When I began Microcampus, the topic I wanted to look into was farming. I wanted to investigate this topic because last year in Tonglu (7th grade China Alive), I enjoyed farming and planting the crops. It was one of the first topics that hit me to be the most interesting. My sources in Xizhou were mostly just day workers and people who were farming. They were the best source of information because they do the actual farming, so they should know almost everything I need to know. The questions I were asking them were basically about the process of garlic. I wanted to know how and when they plant it. The main point of this project is to show everyone how to grow garlic, because garlic requires certain timing and materials, not to mention certain care for it before cooking/eating. Though garlic can grow in many different soils, the conditions of the outside world are very important.
Thanks to all my sources (especially Mrs. Zuo, Xiao Tang, and Yang Xue Zhan). To find all my sources click on my Phase 3.
I took away so much from this experience. I took away the experience of farming, which is something I have always wanted to try. I also learned new skills and facts. My topic definitely changed over the course of the weeks. It changed from farming, to spring farming, to broad beans, to rice, to garlic. It was difficult to find something that was recent and interesting. This was difficult because the farming lands change every day, so it was hard to get the pictures after I realized what I needed. Even so, it was really cool when I first picked garlic from the fields. It was addicting, and it got easier as my eyes adjusted.
Microcampus helped me grow so much. It helped me learn about farming because Xizhou has so many opportunities to learn about it. I think it helped me understand the work it takes to become a real farmer. Microcampus has also helped me become less shy about my Chinese. I realize I can say 'hi' to anyone, but in Shanghai I doubt I will get many waves back. Microcampus has helped me to develop new, better habits. It has helped me to get out there and realize that time flies fast. I also made some new friends, which is so cool.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to get cracking, take a bunch of photos, and choose my topic sooner. It would have given me so much more time to find more information. If someone were to continue this project, It would be cool to have a whole study on the year's plants. I think I would continue to study all of the crops for a whole year, if I could. If future Microcampus students want to contact me about a farming project, talk to Mr. T for my email. I will help you as much as I can!
Lastly, I would like to give thanks to a bunch of people. First of all, Mr. T and Ms. Mai for pushing me through all the barriers. They helped me whenever I was stuck. I would also like to thank Xiao Tang, Mr. Zhao, and Frank for giving me my contacts. I thank all the farmers and day workers that helped me out, especially Mrs. Zuo, Yang Xue Zhan, and Mrs. Yang. They gave me so much support. I also would like to thank certain Chinese speakers. To firstly Miranda, then Erin, and Vincent, thanks for coming with me to the fields and translating for me. I also thank the rest of the Chinese speakers, Ivy, Ying Yang, Alisa, and Natalie, for translating some of my questions for me. Last of all thanks to my parents for letting me come here, paying for my trip, and supporting me from Shanghai.
I love you guys! ☮