Humboldt State University

CCAT Tails

To view this article in PDF, visit this link: CCAT Tails, Oct 22

The Fantastic Festival

CCAT’s third annual Harvest Festival was this past Saturday, October 18th, and it went off without a hitch. The day was filled with music, learning, and new experiences for all. The Communi-tea yurt was filled with beautiful fresh herbs, the classroom space was buzzing with skill sharing, and outside people were playing games, talking, and checking out everything CCAT has to offer. Some volunteers and employees got there in the early morning for pumpkin pancakes and set up, and some stayed until late at night for cleanup and more local music. This fantastic day would not have been the same without our lovely volunteers, donors, employees, and attendees.

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CCAT History: Workshops of the Past

A big part of what CCAT does is put on free workshops for the community to help them learn ways to have more appropriate technology in their own homes.  The excitement that people feel teaching or learning new things is something that draws people to CCAT and has always been a part of it’s community.  This is a quote from Carin Thomas, who was a member of CCAT, talking about the joy she felt in putting on a thermal curtain workshop:

Other students and I researched new materials that had high insulating properties and held a workshop to educate the public on using these materials to construct thermal curtains.   We made one demo curtain and showed people the materials.  The people went away and made their own curtains.  It was very satisfying.  One woman who attended the workshop—I believe she was an HSU professor—was very excited about the idea and within a few weeks had made curtains for her home.  She invited me over to show me the curtains she had made and how she had put them in her home.  It was exciting for me to see that people were using the information taught at CCAT workshops to their advantage”

This has been an excerpt from CCAT’s history, which can be found on the shelves of CCAT’s library.  If you would like to learn more about CCAT’s history, thermal curtains, or future workshops, please stop by CCAT and check out firsthand what we are up to!

Monique Gil: Volunteer Friday Coordinator

What drew you to CCAT?

CCAT was one of the first things I read about Humboldt State. I was drawn in before I had even visited Arcata. Volunteer Friday was the first extra curricular activity I participated in as a student! The people who make up the CCAT community are extremely hard working, innovative, and aware of the world around them. I constantly find myself impressed with the ideas that come out of collaboration and even more impressed with the tangible products created. Being a CCAT employee adds a lot to your plate, but the ‘work’ is enjoyable because everyone involved is positive, excited and ready to take on the tasks at hand! And..it’s all appropriate!

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Annika’s Peanut Butter Gluten Free Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

2 cups peanut butter (is best with the natural stuff you have to stir a lot)

1 and 1/2 cups white sugar (or brown if you prefer)

2 eggs (free range, organic, vegetarian fed, if you want to be appropriate)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

Make sure your oven is preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and you have a greased cookie sheet prepared (canola oil is good to avoid butter). Stir sugar and peanut butter together, then mix in the eggs, and combine it all together until you’ve got delicious peanut mush. Roll into balls and place on the cookie sheet a couple inches apart. From there, use a fork to press a pretty design into the top of each cookie. You can alternatively press a peanut butter cup into the top or some chocolate chips. Bake 10 minutes.

A Special Thanks

We, the co-editors of CCAT Tails, would like to extend our personal thanks to everyone who donated, taught workshops, volunteered, entertained at, or attended our Festival. It would not have been the same without all of you wonderful people who were involved with this event. Thank all of you for helping, donating time, food, and materials, and being apart of the amazing, positive, sustainable place that is CCAT.

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CCAT Tails

To view this article in a PDF, visit this link: CCAT Tails, Oct 15.

Smith River Alliance and Rock Creek Ranch: A History

The Smith River Alliance is a non-profit organization that came together in the 1980’s with the intent of conserving and protecting the Smith River and allowing the sustainable use of the area for recreation and study.  The Smith River Alliance currently own Rock Creek Ranch, where CCAT was delighted to be able to have their employee retreat.  However, the ranch changed hands a few times through its history.

