On August 22nd in the afternoon we met with Stu and Helen from the Puget Ridge Edible Garden. First, Emory and Sarah welcomed the other Ambassadors and parents to PREP and Stu and Helen gave an introduction on how we would make cider using an apple press.
While we picked up all the apples from a giant apple tree in the middle of the garden, some more people arrived to join us. We worked together pretty well and it did not take long at all to fill up the giant wheelbarrow and all crates with apples. We started sorting all the apples we found on the ground and ended up with one pile of good apples, we then washed in a big tub of water and cut them up in four pieces. The other apples went on a compost pile so nothing would be wasted. It smells pretty sweet.
All the cut up good pieces ended up in an apple masher. We took turns turning the handle to mash. Whenever the bucket was full we dumped the mashed up apples into a big cider press. Rusty and Marco helped us using the press. The cider ran into a red circular spout and dripped into big Mason jars we all brought, so we could take some fresh pressed apple cider home with us. Once we had our first batch we all got to try some and everyone was pretty happy with the final result.
We also learnt that the difference between apple juice and apple cider is that apple juice is more processed and apple cider usually has some chunks or pieces of apples still in them.
Emma also gave us a little tour of the Garden and we harvested a few carrots from her little fenced-in experimental area to showcase how many different things can grow in only a very limited space.
We all had a lot of fun and can't wait to come back. We recommend you visit, too.
After a long rollercoaster ride through many many potholes up the steep hill to Mt. Tuam in our 36 year old VW Bus Willie, Sarah needed a little bit to orient herself to the new environment at Camp. It didn't take her too long to figure out how to make new friends. She was in the 'Leafwalking Bandits' group with the 10 to 12 year olds with more girls than boys and the 3 instructors, Barnaby, Stephanie and Teresa. They practiced a lot of skits, played Quiddich (from HP) but some nearby wasps made it not fun for everyone. It seemed to be a common theme, as whenever the group tried to play games something else came up instead, so Sarah can't remember playing much games.
The nonstop request for snacks from one very hungry starving fellow helped the rest of the group get snacks earlier and earlier every day.
They found a very pretty hangout spot with a bunch of trees and a nice ocean view. The initially spot wasn't as nice, but after some search parties for a better home they all agreed on the new spo being awesome. So pretty.
Sarah (Ladybird Beetle, short: Bird) made 2 new best friends, Spiderwasp and Rosegall. They discovered making leather pouches at the skill tent and were quite crafty. They also liked to chat a lot and Sarah was a little surprised how quickly she become best friends with the friendly boy with crutches (he had a rock fell on it 2 weeks before Camp).
The Bandits also played Foxtails (stealing Bandanas out of each others pockets in a circle) with the Fawn families. Sarah's favorite part was when she (Bird) and Spiderwasp volunteered to help out a Fawn family, one with little ones, and got to watch a 3 year old girl during mealtimes.
She didn't like to be quiet for a long time during campfire to listen to very long stories, but really liked the yummy dessert for lunch.
First, Tim wasn't too stoked to go camping for a week with hippies and compost toilets and no electronics. Duh. Teenager. When we got to camp he was concerned he wouldn't fit in as everyone his age seemed to already know each other pretty well. So for the first day and a half he was reluctant to have any fun and spent most of his time in Willie, our VW bus, reading Percy Jackson, counting the hours he would go home again to his geeky friends and Magic Cards.
He was the second youngest in the teen group (13 to 18 year olds). They played some games, some involving throwing pine cones, to get to know each other. Still he was reluctant to give in to the fun.
On Wednesday the group was sent off in a ceremony where parents sat behind the teens in a circle around the fire and lots of wisdom was shared. They went backpacking for 2 nights, hiking about 2 hours down the hill to a beach on the bottom of Mt. Tuam. Tim found a cozy spot to put his sleeping bag on some moss in the middle of a nice clearing with his new friend Isaac while all other teens slept in the connected clearing downhill nearby.
After dinner the boys made a fire pit for the girls, and the girls made a fire pit for the boys. Elders came and shared some stories about peacemaking. Tim went down to the ocean to watch the stars and was delighted to see some cool bioluminescence in the water. It was a little hard to fall asleep listening to all the mosquitos, but he figuring out how to zip up the hood of the sleeping bag only have a small breathing hole with little room for attacks facing the moss.
Woken by the instructors songs in the morning the group went down to the water do find a sitspot. Tim cautiously watched two wasps (ancestors) curiously checking him out and then trying to land on his arms and legs, which was slightly distracting from a good meditation in nature.
The rest of the day was spent with digging clams, throwing rocks, catching crabs and sea urchins, swimming, building a raft, and chilling at the beach. A group wanted to take the raft over to a nearby island, but failed miserably as the logs came apart right after leaving. They still journeyed over and had to swim back all the way.
At night the group shared stories of the day and favorite moments around the fire. The second night went pretty well as well after figuring out how to deal with these pesky mosquitos.
The morning was spent with ninja tag with clothespins before hiking back up the hill.
After lunch in the forest Tim's teen group was welcomed back to the hearth by everyone in the village:
Home I am going. Home I am going. I need a place to call my home.
Take me home. Take me home. Over the green green hills and far away.
Tim got a good hug from Mom and Dad and some yummy lemon cake from Heidi.
After his adventure he spent most of his time with his new friends and very rarely any time with his parents.
Curious Bee. Forest Steward. Nature Nerd. Climate Activist Mom.