Week 7 in Region 4

Another successful week in the books for the Rising Star Interns of Region 4! This week, Taylor and I have been busy continuing our work with the Lincoln Intermediate greenhouse, Central Gardens of Clear Lake, and Art Farm Iowa. Starting with the greenhouse, we finalized the all-encompassing greenhouse handbook, including lesson plans and educator resources. This handbook includes the contact information for community support personnel, such as the head facility maintenance, ISU Extension and Outreach STEM specialists, and volunteer resources. We hope to facilitate the teacher’s use of the greenhouse by backing them with these support systems. In our upcoming meeting with the school board, we will provide the teachers with a copy of the handbook for additional feedback. We also plan to include a copy of the recipe book that Taylor created for the Central Gardens in the greenhouse. The owners of the Central Gardens requested that we come up with a booklet of Latinx-inspired recipes using vegetables grown on the site- which we thought the greenhouse could also benefit from! Taylor did a fantastic job outlining easy, healthy recipes using fresh produce that could easily be grown from both gardens and greenhouses alike. We were able to present this recipe book to the owners of the Central Gardens this week at the Fresh on Friday event, where we also coordinated a craft activity for these kids. We had a lot of fun creating suncatchers using fresh flowers from the gardens!

Amidst our busy week, we also found time to help Art Farm Iowa with the various projects they are working on right now. I headed out to the farm this week to paint culture stands for an upcoming event that the organization is hosting and help with general maintenance around the property. During my visits to the farm, I was able to help weed the wildflower bed, raised garden beds, and corn and squash garden. Additionally, I planted tomatoes in the vegetable garden, which will be utilized for the Farm to Fork Event later this month! Later in the week, Taylor and I returned to Northwood to distribute a QR code for the Art Farm Interest Survey that Taylor constructed. The owners of Art Farm hope that this survey will provide them with valuable information on their consumer demographic and interests, which will be used to guide their decisions in the future. We posted these flyers in local businesses around town in order to get as much feedback as possible!