Our last field trip of the course ended on a high note, with a tour of the University of Delaware’s own research farm! Leading our tour was Scott Hopkins the farm superintendent! We started off in the bus driving to Webb Farm, and on the drive Mr. Hopkins told our class about the layout of all the land, what was for farming, what was for wetlands or bees. We saw the poultry and Insect buildings on our way over.
Upon arriving we went into the equine building and Mr. Hopkins explained the set up of the classroom area as well as the stable area, which often goes unused. His frustrations with the equine building really stood out to me, the University had it placed in a relatively inconvenient place and has not yet, at least, allowed the building of hay storage- so it has to be carted over when the stable is in use. His comment on the importance of conversing with those who will labor in or in relation to the building being designed before hand, really struck home to me. Just because thinking like that seems like common sense to me, be it working, designing something or in this case building, you would think efficiency and considering all of the variables would be the first priority and the fact that it isn’t always is frustrating.
We walked past the composing area where the class was shown the difference between a newer pile and a nearly done pile of compost (only one of which was visibly steaming!). We walked through the sheep barn and saw the huge packages full of wool, past the horses and back to the bus to drive back to the dairy section of the farm. Where we toured the milking parlor and Mr. Hopkins discussed with us the research area, as well as his hatred of students not asking questions! We finished our tour by stopping into the UD Creamery and Mr. Isaacs treating the class to ice cream!