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January 11: Back on schedule with a beach cleanup and organic farm

Hooray! We are back on schedule after the storm. Today, we focused a lot on the environment and its community in Southern California.

The morning was spent cleaning up the beach and walkways of Ventura. We received high praise from passersby, and we made quite the dent in the beach’s post-storm mess! Next, we visited Patagonia HQ which was fabulous. From understanding the importance of cooperate support in climate change prevention to shopping, our time with the store was exciting and informative.

While both these activities were amazing (and the picnic lunch after was delicious), meeting “Farmer Phil” and his 300 acres of organic crop was the highlight of the day. For those of us who have it, our first semester of AP environmental science came in handy, and we were able to see the world we’d read about in our textbook come to life. Phil’s farm has been passed through his family since 1860, with every generation having a different specialty. Phil’s specialty is organic cultivation. If we only took away one thing from Farmer Phil, it is that we should only eat in season. There was mud, but there was also a thriving farm of strawberries soaking up the moisture.

We also were introduced to organic cotton! Phil informed us that typical cotton plants have three to four balls per plant; however, when looking at his plants, we could see about 30 per plant! Because of this, companies like Banana Republic and Levi’s who visited the farm recently have decided to integrate organic cotton into their denims. Phil showed incredible pride in this achievement. We said our goodbyes to Phil, wiped off our muddy shoes, and hopped onto the bus to return to the hotel.

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