Saturday, March 29, 2014

Construction in Progress

Good Afternoon, everyone. Hope the last the last two weeks have been great. I'm just updating you all to the exciting things that have happened, and are happening at Howdy Farm. In the last two weeks we have continued working on the wall on the raised bed I discussed last week as we try to get it finished in time to plant in by the summer. The project I discussed last week that had been flooded has been placed on a temporary hiatus while we get the necessary resources to finish it up. Also, we are currently in the middle of a fundraising drive for the farm so if you would like to contribute please visit to donate to a very worthy cause. As usual, there are pictures of our progress from the last two weeks attached.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tough Days at the Howdy Farm

Well folks, it has been a tough couple of days at the farm. The last couple of weeks had been going well with us making some more headway into our construction project and we were beginning to lay down our irrigation system when things took a turn for the worse. Sunday night we had a big storm come through College Station and it has essentially revealed that our location is basically a small swamp. Because the farm location is on a small slope, it looks like all the water from our irrigation elsewhere has been flowing subsurface into our chosen location. This fact was not revealed until we had started into our project and got a big rain. As of now we're looking at having to seriously redefine our vision for this space. It is still salvageable, it is just going to require a good deal more time and money than we previously thought. But this is the nature of farming, sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. I'll be sure to keep you all updated with how our project progresses from here but in the mean time we have begun work on revitalizing a different bed while our other one dries out some. Until next week!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Reclaiming a bed: Part Deux

Greetings from the farm. These last couple of weeks we have been further working on the construction project that I've been chronicling. As you can see in the pictures, we've finished clearing off the top layer of soil and have started the process of digging out the holes for the plastic planters. The reason for the planters hearkens back to how thick the soil is with clay. If we were to just try and plant anything here without the planters to contain any good soil, the bed would be a failure. The project should be nearing completion here in the next week or so since most of the hard labor is now out of the way. As always, I'll be sure to keep you updated as this project winds down and a brand new one begins.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Reclaiming a bed.

Greetings from the farm. For the last two weeks we've been occupied with reclaiming one of the beds along the drive for a landscape project. Because the soil is so packed with clay, it's been a ton of work but we have finally finished the perimeter wall and can now go about getting off the top layer of soil and evening it out before digging the holes for our buckets which we will be planting in. It's been a fight with the soil, but in the next two weeks or so the project ought to be complete and we will be able to start planting in the bed just in time for some (hopefully) warmer weather, then it will be on to our next set of beds to prep. Until next week!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

     Greetings from the Howdy Farm, everyone. This week was my first week back on the farm since December, and it was long awaited. This week also officially started my internship on the farm. This semester there are several projects I'll be working on, but there is one in particular that I will be blogging about in greatest detail as the semester goes on. 
     This project will be the total renovation of one of our raised beds. Essentially what we'll be doing is taking a space that has long set unused, and installing a new irrigation system, creating a walkway through it in order to access it more easily, and finally, prepping the soil and planting some new crops in it. This will be pretty close to a semester long project that will be primarily under the supervision of another intern. Below I've included some photos of what the bed looks like for the time being before we start work on it. 
     Aside from the major projects, yesterday was a fantastic day out at the farm. We not only had a fair sized harvest after the last few weeks of deep freezes, but we're making major headway into prepping old beds for Spring planting. I look forward to keeping everyone up to date with the weekly goings-on at the farm for the rest of the semester. Until next week!

Monday, January 6, 2014

A Short Introduction

Howdy, everyone. I hope everyone has had a happy new year thus far. In this first blog I'd really just like to set up what this blog is about, why I'm doing it, and who I even am.

First things first, my name is Andrew Todd. I'm a Senior Political Science and History Major here at Texas A&M University in College Station. I'm originally from outside of a small town called Palestine, Texas in East Texas. Before I came to A&M I attended Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont for two years. Next, the whole subject matter and reason for this blog in the first place is about farming and food. For the last several months I've been volunteering at the Texas A&M University Howdy Farm (hereon referred to as the Howdy Farm) which is an organic farm that is run by the Sustainable Agriculture Students Association on the Texas A&M campus.

I grew up on what some farther up North might call a farm, but by Texas standards was really just a small piece of land with some vegetables, chickens, and maybe a cow or horse occasionally. I don't have any formal educational background in farming or horticulture aside from three classes on Agricultural Economics. I don't volunteer with the Howdy Farm because I anticipate it will help me in some type of horticultural career, I do it because I believe in what they do and I appreciate the lessons that working the land can teach and I'm a firm believer in reaping what you sow (in the case of farming I mean this literally.)

I've never really been the city type, and the Bryan-College Station area is by far the largest city I've ever lived in. Working at the Howdy Farm allows me a chance to get back to what makes me comfortable, (hence the name of the blog) working with the land to grow or raise food.

If the subject matter of this blog piques your interest, you are welcome to continue checking here for updates as they will be regular. I look forward to sharing my experiences with all of you for the next several months.