This has been one of the greatest experiences in my life. Before Howdy Farm, I had taken some Horticulture classes, but it was never applied until I became very involved in Howdy Farm. There is a huge difference between learning in the classroom, and learning it hands on. I am glad that my roles in this internship was well rounded and not focused on one specific thing. I say this, because I was able to learn about each little task or assignment. Being an Intern at Howdy Farm provides you with knowledge in transplanting, planting, growing, maintaining, communicating, and assisting in running a small scale garden and farm. If I had a chance to do this again, I would go right back and do it.
I would like to give a shout out to Corey because he is the best farm manager in the world. He has the kindest heart and is always eager to teach you. I would like to also recognize Ms. Kitty, whom I fell in love with. She is our farm cat; no one knows where she came from, but she has made a home at the farm. Ms. Kitty is very picky on who can pet her, but when it comes to food she is always meowing for more. If you try to say something to her, she can hold a conversation with you; she is quite a talker.
I hope Howdy Farm grows as a farm and as an organization. I hope more and more people realize the importance that it plays in our community. Howdy Farm gives off an ambiance that encourages growth and involvement. To whomever wants to become an Intern at Howdy Farm, I would 110% recommend it.
Goodbye For Now.......
I was able to take part in taking care of the flower beds. I helped in transplanting the flowers and plant them outside once they were about two inches tall. The flowers consist of Cosmos, Stock, Calendula, Statice, Bachelor Button, and Zinnias. It is an amazing
experience to have the opportunity to watch the flowers bloom. As weeks pass by, it is amazing to see the transformation. From afar, you can spot the beautiful Stock, Calendula, and Bachelor Button flowers. Recently we were able to use the flowers in our flower arrangements. I love seeing the flowers bloom, because it screams Spring. It is incredible to have been part of this experience.
Looking through time.......
January 17th, 2017
February 21st, 2017
April 12th, 2017
Bachelor Button, Zinnia, and Statice
April 18th, 2017
Currently I am working on the Howdy Farm 2016-2017 Annual Report. Corey and I are working together to calculate volunteer data and harvest data. We want the reader to understand the value Howdy Farm has towards the community. We want to show that we are more than just growing produce, we value the importance of sharing what we do with the community. This annual report is very important for us because it unveils who we are, what we do, and how far we have gone over the past years. Once the Annual Report is completed, I or Corey will upload it on the webpage. Below you will see the Annual Report Cover Page.
My professor Jeremy Merrill introduced a class that focused on Tactical Urbanism. The purpose of this class was for us to transform a space that screamed urbanism and hardscape into a space that was softened by garden beds. We wanted to see how people would react to this new concept and to see if it truly was possible to bring a garden into an urbanized space.
We focused on an area that is settled within the Architecture buildings. The space was an existing parking area, but it is now closed off to promote walkability and provide safety. The students in the Tactical Urbanism class designed a small garden that could potentially be placed in the concrete empty area. The idea came true on the day of the Howdy Farm Spring Plant Sale, April 1st. We purchased tomatoes, tomatillos, basil, Mexican mint marigold, pepper plants, and many more from the plant sale. We began with building raised beds that would be easily moveable.
In the beginning, I was skeptical on how long this plants were going to survive in an area that was constantly being exposed to high temperatures and radiating heat. Not only did the heat worry me, but the amount of depth provided for the beds worried me as well; it is about 4" deep. After three weeks of being exposed to heat and having limited space, the plants are doing great. A few are lagging due to competition in nutrients because of the closeness between each plant. Surprisingly everything looks healthy and strong, but the plants will need to be planted to a different location that has thicker soil depth and much more space between each plant. I like the idea behind this garden, but it won't hold up for a longer period of time if the issues above are not resolved.
This small garden concept has evolved as the weeks go by. Since then we have implemented seating and interactive activities like painting and white erase board for thoughts and ideas. The next step in this project is to bring awareness of this garden into the community. We want to transform the area into a Night Farmers Market for one day. Our idea is to bring food trucks, Howdy Farm’s produce, Horticulture Club plants, and other similar organizations and local farms.
