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Finally, a post!

Hello, all!
My name is Marissa, and I’m interning in Geneva, NY as an intern for a researcher named Thomas Bjorkman.
Thomas primarily studies cool things about broccoli, such as heat stress, but my loyal compatriot co-worker Liz and I primarily assist on several different projects, which I will explain!
Thomas works on figuring out the effects of cover cropping on soil and soil microbial communities. It’s pretty cool, and as you can imagine, a pretty long study as well. One of the primary cover crops included is buckwheat, which is used in products such as Kasha (for all you Eastern European Jews out there!) and buckwheat noodles, called Soba, in Japan. Another study researches the effects allelopathic plants on vegetables such as pumpkin. The specific plants he’s looking at are mustards, which contain a compound called Isothyocyanate. It’s a cyanide-like compound which can spell trouble for a lot of different plants, but has some pretty cool effects in the field.
Specifically, Liz and I do things such as set up research plots with stakes and flags (which is a lot harder than it sounds), transplant plants such as broccoli, cabbage, and peppers, collect biomass data on plants, test soil conditions using a penetrometer, and take care of plants in the greenhouse. Our job never gets boring because we do something different every day. I have to admit though, it might get dry without Liz, but I really enjoy what I do.
Just a few days ago, Liz and I got certified to drive a tractor! Coming from a background that doesn’t involve agriculture at all, it was a really fun experience for me. I may not be very good at backing up an actual car, but I did it nearly perfectly on my exam. I was really proud of myself! Safety perimeters are a lot more intense on tractors though; because their center of gravity can get off easily, the potential for them to tip over is pretty great. It’s not hard to feel unwieldy on one of them.
So, before I depart from this post, I’ll attach a picture of Liz and I transplanting cabbage on tractor/planter. Lots of fun! 251380_1920602658300_1339050462_32122850_8206115_s

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