The plant can have a dark, leafy-green texture, and while baby leaves from a younger plant have a taste related to mustard greens, older plants take on a unique spicy flavor.
Pak Choy is easily crossbred, and because of this a variety of flavors, sizes and colors are available for those who wish to grow it and cook with it.
Shallow roots aid the plant in rapid growth, and the white stems are preferred over other varieties because of their crisp, clean look. The plant is in the Brassicaceae family, along with mustard greens, turnips and kohlrabi. Pak choy is high in Beta carotene and Vitamin C, both of which are believed to help prevent cancer-causing free radicals. It also acts as an excellent source of folate, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Pak choy, along with its relatives, has a large impact in the economy. The name pak chou in Mandarin, literally means "white vegetable," and during the 1900s it was finally brought to the North American continent. Now, some of the largest crops from America are grown in California, while a higher percentage still come from China, Japan and South Korea.
Our Interns have been experimenting with ways to incorporate pak choy into their dishes.
Stay tuned for recipes involving Howdy Farm's organic pak choy!
We love celebrating our hard working students. As the semester rolls on, we hope to introduce you to as many Howdy! Farm volunteers as we can.
Meet Michael Bunsen,
A sophomore majoring in environmental studies and minoring in horticulture.
Howdy Farm: Why did you choose to volunteer at the Howdy Farm?
Michael: I chose to volunteer at Howdy Farm for a variety of reasons, mainly just because I love to help out in a place the needs it. I really enjoy learning about farming and sustainable agriculture, and getting to meet the people that are involved.
Howdy Farm: What is your opinion on organic produce?
Michael: I want to promote it, just because I'm an advocate for more natural ways of eating. I'm not as much a fan of genetically modified organisms or any synthetics. I try to avoid those as much as possible.
Howdy Farm: Prior to working at Howdy Farm, did you have any experience with growing organic produce?
Michael: I did not. I didn't even know that Howdy Farm was here until late in my freshman year. Olivia Wolford introduced me to the Howdy Farm. We were just conversion one day in class about eating organically and living sustainably.
IF YOU WANT TO VOLUNTEER AT HOWDY FARM:
Join us at the Farm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 to 5 pm.
We looked forward to having you!
Lemonade with a natural, refreshing twist. Over the past few weeks, we've discovered that Lemongrass makes an excellent substitute for large amounts of lemons. Ginger, considered a remedy of illness by the Chinese and hoarded by the Romans in ancient times, adds a spicy twang to any dish. By making a simple syrup with the two, we've accomplished a new take on a summer favorite.
Once collected, leaf stems must be stripped and cleaned of dirt and outer layers in order to expose the tenderest parts of the leaf for cooking. The whole of the leaf can be used for almost anything involving cooking.
The syrup, after simmering for 30 minutes, is strained and placed in your choice of container (we think it looks best in a mason jar).
Add one part sugar to one part water in pot, bring to boil. For this recipe we used 2 cups of water to 2 cups of sugar.
Once boiling, place a handful (about a cup) of ginger slices and a handful of chopped stalks of lemon grass to the mix.
Put heat on low and simmer for 30 minutes. Syrup should turn a golden color.
Strain contents from simple syrup.
In a large water jug, add the juice of nine to 12 lemons (depends on how tart you like your lemonade) and the simple syrup. Dilute the mixture with 1 gallon of water. If the mixture is too sweet for your liking you can add more water to taste.
Stir, and place slices of lemon into top of jar for garnish.
HOWDY FARM currently has lemongrass in abundance. To buy, come to store hours on Thursdays from 1-5 pm at the Howdy Farm, located behind the horticulture building on west campus. We also sell produce at the Brazos Valley Farmers Market on Saturdays, located in Downtown Bryan.
Howdy Farm would love for you to know our Interns, so we've interviewed each one. We asked them why they chose Howdy Farm and what they plan on doing while they're here.
We, farmers and gardeners and hobbyists alike, have watched beloved plants wither and wilt because of pests. For organic farmers and those who prefer to not use pesticides, the algorithm to remove harmful insects seems that much harder to solve. We labor, pull weeds, remove aphid-infested leaves by hand. Sometimes it seems like a cyclic routine--but preventative actions can act as a road block. Taking action ahead of time, and knowing the first signs of pests, can be the best form of plant medicine available. The three bugs listed below, all from the order Hemiptera, contain a proboscis that sucks moisture from the plant.
Everyone loves ladybeetles (also called ladybird beetles). Children pick them up in awe, and some cultures associate the beetle with good luck. However, seeing ladybugs also mean that aphids--their main food source--are in the area. Thin white filaments on budding leaves or flowers also mean aphids, and they are often called plant lice because they live in hoards and are hard to completely remove.
