The annual greenhouse operations (HORT 334) trip is a great opportunity for students to see three very different growing facilities and to meet the people running these operations. The first stop this year was Mountain States Plants, a wholesale plant and flower distributor located in Buhl, ID. They’ve been in business for over 50 years (http://www.msplants.com/) , and a big part of what makes them successful is their location and being able to use the warm geothermal water abundant throughout the “miracle mile” of Idaho.
Next stop was Onsen Farms just a few miles down the road. Also located in the miracle mile, Onsen Farms using this unique resource to heat“10,000 sq. ft of greenhouses sustainably. During the winter and spring months we sell our produce to the Boise and Wood River Valley markets and restaurants, along with providing produce to our local community 36 member Winter CSA.” (http://www.onsenfarm.com/about-onsen-farm/)
Last stop for the day was Moss Greenhouse located in Jerome, ID. “With over 300,000 square feet of covered greenhouses, and three acres of outside growing areas,” Moss Greenhouse “annually produces 180,000 flats, 350,000 containers and 37,000 hanging baskets. They sell to over 150 wholesale customers from 6 different states, mostly independent garden centers and grocery stores, within a 500 mile radius of Jerome.” (http://mossgreenhouses.com/history/)
Three very different operations, all in Idaho, all in one day.
The theme for this year's show was Forget-Me-Not. In addition to showcasing the fashion design student's clothing pieces and wedding dresses (accompanied with beautiful floral arrangements and head pieces), the gala also displayed wedding dresses and replica bouquets of ladies such as Christine Gilbert (President Gilbert's wife), Frances Monson, and various student's mothers or grandmother's dresses and bouquets. It was beautiful and fun to see how fashion and design change through the years.
Plant Propagation (HORT 320) students recently returned from their field trip touring various aspects of the propagation industry. They journeyed south to Utah and got to meet with Dr. Rupp at the USU extension site and discuss various drought tolerant plants. Next up was Dr. Carmen and his work with apomixis. Lastly, on the way back to Rexburg, the class stopped in Aberdeen at the ISU extension site to view Dr. Love’s work and see the process of cleaning and gathering the seeds he’s collected from the wild and what needs to be done in order to get the seeds ready to be planted.
The Disney brand is all about magic, and beauty, and wonder. But have you ever really thought about the amount of work that goes in behind the scenes to create all that ‘magic’? Disney offers several exciting internship programs and some of our students have been privileged to be selected. This is a very selective program, and only the best of the best plant science students in the nation are invited to be part of it. Our most recent student to return from an internship experience with Disney is Whitney Egbert.
Whitney spent June 2015-January 2016 interning in Orlando, Florida at Disney World’s EpCot Park. Whitney worked in the show greenhouse, or “Creative Greenhouse” maintaining and demonstrating the various growing systems: hydroponics, aquaponics, aeroponics. She also harvested the flowers and herbs used in the restaurants located in the park. Her favorite part of work was giving tours. “I got to meet people from all over the world and teach them about my love of plants, gardening, and agriculture.”
Of her time spent in Florida and working for Disney, Egbert said it was one of the most fun and rewarding experiences of her horticulture career.
There are four different parks within DisneyWorld, and EpCot is the Disney idea of futuristic living, provides information to park guests about the world agriculture, and answers questions like: where does food come from? and how will we feed the world’s growing population?
In her free time, Whitney loved to visit the other parks (for FREE): Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. The Animal Kingdom was her favorite. She also enjoyed activities with the local YSA ward.
Our aim for the Department of Horticulture at Brigham Young University-Idaho is to nurture understanding of both the art and science of Horticulture. Students learn experimentally in the classroom, laboratory, greenhouse, and ten acre Thomas E. Ricks demonstration garden as they pursue an Associates or Bachelors Degree. Using the medium of plants, students develop habits of hard work, enlightened minds, and healthy living that assist in gainful employment opportunitues.