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So I decided after 22 yrs in the nail industry-I was fed up with people and knew my brain was not getting used as much as I knew it was capable of so I went home ‘sick’ early from the shop and attended the home and garden show where I saw a cool display which lead me to grab a brochure. I looked into this ‘training center’ and read it was free (like legit no cost) and set the appt up for the beginning stages of several interviews and testing process to enroll. I missed the cut off of the class(20 per class)  they were getting ready to begin and had to wait until the next session which began the end of January. A seven month class with a four externship after to complete the course. I had six months to financially get my shit together because I was about to quit my job (the training only allowed a two day absence, and it was mon-fri 8a-3p and each minute counted. I wanted to fully commit) and take a ginormous leap into something that had piqued my interest, but I had no idea the training they provided was as extensive as it was.  Allow me to share this entire experience with you, please. It was life changing (but also because I was ready for a change).  I’m gonna share class time, commute, our field trips (which were once a week, usually) and all that was learned and lived through during this time. I leaned more about myself and people and our connection and our ability to adapt from learning about a plant.  

What I plan to get from this thread is a knowledgeable exchange of plant information.  Credible, Reliable sources and your tried and true experiences are greatly appreciated.  
It seems a lot of people do not wanna share their tips and tricks and knowledge these days but I believe that plant knowledge is so crucial to us as humans we should be eager to share and accept another’s knowledge. 
I’ll post  the course outline so you get an idea of what was taught. 
What I want from you is anything plant related. Plants, trees, insects, disease and how to control them. Flowers. Common names. Scientific names. Indoor/ outdoor gardens. Greenhouses. Hydroponics. Design (landscape and garden). Your native and invasive plants and animals. Cultivation tips.....you get it. 

 

 

 

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Edited by SMdoubleXL
Added photo of display that caught my attention
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During this course we would do come class time then apply it somehow. Everyone became cpr/aed/first aid certified. Everyone became certified in chainsaw operations, a tree tender, licensed to apply pesticides, and be around a huge network of likeminded people with a chance to take it where ever you wanted. We had field trips at several types of nurseries, a winery, ended up in strawberry fields picking strawberries, golf course, greenhouses and Conservatories and botanical gardens, spring flower planting for the city,  pond planting, the zoo, mushroom farming, tree climbing lessons, museums, nature walks, farms, landscape and design business,  garden design and landscaping and briefly digital landscaping. Brief lessons In spreadsheet and docs and all that type shit and career training. 

 
I’m gonna share this whole journey with you. It’ll get derailed for sure but Ive leaned that’s how the horticulture industry is anyway.  I had some real gems In That class we can talk shit on also. 
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The rest of my class had a major advantage over me. They were all familiar with what western Pennsylvania was. The soil. The history. The trees. Weather pattens. Common plants for that area. Normally I wouldn’t think this mattered, but it did!  Not only was I trying to learn about western Pennsylvania plants, but I had to quickly get familiar with what was common knowledge of the locals. (I had only lived there for a year and a half before I started school).  The only way they could grab this concept was when I showed them a simple google satellite image of southern Nevada (red circle )vs Western Pennsylvania.(green circle)  

 
Knowing your plant hardiness zone is crucial also. (A current map) because zones have changed quickly over the last few decades. 
That will be a common thing here,too. Let us know your zone every now and then. (Repetition is what works with me) and yes, selfishly I wanna learn from this thread, also. Zones, natives and Invasives and correct wording, spelling were pounded into our head and became regular verbiage. 

 

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Edited by SMdoubleXL
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The campus was a small three building operation; one of those building being a greenhouse. They had a craftsman’s guild in the other building. You were constantly surrounded by art and creativity. We had outdoor class sometimes. Other courses included lab technicians and culinary so we took advantage of their classrooms as well.  Just trying to create a visual environment here. 

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Before I lose you-I’ll show you what I went Into this program with as far as houseplants go. This is what drove across country with me from Vegas to Pittsburgh.  I don’t recommend this hahaha. Don’t just pack up your desert plants and move em to Pittsburgh and expect  them to all live. Lol. 

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Edited by SMdoubleXL
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Once class resumed we immediately jump into CPR. 

We also begin with the greenhouse tour. Which Includes a headhouse, hydroponics room, and three houses and this large Ficus lyrata (fiddle leaf fig)  yours truly as if you need a size reference. 