With mouths that are almost the length of their own body, Leaffooted Bugs (from the family Pentatomidae) are able to pierce a variety of fruits, nuts and vegetables in order to drink.Their spawn cluster in groups, like those in the picture to the right. Their enemies range from the tiny wasp to the colder temperatures of winter. In Texas, Leaffooted bugs can survive winter using old houses or piles of wood and compost--so it's important to remove such things from a garden site regularly. They're nearly impossible to get rid of, and can leave unsightly blotches on your produce. Planting a trap crop of sunflowers or manually removing/squashing the insects can help stop them from spreading to more valuable crops.
Leaffooted bugs are nearly impossible to get rid of, so supplying them with an alternate source of food (called a trap crop) can help eliminate their presence from more valuable crops .
3) Mealybugs can cause plant wilting.
Mealybugs are closely related to aphids, as because of this they can be controlled by ladybugs. They received their name from the waxy substance secreted on their backs, and love plants with higher amounts of nitrogen. Softer plants, such as bean shoots or younger growths, are some of their favorite meals. They also, like the Leaffooted Bug, have long mouths that pierce into the stem of soft shoots. Their egg sacks can look like a form of fungus, or mildew, and are usually placed on the underside of a leaf or out of the sun. The best way to get rid of them is to promote ladybug and lacewing populations, and to remove infested leaves regularly. Washing them off using water can act as a good, short-term solution.
Know how pests consume produce.
Volunteer hours are from 1-5 pm every MWF.
September 11: After volunteer hours end at 5:00 pm, Howdy Farm will head over for a bite at Blackwater Draw.
September 17th: At 6:00 pm, Howdy Farm is throwing a Welcome Back Cookout, and hopes to provide information to new and old students at the farm.
September 20th: Volunteers and members meet for breakfast at Hullabaloo Diner and then head to Millican Reserve's "Market On The Green" for shopping and entertainment.
Students who patiently spoke with us at our member info booth got a free potted herb to take home! We gave away 100 herbs: a combination of basil, lemon basil, parsley, and cilantro. People were also able to sign up to receive howdy farm updates through our newsletters and take to current officers.
We also announced a social media contest. Attendees could post about the event and tag @HowdyFarm as well as use the hashtag #gigemhowdyfarm over either facebook, twitter, or instagram for a chance to win a $25 howdy farm market gift card and t-shirt of choice! Winner Maddi received an organic green cotton "Can you dig it?" shirt and gift card. Her instagram picture at the juice joint won the contest!
As for the giveaways, two lucky freshman living in dorms on north campus won our "foodie" and "chef" themed baskets. Will got his hands on our foodie basket full of Blackwater Draw merchandise, What's the Buzz Coffee and more. Merylin won the chef basket complete with ready-to-eat foods and and cooking supplies. Finally, Sam is the proud owner of a mini kitchen herb tray and potted chrysanthemum as winner of our "gardener" crate. A whopping 291 students entered to win our raffle prizes!
At the farmers market booth, we sported our brand new Howdy Farm tanks that were popular with the gals. We gave away free Howdy Farm decals and produce. Many students living on campus didn't want to bring home fresh produce without a kitchen to cook it in, but others snatched our free okra and peppers without a second thought!
The last hour of the event the crowds finally calmed down and we could all relax and appreciate Katy Crocker on the ukulele.
The gardener will need a lovely crate filled with…
- Farmer D Organics Biodynamic Blend organic planting mix
- Goldmine Yellow garden mum chrysanthemum
- Mason jar with fresh picked basil and rosemary
- EcoForms rice-hull kitchen herb garden tray with three herbs: lemon basil, cilantro, and parsley
- Northgate Juice Joint $25 gift certificate
- Northgate Juice Joint T shirt (can exchange for the correct size)
- Flower seeds: Zinnia Exquisite, Sunflower mammoth, Zinnia Dahlia purple, Morning Glory Zeeland hybrid mix
- Seeds: spearmint, oregano, hot pepper kung pao hybrid, hot pepper poinsettia, Mesclun salad mix, chives, Oregon sugar pod pea, true lavender
- Howdy Farm decal
- 2 Summerwood Soaps: Mudder’s Milk and Merlin’s Forest
- Fowler Farms’ Raw Honey
- Virginia Cox’s pear butter
- Harvest Moon Apple Pie in a Jar jam
The foodie will love…
- Royalty Pecan Farms’ Pecan Pie
- A rosemary plant in a tin pot!
- The Better World Shopping Guide
- What’s the Buzz Coffee: 2 Colombia Supremo, 1 Guatemala La Pastoria
- “2 Brothers Salsa” Chipotle flavored salsa, medium hot
- Northgate Juice Joint T-Shirt (can exchange for the correct size)
- Blackwater Draw Brewing Co. Flex Fit S/M hat
- 2 Blackwater Draw Brewing Co. beer glasses
- Blackwater Draw size large T-shirt
- Twisted Bakery Sourdough Products - one free item available for pickup at farmers market
- Howdy Farm decal
- Melissa McCoury’s Kosher Dill Pickles
The chef must have…
- Burton’s seasoned sea salt from the Brazos valley farmers market
- Virgnia Cox’s garlic basil infused vinegar
- Royalty Pecan Farms’ natural halves and cinnapecan snacks
- Seeds: mesclun mix, Parsley, spearmint, cumin, oregano, hot pepper big Thai hybrid, hot pepper tequila sunrise, hot pepper poinsettia, mesclun salad mix, cilantro, stevia, chives
- 2 Summerwood Soaps: Shiny and Morning Wood
- Jammin Granny’s Texas Wild Plum Jam
- Howdy Farm decal
- A basil plant in a tin pot!
