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Carbon farmers, crime scenes & trip planning…


As the weather turns hotter and stickier, I hope you are still finding time to get outdoors and get some necessary sunshine.

This week we began by considering farmers and the role they play in the carbon cycle. We reviewed our steps up until this point, i.e. what is the carbon cycle and roles of plants and microbes within this cycle. We then had a tasting experience. Cherries from a local farmer’s market, mint from the balcony of our classroom and wild strawberries from the food forest at my house. We considered the foods using all our senses; sight, sound, smell, touch and finally, taste. We considered whether the nutritious value of a food could be determined from taste alone, as well as how the nutrient levels in soil play a role in the quality of foods. We also thought about the microbes in our bodies and how they are affected by the nutrient values of foods and soils. We will conclude this lesson on Friday by looking at farming practices that benefit soils the most.

In our IGCSE classes this week, we continued with the theme of crime and by looking at forensic sciences. We learned how fingerprints and DNA are two of the main tools used. However, given the ubiquity of digital lifestyles, how these too can be used to obtain evidence.

Last Friday, we attended a presentation by local craftsman, Takashi Miyashita. He began by showing some examples of his excellent woodwork in the gallery adjoining his workshop. Following this, he demonstrated his technique as he assembled a chair that was commissioned by a cafe. The students seemed impressed by the quality of his work, as well as the various tools and machines he keeps in the workshop. After some Q&A, he said he would be open to the possibility of a workshop with us. Watch this space!

We also took time to begin discussing and planning our trip to Pawa Permaculture Farm in Chiba. As you are aware we will be traveling to Wadaura, Chiba from the 3rd to the 7th of July. After looking at the travel itinerary for the trip, it was considered best to travel by train and bus, as this will allow more time for lunch and therefore more rest time between transport.

We also discussed the program for the 5 days and overall the group seemed happy with the proposed activities. These will range between pizza-making, gardening, building rocket stoves, learning traditional earth building techniques, as well as taking time to go swimming in the sea, showering at a local waterfall and firefly viewing.

It promises to be a fun-filled and memorable occasion and I am really looking forward to sharing this experience with the group.

Take care and have a great week.