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Photo by Parker Pflaum, Summer 2014

Planting Potatoes

This morning we set off to plant potatoes on the farm on the side of a mountain. We split off into two groups: pine needle gatherers for fertilizer, and the tillers and potato planters. While gathering pine needles was a fairly simple task, tilling the ground and learning how to form the rows needed to plant the potatoes was an interesting experience for many. The ground first needed to be broken up, then long rows were formed with holes in them, and finally the fertilizer gathered and potatoes were planted in them.

In the afternoon, we were tasked with building a chicken coop: with the catch that the materials used all had to be unused by others or found naturally, which would be much more environment-friendly. The designers worked to model the coop; the gatherers found materials such as old wood, bamboo, and unused metal; and the builders started to plan out the food area for the chickens. But while we were working, we felt the weather start to shift. A boom in the distance, followed by even closer lightning strikes, and sudden downpour of rain rushed everyone inside to take shelter. In fact, as I’m writing this now, the storm has started to die down. But once the rain clears, we’ll set right back to work.