Monday, 2 November 2015

Wwoofer - Ariana Nicolson

Ariana stayed for a couple of weeks in November this year.  She is an 18 year old from North Carolina who is deeply involved in the climate justice movement.  She brought her sharp intelligence and enthusiasm for learning and threw herself into every activity on offer.

She will be attending the climate negotiations with the Sierra Student Coalition at the end of November in Paris.  She has done activism trainings with the Sierra Club as well as with her Quaker high school (the Carolina Friends School).  She will be studying at Clark University, Massachussets next year to do Environmental Studies.

Some images from her stay:


We are working on the kitchen at the moment - putting a lime render on the earth wall before building units .....

Ariana started by helping me to
apply a NHL2 lime render
(1 volume of lime to 3 of
sand).  This is the best type
of lime to put over an earth wall.

She got the hang of it pretty
quickly - not easy!!

On the Land

She helped me to harvest the runaway pumpkins
and courgettes in the round garden ... I haven't watered
all year.  The sheet mulch seems to have done a good
job in retaining the rainwater .... a bumper crop!! 

Harvesting potatoes ....
... and a very large round marrow -
produced from ancient variety
seeds from the organic company
Biaugerme ............
We visited the Palmer family who have a permaculture
inspired project not far from us ... we exchanged
some of our seeds and vegetables for  a few of their raspberry canes ....

.... and planted garlic amongst
the canes .... good companions.

We exchanged home made jam and
vegetables from the land for some
organic manure from a local horse
riding centre and put this around the
raspberry canes ..........

Helping with the cardboard run ... we have free
access to a cabin filled with large sheets of
cardboard which we use for sheet mulcing in
the garden ....................
Ariana put down layers of cardboard
onto brushcut vegetation and then
wheelbarrowed the compost into place
on top of it.

She harvested herbs from the garden, strung
them up and hung them for drying
in the house. We will use them to make dried herbs
 for cooking and teas ...............

Harvesting marigold seeds for
next year's crop .....

Picking wild sloe berries near Mont Saint Michel
... we used them to make jam with apples from the garden.


In the Kitchen

..... Chopping and weighing apples
to make jam, apple butter, cider vinegar
cakes, pies and stewed apple ....

Ariana researched a recipe for apple butter - an
American delicacy and then launched into action ... 
She cracked open lots of walnuts harvested from
the land ........

.... and made a delicious apple
walnut and gorgonzola tart ...

... and a spaghetti squash, chocolate
and walnut cake ......

.... after weeding the garden, she
used chickweed to make vegetable
burgers .......

Weed patties!!!

Making sourdough bread ....

... and vegan crepes ...

Impeccable table manners ...

At Leisure

A spot of weight training with logs
for the fire ......

Cuddling grey cat ....

Playing the guitar beneath the herbs that she
strung up .....

Casting her eyes over one of my
books 'A handbook for changing
the world' .... being a political
activist she was interested in this
book about grassroot action for
sustainable development.

Thank you Ariana for all your help, your company, your enthusiasm, the debates about climate change, the music and all the rest.

Hope to see you back here one day ....

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