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.
February 8-13 was the Biennial California Ag Trip. Ag and Hort students loaded up early Monday morning with Bro. Willis and Bro. Nelson and headed to Chico, California to visit with big-time, big-producing farm operations.
One of the highlights of the trip is going to AgReserves, Inc groves of tree nuts and seeing up close how almonds and pistachios (in Wasco) and walnuts and prunes (Chico, CA) are grown and harvested.
“AgReserves, Inc. is a multi-national, multi-corporate company that operates investment farms and ranches throughout the world. The California Operations Segment, one of the company’s business units, consists of two farming operations: almonds and pistachios in Wasco, CA and walnuts and prunes in Chico, CA. as well as processing facilities in both Wasco and Chico, CA.”
This summer we were able to upgrade to a real floral cooler. What worked as the cooler for our floral products the last decade was an old meat cooler from the animal science department. This new one is more efficient, and we don't constantly have a drip bucket to empty. However, if you're on the taller side of life, you do need to watch your head as you step inside.
Daniel Dewey teaches a variety of classes including Plant Science, Plant Propagation, Turfgrass Management, Irrigation, Plant Breeding and Genetics, Greenhouse Operations, Home Gardening, and more. Where a lot of time is spent on the art aspects, such as identification and design, in other horticulture classes, a class from Bro. Dewey dives deeper into the science of horticulture.
Bro. Dewey completed his undergrad and master’s degrees at USU and then his doctorate work at Texas A&M. He started teaching at BYU-Idaho shortly after.
He and his wife, Lindsey, have been married 17 years and have 6 children. They enjoy hunting as a family to provide their own free-range organic meat. If you’ve taken one of his classes or attended a department social, you’ve probably had the opportunity to taste a variety of meats from the Dewey family harvest and experience some of Bro. Dewey’s culinary creations.
Currently, Bro. Dewey is working on two different research projects. One is testing sprays meant to kill Kentucky Blue Grass for the purpose of keeping grass out of flower beds. The other project is testing drought stress responses in plants. If you would like to be involved in one of these research endeavors go to talk to Bro. Dewey to see what you can do.
Rip Tompkin visited campus and demonstrated how to properly fell a tree.
This spring and summer, David Hokanson completed his internship in Florida with Walt Disney. Of the experience, David said that it was one of the best and most fun opportunities he’s had. He was able to work with a huge range of plant material, hone his I.D. skills, and design and create a themed garden.
To see more visit the blog.
If you think you’re done with plant I.D. when you pass the I.D. classes here, think again! A big part of his internship experience was learning and working with new plants. All the interns had to take an I.D. test, and David got 100%.
One of the highlights of his time with Disney was the chance to design and create a themed garden. David’s Star Wars theme design was selected as the favorite! Another perk of working for Disney was getting to tour the area on their dime. The group of interns visited Bok Tower Gardens, SeaWorld, Gaylord Palms, Leu Gardens, Clearwater Beach, and Airboat tours.
When reflecting on what he learned during his internship, Hokanson said that a landscape should always tell a story. He learned that color is important and that it is vital to bring new ideas and new plants into the world of Disney. He was also taught that it is important to have fun and that the landscaped he created should help others to have fun.
Last week the Evergreen I.D. class (HORT 321) with Bro. Toll and Bro. Hansen travelled to the Pacific Northwest to explore the horticulture industry there while enjoying seeing and identifying plant material that just doesn't grow here in Rexburg. Some the stops this year included:
One of our horticulture students has been able to be involved in two unique experiences this semester. Ryan McBride was named a Student Ambassador for the NALP (formerly PLANET) as well as the Irrigation Association.
This last week McBride went to Louisville, KY to help set up and run a NALP conference, and in November he’ll be at an irrigation conference and attend various classes. Both conferences will give him the chance to rub shoulders and network with top notch industry professionals.
Ryan said that these are neat opportunities that he’s excited about.
In order to become an ambassador you need a recommendation [from a professor] and then need to complete the application process. Selected applicants receive the title of Ambassador and get to travel to and attend various industry conferences for free.
October 16, 2015 was the annual President’s Club dinner here in Rexburg. This event is say ‘thank you’ to those who offer monetary contributions to the school. The donors get a chance to visit campus and meet with university president.
For most any banquet type event on campus, the Flower Center has the opportunity to provide floral arrangements and this was no different. We put together 50 of these elegant bowl designs on Thursday evening for the dinner on Friday. Being able to provide this service gives our students more experience and hands on learning.
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.