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Showing posts from April, 2017

Farm Apprenticeship Weeks 2-3

My legs are sore, my vertebrae crack when I stand up straight or stretch, my hands are scraped and blistered, but I've got the biggest smile on my face--kinda like the grin on my childhood face below! It's been two and a half weeks since I moved onto the UCSC Farm, and I am in love with life, this land, the view, the many plants we tend, and the community of ~50 people that I spend nearly all of my time with when I'm not sleeping in my canvas tent cabin overlooking the Bay.

Since my last blog update, I've done all of this and more:
learned a bit about temperate zone deciduous fruit trees from Orin Martintransplanted flowers into beds in the Chadwick Garden/Up Gardenlabeled many plants for the plant sale this weekendweeded and added more roses to a perennial rose gardenlearned about Alternative to Violence Program and practiced nonviolent communication during a workshopgot to know new friends better  read about and heard lectures and saw demos on both cover crops and til…

Farm Apprenticeship Week 1

Woah, an entire week of the UC Santa Cruz Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture has already come and gone! It was a full week of meeting new people (40 apprentices plus the staff!), learning all of their names, getting used to group meals three times a day, enduring the cold of my tent cabin, and enjoying the beautiful view. Since last week was the first week and here in Santa Cruz we had rainy skies and saturated soils almost every day, we spent a lot of time inside the Village A3 building meeting everyone, learning about the program and policies, and getting trained on food safety and how to avoid ticks, mosquitos, bee stings, and black widow bites. Oh my!

One of the many perks of living on a farm--abundant flowers to decorate your tent cabin!

Early in the week, we prepared our spade and fork. They come with a plasticky shellac on the wood, which we removed and sanded down so that we could apply linseed oil instead. This should make the wood last longer than the shellac would ha…

Let the farm adventures begin!

The newest chapter in the adventures of Green Gal has officially begun! Yesterday, I moved into a tent cabin at the UC Santa Cruz Farm, where I'll live, work, and learn for the next six months. I'm participating in the Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture, a program hosted by the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems that is celebrating its 50th year. Back in December when I received my acceptance letter, I shared a post about why I applied to this program. I can't believe it all starts tomorrow and that I will be waking up this unbelievable from my tent cabin door view every morning from now until October! If you can't tell in this photo, you can see Monterey Bay glimmering in the sun.


I've met a few other apprentices so far, and I look forward to meeting the rest of the folks tonight for our welcome dinner and tomorrow for our first day! There are 39 of us this year, and we come from all different backgrounds and places around the state, countr…

Reflections on Santa Cruz Permaculture Design Course Fall 2016 - Winter 2017

A few weeks ago on March 11, I completed* a six-month Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course through Santa Cruz Permaculture, which is directed and taught by my good friend, co-mentor, and UCSC colleague David Shaw. He had strongly encouraged me to participate in the program after learning that I was applying to the UCSC Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture, which I have since been accepted to and will begin on April 10! David shared with me that prior to his time as a CASFS apprentice in the early 2000s, he had completed his PDC and found that it provided him with a valuable whole systems design framework through which he could experience the CASFS apprenticeship.

I am so grateful that David shared this advice and that I signed up for the course. I got to know some amazing people, learned some new methods for observing the world around me, found out about some really practical methods for designing systems that make a w…