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Congrats on joining the Norf Beast.  Cool they did CPR/AED, good skills to have.  I'm down with this topic, was raised with a green(er) thumb from day one.  Thanks for sharing.

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6 hours ago, Hua Guofang said:

Ate a ficus on army survival course once, mistook it for a completely different plant.

 

Do not eat ficus.

How far into ‘eating’ did you get before you realized? Damn 

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We also jumped right into to chainsaw operations. I’ve never even so much have picked on up let alone fell a tree, which was going to be the end result. A small tree but nonetheless a tree. 

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This was my cut. I was supposed to land it between those two blue circles. The trees are located in a nature walk park and some of the ones we cut were made into habitats in that park. Others were invasive trees.   Cannot lie, it was nerve racking. It was February in Pennsylvania, raining a bit. Fogged up eye gear. So much fucking PPE on BUT I was the only female to start my machine. This was our first outing as a class and it sounds so ridiculous but when I got home I felt full after. Like I knew I had made the right decision. I love working my ass off and I love shining when I do. 

 

 

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Here is one of my current plants. A simple Aloe 

The picture on the left is when I left it with his mom, August 2017. The picture on the right is a year and few months of ZERO attention. She never watered it once. So I watered it during a Vegas visit. 

She never watered it until we got here October 2019, and I watered it. 

 

And now,  its current state.  

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I look forward to this thread. Knowing your plant material is like a fun identification game once you start to recognize them in your day to day life. Makes you look at everything closer and become much more aware of your surroundings.@Inappropriate_Responderwould be a great contributor.

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14 minutes ago, LUGR said:

Makes you look at everything closer and become much more aware of your surroundings  

Very much so, this.  Everything was examined

 

 

 

yes he would. 

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The school supplies a fresh pair of felcos, floral knife (which I cut myself on more than actual plants) and a jewelers loupe to help with pest id 

 

Mealy bugs 

and soft scale on a plant through the loupe

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On 12/23/2019 at 3:13 AM, One Man Banned said:

Congrats on joining the Norf Beast.  

Unfortunately due to situations out of my control I just landed my ass back in the desert which has put a crazy twist on learning natives and invasives and plant names, pests....you get it. . I miss Pittsburgh immensely. I’ll be back. 

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With that said-and speaking of examining everything- I was walking the other day and saw an acorn. I had no idea southern Nevada had oaks, mind you, the oaks I was schooled in were in western Pennsylvania. So this was a small oak. Live oak, I imagine. I noticed a shiny ass acorn. Me prior to any training-“ what a shiny acorn” 

me now-“let’s go get a close up. That shiny isn’t normal”  When that glossy, shine appears on a leaf, look underneath the leaf above. (Indoor And outdoor plants) . That shine is excrement from an insect. (Called honeydew)

underneath the leaf was an insect colony in several stages. Larvae and adult if I had to guess. But could also be pest and predator   But I wasn’t familiar with any oaks in the area so I really wouldnt be familiar with its pests. 

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Edited by SMdoubleXL
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Our class session was to harvest and eventually take down the tomatoes (that were planted by the class before us) in the hydroponic room and assemble the NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) table. We sowed the seeds in rock wool and then moved them to the nft table, from there we learned how to manage the Ph and ec. 

 
Every edible item was grown and used specifically for either our culinary department or one of the neighboring community food pantries/project at a nearby school/rec center. 
 
*tip* a common greenhouse pest is Thrips.  They are attracted to yellow. Do not wear yellow (and blue for another pest [white fly, I think] I can’t think exactly  at this moment) but yellow was pounded into our heads. Thrips will attach to your yellow and travel to another grow area in your house and now you have double the pest problem. FA379E69-4225-4260-8C30-171B0C630A20.thumb.jpeg.a116777014057ff269e97edd9c79d4f9.jpeg7440ECF3-B1D2-4DC1-B083-AF9535994DAA.thumb.jpeg.7f8a0add924a4236aa51d7c019bf9006.jpegDA512E3A-7BE6-4808-8DCA-090B12959519.thumb.jpeg.512be860407ea9373726d8381ae8503c.jpeg9E6FA6D9-E7E6-4E35-B5A5-5693C386F0A9.thumb.jpeg.30911ed44fda274217cb00e6b57b57b1.jpeg8A2F2094-0CEE-4958-839D-9E0778449C4B.thumb.jpeg.65f0e1a9af67438f72ae259fabce4e88.jpeg
 
This guy still producing long after the tear from the stem 
 
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