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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NW student finds thyme to garden, role play, learn

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Rows and rows of young plants line the green houses on NW Campus. Casey Holder/The Collegian

By Bethany Sanderson/reporter

Erik Petersen, Master Pilot of the Merchant Ship Havfruen, is what he is called on the weekends, but in everyday life, he’s known as Jeremiah Davis.

Rows and rows of young plants line the green houses on NW Campus.
Casey Holder/The Collegian

The NW horticulture major finds joy in performing for the Scarborough Renaissance Festival, which opens next week in Waxahachie.

“Scarborough is a wonderful time all around from the interactions with patrons during the run of the show to the camaraderie with fellow performers during rehearsals and after the day’s closing cannon has fired,” Davis said.

Davis, 33, said festival employees must remain in character the entire day. One of his memories involved a group of women asking him to take their picture.

As a man playing a character from 1533, he had a difficult time operating the camera. He fumbled with the camera buttons and snapped pictures of himself.

“After taking a proper photo of them, I pointed the lens directly at my face and started repeatedly pushing the button before they yanked it out of my hands,” he said.

Davis’ character also plays a wooden percussion instrument shaped like a big frog called a croakenspiel. He plays with the village musicians providing background music for the country-dance, maypole and pub sing shows.

When not portraying a Danish sailor “wobbling around disoriented because the land doesn’t move right,” he completed his required volunteer hours and is now a certified Texas Master Gardener with the Grayson County Master Gardener Association.

Davis is also a member of the Red River Rose Society and Texoma Herb and Old Rose Society.

Darlene Cottier, also with the Grayson County Master Gardener Association, taught Davis pre-advanced chemistry at Denison High School.

She considered him a bright student and said she is pleased with the work he has done in the community.

“He helped put in the landscaping for one of the Habitat for Humanity homes in Grayson County and compiled Texas A&M University tree selector and Earth-kind plant selector websites into Excel spreadsheets for quick and easy use,” she said.

NW horticulture assistant professor Mark Schusler said Jeremiah is an excellent student and a delight to have in class.

“He had done extremely well in horticulture, and we just employed him as a student assistant last week,” he said. “I will miss him when he graduates, but I am sure we will keep in touch.”

Fridays are lifting days for Davis. With a home on 10 acres, Davis’ mother cannot adequately help tend the land because of back surgery a few years ago.

“The four donkeys help keep the pasture munched down and provide an unending supply of fertilizer for the two vegetable gardens and many rose beds,” he said. “They are effectively big dogs.”

A computer-programmer for 10 years, Davis decided on a change after his third layoff.

He found a way to combine his previous and current lifestyles by working with the National Cooperative Soil Survey, a division of the Department of Agriculture.

“This division has identified and cataloged in extensive detail the soil properties of the entire nation down to the acre level,” he said.

After TCC, Davis plans to spend a year volunteering on organic production farms in North Texas as an intern through an organization called World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.

Then he would like to get his bachelor’s degree from Stephen F. Austin University.

Davis ultimately wants to start a berry and herb farm, most likely a “pick-your-own” style.

“I’ve already started propagating the pomegranate trees and harvested some large, delicious fruit off of the mother plant last year,” he said.

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