- The Better World Shopping Guide
- Howdy Farm T-shirt (exchangeable for correct size)
- What’s the Buzz Coffee: 1 Colombia Supremo, 1 Guatemala La Pastoria
- Decorative chalkboard
- Fowler Farms’ Raw Honey
- Melissa McCoury’s hot cayenne peppers
- Melissa McCoury’s sweet red peppers
Amy Decker: Jammin’ Granny Jams & Jellies
- How did you get your start with jams and jellies: “I started in Tennessee and I came here in – oh gosh- I think 2008 I started here. I watched my mother growing up as a tomboy. She taught me. I learned from the best. I started at market because I didn’t know anyone when I moved here. Everyone was warm. It was a good feeling” – Amy
- Where do you source from for your products: “I try to stay local and pick some of my own fruits”
- What Amy loves most about the Brazos Valley market: “In general, the people. It’s a family. I’ve met a lot of super people and super students.”
Robert & Ann Forsthoff, produce and such
- What do y’all like about market: “He loves to come up here with the people and sell our stuff. We’ve been doing this for 20 years” – Ann. “You can get different things at a farmers market than you do at a store” – Robert.
Jennifer Windham, David Gibbs & Nancy Williams: Harvest Moon Canning Co.
- Favorite part about market: the people, the atmosphere of the weekend, having conversation.
- What Gibbs’ has to say: We get good feedback on products and return customers. Our jellies are in Heartworks on University, and Old Bryan Marketplace downtown.
- What Jennifer sells: jams, jellies, fruit butters, preserves, marmalade, honey, eggs, and produce.
- What do you like about the market: There are so many faithful shoppers at the market. They bring their families and friends. They show up early with their reusable shopping bags, trying to get the best choices! We also love our market family! Great relationships are built with other farmers and market shoppers. We love it!
- Why the name "Harvest Moon:" One late September evening, we were picking vegetables in the garden. I looked up to see a beautiful harvest moon lighting the way so we could work later. At that moment, I decided to call my business "Harvest Moon Canning Co." We would use our home grown peppers to make our pepper jellies, and support other local farmers as much as possible through Harvest Moon!
Kenny Closs and Spencer Temple: Ag Farm aquatic greens farm
- Favorite part about the market: “The overall atmosphere and the people. I know - repetitive. I see the same faces, though, and its really nice.” – Spencer. “It really is the people though… and good food.” – Kenny
- Do you have a CSA: Yes, with home delivery
Roger and Donna Burton: 2 Brothers Salsa & baked, canned, and fresh goods
- What Roger loves about market: The comradery: meeting lots of nice people. It’s like a family.
- Rogers other role at market: Brazos Valley Market Manager
- All about 2 Brothers Salsa: “My son, Wayne, was a chef and made salsa for friends and family. His brother, Wes, was his best customer who told Wayne to package it because it was so good. We’ve been selling it for 10 years now. Wes died in 2004 and that’s when we packaged the salsa as a tribute to Wes. That’s why there’s an angel on the salsa.” – Donna
- Where you can buy 2 Brothers chipotle flavored salsa: Central Markets across Texas in San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and Houston; local markets like Village Foods, Brazos Natural Foods, the Farm Patch, Producers Co-op, Slovaceks in Snook, and Franks Country Store
- Donna’s favorite bread that she sells: lemon tea cake
ET Ash: “ET’s Bees”
- Where are you located: South College Station around Wellborn
- What do you like about bee keeping: “I like the smell of it: smoke, sawdust…” – ET
- What you love about this farmers market: “It’s a nice little social community isn’t it?” – ET
Richard Schubert: “The Egg Man”
Dave Hall: Lonesome Pine
- What he’s selling: free range duck eggs, grass fed beef, pastured lamb and goat cheeses
- Why is your slogan “happy animals:” because they are free ranging animals, even ducks.
- Why duck eggs: “My wife was always a good cook and noticed French chefs using duck eggs to bake. They have twice the nutritional value of chicken eggs and more protein.”
- What do you love about market: “In particular, in this market, if you don’t grow it and make it yourself you can’t come. It sets it apart.”
Over in the corn bed, the interns planted Bi-licious hybrid corn seeds. However, a mold took hold and the seeds wouldn’t sprout. As a result, the same seed was started in trays in the greenhouse. Once they grew successfully, the corn was transplanted making for an idealistic farm view.