July 31, 2012

Navigation and Nature Awareness Classes

This weekend, many local people joined us for 2 very different days of exciting classes. 

Saturday was spent learning and practicing a variety of different orienteering and navigation skills.  This included using map and compass as well as several forms of aidless navigation.  These students spent half of the day wandering around a local park practicing their skills in navigation and orienteering.

Sunday, in contrast, was focused on learning to understand, become more aware of and blend with the natural surroundings through the study of survival nature awareness skills.  This included interpreting the calls of birds, recognizing animal tracks, moving quietly and disappearing into the landscape.

Students practice moving quietly by playing a stalking game.

Its hard not to smile when you are reconnecting to the natural world through your senses!

Practicing hiding in plane sight, students blend into the background using a combination of camouflage and properly using available cover.

A special thank you to all of the enthusiastic students who joined us for the weekend classes!  We hope to see them return for more courses soon.

Keep an eye on our blog for more updates soon.

July 19, 2012

Photos of some of our Permaculture Projects and more

Central veggie garden - crop rotation system

Chicken "moat" around the central gardens to help with slug/bug control and many other stacked functions

Steve adding to the compost system

McCoy Creek with a hedge nettle flower in the foreground

Aquaculture pond with aquatic edible plants and bluegill fish

entryway sign

Food forest coming along

garden beds, compost system, and rainwater catchment off the chicken coop

Small greenhouse for veggie starts

Habitat restoration project by the entry sign

Harvesting strawberries from the hugelkultur bed

Inside view of the outdoor classroom

Outdoor classroom with salmonberry in foreground

Rainwater catchment on chicken coop

Root cellar almost completed

New woodshed also built from locust and cedar shakes
Learn more about our permaculture plan on our campus webpage: http://www.wildernesscollege.com/alderleaf-campus-and-facilities.html

Check out the upcoming Permaculture Design Course at Alderleaf: http://www.wildernesscollege.com/permaculture-summer-semester.html

July 18, 2012

Wilderness Survival Intensive

Last week, students joined us for 5 days of intensive wilderness survival training and learning.  The 5 days included the skills of shelter building, primitive cooking, primitive hunting and trapping, stone tools, bird language, primitive cooking and much more.

Students work together to seal a trout in clay in preparation for cooking on the coals.  Their hands tell the story.

Here students Eric and Mary Lee work together to burn out a wooden bowl.  Next, it will be used to purify water for drinking.  They use straws made of horsetail, a common wetland plant at Alderleaf.

Here you can see what the process looks like within the bowl.  As air is blow on the coals, the spread and burn, and eat their way down through the wood.  The trick is to control them to move in such a way as to create a nice bowl, and not burn through the side of this stump.

We look forward to seeing the survival intensive students return for more classes in the future.

Watch for more updates from Alderleaf soon!

July 3, 2012

Alderleaf Summer Courses

Now that our amazing Alderleaf Wilderness Certification Program has come to a close and we look forward to starting another year school in the fall, it might seem that things have slowed down here at Alderleaf.  This is not so, however, as we continue to teach a variety of short courses throughout the summertime.

We are excited about next week's Wilderness Survival Skills Intensive.  This 5 day course is an excellent introduction to many of the core skills of wilderness survival, including primitive fire skills, shelter building, wildlife tracking, stone tools, nature awareness and much more.  Check out more details and register here: http://www.wildernesscollege.com/wilderness-survival-skills.html

This course was included in an article in the Everett Herald last summer: http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20110910/NEWS01/709109937

Alderleaf Campus itself is showing the abundance of summer, with a variety of wild berries coming into season including salmonberry, thimbleberry, black-cap raspberry and others.  The rich mixture of greens are at there most impressive now.  The foliage houses many nesting birds. They can be seen busily flying to and fro, seeking insects and berries to stuff into the mouths of their eager chicks.

The ponds are rippling with all kinds of life-forms, including the tadpoles of several amphibians, colorful fish and a diversity of invertebrate creatures.

Summer is one of the most beautiful times of the year to visit and take classes at Alderleaf.  Come check us out and join us for some courses!