February 22, 2009

BINGO! 2-22-09

Sorry for the late post, school has been a little busy. At our last meeting (2-12-09) we discussed opportunities for club members to get involved in the community.

There is an option to volunteer at a nearby elementary school with members of the Forestry Club. The children get the benefit of positive role models and volunteers get a great leadership opportunity.

In April or early May volunteers are needed in Big Stone County, MN to help plant bare root fruit trees that are a result from a 150 tree donation to elementary students in a effort to promote community sustainability and nutrition awareness. I am the student organizer on working on this project this semester and can help answer any questions.

As far as activities this semester, when March hits we will be busy planting, planting, planting. I was also interested in getting a Saturday tour of Bushel Boy Farms in Owatonna MN. http://www.bushelboy.com They are a large producer of hydroponic lettuce and tomatoes. It is a place I have always been interested in visiting.

Horticulture BINGO was the over all the big hit of the meeting. Members were asked general horticulture vocabulary from classes as Plant Prop. and Greenhouse management. It was a lot of fun.

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If anyone has questions or suggestions of volunteer opportunities please contact me.
Megan Mathey
hortclub@umn.edu

February 1, 2009

Hort. Club Back in the Greenhouse 2-1-09

Thusday, 1-29-09 was our clubs first meeting of the semester and we were able to get our hands a bit messy. Our first mission was to propagate houseplants for a donation to the St. Anne’s Place Women’s Shelter. Stalk plants of Chlorophytum comosum, spider plants and Zebrina pendula, inch plants were made available for our use from Roger Meissner as they were extras from Plant Propagation. Thanks.

Our next project was sorting our seed collection and making early decisions as to which plants our members want grow for our spring plant sale. A donation of Seeds of Change seeds, a Certified Organic seed company was made by Neil Anderson. A section of our plants at this years sale will be grown with organic growing media and these seeds this will be an exciting step in a new direction for our club.

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Just a reminder our club is always open for new members and you may join at anytime. For further questions don’t hesitate to e-mail me at hortclub@umn.edu

Megan Mathey

January 20, 2009

19 January 2009. No Snow in Puerto Rico

Hello everyone, this semester Horticulture Club will be maintaining this blog.

Let me begin by introducing myself and provide a brief overview of the Horticulture Club. I am a junior Environmental Horticulture major and the President of the Horticulture Club. Hort. Club, as it is usually referred to, offers many opportunities to students from many majors. We are a diverse group of students with one commonality - the love of plants. We enjoy making floral arrangements for holiday sales and one of our main events is a spring plant sale.

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The spring sale is great learning opportunity, allowing members to practice skills such as ordering perennial plants, developing planting schedules for the dormant perennials and seeded material and learning proper watering habits and general plant care. We usually fill two greenhouses with our plants. Every year the plants change depending on the members interests.

The grand finale of this is a group trip once a year to observe the horticulture industry in an area different from that of the midwest. These are usually four day educational trips and include tours of plant production facilities, research stations, botanical gardens, fruit production and the landscaping in zoos. Past trips have included; Hawii, San Diego, Miami, and most recently Puerto Rico (Jan. 12-16 2009).

Puerto Rico has an amazing climate this time of year, highs around 80F, a great break from snowy MN. Our trip included a visit to the University of Puerto Rico's botanical garden followed by a tour of an old sugar mill that is now a botanical garden in Caguas. We took a hike to observe native vegetation in El Yunque Rainforest, then visited a local fruit market in San Juan. We drove through the western mountains to a tucked away tropical seed and Heliconia production company, Montoso Gardens. Along the way we passed coffee plantations, bananas, plantains and citrus. The last stop was a trip to the USDA Tropical Agricultural Research Station (TARS) in Mayaguez.

The first meeting of this semester will be held next week and we will be propagating house plants for a donation to local women's shelter.

Megan

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