A Presentation To Remember!
Today is the day of my Final Presentation! Wish me Luck!
Goodbye, Farm Life
For my last time at THE FARM! I once again helped out Michael with placing the shade clothes over the other greenhouses. Except this time Michael had to spray chemicals at all the plants around the greenhouses and inside the greenhouses. So instead of me helping him, a fellow intern helped me. We worked hard on trying to get the shade clothes over and around the greenhouse.
We did a great job.
Afer setting that up, I helped out Michael in the beds some more. We once again chatted about DnD and I got to check up on all the plants that I had planted around on the farm. Unfortunately many of the plants had been attacked by feral wild animals. Like ants and skunks.
Not only that, but the amount of weeds that were in the garden was absolutely appaling. With only a bit of rain and a few weeks time, the beds we had worked so hard on were an absolute mess. Honestly, it makes you go mad! They weren't even the same weeds that we had dug up before! They were entirely new plants that had sprung up in their place.
Adjusting to Change
This week at THE FARM!
It had been a while since I had last visited the Farm. Many other interns and volunteers had not been able to make it out to the farm due to COVID-19. After getting in touch with Michael, I was able to hook up with a time to help out. I got to help him put the shade clothes over the greenhouses. He was telling me how important it was that we placed these shade clothes, since the AC systems can only cool down the greenhouses so much. Not only that, but with the longer days, the plants inside are still able to get plenty of sun.
I also went through a slightly emotional experience. Helping out Michael with the shade clothes kept reminding me of when I would help my dad out when I was younger. He would yell at me a lot and call me stupid. Fortunately Michael was able to keep my mind off of those thoughts by talking to me about DnD.
Terror Strikes The World! The Beginning Of The End!
It was a dark and gloomy day on the Farm. The first taste of the months to come. The campus is lonely and empty. My mind was an echo chamber of lonely thoughts. My only escape from the maddening chamber that I called my apartment was the responsibilties that drove me the brink.
It was a pleasant escape from the usual day-to-day of lonely pacing in my apartment. Adjusting into Quarentined life was difficult, and this was exactly what I needed. I got to talk to Michael about the plants. He had me do plenty of paces with him around all the greenhouses in order to find a suspicious leak that had been plaguing THE FARM.
It was in the aggressive paces that he told me about how important it is to have well written documents over your greenhouses pipelines. Things like that are very important in order to pinpoint the locations of any leaks that may cost you your most valuable resource. That being, R.O. water. Without crystal clear water, the plants in the greenhouse will quickly fall to ruin from the salty water of College Station.
Crimson Bluebonnets Appear!
On this beautiful day at THE FARM, we got to see the wildflowers bloom around the greenhouses. They were beautiful. We also learned something pretty cool about the maroon bluebonnets that A&M is so proud of. They are a mutation of normal blue bonnets and not only that, but they are unstable mutations. Rather than being true to type, the bluebonnets that come from the seeds of the maroon ones are not always maroon. Additionally, the maroon of the flowers is more like a white that flushes with red before fading back to white.
Honesly it's a bit disapointing.
But other than that, we learned a bit more about the greenhouses. Like how Michael had broken the panels on the roof one time. And how the cooling systems work. They use cooling pads that are autmatic. It's pretty cool to see how the things we learned about in class are really being applied in the real world. It's reassuring.
Greenhouses and Cuttings
This week at The Farm, we got to tour the greenhouses with Michael. We pulled out a handful of cuttings that had been rooting in the greenhouse and gave them some new homes in the beds that we had been clearing. It was pretty satisfying to plant some new things in the beds we had worked so hard to clean up. We also learned some new things about planting plants. You must always water the plants in.
Additionally, we got to take some new cuttings. We chopped the branches from the plant pictured above. I have no idea how they turned out, but it was a nice experience to get to try something new.
It was also this day that I was having a pretty crummy time. I was angry and upset, and spending some time outdoors withh the plants was exactly what I needed. I got to calm down and talk to people.
Back to the Basics!
Once again, this week, we returned to our roots and started uprooting the weeds in the beds farther up north.
We learned a little bit more about weeding while we were up here. For starters, some annuals aren't quite so anual here in Texas. In fact they are quite aggressive weeds that may need to be weeded regularly after planting them.
Poppy plants are also similar in this regard. They can be planted intentionally to make the garden more beautiful, but they can be pretty wild and spread out far and wide. Not that they aren't a welcome sight, but part of what makes a garden look good is when all the plants have a place and are all in their place.
It was also this day that I started to get more comfortable with the other interns and volunteers. I started talking to them all about things that have been going on and asking them about their lives. It was very pleasant.
This week at Howdy, we got to try out something new! On top of the usual weeding that we have been doing the past few weeks, we got to pull out some fully grown turnips that have been growing over the winter. What's really neat about these turnips is that they will be sold to people to try and make some money for the farm.
Michael gave us some samples on the various turnips that he had growing in the garden. There was a Nagasaki Turnip that was bright purple and almost looked radioactive in how bright it was. Another was balck and rough. What's interesting though is that not any one of them tasted the same. And what's mre interesting is that each one tasted the opposite ofwhat you'd think. The bright one was the hottest tasting one. The big one was the most plain. The black one was the sweetest.
We also learned how to go about cleaning farm fresh food. What is done is that a sink with multiple beds are filled with water, and the turnips move down the lines into the tubs being cleaned each time until it reacches the final tub and comes out spotless and clean.
Weeding Weeding Weeding
As with the first two weeks, the primary focus of each of the day's I've been spending on the Howdy farm consists of weeding the beds. Since the Howdy Farm is 95% organic, we can't spray the beds with chemicals in the same way that other gardens can. It is interesting to note how weeding the beds by hand has other benefits rather than just not using potentially harmful chemicals. By using your hands you keep the structure of the soil intact, so as not to disturb the other plants. You are also able to take the removed plant matter and recycle them into a compost for future plants.
It takes a lot of work, but fortunately the garden has plenty of volunteers and interns to help out. The result is a beautifully natural garden that has a rustic touch. Not much can compare to a garden that has so many hands helping out.
Day one of my Howdy Farm Internship.
Day one at the Howdy Farm I was introduced to all sorts of things that I would be doing. I learned about weeding, working with volunteers, as well as other interns, and I also learned about the various tasks for me at the Howdy Farm. It was a beautiful and cool day to be working in the garden with everyone. A perfect start to a wonderful internship.