Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Meet (more) Students!

Last week you met a few of the students in this semester’s Agroecology class. Here are a few more biographies of students who help us on the farm every week. While working with the students we take time to talk about why we are doing the work in the way that we are, and how this farm is an example of ecological agriculture. Some of the students have worked with us on the farm or in the hoop house before, and some are coming out to the farm for the first time.

Matthew Murphy
My name is Matthew Murphy and I am a junior at W.B. Saul High School. I have taken part in the CSA for educational purposes for my Agroecology class. I have learned about all the plants that we grow and what steps they have to take in order to produce a sufficient amount of the specific crop. Some of the crops that are grown in the CSA garden are tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, eggplant, broccoli, squash and lettuce. I learned about a harlequin beetle that is harmful to broccoli plants and how we should properly dispose of them. I have enjoyed being a part of this program and hope to learn more about it as I progress more into the year. I have been planting vegetables with my dad since I was 7 years old. Our garden consists of tomatoes, eggplants, cherry tomatoes and sweet peppers. My project for the CSA is to grow champion collards and great lake lettuce.

Sam Sterling
Hello, my name is Samantha Sterling. I am a student at W.B. Saul high school. My school is like other schools because we have all the normal classes like math, English, gym, science, and Spanish. But our school has a catch- we have a farm across the street from the actual school building, including cows, sheep, horses, and even a huge area where we grow crops. In our school, instead of having computer classes, or carpentry classes, or singing or art class, we have agriculture, which is a special class because classes, or carpentry classes, or singing or art class, we have agriculture, which is a special class because in most of the agricultural classes, we do not have to be in the actual class room to learn, we can be in the small animal lab, or in the dog kennel, down at the pond, or even across the street with the animals or the crops. My major for agriculture in my school is natural resource management. The class I am in now is called Agroecology. Being in this class is getting me to help with the CSA, the "Henry Got Crops" and is also preparing me and giving me more information on my major which I will need to finish this school year and my last year with Saul. Since the CSA does not use harmful chemicals, one day in class we needed to control pests so what we did was literally squish the harlequin beetle, that way they did not eat away our crops, making our farm not able to give food to our school's community. In our Agroecology class we are actually working on a big project as a class to clean out more land from weeds and pests for the CSA and for our class to have our own section that we can say, "Hey! That’s where my class grew all of those crops. We turned the soil, made the rows, planted the seeds, took care of the crops, we have done the whole 9 yards, and now you are eating the crops that we have grown. We have learned things that normal high school students wouldn't be able to learn and we are proud of it." I sure know I am. Even if I don’t become something involving agriculture right on, say I want to become a 8th grade teacher, what I can do is tell my students all about Saul if they want to go there, even though I most likely won’t become a teacher. Whenever I get the chance I talk about my school, because all my friends that do not go to Saul high school always tell me, "school’s boring" and "the teacher does not help" and "I don’t know what I want to do when I go up." Then they get me talking and I say "I love my school and the teachers do whatever they can to help,” and I tell them that I know what I want to be when I grow up.

Mike Hurley
My name is Mike Hurley. I am majoring in Natural Resource Management at Saul High School. We are working with the CSA and it is helping us with the learning of crops and how to take care of the different types of crops. Also when we work the CSA we learn about the crops people have never heard of before and learn many new things about it too. If we want to know something we just ask a question and they answer it no problem. We have planted our own types of crops like Great Lakes Lettuce and Champion Collards. Outside of school I have planted my own crops and they were peppers and tomatoes. To maintain the crops we have to pull weeds and kill the bugs that are infesting them. The bugs that we had to kill were called the Harlequin beetle and they were infesting the broccoli. My favorite crop that they are growing in the garden is the Habanero pepper because if you take a bite your mouth will be on fire for the next hour. They grow all sorts of things like lettuce, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, watermelon and more. The CSA is helping us learn many things about growing crops and maintaining them.

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