From July 31st, 2011

Fellowship College 003

We’re Only Getting Stronger! (The Farm Weekly Update)

The rain & heat may not be on our side, but we are only getting stronger as a result of the challenges we have faced this year.

With the weather conditions so far out of our control, we truly realize that we must leave things in God’s hands and trust all things are working for good.  We can do (& have done) all the preparation in the world, put all the seeds in the ground, watered like crazy, and yet, we are completely dependent on our Creator for our provision.

With weather conditions as bad as they have been in over 75 years, we know that if we can make it through this we can make it through anything.  The week ahead looks like it will be the hottest so far this season, so we are praying for some additional afternoon pop-up storms to provide some temporary relief.

However, in all things, we are thankful for our many blessings.

Gary’s Weekly Update

Weather Update

The weather continues to be brutal & it is starting to take its toll on the tomatoes.  With night time temperatures staying close to or above 75 degrees, approximately 200 of our tomato plants have shown a significant slow down in fruit production.

The ground where we will plant fall crops is prepared and ready; however, we need some relief from the heat before we can plant.  Since these are fall crops, this heat will kill these more delicate plants if we plant in weather conditions like we have now.

However, not all is lost as we have a significant amount of broccoli and cabbage plants that are getting their start at Matkin’s Greenhouse in Bentonville.  Without this help, we would be at a significant disadvantage for fall crop progress.  So, we are just watching the weather and then we will be planting fall crops with a vengeance.

Special thanks to Joe Pennington of Channel 5 News (KFSM) for his help to The Farm for assisting with weather patterns and forecasts.  His expertise and exposure is helping to direct our efforts to fight the heat and prepare for fall.  Take a few minutes to say thanks to Joe over on his Facebook Page & follow his weather blog for great info.

Crop, Harvest, Planting, & Hunger Relief Update

With the loss of 30 rows of corn last week, harvest amounts this week were much lower.

This week we harvested 250 pounds of food from The Farm with 42  pounds going to hunger relief to meet Gift Card needs.  This brings our season to date harvest to 4,827 pounds with 47% (or 2,266 pounds) of the total harvest being given to local hunger relief in Northwest Arkansas.

Over the coming month we expect harvest amounts to slow down & affect our ability to provide food towards hunger relief.  However, with some early August relief, we will placing all bets on a very large and bumper fall crop to provide to the hungry in our community.  This week we did plant an additional 7 rows of corn, so we are hoping for a solid harvest in approximately 90 days (mid-October).

Egg production slowed down a little because of a new environment in place by adding the new hens last week.  We are expecting it will be another two weeks before we are back to maximum production (weather isn’t helping).  Over the coming two weeks we will be expanding the number of hens again in order to make up some ground on hunger relief efforts due to the loss of corn.

Our Incredible Community

We are so truly grateful for our NW Arkansas community and their consistent dedication to supporting The Farm!  We could not do it without you.

Fellowship College Students

Another week as passed and the student of Fellowship College Ministry continue to work week after week to support the needs of The Farm.  They have truly been a gift from above and their labor is not in vain as it has saved so much of the harvest from additional loss.  They were the ones that planted the new rows of corn & without their help we are not sure where we would be.

Faces of The Farm – Stephanie Youngmeyer

Special thanks to Stephanie for serving out at The Farm with her daughters this past week.  We love it when families are able to serve together & they were big help in Friday’s Harvest to prepare for Gift Card Donations & Harvest Share distribution.

Faces of Farm – West Ark Church of Christ

We had the gift of hosting West Ark Church of Christ Fort Smith at The Farm this week, and we are thankful for their effort to make the drive and serve the region.

Thanks Northwest Arkansas Community for all you have done and if you would like more information on ways you can plug into The Farm, please visit our posted volunteer opportunities or email TheFarm@CobblestoneProject.org.

Until next week!