending on what you’re trying to grow. He also told me that his three main ideas of permaculture were: care for the earth, care for the people, and fair share. When we were composting, it was interesting to actually see successful composting, as we have read about. They had a few piles in progress, and one big one, which we added straw, and green to. The ratio they used was three parts green, to one part brown, but I concluded that was due to their surplus of green resources.

            During the tour of the land, it was interesting to hear about how a group of people had been spending around fifteen years at that land creating and maintaining the health of the garden. They are a non-profit and also work for profit, selling the land to themselves. It seemed their business was complex, but had very positive intentions. Their community was about as big as ours, and very functional in what they did, they began with little resources, and in time gained more, and with help from outside sources created a wonderful environment.

            I really enjoyed getting out of the city and being immersed in the beautiful land, it is amazing how healthy and happy the earth and its people can be when they work together collaboratively. This trip was especially helpful with providing useful information about permaculure. Not only was I able to ask questions from experts, but also I was able to see permaculture practiced, which in turn helped me to understand the whole concept much better. Considering that is the report topic I was assigned, thank you for scheduling that field trip at such a convenient time!

            It was nice having Golden’s group discussion, although I would have preferred doing that exercise at a time when we’re at school. This is because I wanted to get outside and explore on that beautiful day, and it was harder to focus on Golden’s discussion with such beautiful open land surrounding us. Being in that confined dark room when we were all tired, probably was not the most affective time to do that discussion, but as usual I appreciated his activities because they help to bring our group closer, and understand each other better.

            My favorite part of the whole field trip hands down was the AMAZING food!!! That food reminded me of the food my mom and my oldest sister cook, filled with love and organic ingredients! I could physically feel the difference in my body from eating that food compared to the cafeteria, I felt so much healthier, and slept like a baby. Thank you both for making that experience possible, it was awesome!

 -Anna Carey

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