Plants and Paint | Week 8 in Region 1

It may have been a holiday at the beginning of the week, but there is no time for breaks here in northwest Iowa!

Veggie Painting!

This week at PoP Club, the kids had the opportunity to decorate canvas bags with fresh produce! They dipped broccoli, potatoes, lemons, and apples in paint and used them as stamps on their canvas bags. These bags they can bring back every week to the Farmers’ Market to carry their tokens and produce that they buy home. The kids loved the activity. But, some of the stamps did not turn out the best on every bag. We learned that there is a correct amount of paint that you need to put on the vegetables and fruit for the design to turn out right. If there is too much or too little paint, then the design will not be seen.

The kids also got to try some new vegetables while they were at PoP Club! In Orange City, the kids got to try radishes. These went over better than I thought they were going to. I was trying to avoid giving the kids radishes because they are spicy, but there wasn’t that much produce at the market this past week. This was the vegetable that the most kids disliked, but I was surprised at the number of kids who enjoyed the radish. In Sheldon, the kids got to try kohlrabi. Many of the kids had never had this vegetable or heard of it before, so it was a new experience for them. Overall, most of the kids enjoyed the kohlrabi. Some said they maybe liked it. There were even some kids that used their PoP Club tokens to buy kohlrabi, and they never had it before!

We even had a visitor this week at Orange City PoP Club! Yes, you are looking at that correctly. It is a chicken….in a stroller.

Crops, Herbicides, Pests, and Buffers

Along with my degree in Ag Ed, I am also working towards a minor in Agronomy at Iowa State. On Wednesday, our agronomy specialist, Joel DeJong, hosted his annual Field Day event at the Northwest Iowa Research Farm. I had the opportunity to attend with the Region 1 director, Cheryl Heronemus. We spent the morning listening to speakers and driving around the farm to look at their experiment stations. There were many speakers there that day, including ISU College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean Dr. Daniel Robinson, ISU Extension and Outreach Entomologist Erin Hodgson, ISU Extension and Outreach Weed Specialists Prashant Jha, and ISU Ag and Biosystems Engineering Professor Matt Helmers. I learned about pest management strategies for corn rootworm and soybean gall midget, integrated weed management strategies, and edge-of-field practices for nitrate reduction. Some of what we talked about went over my head, but most of it was very understandable. It was a good day, and I learned a lot of new things. I even got to catch up with Dawn Henderson, the previous Horticulture Specialist in northwest Iowa. I got to work with her last year, so it great to briefly chat with her.

Fair Frenzy

This week I added my finishing touches to my Fair StoryWalk and fair activity. The StoryWalk will be available at the Sioux County Fair starting next week Monday (July 12), and it will be available at the Osceola County Fair on Tuesday (July 13). I will also be doing my activity, Dairy Detectives, on July 14 at the Sioux County Fair and July 15 at the Sioux County Fair. If you are in the area, make sure to stop by for fun and ice cream!

Anyway, it has been a crazy week with last-minute fair preparations, but it has sure flown by fast!

Until next week,