We are promoting the awareness of this idea, so the Dean of the College of Architecture can allow us to keep this garden concept going even after the semester ends. If the idea is not accepted, we will have to disassemble everything and relocate the plants to a different location.
Spring 2017 Plant Sale
On April 1st, we had our Spring 2017 Plant Sale in conjunction with the Horticulture Club Plant Sale. We sold transplants, flower arrangements, and freshly cut produce. This event is very important for Howdy Farm because it serves as our biggest fundraiser. All the money that is raised at the this event, goes back to the farm for updates, fixings, and keeping the farm running. We work hard all semester to care and grow this beautiful plants, so the people in the community can take part of our farm into their home.
The plant sale was a great success. We sold out within few hours. It was amazing to see the number of people in our community come out and join this amazing event. Below you will see a list of the items we sold, and some photos of the event.
Tomatoes- Celebrity, Black Cherry, Brandywine, Gold Nugget
Tomatillo- Toma Verde
Eggplant- Machiaw, Nadia
Peppers- Red Knight Bell Pepper, Early jalapeno,Carmen, Goddess, Paladin, Baron
Herbs- Thai basil, Genovese basil, Mrs. Burns Lemon Basil, Lemon Thyme, Rosemary ‘Barbeque’,
Peppermint, Mexican Mint Marigold
Flowers- Celosia ‘Flamingo’, Zinnia ‘Jazzy Mix’, Zinnia ‘Summer Solstice’,
Fig Trees- Celeste, Alma
Transplanting a Fig Tree
Deadheading & Pinching Annual Flowers
Deadheading and Pinching sounds painful, but it carries a lot of positive benefits for the plant and the user.
Deadheading: Bachelor Button
For the snapdragons, you will want to cut the flower way back past the last seed head.
If you look at the picture to the right, you can see all the closed seed heads.
Make sure to not get confused with the heads that are beginning to bloom with the ones that have
finished blooming. The bottom two pictures are examples of a snapdragon that has begun to bloom.
For the cosmo flowers, we are going to pinch the lateral bud.
For our final demonstration, we will use Zinnias. All you have to do is pinch the top two layers of leaves or lateral bud area.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to make a simple flower arrangement at home?
There are many ways to make a flower arrangement, and it varies by container and size. Here we have a small spice jar that we will use to make our arrangement. Before I begin to show the process of how to make a flower arrangement, I would like to list some of the main components to having a great design.
In a flower arrangement you need a thriller, filler, and spiller.
Another main component is work with odd numbers. Try to use groups of three’s, five’s, and so forth.
Also, color plays a huge role in making the flower arrangement work.
Now that you learned some very basic concepts, let us get started with making a flower arrangement.
For this arrangement, we will use snapdragon, salvia, bachelor button, annual phlox, and coriander flowers.
Did You Know You Can Grow Sugar From Beets?
This is only possible, if you use the correct beet called Sugar Beet. According to survivopedia, sugar beets were grown to feed livestock in the past and were not fit for human consumption. Sugar Beets look completely different than the other beets that are red or white. Sugar Beet are elongated and have similar coloring to a white potato. If you are interested in learning how to make beet sugar, keep on reading.
Don’t worry about buying a food processor or any other special equipment. Be aware that a beet only produces about 17% sugar based on its original weight. To put it into perspective, you will need about 10 pounds of beets to make 1.7 pounds of sugar.
All you will need is:
Howdy Farm is excited to try this unique method. This was our first attempt to ever grow Chayotes at the farm. After just a few weeks, we couldn't believe how fast the Chayotes were growing. We planted five Chayotes, and all of them survived in the greenhouse. Our next step is to take them out of their containers and move them outdoors. Keep on reading, to learn how we grew the Chayote from fruit.
Start Date: January 17, 2017
To grow the Chayote, you need to plant the entire fruit; leaving about an inch exposed on top. You need to do this three to four weeks after the last frost in spring. This is due particularly because Chayotes love warm or hot weather. They are an ideal for our hot weather conditions.
Progress: February 7, 2017
Progress: March 7, 2017
As you can see above, this Chayotes are ready to be moved outdoors. I will update the growth of the Chayote in a couple of weeks.