This Week in Region 11

Benton county:

Week three has been a very busy one here in Benton county. Monday kicked off the summer discovery camps, which will last until July. What is summer discovery camp you may ask? Well summer discovery is k-5 summer camp that is 5 consecutive days long centering around STEM learning. Every year around 140 k-5 aged kids sign up from all around Benton county. The camp has a morning and afternoon option touring different towns around the county. This year’s topic is flight, the campers are exploring wind, airplanes, and how flight works. I attended day two in Vinton, IA. This day we made windsocks out of tissue paper, sticks, and lots of tape! The kids learned how to determine which direction the wind is coming from, and how planes and helicopters land with heavy winds.

Not only was summer discovery busy, but green onions were ready to harvest this week. I spend mornings in the garden harvesting around 36 lbs of green onions for different food banks in the area, and this is only the beginning of the produce! Much more to come later in the summer. 

Linn County:

This week in Linn County has been full of meeting new people and learning tons of new things! After enjoying the holiday weekend I got to work Tuesday morning meeting with Madeline Schultz who manages Women in Ag Programming for Iowa State Extension and Outreach. We discussed the different programs offered and different ways to ensure the community’s needs and wants are met. It gave lots of cool ideas to think about and utilize throughout this project! Wednesday I took a break from Women in Ag to go to youth programming orientation day with the other Rising Star Interns and summer staff from other counties. We learned all about different management styles and experiential learning, the model of learning our camps use, and had tons of fun learning how to make our youth programming the best it can be. Then Thursday it was off to the SE Ag Team Meeting near Lisbon. We were hosted at The Lavender Farm at Sutliff and were treated to a tour of their acreage where they grow lavender for essential oil and u-pick opportunities, flowers, berries, and recently planted a variety of fruit trees; they also dabble in a bit of agroforestry and wood production. Their acreage was beautiful and the owners, Nancy and John, had so much interesting information about their farming, conservation, and production practices; be sure to check them out at The Lavender Farm At Sutliff on Instagram and Facebook! After all the excitement of the week, Friday was for managing all the preparations for some of our programs next week, we’ll start visiting the Hiawatha Summer Camp on Friday and take the Power of Produce to the Marion Farmer’s Market on Saturday so stay tuned!

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