Foreign Exchange Program

Hannah Nordby - IFYE Participant - Taiwan/Thailand Part 5


This is Part 5 of Hannah Nordby's IFYE Experience detailing her travels in Taiwan during the month of September.

September 12, 2018

Extension in Taiwan works to form partnerships with area schools to bring agriculture education into the classroom! Many townships have shown me their classroom gardens, evening involving me in the process!

They really focus on full circle education starting with students preparing and planting a garden themselves, followed by weeding and maintaining the garden.

While many schools have a small garden, this was the first school greenhouse I had seen in Taiwan. Educating students about proper management of greenhouses is really important in helping them understand all the work with different technology that goes into producing the food they enjoy every day.

After harvesting produce students learn how to cook up delicious meals from what they grew! Completing the circle is then teaching them how to compost at home and use the organic matter to fertilize the garden for next year.

September 16, 2018

Note: I’m in Thailand but I still have some stories to share about Taiwan! Excuse the double postings but it’s just what happens when you experience so much!

Rice doesn’t go straight from the fields to your dinner table, there is a series of steps to ensure a quality product for consumers to buy!

Harvested rice is brought and sold at an elevator where the Rice is dried and stored in two types of environments:

  1. Normal/room temp is for the government to sell or keep at their discretion. The Rice’s moisture level is dried to 13 C before storing. It is either kept and use in case of natural disasters. It is rotated out every year with the leftover rice being sold as animal feed. Or the rice can be sold to make cookies/processed rice products, sent to other countries in need etc.
  2. Lower/refrigerator temp is to sell to consumers. In this type of environment the Rice’s moisture level is dried to 14.5 C before storing. Rice keeps longer in the cooler, stable environment.

Later the rice is cleaned and then hauled, if you stop there you have brown rice. Additional steps are needed for white rice where machines remove the outside membrane. This byproduct can be ground into a powder and sold as pig feed. The process for white rice continues as the rice goes through a sorting machine to rid of any impurities. The rice is then steam washed to get as clean as possible and remove any residues. The final step is packaging.

September 29, 2018

I’ve had a couple questions about where I’ve been traveling, so to just give everyone a good idea of what Hannah has been up to- and a picture is way easier than an explanation!

Starting from June to September I was in Taiwan (point A)- The Republic of China, a small island off the coast of China.

In September I moved on over to Thailand (point B, southwest of China. I will be here until December when I am scheduled to fly back to good ol North Dakota.

I wanted to point out the difference in location because I heard more than once how dismayed my Taiwanese friends would get traveling abroad and people assumed Taiwan was the same as Thailand! I’ll also be the first one to admit before heading out on this adventure I grouped all Asian countries together as one in the same.

Part 2

I previously posted about prepping the compost for the mushrooms. However, before the mushroom spawns can be distributed throughout the compost the spawn must be propagated.

Today we cooked millet grain, divided it into glass bottles and into the pressure canner for sterilization they went! We might have to invest in a bigger pressure canner when we can because this thing was pretty impressive!

A sliver of mushroom or more specifically mycelium is inserted into each bottle and begins to colonized. The final product being “spawn” that is inserted into each compost baggie and grows into delicious mushrooms!

Of course there’s a lot more depth and detail that goes into the process but I tried to keep it as simple and to the point as possible- you're welcome!

September 30, 2018

Today I said goodbye to my first host family in Thailand. I spent the past two weeks on a mushroom farm learning the ins and out of mushroom production. I spent time alongside family members and other workers prepping, planting, packaging, stacking, picking, and processing mushrooms!

While we had fun and enjoyed smiles and laughter together we also worked hard and Hannah found out just how much she could sweat! For me it was truly amazing to see how much family sticks together in Thailand to support each other.

Thank you so much for welcoming me into your home and sharing your busy life with me these past two weeks

Read Part 1 of Hannah's Experience

Read Part 2 of Hannah's Experience

Read Part 3 of Hannah's Experience

Read Part 4 of Hannah's Experience

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