A Day with Compass Green: Intern’s Perspective

Caroline 1

The Schedule for a day’s work as Compass Green’s Intern:

6:00 – Wake up

6:30 – Leave the House

Pull up directions, Pick out music

Roll out, and Rock out

Navigate and DJ to the school we are visiting that day

Teach hundreds of kids

It is a rigorous and deeply rewarding schedule. One thing it never is, is dull.

Traveling to a different school in a different community each time we teach is perfect for someone like me who is always looking for new experiences. Each teaching experience has been as individual as the students I have taught.

I think that partially comes from varying philosophies of each school, and the importance teachers place on our visit, but for the most part it comes from the kids. They are the reason I am thoroughly stoked to wake up at 6 am.

I get so excited to hear how they will respond to the sustainability basic we teach them. We have heard some truly amazing responses ranging in tone from downright brilliant to very, very silly.

Just today, I had kids explain to me the fine points of how a hydrogen fueled car runs, and the history of global warming trends. They are in elementary school yet have an amazing grasp on the ecological issues facing today’s world.

On the silly end of the spectrum, here are a few of my favorite kid’s quotes from this tour:

1st grader, “Is there a dead zone in there?” (Pointing to green house)

2nd grader, “Is that nature inside?!”(Also pointing to truck)

Me, “What’s your favorite vegetable?”

Kindergartener, “We have the same one! It’s Poptarts!

1st grader #1, “At home, we have a garden on our deck.”

1st grader #2, “What?! I also have a deck!”

We might not have a lot time with each class but we do have time to have fun and plant the seeds of impact at the same time.

At the end of the day I am worn out and, somehow completely reenergized to show up fully for the kids Compass Green reaches.

‘til next time,

A very tired, very happy


New Tour, New Intern!


I’m Caroline, Compass Green’s newest intern and teaching assistant.

Four years ago, the Compass Green truck rumbled onto the campus of my high school in Iowa and with it was brought the importance of growing our own food. The sight of amaranth growing in companion planted beds has stayed with me, inspired me, and now I have the chance to pass on my passion for plants to other students.

After that day in the truck and because of it, I traveled all over the world learning how people in other countries and climates approach the universal task of growing food and nourishing our bodies. I studied and worked under fantastic famers in Europe, Latin America, and the South Pacific learning a variety of approaches, from organic agriculture to biodynamic farming and permaculture. Whether I was on a finca, ferme, or farm watching a seed grow into something delicious is something that has never ceased to amaze me.

Compass Green planted the seed of inspiration in my mind, the seed sprouted into a curiosity about my own involvement in growing healthy foods and blossomed as I began to sustainably practice farming. From personal experience, I know the education Compass Green provides is inspirational and empowering.

It has been so wonderful to see that same education from the perspective of a teacher in the past two weeks. I have realized that inspiration is not just given but exchanged. Already I have had the chance to educate some spectacular students, who ask earnest questions and whose desire to help the planet is just as genuine. Tomorrow I look forward to teaching my thousandth student (!) and many more bright youngsters over the next month!

Soil and sunshine,


Touring the Bay

Today we had a great time teaching at San Jose High School, our third school on our 2015 Fall Tour through California’s Bay Area.

Our tour is going to take us all around the Bay, as far south as Monterey, and as far north as Santa Rosa. We’re looking forward to educating an estimated 5,000 students about sustain ability with a focus on farming.

See you down the road!

Cherry Creek Arts and Culinary Festival

We had a fantastic weekend at the Cherry Creek Arts and Culinary Festival in Denver. We had a pop up garden at the Francis Ford Coppola wine tent, and were teaching  sustainable gardening, dryland farming, and answering basic questions to beginners who are ready to start growing their own food.

It was a great weekend of ag conversations, environmental conversations, with a couple of snobby wine conversations for diversity. It was fun to be sharing knowledge in an informal setting like that, and we are looking forward to the San Diego Arts Festival in August, to do it again.

Another excellent part of the experience was just being able to check out the art work that was featured there. I have been to many different festivals with Compass Green, and quite often there are some really good art pieces, but at Cherry Creek, almost every work I saw impressed with its originality and quality. I fully recommend experiencing it sometime.

Cherry Creek 1 Cherry Creek 2

Angie complains

Heat exhaustion took the best of Angie March the 13th at about 1:55 pm. Her gas pedal refused to accelerate and we pulled the ol’ lady over to assess the situation. A leak, or leaks had sprung and there was a drip-dropping from every square inch of the engine. Tubes of all sorts, steel and rubber were free floating and there was work to be done. Being at the end of the day on Friday, no parts were available to us at the local auto mechanics shop so, luckily there was a friend nearby who whisked Justin away to the closest Isuzu parts shop to pick up the necessary pieces. I stayed back to look after ol’ Angie. Luck was certainly on our side as Justin received a few hints as to how to manage the repairs that were needed to move the truck once again. Upon his return we opened the big lady up and operated. Interestingly enough the operation itself was really quite simple. All that it took were the right parts and a little putting together. Thank god for my past experience with K’nex, Legos and Linc’n Logs. The practice I received when I was a young lass with such “toys” really came in handy, although I never thought I’d use it to replace an injector line.11102808_885801251479760_7167351901650193223_n IMG_20150313_160700062 IMG_20150313_183809255_HDR

After a relaxing weekend on Laguna Beach with a bunch of generous friends who shared their home with us we are now ready for week three. Tomorrow we will be at St. James Catholic School in Torrence, California. Last week we spent two days at Bethune Middle School, Los Angeles and three days at Sheridan Way Elementary School, Ventura. Justin, Angie and I were sure tickled to be guests at the school for the consecutive day runs as students from the previous days’ tours came to greet us with their generous smiles and curiosity repeatedly whenever the opportunity arose.

Stay tuned and we will be touching base to include you in this week’s experiences.

Cheers, All!

-Emily June