Solar power-- it takes a little bit more than a sunny day and some solar panels! In fact, to store the energy we capture on the farm, it takes four large batteries! When the Howdy Farm was first built in 2014, part of our first Aggie Green Fund was used to purchase batteries for our solar panels. But like a regular battery that runs out of juice, our solar panel batteries got old too! The difference between our old batteries and your typical Energizer AAAs ? We couldn't exactly use ye old "steal the batteries out of the remote control while your dad isn't looking" trick to replace them! Because of this, we applied for another Aggie Green Fund microgrant in the spring of 2020 to replace our batteries.
So, why did we need to replace our solar panel batteries?
The four batteries we use to store energy function in a circuit. This means if one battery is not storing energy efficiently, it affects the ability of the entire system to hold a charge. In our case, two of our batteries were functioning at a reduced capacity. This lowered the battery system's overall ability to store our solar energy and we were unable to properly utilize the energy we captured. Because of this, we replaced all four of our six-year-old batteries to ensure efficient energy storage for years to come.
We were awarded the grant on March 24th, 2020 and we were excited to get going on our battery project. But, COVID-19 had other plans. With the university, the state, the entire country, and the world shutting down, our solar panel battery project was postponed until late June. Though a majority of students were still at home during this time, a few Howdy Farm members were able to help out with the installation of the new batteries and in diagnosing a few problems we had with our controller. Since the installation, our batteries have consistently collected almost double the amount of energy than the old batteries each day and month. In fact, our monthly average before the replacement was only 21.4 kWh/month. With the new batteries, we are up to 38. 61 kWh/month. Below, you will be able to see the difference in energy storage between our batteries before and after the installation each day for a month.
What does all of this mean?
With the help of the Aggie Green Fund, Howdy Farm can now supply energy to power tools, charge devices, and power the lights and fans in our farm building. This reduces the farm's need for other traditional energy sources. Further, it allows guests at the farm to use these energy sources when studying or hanging out.
The Aggie Green Fund is an organization that makes funding for small and large on-campus sustainability projects accessible to organizations like our own. We are grateful for their continued investment in our goal of sustainable agriculture and look forward to partnering with them on future projects. Another special thanks to our advisor, Michael Legorreta, for providing insight on how the battery system works and for aiding in the installation process. And finally, special thanks to Amanda Gambaiana for pursuing funding for this project during her time as president in the spring 2020 semester.
Written by Sara Cathey, Fall 2020 Howdy Farm President
WE HAVE PLANTS!
The Howdy Farm is pleased to announce our big sale event of the season. We have partnered with the Texas A&M University Horticulture Club in co-hosting a plant sale this spring!
Here are the details:
When: Saturday, April 1, 2017 starting at 9 a.m. until supplies last
Where: The lawn outside the Horticulture and Forestry Sciences Building (HSFB) on Texas A&M University's campus
Parking: Parking is available in Lot 74
We have a wide selection of plants available for purchase. We are offering multiple different varieties of each type of plant. See below for the plants we will be selling.
In addition to transplants we will also be selling farm-fresh flower arrangements and fresh-picked seasonal produce!
We hope to see you there!
The Howdy Farm would like to extend a huge thank you to Texas A&M Aggie Gentlemen of Integrity (AGI) for the hard work the men put in at the farm last Wednesday. We had about fifty of the organization's members and pledges help with weeding and mulching of various beds throughout the farm.
After what could be considered a challenging winter for the farm, it has been a long process cleaning up the aftermath of the frost. The Howdy Farm is thankful for the willingness of groups like Texas A&M AGI to assist us in preparing the grounds for planting again.
Texas A&M AGI is a men's organization focused on character development, philanthropy, accountability, selfless service, and integrity. Sergio Rivera, Texas A&M AGI's Public Relations Chair, said the organization has volunteered at the Howdy Farm in the past, and plans to make it a regular service event for members to participate in. He sees serving at the Howdy Farm as a great way to build camaraderie among the members.
"Being out there in the Texas heat sweating together really unites a team," Rivera said, "and being able to help a community that has done so much for us really makes the service valuable and rewarding."
If your organization is interested in volunteering at the farm in a group format, please see our new volunteer sign ups to register!
