After serving 5 years being told NAVY stands for Never Again Volunteer Yourself, I found myself scratching my head in the middle of a pasture knee deep in a liquefied mixture of manure and mud. I’m out on a farm assistance visit with my supervisor Courtney. She’s explaining to the farmer the importance of having a “sacrifice area” for their cows…. Being me, I’m visualizing a kind of pentagram shaped area to perform satanic rituals to sacrifice cows. I feel like she could sense I had questions. To my relief she explained this was an area that was to be fenced off and filled in with gravel so the cows couldn’t make mud. Now she uses the term “Heavy Use Area”. In that moment it became clear why mud and manure management are resource concerns. This is just one of many examples of things that I have learned firsthand over the last few months volunteering with the King Conservation District.
As the farm services projects coordinator I have been put in charge of the Farm Equipment Share Program. I handle the scheduling of 7 pieces of farm equipment. I spend much of my day emailing and talking on the phone with farmers needing to use our equipment. I also take care of all of the maintenance and research for the farm equipment. KCD has been amazing; I feel like it’s a big family. Josh, the director of our farm team bought me some model farm equipment as a gift. Kristen one of the many adventurous KCD staff kindly put together a KCD ski day. I love skiing so I accepted her invitation. Little did I know I was the only poor soul to take this expert skier up on her offer. Probably my hardest day of skiing but I survived with only minor bruising. Should have known when she told me she normally climbs up the mountains before skiing down them.
Having Michael Mendez, a fellow Mt. Adams intern working at KCD, with me has been great. We clicked instantly and I felt like I knew this guy forever. A few weekends ago we hiked a few miles up Mt. Rainer to get a good view of Mt. Adams. We have a bunch of adventures planned over the rest of the year. We are definitely taking advantage of our time here in the Pacific Northwest. Looking forward to our first quarterly meeting at Mt. Adams Institute… if we could only find it.