Thursday, July 30, 2009

Well, Hello There!

Hi, my name is Julia Ogrel and I am a co-op student currently working with Growing Up Organic. Let me tell you - it's one heck of a ride. In the three weeks that I have worked here, I got to do some of the craziest things that I have ever done; crazy things, but enjoyable things at the same time. It was certainly a little scary at first but, soon enough, it was like spending time with good friends.

I've met a lot of great people - like Lynda, Tracey, Steve, Diane, and Gabriel.

This is as much a learning experience as it is a working experience.

It is also quite a delicious experience.

I got to visit such a large number of organic gardens right in the city of Ottawa!

We worked hard to take care of the plants already growing there.

We also planted new plants for future visitors to enjoy...

... and we certainly didn’t forget to thank the person who takes care of the plants in our absence.

We thank you so much, Garden Gnome!

Other than visiting gardens, I also got to visit the picturesque Alpenblick Farm.

Which is beautiful both on the outside...

... and on the inside.

The farm is mostly woodland and pasture...

... but you can’t forget about the rather overgrown pond!

Robert and Petra raise cattle...

... sheep...

... and goats.

Just look at that beard!

Here’s a beautiful black one:

Of course, I cannot not mention animals like Elvis the miniature horse...

... Muffin and Licks...

... and the friendly canine.

The babies also deserve their own photos!

We ended up having so much fun with the animals:

Did I mention that the goats like playing peek-a-boo?

We all got to see Robert make cheese from the goats’ milk, using this complicated-looking apparatus:

It is used to squish the cheese curds into shape:

In the end, the cheese ends up looking like this, and is smoked:

Alpenblick Farm is certainly a place of fun and friendly faces.

I think that it is the perfect place to run a camp for organic agriculture and food!

Did I mention that I also got to help Tracey run an organic cooking workshop at the Youth Action Gathering at the MacSkimming Outdoor Education Centre? Well, I did!

The centre is located in one of the most beautiful places that I have ever seen.

The Sierra Youth Coalition, who host the camp every year, were friendly and warm.

Tracey and I were prepared to cook...

... and everybody got right to it!

Finally, we got to devour our delicious creations, yum!

It was as much of a learning experience for me as it was for the camp's participants!

At the moment, I am helping Steve prepare for the camp that I will be helping him and Tracey run at Alpenblick Farm during the last week of August. We are going shopping for some of the non-perishable food tomorrow! Perhaps I will have yet another post ready then!

See you soon,



  1. Thank you Julia, for your unique perspective and photos! Wish I could join you for all those exciting adventures (like digging a new outhouse!); at least I can keep up by checking on on this blog.

  2. You're very welcome, Lynda. I will look forward to your comments on my posts.