Rock Creek Ranch was originally owned by George Owen Knapp in the 1930’s.  He build roads to the property along with a house that is still there today, and a lodge that is not.  The lodge was washed away by the river in 1955 and left only a crumbling stone wall and the leftovers of what looked to be a fireplace.  The site has a scenic view of the river, and weddings are now held there.  The ranch was then owned by Ralph and Dorothy Hollingsworth who lived on the property until they were too old to live there comfortably.  Instead of selling it to a developer who would have littered the place with houses and roads, the couple decided to sell it to the Smith River Alliance, whom they knew would take care of it.  Although it took them two years to raise the money, the property was sold to the Smith River Alliance in 2002.  The Smith River Alliance now has made the ranch into a place of community for groups to come and experience the beauty of the Smith River and the space around it.

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Retreatical

This past weekend CCAT went on its employee retreat at the Rock Creek Ranch. It was a weekend of bonding and togetherness for the CCAT Staff. Everyone in attendance shared something with the group to show another side of ourselves to our cohorts. We learned knot-tying, watched people sing, and played a positive game that gave all of us warm-fuzzies inside. Many people also shared poetry, and below is an example of one of our amazing CCATs. We can’t wait to go back!

Poetry by A CCATer Herself

Seems

And thus I sit

Consumed by the ideals of an altercation

to the fabrics of my being intended together.

The loose thread was tugged at again.

Like a valve in my heart, not precisely pumped and developed.

Yet still, the strings of my heart are pulled.

Moved in such precision to unravel the stitch I have sewn over my eyes.

So carefully, so indefinitely, these needles I continue to monotonously string through pre-made holes over and over and over and in these eyelids.

I’ve never noticed that pain until the string was held

so lovingly in such dirty hands, and so passionately in such a free mind

But I realize that there is no thread to use.

There has never been a spool to wrap.

I’ve just been poking holes in my skin and in my heart.

Thus, I open my mind, accept the understanding and wisdom that is offered to me.

And I embrace the chaos with all of the love in my being.

And my being will love your being.

And there is no thread to pull

You can’t unravel something

that was never quite sewn together in the first place.

-Hannah Z.

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Organic Gardening in the Rain

CCAT’s Organic Gardening class meets on Tuesday afternoons at CCAT to do wonderful work in the garden, but as you may have noticed, this Tuesday, it was raining!  When I walked up to CCAT that afternoon, I expected the class to be canceled, but instead, they were hard at work inside the classroom.  This week, they were working with Levon Durr to cultivate mushrooms!  To do so, the students were inoculating alder logs to grow nomeko mushrooms. To do so, they were drilling holes into the logs and filling the holes with small dowels that had been colonized by the mushroom spores.  To finish the process, they coated the spots where the dowels were drilled into the logs with a layer of wax to prevent unwanted fungi from colonizing and taking over.  When they’ve finished their task, the logs will be buried in CCAT’s Hugelkulture bed and left to colonize.  This process takes a year, but next fall we should be seeing lots of edible nomeko mushrooms fruiting (popping up).   These mushrooms will be nutty and delicious! To learn more about the mushroom cultivation process, contact Levon Durr from Fungaia Farm at fungaiafarm@gmail.com.

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Open Mic

CCAT held this years first Open Mic on October 15th downstairs CCAT at 7:00pm. These events happen the second Tuesday of every month, and everyone is invited to share in our safe-space presentation area. Last night, because of technical issues, the microphone wasn’t usable, but the symbolic “Open Mic” provided a space for people to share words, songs, and tunes. We had 18 people present art of some kind. For a first open mic it was undeniably successful, the attendees were still going well after the allotted time slot.

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Harvest Festival

In honor of CCAT’s annual Harvest Festival, we did a bit of digging to find the origin of the Harvest Festival itself. Since the agricultural revolution people have celebrated the harvest with all kinds of celebration–the earliest ones recorded go back to the sixteenth century. They usually go hand in hand with the Harvest Moon, and today they are celebrated with Mid Autumn Festival, in the US and Canada with Thanksgiving, and in more traditional Harvest Moon celebration. The word “harvest” comes fromOld Englishword hærfest, meaning “autumn,” and the celebrations are usually around the autumn equinox.

 

Julia’s Favorite Vegan Cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour one 8 x 8 inch pan or line the bottom with wax or parchment paper.

Sift together into a large bowl:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons unsweetened nonalkalized cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine and add:

1 cup cold water

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon white vinegar

2 teaspoons vanilla

Stir until smooth. Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Slide a thin knife around the cake to detach it from the pan. Invert the cake and peel off the paper liner, if using. Let cool right side up on the rack.

