Greetings from the Green River Preserve summer camp in Cedar Mountain, NC! We are having a wonderful trip so far and growing as a team more and more every day. Today we will be working with the GRP farm interns to lead what camp calls a “Group Learning Project”. Group Learning Projects, or GLPs, are day-long workshops here on the Preserve ranging in variety of activities.
The farm GLP today will involve Green River Preserve staff members and the whole Sol Food crew. We are so excited to get to help out and sleep for a few days on this beautiful property. The community here is so energetic and alive with wonder over the natural world. Our group today will range in age from ten to fourteen years old and they are all on their third week of living here on the Preserve. For more information on our location, you can visit GreenRiverPreserve.org.
For this particular GLP workshop, we will work with students from 9:00am-4:00pm and lead a variety of different activities with the wonderful farm intern Charlotte. On today’s schedule, we have: planting and tilling a new section of field, touring the bus and learning about alternative fuels, transplanting cucumbers and tomatoes from the bus greenhouse, learning how to save seeds from dried arugula stalks and picking strawberries for our homemade ice cream. It should be a hot and beautiful day here in western North Carolina!
For the past three days leading up to our Green River Preserve visit, we have been touring farms and fine tuning our bus interior and engine. We made a day long stop in the Sandy Mush Valley at the Long Branch Environmental Education Center. Given that we will be helping to design and plant an “edible food forest” in Baltimore next week, we thought we would take an opportunity to see one of the most unique and beautiful permaculture operations in this part of the state. Paul Gallimore led us on a tour of his berry and apple orchard at Long Branch and walked us through the detailed steps of planting and caring for perennial fruit and nut trees.
Also on our visit to Long Branch we had the opportunity to pick raspberries, walk through the greenhouse and visit their passive solar orchard house, and purchase raspberry starts for our greenhouse. In hopes of connecting farms to one another across state lines, we will be caring for our new raspberries plants and delivering them to the food forest project in Baltimore in early July.
We finished our visit with a filming opportunity with our PBS friends from the television show “Growing a Greener World.” After being filmed with the bus back in March, we reunited with the film crew to shoot updated video of the greenhouse and bus systems. The episode will air in December of this year, after the film crew meets us two more times on the road! Stay tuned this week for more photos and updates as we travel through Virginia tomorrow and into Washington, DC and Baltimore.