May – June 2012 Riley volunteered at Cold Water Gardens–a 360 acre sustainable, agrotourism farm located in Milton, Florida. She had a GREAT time, and met many wonderful people who were kind enough to share their vast array of knowledge.
While there, she learned hands-on about: beekeeping, aquaponics, organic gardening, vermicomposting, mushroom cultivation, and how to care for chickens and quail. She also helped to install bat houses, build a chicken tractor, a banana circle, and a beautiful cob/stone oven. (She and other volunteers actually harvested the clay and stone used in the building of the oven directly from the river that winds through the property). And Juan–the caretaker of the property–let her lend a hand on his latest art project: construction of the world’s largest dream catcher.
Riley would recommend a visit to this farm to anyone wanting to reconnect with nature and learn a few things during the process.
The accommodations are awesome: Volunteers stay in large, furnished army tents (on platforms with a covered porch) and are given a generous weekly food stipend, in addition to fresh eggs and veggies from the garden.
On top of all this, the Coldwater staff is incredibly knowledgeable, patient, kind and generous; maintaining just the right balance of professionalism and comradery.
Plus: The landscape is breathtakingly beautiful; the air is fresh; the water’s clean; and when night falls you’re greeted by every star in the sky.