Week 2 in Region 17

Research Round-Up

To start the week strong, our team traveled around town to gather information regarding the cost breakdown of a square-foot garden for one of our three projects. Our research was insightful, and we discovered that creating a square-foot garden can be affordable and accessible.

Donation Garden

Like last week, our team had the opportunity to support the Beloit Donation Garden again. We weeded, hilled potatoes, planted marigolds, and mulched strawberries. A few things we learned throughout our garden experience are: hilling potatoes prevents them from turning green. This green color is because the potatoes react with light and produce chlorophyll. The chemical reaction that occurs is not good for human ingestion. After learning this information, we made sure to cover them well! As we were hilling them, we had to watch out for pests hiding on the leaves of the potato plants. Some of these we had to squish with our fingers, but to prevent them in the future, we created a patch of marigolds. Marigolds keep away pesky fritters and attract those helpful pollinators. Being able to connect with the other community members and learn more about gardening through them was a highlight of our Tuesday.

Cultivating Hope Farms

On Wednesday, we had the opportunity to visit Cultivation Hope Farms, which is right outside of the City of Ames. Cultivating Hope Farms is an organization that supports the growth of individuals with autism and other abilities by developing life skills and knowledge using animals and agriculture. The event the Rising Stars helped run involved flower and bird recognition. We hid feathers and flowers in hay bales and around the farm…some even ended up hidden in the turkeys. Once all the hidden items were collected, we asked our guests some questions about the color of the feathers, and then they painted with various sensory items. Along with the new friends we made through the activity, we were introduced to many of the fan-favorite animals on the farm. One is a black cat named Draco, and another is a newly born Calf named Deb!