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.
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.