Serve plain, dusted with powdered sugar, or frost with quick frosting.

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What’s Going On At CCAT (Oct 13-Oct 19)

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Seasons are changing, the days are growing shorter, and that brisk autumn weather is hitting Humboldt. Here at CCAT, we love this time of year! All the ripe pumpkins, color changing leaves, and CCAT events make autumn the best season of all!

CCAT kicks off the week with our monthly Open Mic Night. Tuesday the 14th at 7pm, come join CCAT in the lounge to share a song, a poem, a piece of artwork, or anything! Even just join us and support your friends!

It’s that time again: Harvest Fest! This is an annual CCAT event to celebrate autumn and the community. Come by CCAT on Saturday from 1-9pm for a full afternoon and evening of music, workshops, food, and fun! Rumors are that pumpkins will be playing a major role in many of the workshops and food. Excited to hear some awesome music throughout the day? The featured bands are Michael Dayvid, The Humboldt Crud, Samba Da Algeria, Thursday Night Bluegrass, and Beats and Kale.

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CCAT Recap: Last week CCAT helped out with WWRAP’s Clothing Swap! The event was a success, taking over the Karshner Lounge  and exchanging tons of clothes for two days. CCAT staff also had our employee retreat this weekend up at the beautiful Rock Creek Ranch. We got to enjoy the gorgeous and serene landscape while helping out around this sustainable ranch. Now we are bonded, relaxed, and ready to bring you more exciting CCAT events!

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CCAT Tails

Hey CCATers and community members! We’re still working on getting the blog up and running, and in the next few weeks, there will be some big changes coming to CCAT Tails. For now though, here’s your weekly CCAT update!

CCAT History: The Original Funding

CCAT started back in 1978, but we haven’t always been funded by the university…

Peter, one of the founders of CCAT, says, “When we first started in 1978 everything was about, ‘How do we get the money?’ So we had bake sales. Bake sales, bake sales, and more bake sales finally generated enough revenue to hold the first hands on workshop, where the original members helped insulate and weatherstrip the original location.” Because of the original momentum from the bake sales, Arcata City Council passed a resolution supporting the proposed demonstration house. Peter remembers, “Getting a resolution passed by the City Council was a big deal. It really helped things along tremendously.”

This has been an excerpt from CCAT’s history. If you want to read more, come in to CCAT’s library and check out the binder called “Sean Armstrong’s Co-Director Interviews,” or stay tuned for more CCAT Tails.

Greywater Marsh Update:

jjjjjjj(Map of CCAT with the greywater marsh)

The CCAT greywater marsh has been an ongoing project at CCAT since 2007. The marsh is a way to naturally filter and recycle CCAT’s greywater. The term ‘greywater’ does not really refer to the color of the water but rather what it has been used for.  Where white water is clean unused water, greywater is water that has been used in sinks, washing machines, and showers.  In 2009, the original build of the project was completed by HSU students. CCAT’s greywater marsh is designed so that water flows from the house to a settling tank where relatively large particles settle. Water then goes through the fat oil and grease (FOG) trap and into the marsh. The marsh contains gravel and plants, which further filter the water. The design of the wetland (the marsh) allows particulates in the greywater to naturally settle in the water. The plants and organisms in the marsh such as cattail and bulbrush help to break down these particles down. When it exits the marsh, the overflow water irrigates the CCAT landscape.

Currently, the system is offline, but some of CCAT’s employees recently got permission to turn it back on so that they can do some testing on it. Their first order of business is to get the system back online and see how it is working. They have anticipated some possible problems, and their tentative plan is to change the elevation and piping of some pieces of the system, such as the settling tank, the FOG trap, and the overflow tank. Through these changes, they believe that they can get the device working even better than before with additional benefits to CCAT such as better irrigation from the overflow tank. If this is accomplished, it will reduce CCAT’s use of water and our impact on Arcata’s Waste Water Treatment Plant.

DIY: Vegan On A Budget

Baked Spaghetti Squash

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Along with the air getting colder and the leaves starting to change color comes an abundance of squash and other gourds!  In the spirit of the harvest season, here is a tasty, simple vegan recipe for spaghetti squash that you can try!

Cut one spaghetti squash in half.

