links Community Nutrition Education Services
Community Nutrition Education Services Inc.
“Small Family Farm Project”
Installment #15

October, November, December, 2016

Planning for 2017, “Farm to School”, Road Side Markets

The fall quarter of 2016 was productive as plans for the 2017 crops began. The routine of plowing and adding lime to the soil was completed. A soil test chemically extracts and measures most of the elements essential to plant nutrition. It also measures soil acidity and pH. These factors are indicators of lime requirement, nutrient availability, and the potential of the soil to produce crops. The testing of the soil by continued to show improvement in the nutrient levels in the soil.  Lime is routinely added in the fall and the other soil amendments are added just prior to planting in the springtime here in Arkansas.

The honeybees were last fed before their hibernations which is schedule to end in early February 2017. The bees are not provided any “sugar water” solution during hibernation.

We began preparation of new fencing to protect vegetables from the projected “deer invasion”. The farm sits among cattle pastures so some animals are always around.

We are currently negotiating a contract for a “Farm to School” Project with a local preschool program to provide fresh produce for students’ meals. This “year round” preschool will challenge us to produce seasonal produce rather than just concentrating on spring crops.

There were 2 “roadside stand”displays held during November and December. It was “fun” watching the reactions of area residents upon noticing that fresh produce was being sold within the community. It was a chance to showcase vegetables and craft items. The craft items included bag holders for recycling plastic bags and aroma sachets made from dried petals from the rose garden.

The plans for 2017 include buying chickens to produce ‘locally laid’ eggs and perhaps adding another colony of bees. There will also be an effort to work with a local food pantry as an outlet for excess produce.