Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Accepting Applications for R2R 2010

While the Ridge to Reef class of 2009 has gone back out into the world to explore what we can do with our newly-discovered knowledge, part of that mission is to spread that inspiration around to others. What did I learn from R2R and why do I think you should apply for the 2010 session?
Here is what I wrote about my experience in my recent application to graduate school:

I decided that political news was not the information I wanted to disseminate and that I had to find a way to live in line with my beliefs. After the excitement of the 2008 presidential election faded it was time to raise my voice as an advocate. I started a blog called “Unplugging Desdemona” and walked away from the world of corporate media. I enrolled in the Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institute’s Beneficial Farmer Training Program and went live on a farm for a season to reconnect with myself and with my true love for food, agriculture, and the culture of eating. At the farm we studied and practiced implementing the ideas of permaculture, agroforestry, water conservation, biodynamics, and slow foods. I am back indoors, but I continue to find ways to integrate my personal beliefs into my daily life through the Washington Square CSA, interning with the “Eat Well Guide”, volunteering with the Brooklyn Food Conference and other community-based organizations, and apprenticing at a holistic fiber arts studio.

What I didn't have space in the application to talk about what the beauty of the rainforest, the sheer fun of sunset on the west end of St. Croix, and the lifelong friendships that you cultivate through an intense experience with like-minded people.

Check back on my January - March 2009 blogs in the archive for the play-by-play.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My Love For Fresh Brussel Sprouts.

No, it's not my picture, nor even my kitchen. I can't believe I forgot to photograph my CSA this past week. If you haven't ever experienced the joy of fresh brussel sprouts, still on the stem, I challenge you to find a farmer's market, find a farm, or find a specialty shop that stocks these silly-looking things and taste the difference! These aren't your "eat your brussel sprouts or don't have dessert" kind of sprouts! They are spicy, firm, and steam to deliciously crisp but tender mouthful. Yum Yum!

These past few weeks I've been doing a lot of thinking about "the great what's next?" An opportunity to go back down to Creque Dam Farm came up and then had to be passed up due to my need to reconcile what I want to do, and what I need to do right now. I have a personal commitment to my apprenticeship at Loop of the Loom and November is not a good time to leave. As much as those warm island breezes, relaxed yet productive attitudes, and the positive energy of the farm, this is what I have to do right now.

I do have to ask thoug; do you or anyone you know hold Permaculture Design Certification?
Have you taken a design course or other intensive study? Have you found that it was enough to really get a hold of the material?
If you have only a few months of farming experience and your houseplants seem to die on you, is it really enough or is it better to keep plugging along with community gardening and get more practical experience first?

Thanks for any feedback!