Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Yikes! Spring is fast approaching!

Long time no chat, eh? Well, as you can imagine its been getting a little crazy out here on the farm. Seed starting, prepping fields, final adjustments on the greenhouse, building a giant gourd trellis, inoculating shiitake logs, transplanting, and the list goes on. It seems as though just when I'm able to cross one goal reached off my list another one is ready to be jotted down in its place. We've had a few interesting events take place over the past month or so. Keith was elected to the board of directors for the Arkansas Farmers Market Association which was really cool, and we were named Edible Memphis Farmers of the Year for 2009, so thanks if any of you voted for us. We truly feel blessed to have the ability to farm and live this life in the country.

So what have we been planting, a few of you have asked. Let's see... leeks, potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, beets, kohlrabi, fennel, lilies, broccoli, lettuces, arugula, swiss chard, lots of asian greens, 1000 oak trees, wildflowers, a large variety of medicinal herbs, oh and artichokes. I'm sure I've left a few things out, but you'll see it soon enough at market. Speaking of farmers markets, the Memphis Farmers Market is opening on April 18, and the Botanic Garden Farmers Market will open April 29! Yipee! I am so looking forward to seeing my market friends and catching up on what everyone has been up to over the winter months. Some of the best people I've ever come across in my life I've met at the two previously listed locations.

Other interesting news! We recently were contacted by a couple of local public schools who received grants from the USDA in order to purchase locally grown food to feed students at lunch! How awesome is that! Since we transitioned from teaching to farming, we've always wanted to figure out a way to get good, locally grown food into the mouths of students at public schools. I have always thought public school lunches were disgusting and contributors to childhood obesity, diabetes, and the list goes on. When I would discuss this issue with my collegues at the time, many would say it would be the only meal of the day for many students so calories were packed in, but I honestly felt that was a lame excuse. Many if not most students would , in addition to eating the school lunch, would pay for a soda and or candy bars to fight the hunger pangs at noon. Try teaching a group of adolescents math after they've been jacked up on sodas and candybars. Don't get me wrong, I love all of my former students, but sometimes kids need to be taught what to eat, and have it prepared in way that is appealing, and tasty in order to foster good, healthy eating habits. Deep fried, processed and super starchy foods are not what should be pumped into the stomachs of our youth. It's a revolting thought, and I can talk about it forever, so I'm going stop and focus on the fact that the local food movement is beginning to really take hold here in the Delta. It's making a difference even here, in our little community.

Last but not least, there are a few organizations that are looking for volunteers this summer. The Memphis Farmers Market is looking for volunteers to help with market operations, I believe they have two board positions open as well: Vendor Chair, and Treasurer. If you know of anyone who is interested, and has the time to dedicate, please give them my contact info and I will put them in touch with a MFM representative. is looking for a few good volunteers to help with their organization. Grow Memphis is looking for anyone willing to work with area students on their urban garden projects, and last but not least, we welcome volunteers to the farm on certain days throughout the week. So if you've got a little or a lot of free time on your hands see what you can do to make our communities a bit better.

Well as you can see, its late, couldn't sleep, anticipating a big day tomorrow, so I thought I'd cross another goal off my list of things to do. Thanks for reading and stay in touch... with nature!

Continue to have hope, pray for peace, and get ready, spring is just around the corner.
Signing off,

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