Phase 2: Finding Helpful Resources

Updated 6 years 1 month ago

During my stay here in Xizhou, I will be learning more about my topic of farming. While learning about my experience, I need to find some resources on the internet and in the village that will help me discover new facts. I think some keywords that will help me learn about farming are: farm[ing], process, yunnan, xizhou, agriculture, planting, crops, and tools. I think for the words such as "process" and "tools" would need to be paired with other words, and I should see the context of the word when I skim the website. I think it is easy to know if the information valid, but most of time I would actually have to go in and skim it. The first thing I look at is the actual URL. If it is Wikipedia or wiki.answers or another answer website I definitely do not go and look. Though some of the information can be used, I do not usually click it because I know different people can edit the answers to be wrong. I also look at the topic/title of website I am maybe thinking of clicking on. Usually if the title is not capitalized, I feel like it is not a professional website.  For books, I did not find any in the Linden Centre that could help with my current topic. There was around 2 main books that talked about agriculture, but neither of them had information that I could use.

I would also need to look at the date of when it was published.  If it was in the past 3 years or so, I think it would be more accurate. I would also say that after you get your information, check with some other websites to be absolutely sure the information valid. Also to cite the work, I think I would first look at the bottom of the website to check the publishing date and sometimes the author. I would then look at the "Contact Us" tab, which is usually on the sidebar or the top bar.

My first expert is The Lundberg Farm.

The Lundberg Farm is actually not a single person. Since there was no specific email, I decided to email to whole company and see which family member answers back (there is a family biography). I chose the Lundberg Farm mostly because they are a farm harvesting rice, which is one of the most popular crop in Yunnan. I also chose them because they are organic farmers. When they are organic, they tend to not use pesticides and chemicals so it would be more accurate to what is in Xizhou. Here is a sample of my email: 

Dear Lundberg Farm,
Hello, my name is Jillian and I am in 8th grade. I live in Shanghai, China, and in a couple of days I will be departing to Yunnan for a trip called Microcampus. Microcampus is a month-long trip for 16 students to go and research a topic they would like. My topic is farming.
For my research, I am looking at the most popular plant in the village (Xizhou, Yunnan), and I am focusing on the process of how it grows, what is needed to grow it, and so on. Here is the list of my questions: 
 

My second expert is Professor Chris Wein.

Professor Wein works at the Cornell University in the Department of Horticulture. He specializes in vegetable production, which is one of the reasons why I chose him. I also chose Professor Wein because he has had graduate fields in horticulture (the practice of garden cultivation) and International Agriculture Rural Development. The latter might help because I am studying in a rural area. The email I sent him was almost the same with a little bit different ending: 

To look at my full project, please click the link below:
I would be very helpful if you responded with some tips on farming in general. What is your opinion on farming rice, wheat, and maize (the most popular plants according to my research)? 
Thank you for reading! This is a amazing experience and I hope you can follow my journey. 
Sincerely,
Jillian

My final expert is Professor Chip Bubl.

Professor Bubl works at the Oregon State University in the Department of Horticulture. I chose him because he works on horticulture crops. Also, I found him on a website where he was talking about garlic. He was talking about the "soil preparation for growing garlic." The website, found here {Sustainable Farming Association} tells me that he has grown 9 types of garlic over the course of 12 years. Here is a sample of my email: 

Dear Professor Bubl,

First, I apologize if I did not address you correctly.
Hello, my name is Jillian and I am in 8th grade. I live in Shanghai, China, and in a couple of days I will be departing to Yunnan for a trip called Microcampus. Microcampus is a month-long trip for 16 students to go and research a topic they would like. My topic is farming.
For my research, I am looking more at the spring time vegetables, or the crops this village is growing now. The array includes broad beans, garlic, and rice. Here is the list of my questions: 
(...)
I would be very helpful if you responded with some tips on farming in general. What do you think is the best condition for garlic, rice, and broad beans?
 
For my Three-to-Fives, my first contact was Xiao Tang. Xiao Tang is our guide. She works at Yang Zhou Ran. Xiao Tang was a great kick-off person because she knew some contacts that I could talk to later. She told me to go talk to Mr. Zhao, our guard, and another Mr. Zhao, the younger one. The gardener, Ms. Yen(?), was also a possibility. Xiao Tang said the gardener would be helpful because she has some land as well as taking care of the garden in Xing Ling Yuan.  
My second contact was Mr. Zhao. He also works at Yang Zhou Ran and he is our guard. I think he was helpful, but I could not understand him because I can not speak Chinese. Erin translated for me and said that there was a person named Xiao Zhao Ye who works during the night. Xiao Zhao Ye works at the Linden Centre farming area. Mr. Zhao said that the ayi lives across from the Linden Centre. 
My third contact is Frank He. I think Frank was really helpful in some background information. He told me I could talk to the receptionist at the Linden Centre, as well as my fourth contact, Yangbiaoqi. He also said that I could talk to some local farmers. He said the receptionist was going to be helpful because she has a lot of knowledge on vegetables, farming, and so on.
My fourth contact is Yangbiaoqi. He also works at the Linden Centre. He told me/Miranda that there was a small garden at the Linden Centre. He showed me where the farmer for the Linden Centre lives. Unfortunately, I could not contact her when I did my Three-To-Five with him. He also said that the gardener could be my main person to help me get into the fields to work. I think this is the same person as the one Mr. Zhao mentioned, because they both descirbed the area where the ayi lives. 
Xizhou was amazing, and I loved it. It really changed who I was into a more open person who really knows to take everything in. I think Xizhou is the perfect place for breathing. I also love dance, sports, cooking, nature, animals, music, art, photography, and so much more. My favorite people in the world are my mom, dad, family, and friends. I like to spend my time hanging out and chilling. :D ☮