By: Deanna Homan, sophomore, Plant Sciences, Horticulture option
Now in the middle of the summer growing season, life on the farm is getting faster. I started interning on the farm in early May, and saw the farm transition from the spring crop to the summer crop. Throughout the transition, we’ve harvested an abundant amount of produce, and I’ve learned that no matter what the weather is- cool and cloudy, hot and sunny, or cold and down pouring rain, produce will always be harvested.
Along with harvesting produce, there are other aspects of small-scale farming that perhaps aren’t as enjoyable but just as necessary. One of our weekly jobs is cultivating beds. While it isn’t my favorite farm chore, it is satisfying to see a cultivated bed with its straight rows looking all nice and neat.
While the one-acre farm is the forefront of our production, there is a whole other world to the student farm: the greenhouse. As the spring interns know well, the greenhouse is where our crop production starts for our growing season. It doesn’t stop at the end of spring, however, since we use the greenhouse through the summer and year round. My main focus as a summer intern is managing our greenhouse space. This includes planting seeds so that we have a supply of seedlings to transplant to the farm, watering plants that aren’t quite ready to go to the farm yet, to scouting for pests and diseases. With the transition from spring to summer, I managed our hydroponics system and then wrapped it up in June. While the greenhouse is my main focus, the other summer interns also do work in the greenhouses, especially when we have a large project going on.
Currently on the farm, our summer crops are just coming in. In fact, just this week we’ve harvested our first cucumbers and jalapeño peppers. Our rows and rows of tomatoes, one of my favorite vegetables, are still green and require a lot of maintenance, but I’m ready and excited to harvest the multiple varieties we have. One of the best parts of working with the tomato plants is its lovely aroma gets in the air and on my hands.
There is just under 2 months left of the summer growing season, in which the farm will flourish and our beds will be bursting with produce. I’ve learned it takes a lot of work to maintain our one-acre farm so that it can flourish, and even though most of the work I didn’t even know was necessary, it’s worth it.