Blown Away With Productivity! (Literally)

SLEWS Program | Sacramento Valley | February 15th, 2022

Location of the Field Day:
Free Spirit Farms

Partners/Landowners:
Yolo County Resource Conservation District
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Point Blue Conservation Science
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation
Free Spirit Farms

Mentors:
Dana Stokes
Morgan Caudill
Aaron Haiman
Sara Lipschutz
Leigh Siracusano

Accomplishments: Planted 136 plants and installed ~1500 feet of irrigation line with emitters for each plant.

Summary of the Day:
For this SLEWS field day we had the opportunity to work with one of the original incubation farmers with the Center for Land-Based Learning, Toby Hastings. Wanting to build out pollinator habitats along his organic farm, students had the opportunity to learn about the benefits hedgerows can have for agriculture.

On this wild and windy day 11 students triumphed planting close to all 3 hedgerows that will be installed at this site! Students were able to lay out all the irrigation and install all the emitters that will be necessary to help these hedgerows succeed.

Following the planting students enjoyed the famous SLEWS burritos and a fun activity demonstrating population dynamics. Students acted out an ecosystem with bees, resources, birds, and herbicide to show how different plants and animals interact with one another. Students then had the opportunity to practice their questioning skills by observing a cheez-it box and thinking about what was inside. Little did they know it was a bag of pumpkin seeds! This activity allowed them to begin thinking about questions they had regarding the restoration work we were doing. Ending the day with a social media challenge, students were able to show what they had learned about the space and what they were excited for.

Thanks to everyone for their contributions! A special thanks to Yolo RCD who helped with the implementation plan and took care of our plants before the long awaited planting day. Additonal thanks to NRCS and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation whose support makes this project possible. A final thanks to the owner Toby Hastings for allowing us to assist with the planting of hedgerows on his farm.

First Field Day Fun!

Davis High School at Good Humus Farms SLEWS Program | Sacramento Valley | February 8th, 2022

Location of the Field Day:
Good Humus Farms

Partners/Landowners:
Yolo County Resource Conservation District
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Point Blue Conservation Science
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation
Good Humus Farms

Mentors:
Beth DelReal, Caring for our Watersheds Coordinator, Center for Land-Based Learning
Erna Piper, Retired Science Teacher
Corey Shake, Partner Biologist, Point Blue Conservation Science, NRCS
Josh McCabe, Restoration Coordinator, ACRT Pacific
Joaquin Pastrana, GrizzlyCorps Fellow, Yolo RCD

Accomplishments: Planted 100 plug plants (Mugwort, Goldenrod, Verbena, and Evening Primrose) and installed 2,050 feet of irrigation line

Summary of the Day:
The SLEWS program has long awaited the day that students would be able to return to the field and it finally came on Thursday when 20 Davis High School students had their first field day at Good Humus Farms.

To start off the cold day we circled up and got to know each other through a group dancing game where students get to pick their own dance to match their name. Shortly after students got to gain perspective as to what this project means in the large scheme of things. We discussed different types of models and got the opportunity to act a model out as we discussed population dynamics and human impact.

Eager to get to the restoration activity, students met landowner, Annie Main. Annie introduced students to the history of the farm, the importance of organic farming, and the impact prior hedgerows have had on the farm due to the extreme winds they experience. Wanting to make a positive impact, students got started on their hedgerow project by installing 2,050 feet of irrigation and planting 100 plug plants (Mugwort, Goldenrod, Verbena, and Evening Primrose)!

Thanks to everyone for their contributions! A special thanks to Yolo RCD who helped with the implementation plan and took care of our plants before the long awaited planting day. Additonal thanks to NRCS and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation whose support makes this project possible. A final thanks to the owners Annie and Jeff for allowing us to assist with the planting of hedgerow on their farm.

Follow Good Humus Farms Here: https://www.goodhumus.com

The Mighty Mentors of SLEWS

SLEWS Program | Central Valley | January 27th, 2022

Location of the Field Day:
The Maples

Partners/Landowners:
Yolo County Resource Conservation District
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Point Blue Conservation Science
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation

Mentors/Volunteers:
Jeanne Wirka, Alex Lintner, Beth DelReal, Heather Lyon, Morgan Caudill, Anna Tolle, Ric Murphy, Sara Lipschutz, Brandi Murphy, Nick Gallagher, Joaquin Pastrana, Grace Ferguson, Amy Williams, and Natalia (SLEWS Intern!)

Accomplishments: 12 native grasses and 86 shrubs/sub-shrubs planted with tubex, bamboo stakes, and fully mulched! 800 feet of drip irrigation installed.

Summary of the Day:
A total of 14 SLEWS mentors and volunteers came together to complete the east hedgerow on The Maples property. Despite the absence of students, we were able to kick off this field day “test run” in the typical SLEWS fashion. Volunteers got the opportunity to engage in a project from start to finish, planting a total of 98 plants complete with drip irrigation, mulch, gopher baskets, tubex, and bamboo stakes. Preparing for the day students return to the field in February, mentors had the opportunity to ask clarifying questions, get to know the partners they would be working with, and of course enjoy the famous SLEWS burritos at the end of the day rewarding all the hard work they had completed.

Thanks to everyone for their contributions! A special thanks to Yolo RCD who helped with the implementation plan and took care of our plants before the long awaited planting day. Additional thanks to NRCS and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation whose support makes this project possible.