Written by: Ana Paola Balcazar Quinones &Gilbert Adjoyi
Day seven is student’s free day and students were free to do whatever they wanted while the faculty had a meeting and dinner. Some of the students arranged and visited Shady Grove Road Blueberry Farm to help to the owner Mrs. Josie Gbadamosi, a retired nurse, who migrated to Tuskegee, Alabama from Los Angeles, California and purchased the 46-acre land in June 2010. Josie restored two and a half acres of the 20-year-old blueberry bushes armed with hoes, chain saws and with the help of family, friends, community volunteers, Tuskegee University staff and students, and an occasional paid laborer. She markets her products through pick/pay, pick/share, direct sales, wholesale to two local grocery stores, and sales at the farmer’s market. She briefed the students on the history, joy and progress of her work.
Armed with a bucket each, the students picked about 40 lbs. of produce and enough for every everyone to take home for their personal consumption. The students are planning to use part of the blue berries to make pies or crumble, using local ingredients from the farmers’ market on Wednesday and probably use the Tuskegee University Post Harvest Center kitchen to make pies or crumble. This can be a nice cooking experience for the Disparity in Food presentation.
The students were also led to learn about the other plants and crops Mrs Gbadamosi have on her land, such as Moringa, Mint plant, blackberry and sunflower. Every student departed the farm happy and well informed about Shady Grove Road Farm’s role in fostering community development, togetherness and teaching students to give a helping hand when the community needs it.
Day activities for the afternoon section of the day were two-fold. After lunch meal, some faculty went to visit the Tuskegee University Chapel and others went to rest. Some students worked on their group presentations while other students went to rest. Some did their laundries, and some went to visit the Lake Martin. Those who visited the lake, arrived at Paces trail side of it, located in Dadeville city. Lake Martin is about 30 minutes-drive from Tuskegee University, and is the largest man-made lake in the USA. It is 31 miles long and is about 170 feet deep. The photos below provide a few information about the lake and the visit.
The students who visited Lake Martin also visited the Tuskegee Airforce Air Field.
In all, the student free day had been a very exciting and successful day when students relaxed and enjoyed themselves.