Richard organized a trip to Glaskogen nature reserve for the group of interns. We packed up and left the farm right after breakfast on Monday for a two day trip. Packed with lot’s of food and a couple of fishing rods we headed out stopping for gas and at a supermarket along the way. It was strange to be in a supermarket after two weeks of living on the farm with abundance of great produce all around. Seeing everything packed up and sorted in shelves seemed disconnected in a way. Most of us just bought lot’s of chocolate and off we went.
Learning at Ridgedale is different, it feels natural and easy, Never do I wonder what time it is when learning here and I attribute that to several factors. On the first day of the Permaculture design course when we gathered for the first time as a group of 20 strangers in the teaching Gur (similar structure to a yurt) we sat in a circle and Richard said some organizational things. After that we went around the circle each saying our name, where we are from and what three things we are most excited about. This could be anything and didn’t have to do with farming, although most things where about farming. It was a nice way to get something to connect the name to other than the face and place. After everyone was finished, Richard went around and had already remembered every ones names and he then asked if anyone else wanted to try and repeat every ones names. Some people tried and it went surprisingly well. About five people went around saying the names out loud and each time every other person in the room was following them. Then we played two quick name games to make sure we heard all the names several times. One was with a hot potato ball where you had to throw the ball to someone quickly after catching it but announce their name first. It was amazing to see how easy 20 strangers learned each others names in about 15 minutes.
To get our blood flowing again before another lecture in the Yurt we played a little game. Richard gave a sheet of paper to each of us to stand on in a random place in the Yurt. He put down one more paper which no one was standing on. Then he went on the other side of the room and explained to us that he would start walking towards the free piece of paper and try and touch it with his feet. We had to make sure someone would walk over and stand on it with both feet before he got there. We where not allowed to block him and he would time our attempts. Then he left us to discuss our strategy. Essentially it is a very simple problem, but it took us quite a few attempts to protect him from touching the free paper for more than 7 seconds. We started by some people jumping on the paper randomly once he got close. That created a free paper where the person that moved jumped from. Then someone had to jump there. Since it was not coordinated at all it was easy for Richard to walk over because somebody would leave their paper right next to him.