Created by: Kasey Heath, Spring 2017 Intern
The Howdy Farm would like to officially welcome all of the students back to Aggieland. We have an exciting semester ahead of us, so let's get started! Here's your farm update:
Over the break, our veggies took a hit from the freezing temperatures, and we lost much of our winter crop. In effect, we will not have produce sales until the beginning of March. Keep checking our website, sign up for our email notifications, and follow us on social media to stay in touch.
The Clean-up Stage
Meanwhile, our interns and volunteers have been hard at work cleaning the farm after the freeze, trimming back dead shrubs, grasses, and other plants. To make good use of the leftover residues, we plan on utilizing them for mulch. We use mulches to...
What to Look Forward to
New Volunteer Policy
We have a new protocol for volunteer hours starting this semester. The high demand of volunteer opportunities the last few semesters motivated us to start using a sign-up process. Interested students must now sign-up on our calendar for specific shifts depending on what is available on a week to week basis.
There will be no more open volunteer hours.
To sign up for volunteer hours please follow these steps!
**New spots will come available each Monday by 5:00 PM for that week!
There will be no Monday volunteer hours.
Signing up as a group or organization (6 people or more)?
Email us at email@example.com
Let's get growing!
"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." -Audrey Hepburn
Photos and text by: Kasey Heath, Spring 2017 Intern
Here at the Howdy Farm we proudly grow all of our fruits, vegetables, and flowers using organic methods*. Choosing to grow organically can prove to be challenging, especially when it comes to soil nutrient management and availability. It can take several years of ammending the soil with compost and other forms of organic matter before you start to produce bountiful yields. Healthy soil is absolutely the most important component for growing nutritious and delicious foods, and we have a couple tools to share with you that will help improve your yields naturally.
If you take a stroll through the "health food" section of your local grocery store, you might notice a new drink that is gaining in popularity - kombucha. Kombucha is a probiotic drink containing millions of beneficial bacteria, which have been shown to improve digestive health. When you hear the word "bacteria" you might automatically think disease or sickness, but our bodies actually contain and thrive on beneficial bacteria as well. Our garden soil is actually very similar. Beneficial bacteria in the soil can do wonders for the health of your plants. An example of this is bacteria in the Rhizobium genus. Rhizobium is a group beneficial bacteria that form symbiotic relationships with plants in small nodules located in the plant's roots. The bacteria are capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen, which is when they convert the nitrogen in the air into a form that the plant can use. Nitrogen is usually the most limiting plant nutrient in the soil, so this symbiotic relationship can be extremely beneficial if your soil is lacking. In return for providing nitrogen to the plant, the bacteria consume organic compounds produced by the plant through photosynthesis. Rhizobium can be used when you are growing anything in the legume family, which includes peas, beans, lentils, peanuts, soybeans, and more. The best part is that you can purchase Rhizobium anywhere you purchase seeds. Application of the bacteria is very easy - first you wet the seeds so they are slightly damp, and then you sprinkle on the bacteria so it coats the seed. That's it! So the next time that you plant beans and peas, be sure to pick up some Rhizobium powder and you will be amazed by how healthy and productive your plants turn out.
In addition to bacteria, beneficial fungi in the soil also play an important role in the health of your crops. Mycorrhizal fungi are an example of this, as they also form a symbiotic relationship with plants through the roots. Soil naturally contains mycorrhizal fungi, but by adding the fungi to your soil and plant roots, you can help build up their levels to ensure that your plants are growing to their maximum potential. Mycorrhizal fungi work by attaching to the plant roots and essentially they create a network of smaller roots that will seek out water and nutrients for the plant. The fungi benefit from the plant by receiving sugars from the plant roots in return. Dipping the roots of your transplants in a mycorrhizal drench can help alleviate transplant shock, help your plants establish faster, and it will allow the plants to grow quickly with the potential for less disease pressure. Here at the Howdy Farm we use a mycorrhizal concentrate produced by Wildroot Organic Inc., located in Boerne, TX. The product is extremely easy to use; you just mix the powder in water and then dunk your plant's roots in the solution before planting. The results are well worth the minimal effort and the addition of mycorrhizal fungi will help your soil thrive for years to come.
If you are looking for natural, quick, and effective results in your organic garden then we highly recommend that you use Rhizobium and mycorrhizal fungi the next time you plant. These two biological tools - in addition to high quality compost, organic fertilizers, and proper soil management - will help you build a soil that is alive and functional. All great gardens start with great soil, so feed your soil and prepare to reap the benefits. Happy growing!
