Thursday, May 29, 2014
Hello everyone! I'm back from the land of no internet access, bison and geysers. I had a BLAST in Yellowstone National Park. We had amazing weather (only one thunderstorm for an hour or so one evening), and managed to see so much more than I expected. If you're thinking about making the trek, I highly recommend it and have a few tips for first time Yellowstone-goers.
Sunday, May 18, 2014
I'm done with finals! It's finally summer! It's crazy that I only have one more year left of college. This blog has been part of almost the whole journey and I can't wait for what the next year will bring. To start off my summer I'll be hitting the road with my boyfriend and his family to go camping in Yellowstone National Park. We're leaving tomorrow and driving the first twelve hours in one shot and then doing the rest on Tuesday. Then we'll be in Yellowstone until Saturday or Sunday before heading home through South Dakota and catching a bit of sightseeing along the way. I've never been "out west" before (unless you count staying in the city of Pheonix for a week and not going anywhere else) so seeing big mountains and all that will be a pretty new experience for me. I'm excited and I'm ready to just go with whatever happens on the trip. I figure that's the best way to approach camping, especially when it might be cold or rainy. I'm bringing about 5 jackets though so I should be ready for anything.
I'll hopefully have a post up about the trip right after I get back. I start my internship for our Univerisity Student "Cornercopia" Organic Farm on the 27th so hopefully I'll have lots about that throughout the summer. I also have a 10 x 12 ft plot at the farm that I get to mess around with for the summer so that'll be my personal garden. Our apartment only has blacktop in back so sadly no growing of veggies will be done there.
Hope all of your summers are starting off nicely and weird weather isn't making the beginning of the growing season too difficult!
Thursday, May 8, 2014
I've been pretty quiet lately because I'm coming to the end of my junior year of college and man am I busy! But tomorrow is my last day of normal classes and then I only have finals week to deal with. I have one presentation, a lab report, one take-home final and two normal finals (one in Plant Physiology and one in Organic Farm Management) that stand between me and three months of freedom.
I'm pretty excited about this summer break. The first week after finals I'll be traveling out to Yellowstone National Park with my boyfriend and his family and then when I come back I'll be starting my job as a Marketing Intern for the University of Minnesota's Student Organic Farm. I'll get to help with farm duties, run a farmers market stand and do all the other things I've yet to learn that happen on a farm. I also will have a 10x12 vegetable plot to myself that I'll be growing tomatoes, peppers, zucchinis, beans and peas in. I had a post a while back about what tomatoes I've got ready to go for the year, and they're all getting a lot bigger on my kitchen windowsill right now.
Of course, I also can't wait to go home to Michigan for parts of the summer as well. I haven't been home since January, which is a bit too long, if you ask me. But otherwise, I'll be spending my time in Minnesota and enjoying all the free time that I don't have during the school year. I also have to think about what's going to happen after college is done because I only have a year left...... My mind is somewhat blown by this. How am I already getting to my last year of undergrad??? Crazy.
I'll be checked out for the next week or so because of finals, but hopefully I'll have some great Yellowstone camping pictures and farm pictures for you within the month!
Thursday, May 1, 2014
For the past three weeks, I've been going into a local K-12 charter school to teach Horticulture to 3rd and 4th grade students. Our 3-week long project was growing microgreens in each of the classrooms to teach kids about germination, parts of a plant and how we can eat plants in different ways to make meals healthier for us. The first time we went into the school and explained to the kids what we'd be doing and that we'd get to eat the microgreens on the last class day, there were a few "Well...I probably won't eat them..." mutters from a few of the kids. They think green, they think vegetable and they immediately throw up the red flag. However, you will probably hear this from anyone who grows food with kids, but if the kids grow something themselves, they have a MUCH larger chance of eating it. And I found this to absolutely true. The last day came, we harvest the microgreens (peas and sunflowers) and they went to town. They devoured the microgreens, going back for seconds and thirds. They were so excited at how good the greens tasted. "I didn't know you could eat sunflowers!" they squealed and some grabbed handfuls asking for a plastic bag to take them home in. I would consider that a success.
So, for the second part of my cute story, here's all the thank you notes me and my teaching partner received. They're great artists, and I was so happy to see some of them say that they were more inspired to garden. This solidifies my opinion that kids are more likely to garden when they have a teacher or mentor help them along. Do you help any of the kids in your life work in a garden and grow plants? I'd love to hear about it!