Howdy Ags! We have so many exciting blog posts coming at you this semester, but for the first of this fall, we wanted to introduce you to some of the other amazing, environmentally conscious student organizations at A&M! With one of Howdy Farms' central goals being sustainability, there are so many related organizations to share here on the A&M Campus!
We involve our members and the campus community in fun, sustainable events all year including Campus Sustainability Day, Texas Recycles Day, and the Sustainability Challenge! We also participate in service activities like Replant, Stream Clean, and Big Event! Students are encouraged to join us for weekly meetings, Sunday nights at 9 pm in Hullaballoo 117B to learn more about these events, our service activities, and sustainability as a whole.
Since 2011, Aggie Replant also puts on the Lost Pines Recovery Campaign, where student volunteers takes buses to Bastrop State Park to plant pine seedlings. In 2010, a very large fire consumed a large portion of the pine trees in Bastrop and the Chancellor of Texas A&M committed Aggie Replant to be the first group of students to help in the reforestation project. Lost Pines Recovery Campaign this Spring will be spread over 6 days and involve around 100 student volunteers a day. Last Spring, Aggie Replant planted over 10,000 pine seedlings over two days with 215 students. Aggie Replant also has a Tree Farm on Texas A&M's Rellis (Old Riverside) Campus where we store and grow trees donated to us throughout the year!
Replant Day 2016 will be held on October 15th. Sign up to volunteer at replantonline.tamu.edu.
We also coordinate with all the other environmental groups to throw an Earth Day Celebration for the Texas A&M Campus. In addition we provide our members a platform to voice their environmental concerns to the campus not only through policy, but with tabling events to stimulate the community's education and passions as well. We are passionate about the environment and strive to make a support system for others like us, we bleed maroon by living green!
Snapchat: @tamu_eic Twitter: @eictamu Instagram: @tamu_eic
We are dedicated to improving humanitarian, environmental, and animal welfare issues through positive activism. The Human Environmental Animal Team is committed to making a difference in all areas of service, and we never spread hate or demonize others for their choices.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.netimpact.org/chapters/texas-am-university-mays-business-school-undergraduate
There are 7 areas the Juice Joint focused on to achieve this certification including: Water Efficiency, Waste Reduction and Recycling, Sustainable Durable Goods & Building Materials, Sustainable Food, Energy, Reusable & Environmentally Preferable Disposables, and Chemical and Pollution Reduction. To start, the Juice Joint racked up many points towards their Green Restaurant status by using no city trash pickup! All of their juice pulp goes to Howdy Farm for composting while the rest of their waste is recycled at Brazos Valley Recycling. Additionally, the Juice Joint’s furnishings are 95% repurposed. For example, their outdoor furniture came from another restaurant and was repurposed and painted with beautiful colors and designs. To add, the Juice Joint is a Styrofoam free establishment and uses compostable cups for all their juices and smoothies. To earn points in the chemical and pollution reduction category, the Juice Joint avoids using harmful cleaning chemicals by using environmentally friendly yet effective options like water and vinegar. As for water conservation, stop by in the near future to see rain barrels as part of phase two of their green initiative.
Stop Them from Ruining your Harvest!
There are many pests that torment gardens, but squash vine borers (scientific name: Melitta curcurbitae) may be one of the trickiest to detect.
They are a species of moth, yet resemble a wasp, and often attack various squash and gourd species. What makes them so elusive is that they lay their eggs at the base of plants before the summer and the larvae hatch and inhabit the inner stem of the plant. Slowly, they eat away at the inner stem and block the flow of water from entering the plant. Damage to the plant usually is undetectable until it begins to wilt during the summer season, at which point it is too late to save it.
SO, what can be done to prevent these pesky critters without using harsh insecticides?
A couple actions can be taken to prevent your crops from being devastated by these pests:
Detecting squash borers in early June is key; you have to put an end to the squash borers over-running your plants before their lives even begin. This can be done by physically watching and removing them, but that is obviously tedious and time-consuming. An alternative is to fill a yellow dish, pan, bowl, etc. with water (Try not to spill it like I did) and place it near your garden. Because squash borers are attracted to the color yellow, they will try to get a closer look, and end up getting stuck in the water.
