We had the pleasure of hosting two groups from Green Farms Academy as a part of CEI’s Educational Programs this summer for two weeks this summer.
First, a fantastic gang of GFA high school students joined us for 10 days. They participated in all aspects of life here on the Cape, rising with the sun for morning exercise into full days of exploration including trash cleanups, snorkeling, creative writing, helping Joseph plant passion fruit trees on the roof of the wood shop, and collecting wood for Ashley to put in the wood chopper. Some days ended with a camping trip on the beach, a campfire and some tasty s’mores, others with lights out early at, believe it or not, the students request! Morning exercise comes sooner than you think and each day is packed with exciting activities to engage students in sustainability, conservation, and the various Bahamian tropical ecosystems.
The following week a small crew of GFA middle school students stayed for 7 days to soak up island life with us too! They snorkeled a wreck spotting many types of fish and coral, camped down island, worked with turtles, and learned about the many sustainable aspects of life on campus. They even helped us harvest our tilapia! Below is an excerpt from a student Sidney Swearingen’s blog post:
We woke up at 6am to get ready to bike the inner loop at the Island School. Once we were back, we helped at the aquaponics lab to harvest Tilapia. While noah and alice were weighing the fish, christian and I were using large nets to catch the fish. The two researchers, Josh and Kristal grow plants in the water by using the waste from the tilapia. After weighing the fish, we placed them in different tanks based on how heavy they were. The ones that weighed lower than 700 grams were put into a bucket that would be dumped back into their tank so they could grow. The ones that were larger were placed in an ice bucket for a slow death before being cleaned. We caught 30 out of 70 before breakfast. Then we went to breakfast. Right afterward we caught the remaining 40 and scaled, filleted them, and weighed the carcasses to see how much meat they harvested.
Both the GFA middle and high school students has a blast during their stay. Fears and challenges were conquered and much was learned of our sustainable systems here on campus!