Friday, June 30, 2017

Arrival in Italia

The day has finally come and I have arrived in Italy. To be honest I did not know what to expect when boarding the airplane. I was very nervous and did not know anybody coming on this trip, but as soon as I stepped into Santa Chiara I felt as if I was back in Aggieland. One of the first things I noticed when I looked out the window on the airplane was the agriculture. There were hay farms everywhere, for a second I thought I was still in Texas. Just like the United States and especially Texas, agriculture is one of Italy’s drivers with wheat, oranges, tomatoes, potatoes and olives being the main export. The next thing I saw was an abundance of greenhouses. Italy is known for its Mediterranean climate so in the winter they will bring the plants in to protect them from freezing and take them back out when spring time as the weather begins to warm up. Of course, everyone knows that Italy is known for being the wine country, with vineyards upon vineyards upon vineyards. This area reminds me of the west coast back in the U.S. because the climate creates a rich soil for framing and producing the best crops in the world. I have noticed some differences here but also a lot of similarities in the way they practice horticulture. As my journey here in Italy continues, my level of horticulture knowledge is continuing to grow.

-Michael Vandever

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