Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Day 16 and 17

AMS presenting to High Point Friends School about our trip
Day 16 by Micah
Today we went to a food science lab and there were lots of people with cool accents. They were studying what causes allergic reactions from peanuts. They extract the proteins with a machine. Then they take the proteins and put them into a different machine. They look at the amino acids in the proteins. They found which sequences of amino acids that make allergies and they can possibly extract these sequences to make hypoallergenic peanuts.
There was another professor who talked to us about dairy, especially the bacteria in yogurt and its health benefits. Another professor takes the left over grape stuff from wine and tries to bake it into bread to add fiber and antioxidants. There was a testing room with funny colored lights to mask the color of the food. People would test the smell, taste, texture and the appearance of different foods.
Learning about probiotics

Amino acid sequencer

Other door we passed

We visited with Greensboro Montessori middle schoolers at “The Land”, which is “wilderness” but is actually a field and forest. We talked to them about our trip and school and they talked to us about their school.
At AMS, kids misplace their stuff all the time. Her is Sage with her substitute mess kit
At Montessori, everything has its place.

Day 17 by Minto

Today we went to Second Harvest food bank in Winston Salem. We did service work for them for about four hours, checking expiration-dates, for dents and holes in food packages, then some of us packed varieties of food in little cardboard boxes .  I was amazed by how much food they throw away. They threw away like a third of the food that they got donated from grocery stores because it was maybe bad.  After that we went to corn syrup factory but we can’t talk about it, so yea. 

Learning about how HFCS 55 is made

Monday, March 10, 2014

Day 15

Day 15 by Sage

Today we drove to North Carolina from Atlanta. For breakfast we had carrot muffins, then had to clean up all of our breakfast things before 8:15 before the school students got to Atlanta Friends meeting. Then we drove for 5 hours. I do not really know what happened during that time because I was asleep. But Micah broke a free Coke bottle we got from our WORLD OF COKE EXPERIENCE. The bottle was Asher’s, and Micah was trying to open it like a cool kid by hitting it against a metal bench. The staff told Asher that it was not safe to drink because of glass particles, unless he filtered it through a bandana into another jar.

After this, we arrived at High Point Friends school. It looks a lot different than Arthur Morgan. There are fancier buildings, and apparently all the kids get their own ChromeBook. I thought that was pretty NEAT-O. Then we hung out at a playground at the school #KLFVR (Kevin Lives Forever) #KDFVR (Kevin Dies Forever) until dinner, where we had couscous. After we ate dinner, Alexia made popcorn with parmesan cheese. I ate all the burnt kernels because burnt things are delicious. Then we went back to the building where we are staying and hung out until bedtime. J J J J J

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Day 14

Day 14 by Shogo
We awoke at 7:00 and faced the first challenge of the day, daylight savings.  The Friends Meeting had to prep for meeting so we had to leave for the day by 8:45.  This was an hour earlier than expected so we drove to a park and went back to sleep in the bus until we met with Tania who pretty much planned our weekend.
                We worked with Tania until lunch working on a small garden for a transitional housing.  We divided into three groups.  One group worked on weeding a compost bin that was completely covered in honeysuckle.  Another group worked on making a garden bed and clearing some brush.  The group I was on worked on making several beds using a permaculture method called berms and swells.  Basically the beds are planted on even contours of a hill.  Behind the beds are berms that catch rainwater and spread it out along the bed.  After we were done, Tania bought us donuts from this amazing donut shop called Revolutionary Donuts.

Berms and swales

                We then journeyed to a different world…                   The World of Coca Cola.  In the World of Coca Cola, we searched for the “secret formula” of coca cola, (one which Satchel has improved greatly) and traveled through the brainwashing land of Coke.  We learned that Coca Cola makes you happy and is the essence of life.  We also watched a 4d movie about what makes coke “coke”, and got stabbed in the back by a dragonfly.  At the end of the tour there is the tasting room.   In the tasting room, there is an unlimited source of soda, and over 60 different flavors.  We, the students, consumed about 2L each.  And we were given a free 8oz of coke!

You are required to take a single use plastic bag to carry your commemorative bottle of Coke. This is because without the bag, you might drop the bottle and it might break. With the bag, this obviously won't happen. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Day 13

Day 13 by Joshua

We had cream of wheat for breakfast which Kevin made. Then we went to Global Growers to plant blueberries.  So first we mulched a row then dug a bowl (not a hole) and then scored the side and then we put the plant in. After that we buried them. The Global Growers works with refugees from other countries. They give them space to farm. 

And we visited a farm called Truly Living Well. They are farming in an urban area where there used to be houses. They use raised beds because there is lead in the ground. They just started using hydroponics. After that we went back to where we’re staying and ate dinner.

