Kaytee Norris – Guanajuato Day 7 – March 7th

Today our first stop was to learn about water harvesting. At this stop we also visited the greenhouses. Below are some photos of the beautiful flowers in the greenhouses.

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Our next stop was General Mills Irapuato. General Mills is home to Green Giant, Yoplait, Old El Paso, and many many other brands. Our tour of Green Giant was AWESOME! Green Giant is a multinational company and their processing plant is huge.. I really enjoyed learning about how vegetables are processed. While at Green Giant, we had the opportunity to watch Brussel Sprouts and broccoli and it was very neat but before we could go on our tour we had a short lecture and a video. After that was finished we had to put on a Green Giant lab coat, a hair net, a hard hat and earplugs before we were allowed to enter the plant. I learned so much interesting information and this was one of my favorite parts of the trip, but unfortunately we were not allowed to take pictures.

After Green Giant, we rushed to the Frugo food processing plant. Frugo is a family owned company and is very small compared to Green Giant. At Frugo, we were able to see broccoli being processed, which was very similar to Green Giant except for smaller. At the end of our tour at Frugo we had the opportunity to eat some fresh broccoli and it was pretty tasty if I must say so myself.

Our next stop was Pollo Feliz, which means Happy Chicken, to grab some grub before heading to the asparagus plantation.

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Once we were finished with our lunch, we headed to the asparagus plantation. I found his visit very interesting. I learned so much useful information. The rancher of the asparagus plantation owns 150 acres and all of those acres are planted with asparagus. Here in Mexico, asparagus is an introduced plant. This means that it is not native to this specific area. I learned that asparagus plants must grow for two years before they are able to produce. After those two years are up asparagus can produce for about eight years. I also learned that asparagus require less water than other crops and that they start to regrow after harvest in order to start preparing for the next growing cycle. I also took notice to the soil here on the asparagus ranch. The soil here s much darker than the soil in the ejido. This is because this rancher uses compost to help build up the organic matter in the soil. The rancher of this plantation raises Katadin sheep as a source of manure for the compost piles. This rancher raises Katadins because they are suitable for this part of the world. Katadins are hair sheep and are used mainly for meat. This part of our tour made me feel at home because of all the animals. Below are some photos of the sheep and asparagus plantation.

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Today was a long, but tiring day. I also learned a lot of new information today as well! Unfortunately we were not able to go to the strawberry store, which is kind of disappointing because I was really looking forward to it. After we get back to Guanajuato, we are going to head for supper and get back to rest up for a super busy day tomorrow! Hard to believe that tomorrow is our last full day here in Guanajuato, Mexico!!

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