Throughout our internship, we have had the opportunity to work with a variety of people from Iowa State University and ISU Extension and Outreach. This past week, we met with Josh Sievers. Josh Sievers works with the Northwest Iowa Research Farm, a partnership between Iowa State University and Northwest Iowa Experimental Association. He, and the research farm, are also involved at the Lyon County demonstration garden. The demonstration garden is located at the Lyon County fair grounds in Rock Rapids, IA.
On Tuesday, we helped out at the Lyon County demonstration garden during a Garden Walk. The garden walk was open to the public and helped to educate the community on what was growing that year as well as answer questions about personal gardens. Master Gardeners were there to answer any questions people had. To highlight what was being grown in the garden, we made salad on a stick using the same types of vegetables that are being grown in the garden this year. Each year, the garden has a different theme and plants are chosen based off of it. The garden’s theme for 2016 is a pantry garden. All produce that is grown in the garden will be donated to local food pantries in Lyon, O’Brien, Sioux, and Osceola counties.
On Wednesday, we met with Josh Sievers and learned about Iowa State University and the Northwest Iowa Research Farm. We learned about the history and purpose behind the research farm as well as some of the research they are currently doing. One of the cool things about the research farm is they have a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) which they use to take aerial shots of the test plots. They have multiple cameras with different colored lenses that can be used to photograph and determine different things such as moisture and nitrogen levels.
From both of these days, we were able to witness how helpful the people of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach are. Between the demonstration garden and research farm, whatever level of gardener or farmer you are, there are people to answer your questions.