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2019 Ambassador: Thi Pham

2019 Ambassador: Thi Pham

Thi Pham
Seattle Central
Seattle, WA

FUTURE CAREER GOALS

Currently, I plan on becoming a dental hygienist.

DESCRIPTION OF SCHOOL/WHERE PROJECT WILL BE IMPLEMENTED

YES Farm is an urban farming, located to the west of Yesler Terrace Park and right next to the freeway I90. Black farmers gather together here to develop it, so that it can become an education environment for youths and local family. Partly, the farm helps to increase people’s awareness about food security.

 

WHAT ORIGINALLY MADE YOU INTERESTED IN THIS PROJECT?

As an aspiring dental hygienist, working in the lab to get hands on new materials and equipments are ideal for me. It is a great opportunity to improve my lab skills as working alongside with scientists in a state-of-the-art research institute. Additionally, I wanted to challenge myself to work in a professional science field since I am really passionate about biology, how things work and coming up with optimum solution of a problem. The final reason made me interested in this project is because I live in a neighborhood with very little farming land. The project would help me to invent new ideas of building practical and efficient farming system in the neighborhood.

 

WHY DO YOU WANT TO BRING THIS PROJECT INTO YOUR COMMUNITY?

I want to bring this project into the YES Farm because currently there is no such a project that helps students understand the importance of food security. I want the project to be accessible not only to students interested in biology, but to everybody because food security is a big problem of the world. From that, they are informed and can apply the aquaponic system to their neighborhood, the effect can be spread further.

 

WHAT CURRENT CLUBS ARE AVAILABLE? WHAT TEACHERS COULD INTEGRATE THIS PROJECT?

My school right now does not have clubs related to farming, but it offers plenty of classes about global health, sustain agricultural education. Professors of theses classes, plus with integrated projects that the college has to assist students explore issues related to life experiences, are the right place to start with.

 

WHAT IS YOUR PLAN/OBJECTIVE?

My plan is removing permanently blackberry bushes in one particular section of the Yes Farm. Blackberries are non-native, invasive plants with strong ability of invading and regrowing. With their large, deep, woody root balls, they will soak up all the nutrients from the land, posing negative impacts to native plants and animals.  I chose the section right next to the existing farming land as it would stop the invasive plants from spreading further to the next piece of land, and continue expanding the piece for cultivating.

I worked with other students to cut all the branches off, dig up root balls by using shovels, or tillers as possible. After that, we cleaned up the soil, solarized it to heat up blackberry seeds. Removing blackberries is a matter of time, they could regrow again. Thus, the plan is to have someone keep cutting/mowing the grass usually. Over time, the plants get weaker and die as they cannot photosynthesize.

 

WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED?

Blackberry’s biological features

Lack of tools/materials

Lots of manual work

Time (as we only had 4 weeks to take care of it)