You might remember from our last GROW blog post that the GROW team is hosting a teen from the Youth Exploring Science (YES) program over the summer. That would be me! My name is Christopher, and I’m going to be helping around the GROW gallery (mostly at the greenhouse) as well as writing blog posts this summer. It’s great to be here, and I can’t wait to show you all what we’ve got in store!
A little bit about me: I’m a recent graduate of Parkway North High School (Go Vikings!), entering my freshman year of college at Saint Louis University in the fall. I’ve been with the YES program for all of my high school career. The funny thing is that I’ve always done things related to cybersecurity and esports, so you wouldn’t expect someone like me to want to work outside in the 90-degree heat every weekend. This past year, with the COVID pandemic, I’ve had a lot of free time, and I began to take an interest in gardening. That hobby really blossomed (no pun intended) over the past few months, and I was lucky enough to be offered a position here at GROW. Other than video games and gardening, I really enjoy playing and listening to music as well as going on a morning run to help me start my day.
I’ve been super into hydroponics and sustainable agriculture as part of my growing interest in gardening. We all have a stereotypical idea of what a farmer is and what their work is like, but if you look at the recent advancements in farming technology, you can see that the game has totally changed. Farming and gardening no longer just mean throwing a seed into some soil and watering it every day; there are some really wicked techniques and strategies employed by farmers that use modern science and technology to help sustain crops and keep the food coming to our plates. That’s going to be one of the goals with this blog as well: more than just showing you my observations and the work we do at the greenhouse, it’s about empowering people to give gardening a shot and give them the opportunity to grow (and hopefully taste) their hard work in the form of a plant.
With that in mind, stay tuned for my next blog, when I introduce you to public enemy number one—the first problem we’re going to tackle in the greenhouse as the summer begins. You will meet the insects of the Aphidoidea superfamily, otherwise known as aphids.