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NWP Global Registry of Apprentice Ecologists - Squire Valleevue and Valley Ridge Farm, Hunting Valley, Ohio, USA

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Squire Valleevue and Valley Ridge Farm, Hunting Valley, Ohio, USA
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d___17



Registered: December 2015
City/Town/Province: Highland Heights
Posts: 1
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I imagine that a mysterious bond with nature has always held its roots in my heart, just as I imagine that all living beings share a profound connection to the natural world around them, be it conscious or subconscious. Unfortunately, due to the responsibilities of day to day life, a vast majority of people’s love for nature remains subliminal; hidden under the surface. Though, between having completed three seasons thus far of running through my high school’s wooded trails each day after school in the peculiar sport of “cross country,” having been the co-sophomore leader of a school group with a charity focus in environmental sustainability this last past year, having completed a semester of environmental science this year, it was hard for my passion for the wellbeing of our Earth not to manifest.
I will never forget the day that a plant spoke to me. Now I don’t mean with words, but the little tomato plant most definitely spoke with his actions. The day after I whispered an emotionally draining pep-talk - laced with generic empowering phrases like “I believe in you!” and “you can do it” – to treated tomato plant number 77, the little guy demonstrated his having heard my encouragements by experiencing a miraculous growth spurt overnight! As I recorded his height and base diameter for the purposes of my summer science project, my face melted into an expression of great pleasure and my hands began to tremble as I gripped my dirt-stained lab notebook; it was all I could do not to leap up into a happy-dance!
I am certain that we, humans, can still save our mother Earth and ourselves from self-inflicted demise by making genuine efforts from the heart to preserve her spacious lands. My own efforts included conducting an environmental conservation-oriented project for academic credit with my high school’s “STEMM” program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine, and Mathematics) in Hunting Valley, Ohio, this past summer. With the help of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) horticulturist, Chris Bond, I investigated the effects of cold radiofrequency air plasma treatment, an organic process consisting of treating seeds with non-thermal plasma to improve their ability to absorb water, on the germination rates and yields of corn and tomato plants. Though pronouncing my project’s title is as emotionally draining as my experience with tomato plant number 77 (“Using Cold Radiofrequency Air Plasma Treatment to Organically Raise the Germination Rates and Yields of Corn and Tomato Plants”), it is not as difficult to understand as it may appear!
The point of the project was to aid in solving the environmental dilemma posed by the growing global need for food paired with insufficient land to grow it organically. Going into the project, I was aware of the astounding impacts its potential success could have, such as eliminating the need for farming genetically modified crops to maximize land use (GMOs), the process of which, though not popularly acknowledged, has been found to have incredibly harmful effects on the environment. For example, GMO farming has been found to cause the contamination of plants through crosspollination of treated and untreated organisms, treated plants’ toxicity to bodies of water and beneficial insects, and the generation of “super-weeds” and “super bugs” through weeds’ and insects’ adaptation to herbicides.
With the help of Benjamin Wolfe, a researcher at Applied Quantum Energies (AQE), I acquired packets of treated and untreated corn and tomato seeds. The process that the treated ones underwent started with their being put into a vacuum chamber. After its pressure was pumped down to 1/1000th atm, an air stream was introduced. Then, the seeds were struck with a 13.56MHz radiofrequency, ionizing the air. The air being ionized, or in other words, being turned into plasma, entailed the oxygen and nitrogen molecules in the air being split into extremely reactive and unstable free-radicals by the radiofrequency. The oxygen and nitrogen free-radicals, searching for anything to bond to, easily bonded to the seeds’ coat, making it more polar. This increased amount of oxygen free-radicals on seed coat were intended to cause the seed to absorb more water (and micro and macro nutrients) during germination. Consequently, the rate of the endosperm metabolism of the plants (the rates of germination as well as the plants’ yields) was expected to rise. Since the pressure in the vacuum was only 1/1000th atm and temperature is directly related to pressure, the plasma treatment was “cold” in temperature; because of this it didn’t not fry or damage the seeds.
After planting 110 treated and 110 untreated corn plants as well as 55 treated and 55 untreated tomato plants, I collected data evaluating their date of emergence, height, base diameter, true leaf count and length, fruit count, fruit diameter, and recorded observations concerning their general appearance and health. After continuing to do so for a few hours most days of the summer, rain or shine, I was able to conclude that the project was semi-successful; the treatment was effective with respect to tomato plants but not with respect to corn plants! 14.27% more untreated corn plants germinated than treated ones, developing more rapidly with respect to height and base diameter. The treated tomato plants produced the significantly higher average yield of 0.6 tomatoes more per plant than untreated ones; however, despite germinating faster, one more untreated tomato plant germinated than treated. Thus, I was able to conclude that while cold radiofrequency air plasma treatment may not improve the germination rate and yield of corn, farmers can utilize cold radiofrequency air plasma treatment to organically maximize their land use and therefore, steer clear of harmful methods such as genetic modification with planting tomatoes.
I stumbled upon the Nicodemus Wilderness Project Apprentice Ecologist Project amidst searching for opportunities to share my project and my passion for the environment with more people. My project reinforced my awareness of manmade technologies and methods’ potential to enrich the environment rather than harm it; I was looking to share such discoveries with as many others as possible. The organization’s emphasis on encouraging today’s youth to take initiative and actively engage in environmental stewardship greatly appealed to me; I am a firm believer in the notion that active efforts to restore our Earth, especially of younger generations, are essential to the persistence of the presence of living beings presence in the world. Because many are too distracted with the demands of their daily lives, they fail to recognize the state of the Earth, which should currently be of utmost priority to all its inhabitants. Though, if we come together and use our minds and to work to preserve our beautiful world, its restoration is still possible!
Date: December 31, 2015 Views: 4801 File size: 21.0kb, 92.7kb : 572 x 405
Hours Volunteered: 160
Volunteers: 1
Authors Age & Age Range of Volunteers: 16
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sajjad

Registered: January 2016
City/Town/Province: Besham
Posts: 1
January 3, 2016 1:53am

I like ecology.