Friday, January 30, 2009

Walking with camels

Hey everyone,

I'm now back at home getting ready to leave, but I thought I would share a side adventure I had while in Massachusetts. I volunteered for Heifer International, the greatest NGO ever, which was only a half hour away from the other farm I was staying on (what a coincidence). There were a dozen volunteers and we were put to work doing everything from chopping firewood to processing turkeys to (my favorite) walking the camel Abu. There were other exotic animals like water buffalo, a zebu, llamas and alpacas, and some yaks, as well as a donkey named Chester, goats, chickens, sheep, heifers, guinea pigs, and rabbits. They have a global village that has houses from around the world, built with materials from their area- like a bamboo house from Thailand, a log house from Poland, yerts, cement houses, adobe huts, and a trailer from Kentucky. It was so cool!

Here is a picture of me walking a camel:
There are more pictures on Snapfish. Here is the link if you are bored:


Sunday, January 25, 2009

meeting minutes 1/25/09

Meeting minutes 1/25/09


  • merit weekend?
    • Helen- 2/14/09 8:00 McGriff house go over there and then bring them by the greenhouse afterwards informal


  • garden?
    • private plots in backyard
    • brakefield: finish mulching, aesthetics then in feb sewing things in cold frames. We need to get more wood to finish compost bins- classifieds ELSPETH
      • agribond used to make cold frames Dan Pate contact info ELSPETH
      • alternate backyard and brakefield compost weekly. Jmood talked to Haskell about bike trailer
      • summer intern? If we want that we have to advertise that soon and get that to the environmental studies dept. Full time 8-10 weeks. PAUL and ELSPETH going to work on that

creek clean-up

  • HELEN and CHELSEA refreshments for after: popcorn, cookies, sweet bread, cider, hot chocolate
  • lxa and beta want to help sponsor and eric Benjamin unofficially
  • PAUL pre-walk
  • LAURA grocery store run
  • Gloves optional


Events with other groups

§     Block party when it gets warmer

§     Consult emery about whether feb 5th works for them

§     Poet slam/open mic night


Sewanee idol?

  • YES- will decide song later


Application process

  • ELSPETH- going to send us concise version of her notes
  • Due march 1st then people will know right before spring break
  • Selection committee: this year’s house manager, next year’s house manager, and professors. Have meeting with whole house then go to selection committee. Need to write out process for house manager
  • Information session on the feb 12th (after Darwin’s b-day bash) 8:00 pm


Scrabble night? LAURA and ELSPETH figure out a date


Stella environmental network talk man from MTSU to give a talk in our common room


Peace coalition meeting on Tuesday

IC meetings on Thursdays at 7:30 throughout the semester unless we have conflicts



  • Chickens- good job becca
  • Oreo Olympics- Emily and Elspeth
  • Video for organic food- EMILY
  • Bicycle power- JONATHAN money from house and jon benson, welder needed
  • Honey- CHELSEA, talk to potter, sarah vance, joseph bordley and write a proposal to Hartman
  • Website- BENTLEY

Saturday, January 24, 2009

WWOOF update

No, I am not in Mexico yet, but am in snowy Massachusetts WWOOFing on a catholic community/retreat farm. I am here for another week and then back to SC before heading out to Mexico! I have learned many cool things both here and in Maine/CT when I was visiting family before this, including:
1. Using newspaper to clean windows works really well and then you can compost/recycle it.
2. That you must grind the herbs after drying and before storing so they don't get moldy (hence why ours didn't work this fall).
3. Dogs have a really hard time walking in snow banks, but it is hilarious to watch.
4. Ice skating isn't as hard as it looks until you come across large bumps in the ice.
5. Helmets are mandatory if going over 5 mph on snow.
6. Slush does NOT make for good snowballs.

As to what I'm doing here, it's been mostly manual labor like hauling firewood, shoveling snow, and cleaning. Not much farming going on with 6 inches of snow on the ground. We are out in the middle of nowhere right beside a huge lake and surrounded by woods, so the snowshoes have come in handy.

I would love to hear from anyone, since I have A LOT of free time on my hands.
Have a great week everyone!
peace, kate

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Meeting Jan 18th

Green House Meeting Minutes!
January 18 2009

New year! Paul is back. Kate says hello. Laura and Elspeth comped. Hooray!

Are we living as greenly as we talked about last year? We’re doing pretty well so far- avoiding driving on campus is a good example. We should continue to be aware of things like turning off lights, short showers, etc.

Clean up of Woods Creek!
Paul will coordinate this event. It will take place January 31, Saturday, from 1-3. Paul will send out an e-mail to env. studies organizations, Mary Grace Hinkle (contact person for greek outreach), c-student, and a note to the messenger.
On the day of, we’ll have some sorts of refreshments or hot drinks at the house. Helen and Chelsea can help coordinate this.

Next week we need to talk about garden stuff when Carson is here. Things to consider are students who might want to have plots at our house garden or help with the brakefield garden.

We’d like to have an event to attract lots of people here. One idea is a band on the back porch in the spring. Bentley will talk to Dean Hartman soon to see if we could do this.

We’d like to sponsor events with organizations that aren’t specifically environmental organizations. Think about who you’d like to sponsor an event with and talk about it next week.

The compost buckets should return to McClurg. Tomorrow Emily will check to see if there’s a sign and if so, she’ll bring a bucket over. After that, we should all work to transport compost between McClurg, the house, and the garden. The buckets need to be periodically hosed out.

The compost bins at the house need to be finished and Jonathan is going to work on a bike trailer to transport compost out to the garden.

We’ll try to have an event on the calendar for the Saturday evening of Merit weekend. Helen will talk to admissions about this.

The merit weekend might involve playing Scrabble. Or we might have a massive scrabble-playing night some other time. Laura will help with this- track down scrabble boards, advertise, etc.

Green house application process for next year:
We will have an applicant information session Thursday, February 5 at 6:00. At this event, we need to have a revised application available.
We also need to revise the application process. Elspeth has ideas about this- she’ll compile them and share them with us at next week’s meeting.
After next week’s meeting we’ll work to revise the application. We’ll brainstorm at the meeting, and Emily, Becca, and Helen will compile the ideas.
How will we advertise the info session and who will do the advertising?

We have a chance to get chickens in conjunction with Helen Stapleton’s daughter’s 4-H project. Becca will write a proposal to Dean Hartman asap.

Next meeting we’ll talk about projects.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Let's make some food.

So I was making yogurt this morning and stumbled upon this website all about making your own food and other such nefarious activities. The author is a chem/bio prof from Cincinnati. Check it out:
Cheese & root beer & yoghurt and more...
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