Day 12

Day 12 by Adalaya
This morning we woke up and had a wonderful breakfast of toasted bagels then we cleaned up and drove to the CDC (Center for Disease Control).  When we got there we had difficulty finding parking (again!) and we were late for our tour so Alexia dropped us off and went to try and park.  When we walked inside there was very heavy security which was slightly scary and unexpected.  Once we got through it though they had a really nice tour of their museum and learned lots about diseases and what the CDC does. 
Iron lung

Pneumatic vaccinator

Level IV hot suits. Kevin was infected

When the tour was over we grabbed a quick lunch and drove over to the Atlanta food bank.  There we met up with two other school groups and did a simulation on the difficulties of getting a healthy meal on an extremely low income.  We were each given a character with information about our monthly income and expenses and we had to figure out how to get 2,000 calories of food for ourselves.  I did not manage to get my food.  When we finished with that the other groups left and the nutritionist gave us a tour of their facilities.  We were all very tired so we came home and had a lovely evening. 

Banana boxes are their favorite type of box because of their size and durability. This warehouse is completely filled with banana boxes (but not bananas)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Day 11

Day 11 by Andrew

We left this morning it was raining. I was very uncomfortable.  We drove to South Georgia. We ate lunch in rain still very uncomfortable. Then we got to Georgia and we stayed at Alexia’s friend’s house. We watched the movie Airplane. Then we went to sleep comfortable.

Day 10

Day 10 by Asher

On day 10 we went to Satchel’s Pizza in Gainesville and he showed us how he makes his own sodas for his customers. It was very interesting because he put essential food oils in his soda. In his cola he put in 16 ounces of grain alcohol, lemon oil, coriander oil, cinnamon oil, nutmeg oil, neroli oil, lime oil, and vanilla. Satchel adds the grain alcohol because without it the water and the oil would separate so it makes it mix and dissolve. He makes a sugar syrup with two and a half gallons of water and either 30 pounds of sugar or one cup of Stevia. One tablespoon of the flavor gets mixed into the syrup, and then this gets mixed with carbonated water in a 1 to 5 ratio. 

After that we went to a farm called Siemba and weeded in trade for some vegetables. The farm had pigs and goats and a lot of vegetables.  We now have way too many carrots. 

Then we went to a spring and ate lunch but it was unfortunate because we only had 11 tortillas and also it was rainy and gloomy and gross outside. Right after that we went to a prairie wetland and saw cool wildlife like alligators, armadillos, birds, and wild boars. Then it started raining so we left. 

Then we went to the farmers market in Gainesville and saw Cecil. My mom bought a bunch of oranges from him and he offered our group more free citrus. We tried to pay for it, but he made us take it for free. He’s really nice!

Then we spent the rest of our kitty money going out for Satchel’s pizza for dinner. The wait was pretty long but it was really good pizza so it was worth it. Then we went back to my mom’s house and went to bed. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Day 8 and 9

Day 8 by Emma
Today Mr. Winsberg showed us around his farm. 
Ted Winsberg giving us a TED talk

 Then, we went to the University of Florida Research and Education Center in Belle Glade. We learned about love bugs, barn owls, and brown and orange rust. We went to an old building where a bunch of barn owls lived, and as you walked, you could hear the rodent bones crunching beneath our feet. We saw baby owls that were adorable.
Digging up wire worms - an enemy of the sugar cane

Sugar beets - so much to think about

Baby owls, eggs waiting to hatch, and dead rats
We went on an owl walk in the evening. We dissected owl pellets and ate dinner there.
They fed us hot dogs and deliciousness and we had a bonfire. Then we found a campsite and set up camp in the dark. Everyone was tired. We slept.

Day 9 by Wild

Today we woke up at a campsite and ate granola. It was good. Then we packed up and headed to Monsanto. They gave us swag bags and told us about selective breeding and that molecular breeding is just a fancy way of saying sped up selective breeding. Selective breeding is when you choose the plants you like and keep regrowing them until you get the plants you like. With molecular engineering, they sample the leaf of each plant and send it into a lab to read the DNA. Genetically modified organics is when they take a gene from something and put it into something different. Everyone has been eating GMOs since 1995 – corn, Hawaiian papaya, soy and wheat. We don’t eat cotton, but it’s a GMO crop. Then we ate lunch and drove to Asher’s mom’s house and we’re going to camp in her backyard.
Pepper plant starts being used for selective breeding research

Monday, March 3, 2014

Day 1, 2, and 3

Day One by Andrew
We started driving. I was so excited to go to Florida and find so many lizards. The first stop was the South Carolina welcome center. We ate our lunches. I had a PB and Jelly sandwich and a grilled cheese. I was pretty disappointed that we saw no lizards. Then we got back on the bus and kept driving.  It was around 6:30 to 7:00 that we ate dinner. It was pesto pasta. After that we got to Al Geiger’s house and we got to meet him. He is an awesome guy. Al Geiger has his own kumquat tree. We got to try some; they were really sour. They were still good. Alexia and I went outside for a walk and we saw a frog at the pond. After that we went to bed.

