links Community Nutrition Education Services
Community Nutrition Education Services Inc.
“Small Family Farm Project”
Installment #16

January, February, March, 2017

Cool-season Vegetables, Pollen and Nectar for Bees & Butterflies, Backyard Poultry Course

As per usual, the weather remained as the dominate consideration when starting to grow new crops. The weather changes during the past 3 months ranged from snow (photo shown is from inside of the warm house) to temperatures above 80 degrees (photo below shows Tulips in bloom). The cool-season vegetables were planted during this quarter. Cool season vegetables grow well in the early spring, fall and winter. Those planted included: Romaine lettuce, onions, spinach, kale, radishes and carrots. Tomatoes and peppers were started in a greenhouse environment for later planting when the ground warms up.

Vegetables and fruits are now being sorted by whether the deer will eat the developing leaves. Based upon the past couple of years of practical experience, the foods that deer will not eat include cucumbers, okra, squash, pepper (sweet and hot), onions, garlic, cantaloupe and watermelon. Fences are under construction as the other vegetables that deer will eat begin to show their above ground leaves thus attracting the deer to begin their “snacking” period.

The honey bees came out of hibernation looking for sources of pollen and nectar. The natural ground covers, hyacinths, and flowering collard greens were the available plants. In addition to the collard greens providing  a great source of nutrition for humans, there was pollen and nectar for bees and butterflies once the plant starts to blossom.

A 12 lesson online “Backyard Poultry” course, developed by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service became available in January, 2017. Now, after thus far completing about half of the course, the information is very interesting and useful for planning to raise “egg layers”.