Farm to Table Bike Camp
Aug 10-14 (Wed-Sun)
This 5-day, 4-night farm camp will dive right into the adventures of biking andfarming in the agricultural and beautiful Trout Lake Valley. This camp will allow for us to learn about the diverse spectrum of agriculture-visiting organic dairies, artisan cheese-making, beekeeping, vegetable & herb farming, as well as pastured livestock for wool and meat production. Students will work together to help care for lambs, chickens, and vegetables through daily farm chores at Broadfork farm, a beautiful working organic farm.
Students should expect to make new friends, have fun with local farmers while learning new skills and working the land, and come home excited to share their knowledge of food systems and the greater Columbia River Gorge. Participants do not need special biking, camping, or farming experience, though they should be in good physical condition and able to work within a cooperative group setting. We encourage participants to bring their own bicycles (road bicycles preferred). However, we can loan equipment such as daypacks, bicycles, and tents if necessary. Participants should pack light. We will provide a few suggested articles for participants to read during the program and will create opportunities for conversations, journaling, and drawing throughout our adventure.
Dates: August 10-14, 2016 (Wed-Sun)
Activities: Biking, farming, cheese-making, beekeeping, and service
Service Hours: 6 hours of service credit available
Partner: Broadfork Farm
Accommodations: We will set up our tents in a mowed field at Broadford Farm, ahomestead in the southern end of the Trout Lake Valley. An outdoor shower, outdoor bathroom, outdoor classroom space, and outdoor cooking are available for our use. Participants will sleep in tents or under the stars if they prefer.
Cost: $600. Need-based scholarships are available.
Sarah grew upexploring the forests and hills behind her house in Hood River. She continued enjoying the outdoors at Whitman College working for the Outdoor Program and graduating with a BA in Biology. She also completed Lewis and Clark’s Master of Teaching Program with an emphasis in secondary science. She has worked in environmental education in the San Juan Islands, Yosemite Valley, and Colorado. In the fall, Sarah will begin teaching science at the The Dalles, Oregon high School Sarah’s ever-increasing enthusiasm and appreciation for exploring wild places is only surpassed by her desire to connect and share her love of nature with her students.
Delaney was born and raised in the Hood River Valley. He grew up on an organic pear orchard where he developed a passion for the outdoors and a deep connection to the Columbia River Gorge. After graduating from Oregon State University he spent 10 years teaching environmental education in Colorado, Portland, Bend, and Yosemite NP where he met his wife. In 2013, Delaney finished his Masters in Teaching at Lewis and Clark College. He has spent the last 2 years teaching Social Studies at Astoria High School and is preparing to move to Camp Sherman, OR where he will become the Head Teacher at the Black Butte School starting in August.
Wednesday, August 10. Where are we? Why are we here? Sense of Place.We will meet at Broadfork Farm where we will be staying for the duration of our time together. Once we done some brief introductions, we will go on a beautiful and dramatic hike to explore the area and get to a viewpoint where we can get a sense for our place in the valley. We will learn about the ecology of the area, get to know each other, and begin the fun. We’ll come back, get a short farm tour, and set up our tents. In the evening we will cook our first meal together.
Thursday, August 11. Soil is not just Dirt. After breakfast, we’ll start digging into the building blocks of growing food. We’ll learn about soil, nutrient cycling, and important nutrients plants need to grow. We will meet Kaye Jones and Adam Hyde, our hosts at Broadfork Farm. They will talk to us about how they manage soil on their property, including how they compost and how they recycle the manure from their animals. We will do a day of service at our home farm with Kaye and Adam. We will also tune up our bikes and go on a test ride. In the evening, we will send a group of students to purchase local vegetables and eggs from the neighboring farms a few miles down the road—by bike of course! In the late afternoon we’ll relax, cook dinner, and take care of the animals.
Friday, August 12. Dairy Day! Local Food: What is a local food economy? How does it work? Why does it matter? We will wake up early to bike 6 miles to the Pearson’s organic dairy where we’ll learn first hand what it takes to run a profitable dairy. If participants feel up to it, they can contribute to the day’s milking. After visiting the dairy we will follow the milk to the Cascadia Creamery, who uses the Pearson’s milk to make delicious cheese. There we will get to see a small scale commercial cheese business in operation. After a break for lunch we will meet at the home of another local cheese-maker along the banks of the White Salmon River. There we will sample different cheeses and make fresh mozzarella for our pizza dinner later in the evening. We will bike back home 6 miles after a full day. That evening we will use a wood-fired pizza oven to bake our pizzas while we discuss local food economies and their importance.
Saturday, August 13. Digging in with a conscious choice! We will spend this day exploring a few of the great farms in the Trout Lake Valley by bicycle. We will visit Sunnybrook Farm, a farm specializing in organic meat production and root vegetables. We will visit Trout Lake Farm, a commercial herb and blueberry farm. At each farm, we will dig in and help out on their farm projects. In the afternoon, we will discuss the food we eat and don’t eat and the reasons why. We will talk to Kaye and Adam about the choices they make and look at our own choices. We will explore the process from start to finish of raising animals for meat production and discuss different methods of animal husbandry. If students want to participate, we will kill a few chickens with Kaye and Adam in a humane fashion for eating during our final farm to table lunch.
Sunday, August 14. Sustainable Food Systems. How can we create positive change? On our final full day, we will synthesize all that we have learned, our hopes and dreams for the future, and what we want to take away from our experience. In the early afternoon we will use the cooking skills we have developed throughout the week to cook our final lunch together for our families. We will invite the farmers, volunteers, and other supporters who have helped us on our journey to eat with us at 2 PM. Parents, guardians, and siblings are invited to join in the fun as well.