Put it in the oven at 350 degrees until it’s golden brown.

Take it out, peel all the goodness out, and mix it with some paprika and garlic if you want savory squash, or with cinnamon and maple syrup if you want it to be sweet. Feel free to add basically whatever you want to experiment with different flavors. Have fun with it!  And be sure to come check out the Harvest Festival on October 18th here at CCAT for more harvest time fun!

Garden Update:

asd1A special thanks to Kelly Compost and her Organic Gardening class who are transplanting plants into our Hugelkulture to protect them from cold temperatures.

Gardening Tips: October

As the seasons change, so does what we do at the CCAT garden.  Right now, we are growing some Brassicas: kale, cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi. They are cold hardy! In the greenhouse, we have peas, and our eggplants are just now getting big.  In the food forest, we plan to plant garlic, and we cut back our raspberries for winter.  We have been putting beds to bed by covering them in horse manure, sprinkling them with cover crop seeds, and mulching with straw.  We completed the huegel bed with various green manure cover crops, like vetch clover and bell bean and pea also oat.

When it gets cold it is important to protect sensitive plants in the ground with heavy mulch to shield them from frost.  October is a good time to harvest your tomatoes, potatoes, and peppers to prevent that frost from spoiling them.

October Planting Options:

Sow Direct: (plant the seeds)

Broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale, garlic, spinach, lettuce, peas, chard, turnips, carrots, beets, parsnip, radish, chives, parsley, cilantro, dill, winter and spring bulbs, spring wild flowers, bee balm, calendula, candytuft, clarkia, cornflower, columbine, coreopsis, dianthus, foxglove, larkspur, nigella, pansy, poppy, snapdragon, and sweet peas.

Transplant:

Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, and lettuce.

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What’s Going On At CCAT (Oct 6-Oct 12)

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Welcome to the second week of Halloween, I mean, October! Can you believe HSU has had seven weeks of school so far? With midterms coming up, it’s starting to feel like it. Thank goodness CCAT has events going on to brighten up the week!

This week CCAT is helping out with WWRAP’s Clothing Swap on Thursday and Friday. The event will be taking place in the Karshner Lounge from 11-5pm. Bring in some of your clothing that you have gotten tired of and swap them out for some new-to-you clothes! It’s a good way to change up your wardrobe and give away some old favorites in a sustainable way!

CCAT Recap: Last week CCAT hosted the Vegan on a Budget workshop. Participants learned the ins and outs of healthy vegan eating while still saving a little money. The workshop leader even demonstrated how to make almond milk from scratch (without all the extra stuff found in grocery store brands) and how to make homemade ratatouille.

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CCAT Tails

Hello everyone!

The CCAT staff is bringing back the CCAT blog in a big way!  Tune in every Wednesday for updates from members of the CCAT staff and interesting tidbits about HSU’s very own live-in laboratory.  This week won’t be much more than an introduction, but expect more to come in the weeks to come.

 

CCAT History:  What’s in a name?

Names hold a lot of meaning. They represent an organization and can really define what an organization represents.  CCAT is no different.  Although we all love our feline friends here, the name CCAT actually has nothing to do with cats.  It is an acronym for Campus Center for Appropriate Technology, and that name holds a lot of meaning.  As you might guess, some serious thought and effort went into thinking it up…

Peter Sinsheimer (one of the founders of CCAT) recalls the language wrangle, “Would we call ourselves the Campus Center for ‘Alternative’ Technology or the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology?  We had many meetings just about that word.  We weren’t just debating a name, we were debating the essence of what we wanted to become.  To decide on our name we had to figure out what we were going to do besides sitting around figuring out our name.  I think, as it turned out, that we chose the right word.  ‘Appropriate’ is a value judgment while ‘Alternative’ doesn’t give weight to whether a technology is better or not.”

This has been an excerpt from CCAT’s history.  If you want to read more, the full text can be found in CCAT’s library in a binder labeled “Sean Armstrong’s Co-Director Interviews”.  Come check it out!

