My four or so months working at Nature and Nurture organic farm has been highly informative and a very positive experience overall. I think a of recap skills and things learned will best be shown with a concise list.
Throughout the summer I have learned:
- How to de-hybridize plants through generational selective breeding
- How to extract, process, clean, and store seeds from dozens of plants
- How to properly harvest produce
- Expanded ability in plant and mushroom identification
- How to identify several diseases in plants brought on by genetics, insects, and fungi
- The importance of using and creating regionally adaptive seeds through open-pollinated plants
- How biodiversity affects agriculture
- Time of season and environmental conditions have considerable impacts on success of produce and yielding seeds of high germination rates
- Pollination occurs in more ways than just bees transporting it, “selfers and crossers”
- There are two overall types of tomatoes:
- Indeterminate: fruits regularly and gradually, requires staking and frequent pruning
- Determinate: fruiting all occurs at once; most commercial tomato harvesting is done with determinate varieties
My most positive experience during the internship would have to be the intern camping night at the farm! All seven of us pitched in for food and adult beverages and we had an epic bonfire. The brush pile had to have been at least ten feet tall before burning. After the roasting of many s’mores and two huge organic Ann Arbor pizzas (thanks, Silvio!), we stargazed late into the night. Once we were good and tired, we shared a giant eight-person tent to rest before rising early for another day at the farm.