LEAF students study Hügelkultur, lend a hand

On February 7, instructors Tom Murphy and Erin Ryan returned to Chinook with a hardworking crew of students from Edmonds Community College’s Learn and Serve Environmental Anthropology Field (LEAF) School.

The team spent the morning touring the Good Cheer Food Bank and Garden with Cary Peterson, learning about food justice, sustainable growing, and the compost cycle. They then came to the Whidbey Institute to work with Maggie Mahle to learn about the fertility cycle and soil building. The planned activity—flipping beds—was deferred due to frozen ground, so they discussed pine blister rust at the site of the felled white pines and then engaged in a service project by clearing small and large wood debris from the open forest area near the heart of Chinook. This material will be composted for use in the Hügelkultur tradition, which employs rotted wood to create nurselog-like conditions in the garden bed. They also moved gravel in to the greenhouse floor via bucket brigade, then closed with reflections in the Sanctuary.

We offer our thanks to the students and instructors for their effort, assistance, and learning! We are grateful for our ongoing partnership with LEAF.

February 13, 2014