 

A word from a CCAT employee: Dayna, CCAT’s Community Garden Coordinator

Question: What drew you to CCAT?

dayna

“I’ve been interested in sustainable technology, and it ties in well with my major in wildlife ecology and what I want to do with it.  My dad was a biologist. So growing up I heard lots of stories about getting people interested in sustainability through their own culture.  One story my dad told me was about trying to observe a butterfly population that was dwindling because of deforestation.  The local peoples were building their own ovens and stoves that burned a lot of wood.  The people were getting sick because of the pollution coming from the ovens.  To fix both their problems, the biologists brought in better ovens and stoves for the people.  The people stopped getting sick, and the biologists were able to slow the deforestation that was killing the butterflies.  I think that we need to find a good middle ground between people and animals. It’s the only way people will care.”

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What’s Going On At CCAT (Sept 29-Oct 5)

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Hey everyone! Every week the CCAT staff and volunteers are doing something new and exciting, and you are welcome to join! Check out the CCAT website every monday to see what we’re up to. Wondering what’s going on at CCAT this week?

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Eating vegan can eat quite the hole in your wallet. Or maybe not? This wednesday at 6pm, CCAT is hosting the workshop: Vegan on a Budget. This workshop will teach you tricks and tips to eating and living vegan without breaking the bank.

CCAT has a busy friday this week starting with Volunteer Friday. Come help us out around CCAT! By taking the time to volunteer helping up around CCAT, we decided to give something back to you. This semester CCAT has introduced a CCAT points system! When you volunteer or attend workshops, you will be able to earn points to receive some pretty exciting CCAT merch. We appreciate all the work you all put into making CCAT great. See you on friday!

Get ready for for some Lumberjack Pride during HSU’s Homecoming Parade on Friday, October 3. With the theme of this year’s parade being “Living the Pledge,” a tribute to HSU’s Graduation Pledge of Social and Environmental Responsibility, CCAT will most certainly be joining the parade again this year. It starts at 4:15pm and goes from the HSU Campus, through the streets of Arcata to the Plaza, and back. (The official parade route is found here.) Come cheer on all parade participants!

Not busy after the parade?  Time for some grub and good company at CCAT’s Potluck. Bring something delicious, hang out in the CCAT lounge, and listen to some music by Beats and Kale and Juice Box Theory. You may leave that evening with a few new friends, a few recipe ideas, and a few songs stuck in your head. The potluck starts at 7. Interested in future events? Check out the CCAT Event’s calendar.

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DIY Notebook Making Workshop 9/11 Downstairs CCAT

DIY Notebook Making Workshop from recycled materials, put on by our own Julia Clark! All you need is yourself, enthusiasm, and something to decorate your notebook with if you are so inclined (though that past part is not necessary)!

See you there!

NoteBookWorkshop

 

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Powering Marginalized Communities through Micro-Hydro in Downstairs CCAT Wednesday 9/10 6 pm

CCAT is pleased to announce a very exciting guest speaker who will share expert insights on powering and empowering marginalized communities through micro-hydro power in the Dominican Republic. Students will learn about using and installing micro-hydro power, how to help communities build and maintain their own systems, and will get accounts of decades worth of experience in renewable energy and resilient community technology.

Jon Katz has worked with Renewable energies since the ’80s, is the Coordinator of the El Limon Rural Alternatives Center in the Dominican Republic, and has partnered with Lonny Grafman with community building projects.

This is a rare opportunity that will give students the opportunity to learn about participatory development projects in marginalized communities.

This will occur in the Downstairs CCAT on Wednesday, August 10 at 6 pm.
JonKatzMicroHydroFinal
Hope to see you there!

-The CCAT Co-Directors

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Fall 2014 Classes!

Want to learn a new skill? Don’t want to pay for more units? Take one of CCAT’s Sustainable Living courses on site! All courses are FREE to HSU students!

Fall 2014 Classes at CCAT

This semester we are offering:

  • Herbalism on Tuesdays from 11:00am-12:50pm (Sept 2-Nov 4)
  • Organic Gardening on Tuesdays from 3:00-4:50pm (Sept 2-Nov 4)
  • Green Building on Thursdays from 3:00pm-4:50pm (Sept 18-Nov 6)
  • Urban Homesteading on Thursdays from 3:00-4:50pm (Sept 4-Nov 6)

Are you an HSU Student? Register HERE
Are you a community member? Register HERE

For more information CLICK HERE or on the flyer above.

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