Spring has sprung around the Alderleaf campus, and the students of the Wilderness Certification Program took full advantage of the bounty of amazing wild edibles that it brings. One of the advantages of a nine month long program is that our students got to experience most of an entire year getting to know the ecosystems of western Washington. This seasonal knowledge is one of the cornerstones of the educational experience we offer at Alderleaf Wilderness College.
Students got hands on experience creating a delicious meal using the brand new plant growth of the season. Here are a few of the dishes they created (from left to right): a fresh salad of wild greens, dandelion head fritters, and homemade nettle pasta!
The students gathered in a community feast out in the meadow to enjoy some sun, some laughter and some good wild food. Moments of community like these are important as the end of the year approaches.
Another important part of the spring is the culmination of the AWCP permaculture curriculum. In order to receive their permaculture design certifications, students are tasked with a research project that is presented to the rest of the class during the last part of the year. These projects allow people to really dig into their own specific interests where they relate to permaculture design!
One of the most exciting weeks of the year is Scout Week, a five day field trip all about getting comfortable out in the woods at night with minimal gear. Scout week was an important capstone for our students this year. It tied together all of the areas of our curriculum into one amazing week long experience! In this picture you can see that the class has just learned the basics of using mud, charcoal and burlap to create effective natural camouflage for the dry pine forests of eastern side of the Cascade Mountains.