Day two by Adalaya

                This morning we drove for about an hour and came to an amazing citrus grove.  The owner of the grove, Cecil Nelson, was very nice and gave us a tour.  We walked through the trees and he taught us the names of many of the different fruits as well as letting us sample all of them.  My personal favorite was called the Golden Neighbor, which was probably the best orange I have ever eaten.  At the beginning of the tour Cecil gave us all plastic bags and as we went he let us pick all the oranges and grapefruit that our hearts desired (we have tons).  When the tour was over, we all piled into the bus and drove back to the Geiger’s.

After a delicious lunch (PB&J on a tortilla), we explored around Al Geiger’s property.  We saw where he grows sugar cane and the equipment he uses to make sugar syrup.

We ended up in a small field with a large pile of scrap wood which we quickly turned into a large bonfire. 

We have just been relaxing and jumping on the giant trampoline in the back yard for the rest of the afternoon.  Now there is vegetable stir fry on the stove and it smells great!  I can’t wait for a fun and relaxing evening.

  Day three by Joshua
For breakfast we had pancakes and we forgot to bring the syrup so we had honey instead. We got to jump on Mr. Geiger’s trampoline. Sadly, we had to leave Mr. Geiger’s house. Now we are in Boynton Beach at the Winsberg’s .
And then Micah found a beautiful knife in the couch. And then we went for a walk through the Winsberg’s farm. And then we went to a wetland overlook. 

Tomorrow we are going to Florida crystals to see their sugar cane crop and their sugar refinery.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Day 4, 5, 6, and 7

Day Four by Shogo
We started our day at 5:30 and drove to Florida Crystals.  Florida Crystals is a sugar factory that is located next to Lake Okeechobee. Florida Crystals grows organic and non-organic sugarcane, then boils it into sugar.   We were given two tours.  On the first tour, we drove to the sugarcane fields and watched the sugarcane get harvested by huge machines.  
We also got to sample some sugarcane and take some with us.  
On the second tour, we went inside the factory and saw the sugarcane get milled, cleaned, then refined into sugar.  The aroma wasn’t exactly enjoyable.  We went into the room where the sugar was packaged and you could taste the sugar in the air.  The most amazing thing that I saw in the factory was the sugar barn.  The sugar barn was a giant 300 by 100 foot barn-like-thing where they stored all the unrefined sugar.   We walked inside and there were literary 100ft tall sugar dunes.   After our journey in sugar land, we came back to the Winsburgs and went to Green Cay Wetlands.  The wetlands were really cool.  There were over 25 different bird species, a couple alligators, turtles, and frogs.  

Day five by Sage
On day five, our trip drove to the everglades. Before that, we volunteered at the Pine Jog environmental education center. We helped remove invasive species of plants. We also saw their controlled burn areas. 
THEN we drove to the everglades. On the way there, we stopped at this fruit stand called Robert Is Here. Robert Is Here is an AMAZING fruit stand in Florida City. They sell all sorts of weird and tropical fruit. Some of the fruit there is Mamy Sapote, Camilla , and dragon fruit. They had so many types of honey. The honey was SO GOOD. I LOVE HONEY. THIS IS EXCITING. HONEY. Anyway, they had all these FREE samples of honey and all of them were AMAZING! There were also REEEAEAALALALLAYYYY good mangoes called Kent Mangoes. They were so much better than any mango I’ve ever had in my life! 
After RIH, we drove to our campsite in the everglades. We walked to a pond there and an Alligator swam towards us.  
Baby alligator or lizard? We'll let you decide.

Day 6 by Micah
We went to a thing called Vintage Day at Royal Palm in the Everglades, which is an annual celebration of the protection of the Everglades. We saw a historic debate reenactment about whether to drain the Everglades or not. We walked on a boardwalk and saw alligators and sunbathing alligators and birds. 
We ate all the fruit that Sage was talking about plus miracle fruit which makes sour things sweet. Miracle fruit is a little red berry that makes sour things sweet and we had key limes and grapefruit and it made them taste very sweet. 

Miracle fruit sticks to the sweet receptors on your tongue, and when you eat sour stuff it activate the sweet receptors on the tongue. We also went on an alligator watch at night and saw alligators up close. Their eyes glow because the light goes through their eyes and bounces back, stimulating the rods and cones twice to get them to have better night vision. It was cool to see alligators and eat so much crazy fruit.
Note the "Wild Sage" sign

Day 7 by Minto

Today, we went to Flamingo and saw American Crocodiles. 
After that we went to look for a place we  could park our bus and swim at the beach. We were looking for parking for about an hour and a half and we were right next to the beach, but there were too many people and no parking spots. That was horrible. Finally we found a place to park and hung out at a beach for while, then came back to Green Kay farms to stay for one more night.