Blown Away With Productivity! (Literally)

SLEWS Students from Winters High School

SLEWS Program | Sacramento Valley | February 15th, 2022

Location of the Field Day:
Free Spirit Farms

Partners/Landowners:
Yolo County Resource Conservation District
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Point Blue Conservation Science
Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation
Free Spirit Farms

Mentors:
Dana Stokes
Morgan Caudill, FARMS Manager, Center for Land-Based Learning
Aaron Haiman, Senior Environmental Scientist, Wildlife Conservation Board
Sara Lipschutz, Soil Conservationist, USDA NRCS
Leigh Siracusano, Grizzly Corps Fellow

Accomplishments: Planted 136 plants and installed ~1500 feet of irrigation line with emitters for each plant.

Summary of the Day:
For this SLEWS field day we had the opportunity to work with one of the original incubation farmers with the Center for Land-Based Learning, Toby Hastings. Wanting to build out pollinator habitats along his organic farm, students had the opportunity to learn about the benefits hedgerows can have for agriculture.

On this wild and windy day 11 students triumphed planting close to all 3 hedgerows that will be installed at this site! Students were able to lay out all the irrigation and install all the emitters that will be necessary to help these hedgerows succeed.

Following the planting students enjoyed the famous SLEWS burritos and a fun activity demonstrating population dynamics. Students acted out an ecosystem with bees, resources, birds, and herbicide to show how different plants and animals interact with one another. Students then had the opportunity to practice their questioning skills by observing a cheez-it box and thinking about what was inside. Little did they know it was a bag of pumpkin seeds! This activity allowed them to begin thinking about questions they had regarding the restoration work we were doing. Ending the day with a social media challenge, students were able to show what they had learned about the space and what they were excited for.

Thanks to everyone for their contributions! A special thanks to Yolo RCD who helped with the implementation plan and took care of our plants before the long awaited planting day. Additonal thanks to NRCS and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation whose support makes this project possible. A final thanks to the owner Toby Hastings for allowing us to assist with the planting of hedgerows on his farm.

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