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The Costa Rica Grind

A group of students at Woodlawn School -- which focuses on agricultural sustainability on campus and in various off-campus projects -- got the hands-on experience of a lifetime during a recent trip to Costa Rica.

Seventh-grader Tripp Berini, left, and ninth-graders Taylor Scott and Spencer Gazzaway grind sugar cane at Don Juan Educational Farm in La Fortuna, which teaches locals and tourists how to achieve sustainable agriculture. Tenth-grader Rachel Coutinho, back left, watches with an unidentified girl.

The sugar cane is turned into juice by the grinding machine and caught in a pitcher below (unseen in the photo). The stalk is then discarded into a compost pile that's later used to feed cattle. Taylor and other students also milked cows and experienced the cycle of the farm: planting/harvesting, eating food in the on-site restaurant, recycling compost materials by turning it into feed for the animals and using the animals to produce fertilization for the crops.

Seventh- through 10th-graders traveled coast to coast in Costa Rica with two teachers during the Davidson school's 10th international trip. The nine-day excursion, which ended in early April, included stops in seven different cities.

Reid Creager

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