BY: Hongnapha Phommabouth
Greeting from Bozeman and Billings,
Today is a very nice and exciting day for me; I start my day by walking around my host home stay’s garden and visit the bee’s nest. I really love this place, they plant many type of vegetables and lovely flowers around their house. And the important for me, I saw the Buddha status under the tree, it really make me feel like I am at home.
And then I left my home stay to explore the new knowledge from the field in Bozeman and Billings. But the first place that I, Mr. Dang (fellow from Vietnam) and our fellow coordinator visited is the Montana State University’s farm. We met Mr. Mac who is assistant professor- PhD. from Montana State University. He runs a farm like we work in our country. When I entered to the farm, it surprised me with a big and wide area of farm’s land and I saw a big storage house. I think it would be the place for keep some vegetables and some fruits after finished the harvest. In reality, it is not only the place to keep the vegetables and fruits; it is also the organic market for people to buy vegetables and fruits there. And the main customer is the CSA members who pay in advance $400, they will get their vegetables and fruits from Jun to Sept. Then Mr. Mac explained more about his farm system while we started walking around the farm. I learned that it is important to have crop rotations, soil fertility and cover crops planting in the land because it is improve the soil and give the nutrition to the soil. Moreover, I learned about small scale production systems, precision irrigation system/management which they are two types of irrigation system, one is they get from wells and the other one is they get from reservoir. It is a fruitful lesson learnt that I could bring back to share with my community’s farmer group in order to improve their farm’s system and water system. In addition, I have a chance to taste some type of vegetable and fruits there. It is very delicious and fresh. Now, I understand more why we need to do experiment with the vegetable seeds/plant before we start planting and the important of the weather’s temperature to the vegetable and some plants.
the most wonderful lesson learnt and knowledge that I have learned from Mr. Mac and inspired me, “Let’s start to do the farm by heart, every step of working in the farm, we need to work by love and care all the plants and notice all the time that what the plants need, how much water do they need and how much the temperature do they need. Finally, how we can provide a good quality of vegetables and fresh to our consumers”.
I would end my blog with the word that say thank you to Mr. Mac for sharing us a new knowledge and skills. And also thanks to my lovely fellow coordinator who drive us for many hours to bring us to a nice place and we have the best time to learn and share from each other along the way to Billings about our community issues and social problems that we faced nowadays. However, we as a young generation will do the best and contribute the positive things to our communities.