links Community Nutrition Education Services
Community Nutrition Education Services Inc.
“Small Family Farm Project”
Installment #14

July - August - September, 2016

August Rain & Heat; Prize Winning Roses; Farmers Market
Looking back over the past three months, 2 out of 3 were wonderful but then there was August. During the month, there were 8 days of continuous rain and high heat with humidity.  These conditions made it difficult to work in the gardens to clear the growing weeds. This resulted in overgrown gardens where the weeds blocked the sunlight to plants and much of the produce became waterlogged. Among the casualties were the watermelons, purple hull peas, pumpkins, and cucumbers. The photos below show the purple hull peas and pumpkins in bloom prior to the August rains and heat wave. A severe windstorm blew the grapes, almost ready for harvesting, completed off the vines. There is a photo of the grapes prior to the late July windstorm.  The survivors of it all were sweet potatoes. The photo does show the sweet potatoes hidden in the tall grass.

Purple hull peas
Purple Hull Peas


Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potatoes

The County Fair is one of the biggest community events in the rural area. Roses were entered into the flower contest. The result was a second prize ribbon.

Prize Ribbon

The Everette Brown Farm participated, for the first time during the month of July, in the weekly local Farmers Market held in Morrilton, AR. Several lessons had to be learned including when to pick the produce and whether it should be washed prior to displaying it at the Market. The produce marketed over our time at the Market included: okra, tomatoes, turnip greens, roses, sunflowers and craft items. By the way, the okra and tomatoes should not be washed prior to the display as it may cause these to deteriorate faster. The lesson learned from working with the consumers certainly gave us ideas of what to actually grow that they would purchase. The top requests were for green beans and all types of squash.

Prize Ribbon
Farmers Market

The setbacks experienced during all of the weather related events has us rethinking our planting process. The effort should focus on fewer food items that consumers tend to request.

The good news is that the bee hive is thriving and producing honey. There are high hopes for the honey harvest next summer. We will be begin keeping chickens to produce eggs during the next spring season.

The end of the 3rd growing season still leaves us optimistic!