Desert research center offering inaugural one-day field trip for snowbirds

January 03, 2002|By JENNIFER RALTON-SMITH, Staff Writer

If you're a winter visitor to the Imperial Valley and have ever wondered what all that green stuff is growing in the fields, you might like to sign up for a one-day field trip being offered by the University of California Desert Research and Extension Center.

The first in an inaugural series of six field trips designed with snowbirds in mind, but definitely not limited to winter visitors, will be staged at the center be from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Wednesday at 1004 E. Holton Road east of El Centro.

Nancy Wade, educational outreach coordinator for the center, said her team has planned a comprehensive line-up of educational and fun activities that will give visitors and residents alike a better understanding of the different elements that go into farming in the Imperial Valley.

Participants will tour the farm on hay wagons and will learn about crops as diverse as sugar cane and cotton. Experts also will be on hand to explain about those "attitudinally challenged" creatures — Africanized bees.


The mysteries of irrigation will be explained and participants will be encouraged to try their hands at starting a siphon hose.

Lunch will be presented to the tune of live fiddle music by Arizona musician Alan Robertson.

Cost per person is $10 and includes lunch, fresh vegetables and other handouts to take home, the chance to win awards and/or a door prize.

If you can't make the Wednesday event, the program will be provided again on Jan. 11, 17, 18, 23 and 24. Pre-registration is required and you can call Wade at 356-3067 to reserve your place on the hay wagon.

There are handicapped parking and bathroom facilities available and staff will assist participants in boarding the hay wagon. Participants also may choose to use their own vehicles for the farm tour.

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