I chose farming because since I was a little kid I love to be on farms. I love to ride horses, see the pigs and feed the animals. The thing that I most like about being on the farm was the different types of foods. Different smells, looks, and shapes were very intriguing to a little kid. I guess from there I loved being farm because of those things.
As I was looking online for people who might give me helpful information, I stumbled upon three different people. One of which was, Jillian who was on the Microcampus trip last year. Her project had to do with farming, more specifically, planting garlic. I had trouble finding other sources and so I went to Mr. T for help. We sat down for a while looking at the possible resources. Finally we found the Agricultural University of Yunnan. The university's study was on a wide variety of different farming things. The last resource happened when I was looking online, and this persons name was professor Wein. Professor Wein's main study is the study of horticulture. Horticulture is the study of gardening. I know that this does not directly relate to farming, but I thought he could possibly help.
I chose Jillian because she had to do with farming. At first I did not really look at her project because she was focusing on garlic. Then I took a look at her video and saw that she would be a very helpful resource. She would be a very helpful resource because of a number of reason. The first reason was because she had to do with farming. The second reason was because I thought that she could tell me the process of planting crops. This is because by the time I was here, I would be learning about harvesting. When I got here I would know the entire process of planting and harvesting crops. I chose the Agricultural University of Yunnan because I thought that they would at least know the basics of farming, let alone the non basics of farming. I also chose this resource because they might be able to give me tips on how to farm or what is the best thing to focus in XiZhou farming. I chose Professor Wein because even though he had a background in Horticulture, he still knew about the planting and harvesting process. This way I would know even more about the process of planting and harvesting.
Through out the beginning of the inquiry project I was trying to think about questions that have to with farming in general, then as I started to head to Phase 2, I started to focus in on my project. So I started to ask questions like what is the main thing they grow here? Or, why is it hard to grow this certain crop? Then as I hit the beginning of phase 3, I started to start focusing on the harvesting and planting process of rice. I chose rice because that was the main crop that has been grown in the big spring.
In Phase 4 we had to write a thesis statement about our final project, and since my main project is about rice, my thesis was: In order to fully understand what it would take to grow rice for the year, you would have to know, the harvesting, the process, and the planning.
Sharing My Learning:
I have made a presentation that shows what I have learned in XiZhou about farming.
In my time in XiZhou I took away a lot of experiences. They are not physical experiences like suviners or toys, but mental experiences. I think that one of the biggest experiences here that I learned is to be patient and do your work the first time asked. I learned this the hard way; Like one time I did not hand in my math homework in on time and I learned the lesson I just showed you. One of the other big experiences that I learned was going out into the fields to start farming. I think it gave me a real sense of how farmers live everyday. Like how much they earn, or how much they get to eat for the 3 meals of the day. I think that that experience really showed me things differently then what I used to think. I am now way more aware of what going on in the world and what to learn a lot more about this issue
Through out the whole entire project, I have always wanted to farming. Right when I saw, I was like, WOW I want to do this! When I got to XiZhou, I started to see what kinds of farming I could learn. I am glad that we actually got to come to XiZhou because I see that there are so many different types of farming. Around Phase 2 I saw that I would like to be more focused on Harvesting of the rice. As I started to get out into the fields I saw that they were drying this rice in a certain way. I started to become curious about this. I started to ask questions like: Why do they use this way to dry rice? Is it the most efficient? Things like that started to pop into my head. As the project neared to an end, I started to become more general because what I was thinking about was way to specific. So in the end of this process I kind of switched in and out of of topics.
I think the most difficult of researching was actually when we got here. Some people might have thought that it would be easier to research here because everything is right outside the door. I think it is a lot harder because I was not so brave to go out and start randomly talking to people in Chinese. Finally, Mr. T gave me a little push and helped me with this process. This sped things up and now I have a pretty great inquiry project. Or at least in my opinion... Another things that kept on happening was that I did not sign up for any help in the fields. I guess if I started to go out earlier I might have had an even greater project.
At first I did not have many A HA moments because I was not getting out enough, but as soon as I got out, I started to have A HA moments. One of my A HA moments was when I realized that I wanted to start focusing on the rice cones. Later on, I started to dig deeper and found out that those rice cones had to do with drying. One of my other A HA moments was now when I started to start my final project. I got this because I realized this because I knew what I was going to be focusing in on. I knew what my thesis sentence was going to be. My thesis sentence was: In order to fully understand what it would take to grow rice for a season, you have to know the crop management, the planting, and the harvesting. I had so many other A HA moments, but there is just to much to tell.
At the start I thought that I did not know as much about farming as I did. Turns out, that I did. When I went out into the fields I learned a lot and already knew a lot of information. Thats why I like Phase 2, because I got to ask questions that I wanted to know about. Sometimes the questions that I asked did not help in the future, and some of them helped me greatly. From the questions that helped me a lot, I asked more questions that got me even deeper into the topic. So in the end, me asking questions in XiZhou ended up helping me a lot more in my inquiry project.
I interacted with the locals as much as I could. Besides the fact that I had a late start because I was slacking off. Even though I slacked off, I still got around 10-15 locals to help me with my project. The good part about this thing is I not only I found out about my inquiry project, but I also got to find out about the locals lives. I learned a lot of interesting things, some of those things might have been that they farmed there whole entire lives, or that they did not even like farming and they wanted to become something different. But they could not get enough money to pay for there education at a college.
This project helped me understand myself better by many different things. For one, I did not even know that I liked farming as much as I thought I would. At the begriming of the project I felt excited about it, then I started to see the ups and down of farming. At the end I saw that I liked it though. I also learned that I could be more brave and go out there and start speaking Chinese. I knew that the first time was the hardest, but once you got through it, you could continue on with out any trouble.
If I came back to the start of the inquiry project I would say that you always have to do a little at a time, and do that little thing every day. I learned this the hard way, because I did not do my work a little at a time. I fell behind and I had to catch up and now maybe my project is not as good as I thought it would be. I would also say try your best because if you don't, is there really a point in coming to Microcampus?
If another student came along and had to continue my work, I wish he/she would find out more about the rice cones. I thought that would be a really interesting project, but then I saw a different path for me. So in the future, if any student who is doing farming reads this, please try to find out a lot more about the rice cones. I think that they were really cool, and I would really appreciate it if you guys could continue my project this way.
I have so many thank you's to give out, so I will give them out in general. First off, I would like to say thank you to the chaperones who have pushed me and translated me through this project. It really means a lot to me because I have never really had so many people care for me on a project like this. I really appreciate the support. Thank You! I would also love to thank all of the farmers who let me come into their fields and let me learn about farming. If they had not let me into their fields, I would probably not be able to finish this project. So thank you for being generous enough to let me come into your fields and let me learn. And one more final thank you to everyone else who helped me in this project. I really want to thank you all for helping me with this.