By Grace Grattan
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos from Phase I for the final blog of the season.
One of the first hauls of veggies we took up from the farm. It seemed like so much produce then. Little did I know we’d soon be filling the back of the farm truck to the brim with produce after harvests!
My first loaves of bread I made at AMI! I really got interested in making bread while I was here and I can’t wait to continue on practicing and getting better.
During our fermentation workshop I made some great fermented pickles (see my other blog). Learning how to ferment foods is something I’m happy I learned at AMI and is another skill I want to continue practicing.
Homemade jam was one of the most tasty things I got to eat during the summer. I helped make blueberry and blackberry jam and ate some on my oatmeal every morning.
We got to help out at the Highland County Fair over the summer. We each entered veggies from our garden and ended up winning lots of prizes - including the largest beet!
At the fair we also got to witness the demolition derby. I will never forget sitting in the enthusiastic crowd watching the beat-up cars spinning in the mud, catching on fire, and ramming into each other.
Exploring around AMI was a lot of fun, especially going to a free concert at Snowshoe.
One of the highlights of the late summer and early fall was getting to raise five monarch caterpillars and then tag and release them outside. I learned so much about monarchs and I’m honored to have played a part in their journey south! (See my other blog to learn more.)
At the end of the season we spent days harvesting and storing things like potatoes, beets, and carrots. It was exciting to see the huge amount of food we had grown during the summer. We ended up finding a potato that looked just like a manatee!
My capstone project involved planning and researching aquatic plants to go in the pond by the lodge. It was really interesting to learn so much about those species and about ponds in general.
We somehow managed to grow a 13 pound rutabaga in the garden. Watching it get bigger and bigger and then finally pulling it out of the ground was really fun and was a source of pride and laughter for us the following weeks.
I got to work at the last farmer’s market and sell the last of the summer veggies. The market was always fun because people were always so excited to be there and were usually willing to taste our food samples no matter how bizarre.
Our most recent attempt at sourdough didn’t end in complete failure! The process took all day, but I’m really proud of our yummy result in the end, despite its flat shape.
I’ve loved being on the mountain these past 6 months. I’ve learned so many new skills and gotten to know the greatest people. I can’t wait to see what Phase II has in store!