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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Fighting frost and facing the future

Howdy+Farm+provides+produce+to+local+farmers+markets+and+hopes+to+begin+cooking+demonstrations+with+the+food+they+grow.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Provided

Howdy Farm provides produce to local farmers markets and hopes to begin cooking demonstrations with the food they grow. 

Despite the winter weather and chaos of a new semester, the Sustainable Agriculture Student Association’s (SASA) start to the year has been a success, one they expect to maintain through the spring.
SASA, more commonly referred to as Howdy Farm, is an organization that grows fresh produce on the Texas A&M campus and sells their harvests to local farmers markets. The organization’s goals for this semester include teaching people how to cook with the food they grow, finalizing partnerships with The 12th Can, A&M’s food pantry and a continued search for increased student involvement.
The purpose of the farm is to encourage students to get in touch with the food they eat, according to Megan Turner, bioenvironmental science senior and president of SASA.
“We want to promote sustainable agriculture practices,” Turner said. “Another thing is just reconnecting people to where their food comes from … reconnecting people with these processes they rely on and empowering people by giving them the skills and teaching them so they can grow their own food and be more self reliant.”
This winter, the farm has had to contend with unusual weather, including snow in December, temperatures 10 degrees below average near the new year and more cold days than normal.
These struggles led to the loss of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and banana trees. However, due to other carefully planned crops which could sustain cold weather and watering plants before big freezes to prevent them from drying out in the cold, the farm did not suffer overwhelming loss.
“We didn’t actually go to market until March last year because we had a little bit of freeze and didn’t have enough crops that could handle cold weather like that,” Michael Legorreta, Howdy Farm manager, said. “It’s kind of a big win to have outfought the winter … just the fact that we were even able to go to market at all. I think it’s a really big win for us.”
While cold fronts and freezes are still a possibility until March or April, Legorreta said he doesn’t expect significant damage.
This semester, Howdy Farm is working toward giving donations to The 12th Can and are currently sorting out the logistics of storing fresh produce, according to Turner.
In addition, the farm is looking to increase their presence at local farmers markets. Currently, Howdy Farm sells at the Brazos Valley Farmers Market in Downtown Bryan and the Farmers Market at Lake Walk Town Center.
Howdy Farm is also going to start nutrition related cooking demonstrations according to Kerry Kennedy, international agricultural development graduate student and community outreach and education officer of SASA.
“Our goal with that is to collaborate with all of the local farmers and have some of their produce be in one of the meals we prepare,” Kennedy said. “We will do a demo that can get kids involved and have recipe cards people can take home with them so they can go to those farmers and stock up on the produce that we just demonstrated how to prepare.”
Howdy Farm will host an informational on Jan. 28 at 5 p.m at their farm, located on West Campus. Students from all fields of study are welcome to join, Sarah Gregory, nutrition sophomore and farmers market manager of SASA said.
“You don’t have to be a horticulture or a nutrition major or a plant and soil science major to fall in love with Howdy Farm,” Gregory said. “There’s just something about being so in touch with the earth and with people while you’re doing it that’s so rewarding.”

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  • Howdy Farm looks forward to implementing new ideas to grow their organization this semester. 

    Photo by Provided

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