The first month as a service learning student at Cornercopia Student Organic Farm
By Baylee Luedke March 8th 2018

Over the past few weeks of volunteering at Cornercopia, the student organic farm at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, there have been many tasks and duties assigned to me that have introduced me to the world of organic farming. One of the tasks that I have done is cut and harvested micro greens which are petite-sized versions of normal plants that are limited in their growth. For example, we cut small versions of sunflowers, radishes, and peas, that would be sold to restaurants on campus. Another duty that I was assigned was checking the germination of seeds and I did this by counting how many seeds had sprouted in damp paper towel over the course of three weeks. The main idea around this task was to determine the viability of old and new seeds to see which varieties were beneficial to plant and produce a larger harvest. Lastly, a duty that I have done, which is one of the most technically difficult tasks, but also my favorite, is creating soil blocks. The technique for making the perfect soil block is to have damp enough soil so that when you squeeze it only a few drops of water come out. Additionally, having the right soil block stamper is essential, otherwise your soil blocks come out decrepit. Moreover, bicep and tricep muscle strength is a must, making soil blocks is no joke and takes a lot of effort. With all these skills in convergence, then you can create a perfect soil block that leaves a dimple big enough to house a few seeds of your choosing. Overall, these experiences have led me to a greater appreciation for organic farming but primarily how food is made.

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