links Community Nutrition Education Services
Community Nutrition Education Services Inc.
“Small Family Farm Project”
Installment #13

April - May - June, 2016

Honey bee keeping began for us on April 30, 2016. These pollinators are important in the production of colorful fruits and vegetables containing nutrients and health-giving antioxidants. We started with one hive. Perhaps this number will increase once the “comfort level” of having at least 1,000 bees under our care increases.

We continued planning for the New Year by working with successful ideas from previous years and adding new produce. The new produce included green beans, collard greens, cucumbers, pumpkins, and honey dew melons. The new herbs planted were parsley and sage. There is an effort to try and standardize what is planted that hopefully results in increased production and income. The weather still determines most of the success stories; too much rain results in weed growth that chokes out the growth of the plants or too hot weather and the plants seem to grow slower. Learning how to succeed at growing vegetables and fruits is certainly a learning curve.

Spring activities (April-June) included:
  • Planting seeds-Vegetables (cucumbers, green beans, greens 
  • (collards, mustard, turnip), okra, peppers, pumpkins, purple hull peas. 
  • We purchased sweet potatoes plants and tomatoes plants for use.
  • Planting seeds- Fruits (watermelon, honeydew melons).
  • Planting -Herbs (oregano, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage and thyme).
  • The best vegetable production between January and May, 2016 was green beans. There were enough to freeze (10 quart sized bags) for several meals.

Please note the beautiful flowers above. The sunflowers grew over 6 feet tall. In addition to growing sunflowers that provide sustenance for the bees, the dried seeds can be fed to the birds, used to plant next year’s crop, and roasted to provide healthy snacks for kids and adults.


This production of enough fruits and vegetables becomes important as we have signed up to sell at the local farmers market beginning in early July 2016. Hopefully, we are at the beginning of a great success story.