Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Clumping Bamboo at ECHO

Going to ECHO farms was a great treat for me,

As I learned about everything from miracle fruit to the Neem tree.

I have always been fascinated with plants and food,

And being outside on the farm put me in a good mood.

On the farm all of my senses were heightened,

And my knowledge of horticulture was enlightened.

There were so many colors that lit up my eyes,

That I am sure the farm is beautiful even under dark skies.

The sound of the wind as it brushed through the trees,

Soothed my mind like a nice summer breeze.

I still have the taste of Moringa leaves on my lips,

And ECHO’s advanced irrigation systems work very well even though the water barely drips.

I learned about so many different foods and plants,

And walking through the giant farm we looked like marching ants.

The Moringa tree is neat since it can purify water,

It could probably even make liquid drinkable if it came out of an otter.

Bamboo is very strong and it can be used to make floors,

But if you get the running kind then your neighbors will beat down your doors.

I’d rather go to ECHO and learn about appropriate technology,

Than to sit in class and learn about sociology.

I cannot imagine an entire family living in a tiny house such as the hut,

Because no matter what way I turned someone was always brushing against my butt.

Enough with the jokes it is time to get real,

This next statistic might change the way you feel.

25,000,000 acres of farmland becomes desert each year,

This combined with world hunger might make you shed a tear.

Ending world hunger is ECHO’s number one goal,

And I can only hope that they will pull the world out of this malnourished hole.

Word count: 306

My neighborhood

Growing up, my neighborhood was not very big. There were about twenty houses and everybody knew each other. There were two streets, Cody and Patton, and they crossed in the middle of the neighborhood. Behind one side of the neighborhood was an elementary school with a big yard consisting of three baseball diamonds where I used to play little league. That elementary school was where I went to school from kindergarten through fourth grade, so I would often walk to and from school. On the side behind my house is a major road in my city. Before about 6 years ago there were a lot of potholes in the street and when big trucks would drive by it would shake the house as they went over the potholes. On another side of my neighborhood is where my grandparents live. It is very nice being able to walk one minute and show up in your grandparents driveway.

There were two families in my neighborhood who had kids around my age and I would play every single day I could with them. Their names were Preston, Jack, Brian, Grant, and Judd, and we would play outside when the weather was nice (I grew up in Illinois) and inside when the weather was not as nice. In the summer we played basketball, soccer, catch, football, etc. In the winter we mainly played with Nerf guns or video games inside. Those guys were like the brothers I never had because we did almost everything together. I wish I had some pictures down here in Florida to show but they're all up north!

When we took a break from playing games, we would go over to one of the guys' houses and their mom would make us grape Kool-Aid with extra sugar (of course). We would also snack on potato chips that one of which their entire cabinet drawers consisted. It was definitely not a heart healthy snack by any means, but these are some of the tastes I remember from my neighborhood. I also remember the smells of the freshly cut grass in the summer and the smells of the flowers and trees as they would bloom in the Spring. The smells of Spring are what make me miss living in Illinois the most.

There are many sounds I remember from my neighborhood. I remember hearing all of my friends yelling at each other to pass the ball while we played whatever sport it was that day. I remember my friends' dad whistling throughout the whole neighborhood around 6 p.m. when it was time for dinner. However, while these sounds still remain in my mind, there is one sound that I vividly remember. Down the street from my neighborhood was a small airport where people could learn how to fly. So, throughout the day in the summer I would hear numerous small planes circling around town. To this day, whenever I hear a small plane flying low to the ground I think of my neighborhood when I was growing up.

I hope this paints a picture of my neighborhood for you. I kind of told a story more than outline my neighborhood but I think it helps tie everything together. Below is a picture of my neighborhood. The red circle is my neighborhood, the purple dot is my house, and you can see the school and baseball diamonds towards the bottom of the picture. The two white circles were my friends’ houses and the white arrow points to my grandparents house.

Word count: 587