Throughout the summer, Raina helped work on the many projects that were being researched through the Hashemi Lab at the UMass research farm. These were projects dealing with summer annuals, sweet corn, cabbage, and stockpile grass. All of these projects were investigating questions about cover crops and their effect on soil, as well as nitrogen content in soil, and even no till practices. Her daily work included maintaining the fields, weeding, harvesting, and weighing samples we took from these experiments.
Raina started her CAFE scholar summer by transplanting cabbage into the field back in the spring and finished the season by harvesting the cabbage. But the real experiments happened all throughout the summer, including SPAD testing of nitrogen content in the cabbage leaves, soil testing throughout the season, weed cover measurements after the winter, and finally cabbage yield measurements in August. They are still working on analyzing results from the cabbage experiment. Overall, the café scholar summer session was such a great experience where Raina learned a lot about agricultural research and all that it encompasses. She looks forward to continue working in the Hashemi lab over the fall semester