Written by Corey Wahl - Howdy Farm Manager
*We grow using organic methods, but we are not certified organic by the USDA.
With Thanksgiving in a couple days and the winter holidays just around the corner, I wanted this week’s Howdy Farm recipe to be festive for the occasion while still using Howdy Farm’s seasonal, sustainably grown produce! And though this recipe's primary purpose isn't sustenance (although it is quite tasty, in my opinion), it will definitely put you in the mood for a delicious Thanksgiving feast. The best part is, it takes five minutes to prepare the ingredients before you toss everything onto the stove and let the magic begin! (Bonus point if you snag the mandarins from our Thursday or Saturday markets!)
Cranberry and Mandarin Stovetop Simmer
Combine the mandarin, cranberries, and spices in a saucepan and add the water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and leave it to simmer! Stir occasionally to release more scent, and add more water if it is no longer covering the fruit.
I have this pictured in a crockpot, which I tried to use originally, but I found that after 15 minutes it wasn’t heating everything enough to start releasing scent. At that point I transferred everything to the stove and brought it up to boil. I even tried transferring everything back to the crockpot after thoroughly heating it, but that still wasn’t nearly as effective as putting it on the stove.
Also, don’t forget to be a little more sustainable this Turkey Day by:
Text and pictures by Corin Tschoepe
Final image by Corey Wahl
Recipe adapted from One Good Thing by Jillee
A few of our members from Howdy Farm had the wonderful opportunity to go camping at the beautiful Pace Bend Park just outside of Austin for our semester trip, and the elusive banana boats made an appearance (totally worth the long trip)! The next day we took a trip to Austin to learn about the SFC Farmers Market and a few farms in the area. Take a look at the services offered by the places we visited.
SFC Downtown Farmers Market
Boggy Creek Farm
East Austin Succulents
*All the photos from this blog post, with the exception of the last photo, are from our very own Charlie Wong!
Text by: Jennifer Hernandez
Ever drank hot chocolate and thought “Gee this is good, but I wish it was richer, thicker, or just more chocolatier”? Well look no further, because this recipe is essentially melted chocolate that doesn’t harden unless left overnight or chilled, but why would you want to chill the drink of the gods? It serves 4-6 so you know that equals 1 lonely college student.
16 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 1⁄2 cups whole milk
1⁄2 cup heavy whipping cream
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Hold on for a wild ride, because here comes the simplest recipe that is still responsible for over Zero overindulgent deaths each year across America.
Melt the chocolate chips in a skillet on low heat. My grandma used to tell me “Don’t burn the tar out of ‘em.”
Once melted toss in the milk and stir vigorously, as if you were making half an English trifle and half a shepherds pie until it is smooth.
Add whipping cream and vanilla.
Remember: Don’t boil it, you only need to bring it to steaming hot. “Don’t burn the tar out of ‘em.”
Now enjoy the drink worthy of Quetzalcoatl himself.
Text by John Brewer
First and foremost, this is not my recipe. I borrowed it from our best friend, aka the internet. (Find the original here.)
In just a few more days, Halloween will be here. Slowly the change in weather is setting in. What better way to start this season than with a yummy treat. If you love pumpkin, chocolate, and cinnamon, then this recipe is the one for you. I would recommend a tasty hot chocolate to partner with this indulging Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread.
3 Cups White Sugar (Brown Sugar Accepted)
1 (15 oz) Can Pumpkin Puree (or real pumpkin!)
1 Cup Vegetable Oil (Can substitute with applesauce)
⅔ Cups of Water
3 ½ Cups of Flour
1 Tbs. Ground Cinnamon (can be modified)
½ Tbs. Ground Nutmeg
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 ½ tsp. Salt
1 Cup Miniature Semisweet Chocolate Chips
½ Cup Chopped Walnuts (Optional)
1. Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease and flour three 9x5 inch loaf pans.
2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, pumpkin, oil, water, and eggs. Beat until smooth.
3. Blend in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt.
4. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts. Fill pans ½ to ¾ full.
5. Bake for 1 hour, or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Cool before serving.
We hope you enjoy this fun fall recipe!
Text and photos by Leticia Meza
One of Howdy Farm’s beloved partnerships is with Ronin Cooking, a local dining experience unlike any other. Husband and wife duo, Brian and Amanda Light are devoted to serving the Bryan/College Station community with local, organic food and seasonal flavors.
