Horticulture Club Gets a Taste of the Farming Business

Published: June 2, 2023

When it comes to running an agriculture business, a lot goes into making one successful, and there are many paths to pursue, like running a vineyard, a livestock farm, a flower farm, and more! College of Western Idaho (CWI) Horticulture Club students took a day-long tour of the many different farms in Canyon County to learn the best practices and tools to run a successful agriculture business.

CWI Agricultural Science students and faculty kicked off the day bright and early at 8 a.m. on Saturday, May 6, over at Lovely Hollow Fresh Cut Farms in Caldwell, where they heard from the owners about how to start a flower farm, learned about the work that goes into the business, and how agritourism helps grow successful businesses. During the visit, students were able to enjoy complimentary muffins and juice from the farm.

Students and faculty then drove to Huston Vineyards in Caldwell to learn about growing wine grapes in the Snake River Valley, why the area's soil is great for growing, and how to harvest and turn wine grapes into a tasty wine. To finish the site visit, students learned more about fermentation and took part in a tasting experience.

Horticulture Club then moved over to Peaceful Belly Farms in Caldwell where they enjoyed a lunch prepared on the farm while learning about their business as it relates to community-supported agriculture, cider, worm composting, pollinator education, and small-scale livestock production.

After a tasty lunch, students and faculty shifted over to Cherry Hill Orchards in Caldwell to visit their fruit trees and small storefront for customers. Students learned about the farm's business practices and techniques to get people to visit them, like putting on a corn maze and pumpkin patch in the fall.

The tour's last stop was McIntyre Pastures in Caldwell where the Club was introduced to the farm's rotational grazing practices, methods of covering crops, raising chickens, cattle, and hogs. Students then had the chance to help collect eggs, which then were sold in McIntyre Pastures' farm store.

"We had 18 students attend for the day and they left feeling like they had a vast appreciation for what farmers and horticulturists are doing in Canyon County," said CWI Agriculture Science Department Chair, Andrea Schumaker.

For those interested in joining or in need of more information about CWI Horticulture Club, please contact Dan Schults at danschults@cwi.edu.

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