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Buckwheat, broccoli, and tomatoes.. Oh my!

I’m learning just how hard it is to do agricultural work for ten hours on a regular basis. Recently it’s been over 100 degrees Fahrenheit where I work! It’s tough because by the time that I get there, it’s already 8:30, when the heat has already climbed to about 90 degrees. I’m learning to deal with heat without complaining, which is pretty hard. I have mad respect for farmers that are out in it all day long! It gets tough when you need to drive a tractor with a black leather seat and the engine generates a bunch of heat. But that’s ok! Because we’re tough!
Lately, I’ve been working on a big poster for my summer scholar’s program, which looks a little something like this:
Screen shot 2011-07-23 at 2.50.41 PM

This is essentially what I’ve been talking about for the past few weeks. What we’ve found with the research is pretty interesting; basically, using rye as a cover crop doesn’t diminish spring crop performance because of allelopathy, but for other reasons. We’re not sure yet, but are working on it! My boss thinks it’s changes in soil microflora, but we won’t know until we run a few more trials. Anyway..
It was so hot Thursday afternoon that working out in the fields would have been a really bad idea. So instead, my supervisor and Thomas decided to take us out on a wonderful road trip to view a bunch of different farms around the Seneca/Geneva area. It was really informational! And Liz and I got a lot of neat pictures.
Most of Geneva’s agriculture relies on the typical corn, soybeans, and, less typically, cabbage. We saw acres upon acres of cabbage! Here’s my cabbage friend: Me and Cabbage

Interestingly, a lot of the fields around Geneva use Roundup Ready corn and soy, which I wouldn’t have predicted. You can tell because the weeds that should be around the plants look very brown and crispy.
As many of you might know, the Seneca area/Finger lakes region is also great wine country! We have really fertile soil for growing grapes and other fun alcohol making materials. Thomas’s wife actually owns Wagner’s, a great winery near Seneca lake! I highly recommend it. They play music weekly. Check it out!
Research is wrapping up for me, only two weeks left! I’ll post more as more interesting things come up 🙂

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