I am very pleased to share this Spanish-English insect guide that I collaborated on with Crossroads Community Food Network. Based in Takoma Park, Maryland, Crossroads strengthens our local food system by providing resources to those who grow, prepare, and eat fresh produce (i.e. all humans ever).
This bilingual guidebook provides important safety information about the management of pest insects, as well as an overview of beneficial insects. My favorite quality of this book is that it will help facilitate effective communication between English- and Spanish-speakers who work in agriculture. I love opening the lines of communication!
It was satisfying to learn in detail about the various pests and beneficial insects as I created the page layouts and illustrations. In the acknowledgments, you will see a gamut of talented people who contributed their agricultural expertise to this book. As an avid gardener, I was grateful for the chance to absorb their knowledge. The final product was printed in a practical fashion with a spiral binding and waterproof cover–it is meant to be out in the field with you!
Designing projects that have a positive social impact is very meaningful to me. I hope that this book will help strengthen working relationships and build inclusivity for farmers all over Maryland.
I want to thank Crossroads for hiring me to help create such a unique and worthwhile book. If you visit their weekly farmer’s market, be sure to pick up a copy.
I can’t believe it has been over a year since I left the University of Maryland and started working at APS Physics. Here’s a #TBT in the form of a video I made for the University’s Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA).
Some IAA alumni formed a program called The First Green, an environmental and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education outreach program that utilizes golf courses as learning labs.
This short snippet was one of my very last projects for the IAA. I really had a blast filming at Westminster National Golf Course that day and felt like I was on the field trip too! The students learned about soil science, water conservation, and plant identification, among many other topics. We even had time to practice some putting.
People, there is more to turfgrass than you or I know.
Nicolas T., a Horticulture student at my work, came up with the idea for an herbal tea product during an entrepreneurship class. Over the past 12 months our department has watched his idea rapidly develop, culminating in a product launch at the campus food co-op last week.
Taking off on his initial product idea, Nicolas grew Tulsi, Skullcap, and other ingredients for his tea blend in the UMD Community Learning Garden. He then navigated the bureaucracy of both the University AND state food safety laws to create a market-ready product: Terrapin Tea. If you have ever worked for a state-run organization, then you understand what a significant feat of tenacity and perseverance this is.
In addition to his pursuit of product viability, Nicolas harvested tea seven days a week, worked full-time at an off-site internship, dehydrated and packaged tea leaves at the Maryland Food Co-op, and still made the Dean’s List.
In exchange for some of said product, Nicolas asked me to design his Terrapin Tea logo. When his product launched at the Maryland Food Co-op on campus last week, I jumped at the opportunity to take some photos.
My co-worker, Heather, wrote a very engaging article about the entire process. I highly encourage a read! The rest of the photos I took are available on Flickr.
Nicolas (right) describing his product to Larisa and Amy.
Recently I had the opportunity to tag along with my co-worker, Ken Ingram, and his Landscape Design and Implementation students as they went on a field trip to The Hotel at the University of Maryland (UMD). It had been a very long time since I went on a field trip; in my opinion, it was a blast.
The Hotel at UMD is in the final stages of development, and one of Ken’s former students, Buddy Hipp, oversaw the planning and installation of native landscaping on the property. Because The Hotel is conveniently located just across the street from campus, Buddy contacted Ken to offer current students the opportunity to walk over from Jull Hall for a landscaping tour.
Our experience exploring the new building, admiring the recently-installed trees and shrubs, and hearing about Buddy’s experience as the landscaping project lead was very informative. It is obvious that he enjoys his work as a project manager for Ashton Manor Environmental, a company with a focus on sustainable landscaping. To me, it sounds like an ideal job.
I took numerous photos and Buddy graciously agreed to be interviewed for a quick Alumni Spotlight video (see below). If you would like to learn more, here is a news item that I wrote for our website at work.
Basil is not only delicious, but easy to grow and manage with the correct approach. Over the weekend, I produced this short video of my Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) co-worker Meredith Epstein giving expert advice on proper plant care. She is the Sustainable Agriculture lecturer and advisor at the IAA, and also manages the University of Maryland’s Community Learning Garden. Meredith is also the one who chose basil as the topic for our first how-to video; I think she made a great decision!
Making a how-to video was a great way for me to get back into using iMovie. I had a lot of fun producing this using only my iPhone and the iMovie app. I found that the app doesn’t have all of the features from the desktop version, but still enough.
I have mentioned in previous posts that the Community Learning Garden is one of my favorite spots on campus. I hope that after watching this video, you will see why I love to spend time there.
Please do enjoy le film. Get ready to grow some expert-level basil!
Just cruisin’ with my friend Meg in her Toro Workwoman vehicle. I interviewed her to find out the best way to get into volunteering with the University of Maryland’s Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Meg graduated from the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA), where I currently work. The experience that Meg gained through studying Ornamental Horticulture at the IAA led her to become the arboretum’s Volunteer Coordinator. We both work on North campus, so it is easy for us to pester each other. 🙂
Want to help beautify UMD? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up!
Check out our crew in front of the fancy new UMD Community Learning Garden banner! We are but a few of many burgeoning gardeners who meet at 4 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays to learn about sustainable food production and help tend the raised beds and terraced plots.
Sustainable Ag advisor Meredith Epstein (middle, in teal) manages the garden and leads the work hours. When I started working with Meredith at the Institute of Applied Agriculture, the garden quickly became one of my favorite spots on campus. This summer I grew soybeans, pole beans, green peppers, tomatoes, kale, thyme, sage, and basil in my garden plot.
I was excited when Meredith asked me to design a 12×4′ banner for the garden. I had previously made a sticker design for the garden club, so I took this as an opportunity to build consistent branding by pairing the same colors and fonts with the provided terp/carrot logo.
The UMD Community Learning Garden is one of four campus gardens at the University of Maryland, College Park. Formerly called the Public Health Garden, it is nestled between the School of Public Health and the Eppley Recreation Center. You should definitely follow on Instagram.
The project was shelved for a little while, but I eventually put it together and posted it on the IAA Facebook page last Friday at 10:00 a.m.
As of right now (11:00 a.m. on Sunday) it has 40 likes and 84 shares. Whaaat? Why wasn’t there this much hype about my Open House post?
I credit Meredith Epstein, lecturer and advisor of the Sustainable Agriculture course of study at the IAA, with the idea of drawing male AND female farmers in the “350,000 Marylanders” block. Because: equality.
I feel so affirmed by my newfound ag peers. I look forward to creating the next infographic for the IAA, Alternative Agriculture in Maryland.