Written By: Jackie Parker
It’s a known fact that college dorms and apartments aren’t exactly the most spacious when it comes to living area. Frequently, students don’t have access to a back yard or balcony, so the possibility of growing a full-blown garden outside is slim to none. Luckily, there are plenty of plants that flourish indoors simply with sunlight and water. Growing indoor plants is a practical way to save money and cultivate nutritious food! - See more at: http://www.foodieoncampus.com/5-nutritious-plants-grow-dorm-room/#sthash.QVgbBKw8.dpuf
Channel your inner gardener and try growing these 5 edible indoor plants:
Don’t mistake microgreens for garnishes! Many researchers are quickly realizing that these premature green leafy vegetables pack almost 3-4 times the vitamin and mineral content than their mature counterparts. If you have a windowsill, a shallow container, humus soil, and microgreen seeds, you can easily grow these tiny power veggies. Plus, you will save a ton of money, as microgreens in the grocery store are extremely pricey!
Wait, what? You can grow lettuce, spinach, and kale at home? Yes! Iceberg, arugula, spinach, and romaine lettuce will shoot up easily indoors with the right setup. Simply google and you will find instructions. In addition to their crisp, refreshing taste, these salad greens are loaded with vitamins A, C, and K.
Scallions (AKA, Onion Greens)
The next time you go to the grocery store, buy some scallions! Then, cultivate a new batch by placing the white bottoms (the bulb portion) into a glass with about an inch of water. The water in the glass should be changed daily; when the shoots appear, place them into a pot of soil and let the show begin. Scallions provide vitamin K and could also have cancer-preventing properties.
To grow your own ginger, put the root in warm water overnight, then point the eye bud towards the top of your container and cover it with 1-2 inches of rich soil. This plant needs consistent warmth and moisture, and after a few weeks your ginger will start to grow, so be patient! This technique also works for turmeric. Ginger is a staple for cooking and a natural remedy for common ailments like digestion issues, nausea, flu symptoms, muscle pain, and menstrual cramps!
You will be amazed at how simple growing carrots indoors can be with the proper soil, the right amount of moisture, and exposure to sunlight. Carrots are always a great snack and a perfect addition to dinner recipes. They’re also packed with vitamin A and carentenoids. Radishes and potatoes can be planted in a similar fashion!
So, take advantage of your vacant windowsills and recycle old containers to grow your own food! You’ll soon find how rewarding it is to grow your own nutritious food. And don’t forget that there are tons of other plants that can be grown indoors… maybe college is the time to earn a degree and a green thumb!
Small Centerpiece Floral arrangment
Spring season is here, and you know what that means! Flowers are BLOOMING!!! Yes, we have bluebonnets, milkweed, roses, sage, and many more growing at the Howdy Farm. Come out and take pictures at the HOWDY FARM and share your experiences on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/tamuhowdyfarm/.
This is a small centerpiece floral arrangement that brightens up any gloomy or regular day. You can put the arrangmnet anywhere in the house. Keep on reading, if you are interested in finding out how to create this beautiful piece.
In this arrangement we used:
3 Knock out Roses
1 Sweet Pea
1 Purple Petunia
2 Citronella Geranium
2 Canna Lilly
Ribbon or similar material (optional)
We will start with the Canna Lilies. Once they are in the container, you will want to tuck in the corners, so they look like this.
The next step is to add on the purple flowers. The purple-blue salvia adds hierarchy to the design, stepping down to the sweet pea then purple petunia. Try to arrange it where the salvia and petunia are spread out evenly from each other, and the sweet peat are arranged in the center.
Fun Fact! Did you know that fresh leaves or juices squeezed from Salvia leaves can be used to soothe insect bites?
Next, we will add the orange/yellow flowers! The orange Calendula and milkweed are placed in opposite corners and in between the purple flowers. The other 2 yellow Calendula is put positioned on the other 2 corners , opposite of each other.
Fun Fact! Did you know Milkweed attracts butterflies?
On the final step, we will add the 3 Knock out Roses to form a triangular form. To fill in any empty spots, add the 2 Citronella Geraniums. The leaf texture will accentuate the design even further. You Are Done! In just a few steps, you have created a vibrant floral arrangemnet that brightens up any room.
Fun Fact! Did you know that Citronella Geraniums have a citrusy scent, which is known to repel mosquitos?
We hope you enjoy making your flower arrangements!!
Cucumber-Fennel Salad with Creamy Meyer Lemon Dressing
The closer we get to summer (and College Station sure feels like it’s getting there), the more I can’t help but think about barbecues and picnics out in the sunshine. Now, I know we pretty much all have a love-hate relationship with the Texas heat, but if you are feeling ready for swimsuits and a trip out to the lake, then this recipe definitely echoes that summery feeling!