Currently growing in the Ronin garden this season is a variety of vegetables, grains, and herbs consisting of but not limited to, carrots, asparagus, radishes, garlic, beets, cauliflower, romaine, sugar snap peas, basil, sage, mustard, and much more. Brian and Amanda are passionate about supporting local farms and re-bridging the connection between guests and their food source. Because of their passion, visitors to the farm are able to experience nature and its connection to our dinner plate like never before. Eating a meal composed of the freshest ingredients, beneath the light of the full moon shining through the forest trees, gives guests a newfound appreciation for the harvest as our
Coming up at Ronin is a Yoga + Dinner event on November 6th and 7th at the farm. Yoga Pod of College Station will be guiding guests through a one-hour flow class in the forest, focused on harvesting gratitude. The class will be suitable for all levels of experience. The gate will open at 5:30pm and the
With fall having just arrived, we have a ton of new, fresh produce that Howdy Farm will be selling in the next couple months! And for today’s post, I wanted to give you a preview of a few of the more exotic veggies growing at the farm, as well as how you might use them.
Daikon, a type of radish, is a fall/winter root crop that is popular in East and Southeast Asia. They are white in color and grow deep into the soil. Daikon are great raw in salads, sauteed in rice dishes, roasted, or in a smoothie! Rich in vitamin C and calcium, daikon have benefits for immune system and bone heath, as well as having some anti-inflammatory properties.
Try these recipes:
Radish Greens Smoothie
Ginger Daikon Radish Rice with Fried Egg
Roasted Potato and Carrot Salad with Daikon/Radish Pickle
Korean Daikon Radish Salad
Not associated with the famous Napa Valley vineyards of California, Napa cabbage actually originates near Beijing, China, with nappa meaning the leaves of a vegetable. In fact, it’s called Chinese Cabbage in much of the world, and, like Daikon, often takes its place in Asian dishes, including kimchi. Napa cabbage has yellow-green leaves and thick crispy stems, and is described as softer and sweeter than traditional green cabbage. This means it’s also great raw in salads, or as a wrapper in a creative main dish!
Try these recipes:
Napa Cabbage Rolls with Meat and Veggies
Asian Cabbage And Shiitake Mushroom Stir Fry
Miso Noodle Soup
Sweet and Sour Roasted Napa Cabbage Wedges
A native of the Mediteranean, arugula is popular in Italian and French dishes with its slightly peppery, fresh flavor. It’s high in vitamins A, C, and K, and is thought to have antioxidant properties. And if the health benefits weren’t enough, arugula adds a great kick to salads, as well as pizza, pasta, and soup. I mean, pizza people, I’m practically begging you to give it a try.
Try these recipes:
Caramelized Onion Pizza with Goat Cheese and Arugula
Arugula Salad with Apple and Candied Walnuts
Lemon Arugula Pasta
Arugula Pesto (you can add it to your soup!)
Last but not least, kale has its origins all over Europe, and became popularized as a food source in the UK during World War II. Although you have probably heard of kale as a “superfood” before, you may not know that its high nutrient density, evident from its dark green color, has benefits for almost your entire body. Kale contains 14 different vitamins and minerals, and it great in everything from salads and smoothies, to tacos and veggie chips!
Try these recipes:
Chipotle Marinated Kale and Smokey Mushroom Tacos
Garlic Parmesan Kale Pasta
Twice Baked Potatoes with Kale
Crispy Kale Chips
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!
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.
Stay tuned for recipes involving Howdy Farm's organic pak choy!
Meet Michael Bunsen,
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.
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.
Join us at the Farm every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 to 5 pm.
We looked forward to having you!
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 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.
Meet Danielle Mercer, a renewable resource major with a minor in horticulture and a passion for ag.
She's interning for the fall semester, and has been an excellent, hardworking addition to the Farm!
Danielle: Because I like organic food, and I like sustainability. The building is all solar powered, and I support clean energy. I really like that it's student-run, because you're always meeting new people out here. It's also awesome that they don't use pesticides, since pesticides are really damaging to the environment--even when used correctly.
Danielle: I'm partially in charge of coming up with a design for a vertical strawberry garden, that uses rain gutters where they're actually going to be planted. Once the strawberries are grown, they'll hang over the sides so they don't rot on the soil, and have good air flow. The air helps prevent diseases and fungal growth.