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.
Flip through the digital copy above, or download a PDF version.
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.
Students at the Co-op.
Nicolas even built a product display unit.
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!