It also features some amazing produce that’s currently in season, including fennel and cucumbers, which you can (and should) buy from Howdy farm! I also added Meyer lemons, which are essentially a sweeter version of a lemon that are thought to be cross bred with mandarin oranges. Their sour and sweet combo, along with the subtle anise (licorice) flavor of fennel, makes for an amazing, fun, and fresh cold salad!
Cucumber-Fennel Salad with Creamy Meyer Lemon Dressing
3-6 seedless snacking cucumbers (depending on size)
Juice and zest from 1 Meyer lemon*
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tbs milk
1 tsp sugar
2 tbs fennel leaves, chopped finely
1 thinly sliced fennel stalk (optional)
*If you can’t find Meyer Lemons, use regular lemons and extra sugar or a splash of orange juice!
Slice your snacking cucumbers into small pieces and place them in a mesh strainer over a bowl. Generously sprinkle salt over the cucumbers, stir them around, and set aside. This will begin the process of releasing water from your cucumbers, as well as seasoning them!
Zest the lemon, cut in half, and juice over a fine strainer to remove the seeds. Add the Greek yogurt, milk, sugar and the fennel leaves. Wisk to combine.
While your yogurt mixture and cucumbers rest in the fridge for 15-30 minutes (to infuse flavors), very thinly slice the fennel stalks. Then combine it all and give it a real good stir!
Tips and tricks:
So are you ready for summer yet? What fresh produce makes you think of a weekend out camping or floating on a lake?And don’t forget to pick up your Howdy Farm produce now ON CAMPUS every Thursday!
Howdy ya’ll! I know its been a while since the blog has been updated- but we have a new goal of getting a blog post out to you at least once a week for the rest of the semester! So without further ado- here are our latest updates on the farm…as always, there have been some pretty neat things going on! For starters, we have revamped our website in hopes that it would be easier to navigate and be more interactive- so feel free to click around a bit to see what’s new! Not only have we improved our website, but we have even improved on our member population! In other words, Howdy Farm is starting to get the attention it deserves!! This semester, our student member population has grown to about 60 students! This is the largest member population we’ve had in Howdy Farm history, and we are so excited. To maximize our potential, Howdy Farm has created committees that will be working on projects around the farm.
One of these projects includes a rain garden. A rain garden is a garden that utilizes rainwater runoff for the benefit of watering plants. In our case, part of the land on our farm is slightly slanted downward, causing puddles of runoff during the year. We decided to place a few rows of potential farm land at the bottom of the slope to catch the runoff water and utilize it. Without this rain garden, the water that runs down the slope ends up in the street neighboring Howdy Farm, and is not immediately utilized for plant growth. In the past, Howdy Farm has been a producer of primarily fruit, vegetables, and herbs. But this semester, we have decided to dedicate the rain garden to the growth of ornamental flowers (more specifically, flower varieties that can withstand the high volume of water). So you can look forward to fresh cut flowers alongside the fruits, vegetables and herbs at our markets!
Speaking of market…
shop hours at the Farm will be starting THIS WEEK.
Shop hours at the Farm will be held every Thursday from 12:00-5:00 PM. Come check it out!
To learn more about rain gardens: click on this link!
Gluten-free and vegan, this recipe offers all the spicy flavors of Bok Choy and the rustic aroma of red bell peppers.
Miranda Jones, an intern at Howdy Farm, is able to employ her skills daily while interning.
"I love working at the Howdy Farm because I get hands-on experience, versus what often happens in a classroom setting," Jones said.
Students at the Farm are able to apply things they've learned into real-life situations.
"I can identify nutrient deficiencies in the field more easily, and I know how to install irrigation systems. I'm constantly learning new skills," Jones said.
"Even though I'm a nutritional science major, I've learned so much interning here at Howdy Farm," said Farm intern Taylor Stolt. "I think having a garden of your own, even something small like an herb garden, could be a way to make healthy eating more fun and more convenient."
"The most rewarding part of my position as the Howdy Farm coordinator is when I see the excitement in students as they encounter something they have just learned in the classroom," Wahl said. "They verbalize their knowledge to me and I help them understand how it applies to our farm system and beyond."
Volunteer on MWF from 1-5 pm.
Or consider joining our program as a member of the Howdy Farm Team!