CCAT employees worked with HSU plant ops to restore water flow to the greywater marsh on Monday afternoon. CCAT Project Manager Julian Quick is leading the effort to restore the marsh, which has been out of commission for several years. In the coming weeks, employees and volunteers will be filling the now empty marsh pit with gravel, and planting it to prepare to treat greywater generated in the CCAT house. The project is on track to be completed by the end of the semester. Stop by during CCAT’s regular volunteer work hours (Fridays 10am-4pm) if you are interested in learning more and helping to restore the system.
CCAT History: What’s in a Name?
Previously, we explained a few thoughts behind the name “CCAT”, but the discussion about the syntax of CCAT did not stop there. CCAT employees continued discussing what the words they use mean and how our language within CCAT affects us.
“Peter Lehman spoke up, ‘I feel uncomfortable with a discussion of appropriate technology, when we have not clearly defined the term for everyone. Appropriate technology’ said Lehman, ‘is not merely the alternative to conventional technology, it is essentially the use of energy which is geared to the end use with minimal impact. It’s using local materials which are readily available and require little energy to get. Its using renewable energy when possible—that is using a source that will not one day run out, a source that is essentially infinite.’”
This has been an excerpt from CCAT’s history which can be found in CCAT’s library. If you’d like to learn more, please stop by and check us out!
Survival Shelters (by Annette the Co-Director!)
(1) Long sturdy stick (a “Ridgepole”) that can hold your body weight if suspending you between two rocks and that is as tall as you are with your arms stretched straight up.
(2) Y-sticks, a few feet long, as sturdy as the ridgepole.
(3) Lots of woody debris/forest duff
Step 1: Build basic structure using (1) Ridgepole and (2) Y-Sticks. Place the single end of each of the Y- sticks a little more than shoulder width apart on the ground, bringing the two Y’s together. Place one end of the ridgepole beyond where your feet would lay and the other end in the nook created by the two Y-sticks.
Step 2: Build a skeletal structure using sticks that go no more than a few inches higher than the ridgepole. Line the sides thoroughly, filling almost all of the space and leaving only small gaps less than an inch or so apart.
Step 3: Gently weave small branches with some leaves/needles on them into the skeleton, forming a good support for the large amount of debris you will be piling on top. Only break small limbs off of trees around you if you are unable to find already dead limbs on the ground around you.
Step 4: Pile as much duff (ground litter) onto this structure as possible. If you are in freezing temperatures, you will want at LEAST 3 1⁄2 feet of duff on top of this structure to keep you warm.
Step 5: Line the ground and inside of the shelter with grass/soft leaves that will help keep your body heat in. You do NOT want a lot of open space in the structure as it will not keep you as warm or as well insulated.
Step 6: Keep a very large pile of debris outside of the shelter. After you’ve shimmied into it, pull this debris in after you, enclosing yourself completely in the shelter. (You can support the debris better by building a smaller backwards version of the Ridgepole/Y-stick structure and pulling the debris on top of that).
Step 7: Go to sleep. Wait till morning. Go find help!
**Maintenance if stuck for a few days: Creepy Crawlies will begin to enter your shelter after a day or so. In order to shoo them away, you may put some debris on a rock or pad of moss and burn it in the shelter. Smoke the shelter for a few minutes with SMOLDERING debris. DO NOT USE A FLAME, YOU WILL BURN YOUR SHELTER DOWN. Use care, burn it on something you can easily hold for a couple minutes, and make sure it smolders only, like a smudge stick. The smoke will cause the creatures to flee (but give them a few minutes to get on their way)!
Scary Stories With Steph
Seven years ago, on a chilly night much like tonight, the CCAT employees decided–with the consent of the co-directors of course–to spend a night in the newly constructed yurt. They set up and got cozy, but the night was not as cozy as they had planned. The students, having built the thing, knew how sturdy the shaking yurt was and stayed convinced of their safety. An eerie, scratching sound filled the yurt. Wide awake now, the students sat back to back as they heard the sound travel in circles around the yurt. It did a few slow loops around the outside of the yurt before finally stopping to rest at the door where the scratching continued: “scritch scratch.” The scratching continued, but faster now “scratch, scritch, scratch.” Finally, the students opened the door slightly and peeked their heads outside. The students laughed, jubilant in their lack of discovery. Their laughter stopped abruptly when a small dark shape darted through the small gap in the door. Too scared to turn around, the students stood frozen in the door frame. The silence of the restored stillness of the night choked the students and prevented them from screaming, this was the end, they would die to the scritch scratching thing of the night, they would die to a thing without even knowing what it was. With a gulp, the students slowly turned their heads to look down at the thing winding its way round their ankles. Black matted fur and big yellow eyes stared back at them. The creature opened its mouth, baring its fang-like teeth, and let out a cry that still echoes the CCAT grounds today….. “MEEEOOW!”
If you want to hear scary stories much better than this one, please come by CCAT’s yurt on Thursday, October 30th for Scary Stories with Stephanie, and have a happy Halloween!
Curry with Christian!
One of our own at CCAT is teaching a workshop tonight, the night of the 29th, and has decided to share the secrets of his curry genius with the rest of us:
Tonight will be a fun duality of learning how to make both sweet and spicy pumpkin curry. Since it is the season for abundant squash we will be utilizing both pumpkin and butternut squash in our currys.In this sweet curry we will puree both types of squash after boiling them for about a half an hour, this way the base of the curry will be mainly pumpkin and butternut squash.
In the spicy curry our technique will be to simply add chunks of pumpkin and butternut squash to the vegetable stirfry, so that the squash flavor is not as homogenized with the dish as the sweet one is. This way you can enjoy spicy curry with chunks of refreshing squash flavor.
Ingredients and directions-
Organic Curry Powder
Organic Curry Powder
Both curries: -Start with the coconut oil on the pan.
-Add chopped onions and potatoes.
Spicy: -Chop and add the squash.
Sweet: -Puree squash while the onions and potatoes are cooking
Spicy: -Add the ginger, garlic, green chiles, zucchini and chili powder.
-Three minutes later add ½ cup coconut milk.
Sweet: -When the onions and potatoes are pretty well cooked add the pureed squash and a half cup of coconut milk.
-Let that simmer for about five minutes.
-After five minutes add all the spices, currants, and apples–let that simmer until it’s all homogenized.
Spicy: -Add the rest of the veggies after letting the onions and potatoes simmer in the coconut milk.
Both currys: -Add will be chopped kale, cilantro, walnuts and lime. (These go in at the VERY END, and only receive about 30 seconds being over the flame.)
-After 30 sec, turn the stove off, cover the pan, and let it sit for a bit.
-And there’s the sweet and spicy pumpkin curry!
Green Halloween (and Some History)
Halloween, also known as All Hallows Eve, or All Saints Eve, is celebrated in over 31 countries across the world, and is traditionally to celebrate those who have passed on. Now, celebrations include dressing up in costumes, trick or treating, and so forth. The word “halloween” is from a Christian derivative, and comes from “Hallow’s eve.”
This year, we encourage celebrating Halloween sustainably, with re-used or home-made costumes, and decorating with leaves and other naturally-made decorations. Throw a haunted house and keep the lights off, and remember to compost your pumpkins!