ALBA Morning, in Yuto’s photos.

ALBA Distribution Center in Watsonville.

Maria almost loses her core heat to the epic fan of maximum shelf life.  Tony chuckles.

Maria almost loses her core heat to the epic fan of maximum shelf life. Tony chuckles.

Brrrrrr! Tony shows us the strawberry fridge.  (We miss you Shirley!)

Brrrrrr! Tony shows us the strawberry fridge. (We miss you Shirley!)

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Strawberries & ALBA

Strawberries & ALBA

Today was an excellent day spent planting onions and picking strawberries with ALBA Farms. Located deep within Salinas Valley, ALBA stands for the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association. Offering education and business opportunities, ALBA works to empower aspiring famers by leasing to them land, tools, and teaching them how to grow food sustainably.
As great as picking our own strawberries was, my favorite part of the trip was interacting with Nathan and Sophia, our hosts and guides. Nathan gave us a lot to think about and much to appreciate in our short time together. He showed us around, shared with us the history of ALBA, and even granted us unlimited access to the farm’s experimental strawberry pasture which they were testing a new method of organic pest management.
We also spent a great deal of our time working with Sophia on her own personal strawberry pasture. We helped her plant a few onion companion crops to compliment the strawberries. Spending time with her was great, she reminded me of my parents and their collective passion for agriculture and cultivation. I don’t know where I’ll end up after graduating from Stanford but I hope to cultivate land of my own at some point in my life.

The Aquarium

The Aquarium

Today was an interesting and exciting day chock-full of adventure and discovery. We woke up at around 7:00A.M, prepared our meals for the day, and went off to Hopkins where we met up with a neighboring group of ASB students. I can’t quite remember the name of their group, (something to do with science and environmental literacy) but all the same, they were great. After a few quick ice-breakers and some good old fashioned cross pollination, we settled down in the Agassiz building and received a quick lesson on force and acceleration from our newfound friends. The lesson itself was fun. Armed with a sponge, shipping popcorn, and some saran wrap, we set out to create the most effective “de-acceleration” device possible; capable of cushioning the drop of an egg.
After our little experiment, we rushed on over to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and sat in for the feeding of the kelp forest. The aquarium itself was jam packed but it was nice to observe and listen to the tank diver as he jumped on in and fed the fish. The elders were engaged, the children were awestruck, and I myself was greatly amused. The crowed was hooked and I really appreciated the aquarium’s initiative in reminding people to dispose of their plastic waste properly. I also really appreciated the time Pamela took to speak to our group. The Monterey Bay Aquarium is unwavering in its dedication to community outreach, education, and oceanic preservation.
Shortly after the feeding demonstration in the kelp forest, we return to Hopkins for a little lunch of our own and another ASB lesson. We had some spaghetti and pasta followed by a demonstration in buoyancy and surface tension. All in all, spending some time with the other ASB group was nice and much appreciated. I really enjoyed returning to the aquarium with Peggy and Katherine. Today was great!

Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Half Moon Bay

Fitzgerald Marine Reserve, Half Moon Bay

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After our field trip to the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve to go tide pooling last Friday, January 25, our students are all posting a photo recapping some aspect of the excursion! We were accompanied by sculpin expert and Stanford Post-Doc, Matt Knope, and our resident marine biologist, Grace, assigned each student a tide pool creature in advance of our trip, so everyone was an expert on something we came across!

It was beautiful to use nature as our living classroom and to see students fascinated by their surroundings hear them remarking on wanting to spend more time exploring the outdoors near Stanford. It’s a wonderfully amazing world we live in here in the Bay Area.