Annual ECHO Farms Spring Break Trip
For over 20 years Gordon students and faculty have taken a road trip to North Fort Myers Florida to work at ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization) during spring break. The first trip was organized by Tom Dent of the biology department. For many years it was the faculty of the biology and chemistry departments who led the trips, but in recent years others such as the fine arts department and technology groups have become involved. ECHO "strives to provide ideas, training, information, and seeds critical to those working in agricultural development in third world countries." The photo tour below is from the 2006 trip that was co-led by Irv Levy and Dwight Tshudy. Irv also led the 2008 trip. More on ECHO can be found at http://www.echonet.org/.
Images of ECHO
Irv enjoys the drive and considers it therapeutic to drive from Massachusetts to Florida.
A nice break is stopping in the evening to see some of the sites of Washington DC. Good time to get out and stretch a little.
What is a driving trip to the south without a stop at South of the Border. There is also nothing like a stop at 2:30 am!
It is a long trip and difficult to stay awake. Sleeping in a van is a common way to pass the time.
Ahh... sunrise on the Florida coast. Much nicer than a New England winter.
After the 24+ drive and before the hard labor on the farm begins, a little rest and relaxation on the beach is much appreciated.
Long time supporters who open their house to a group of college students who have been in a van for way too many hours. What a blessing to have them part of the team.
Ready for the last leg of the journey after a good night's rest. ECHO here we come.
Finally at ECHO. Can we get to work now! Which way to the weeding?
One of the traditional jobs for the Gordon delegation is weeding the nursery plants. Watch out for those fire ants!
Out you weeds! We shall overcome.
Can you find me?
The sun, the green, the blue sky, and the fire ants.
Still friends after a long day at the farm.
Another big job is transplanting for the nursery. Selling nursery plants is one of the ways the farm raises funds.
Who is that man behind the shades? Can't get enough of the farm work. Brings back fond memories.
Haul those trees and do it with a smile.
Jumping for joy.
Nice way to spend a spring break.
Those who go to ECHO will have the opportunity to sample all sorts of tropical fruit.
Students have the opportunity to help in the building and repairing various demonstrations around the farm. Thatching the roof of the goat pen was one project.
Time to play. Chemistry and physics of bubbles?
An ECHO intern who helped guide us in our projects.
Life around the farm. All creatures great and small.
Interesting fruit. Jackfruit. "The Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) is a species of tree of the mulberry family (Moraceae) and its fruit, native to southwestern India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and possibly also east to the Malay Peninsula, though more likely an early human introduction there. It is well suited to tropical lowlands." Thanks Wikipedia!
Coleslaw? Cabbage. "A cabbage (Brassica oleracea, Capitata group) is a plant of the Family Brassicaceae (or Cruciferae). It is herbaceous, biennial, and a dicotyledonous flowering plant with leaves forming a characteristic compact cluster. A cabbage is derived from a leafy wild mustard plant, native to the Mediterranean region. It was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans; Cato the Elder praised this vegetable for its medicinal properties." Thanks Wikipedia.
Fruit from the trees. Is that a lemon or a lime?
Irv's favorite. Calamondin. "Calamondin or Kalamansi (x Citrofortunella microcarpa) is a fruit tree in the family Rutaceae and a member of citrofortunella that was developed in and is very popular throughout Southeast Asia, especially the Philippines, where it is most commonly used for cooking. In the west it is variously known as acid orange, calamondin orange, or Panama orange, and in the Pacific Islands it is called kalamansi. It is a shrub or small tree growing to 3-6 m, and bears small citrus fruit used to flavour foods and drinks. Although sometimes described as a native of the Philippines or other areas of Southeast Asia, the tree is in fact the result of a hybrid between species in the genera Citrofortunella and unknown in the wild." Thanks again Wikipedia.
Beans for breakfast? Ask Irv about that.
After a good week on the farm. Sorry to leave, but we hope to get back again.