From Harvest Share

It’s Harvest Time at The Farm!!!

It’s hard to believe it, but we are finally harvesting and distributing food from The Farm!!!

We’ve come a long way this season & have a long way to go, but we have finally begun to see the literal fruit of our community’s labor.

We are so thankful and so proud of everyone who has made this possible.

You have all made this happen and it is because of all of those who have spent countless hours at The Farm that we can celebrate Harvest time is finally here!

Our Amazing Community

We are super thankful for everyone that joined us this week at The Farm for Harvest, planting, maintenance and the 1,000 other things we needed to accomplish.

We are especially thankful for the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership group who brought over 60 students out to The Farm last weekend.  They accomplished so much for us and truly moved the needle on our work to date at The Farm.

They planted, helped with harvest, planted 150 pounds of sweet potatoes, and made our lives at The Farm a whole lot easier.  Thank you amazing people!

We are also always thankful for our littlest Farmers who help show us that life isn’t always about what we accomplish, but more about who we are and just being present.

Production Update

A whole lot happening this part of the year at The Farm.  We were able to plant 150 blueberry plants which will produce a whole lot of fruit next season, but the blackberries are coming in very strong and we should have those to share in another couple of weeks.

We also wanted to share quick video on how our produce processing work. There’s a whole lot of work that goes on outside of most people’s view, but we want you to know that we are taking all the necessary steps.

Additionally, we were able to plant 150 pounds of sweet potatoes and we have a whole lot of green tomatoes.  Broccoli slowed down a little because of the heat this past week, but we should be ready soon.  The onions and salad greens are doing great.  Unfortunately, we had bug issues with the squash.  Fortunately, it was early enough to reset those and work towards a great crop for rest of season.

Project 7 Blueberries

We had the privilege of planting the 150 blueberry plants this past Saturday that we received as a part of Project 7′s Save The Earth Campaign during Earth Day.  These blueberries will provide a great source of incredibly healthy food to our hunger relief efforts next year, so we are extremely thankful to our friends at Project 7 for their investment into the vision of The Farm.  And thanks to all of those who participated in their campaign, it’s fun to see the direct impact to our community based on your efforts.

Harvest Share Members

This week we distributed our first food from The Farm to our Harvest Share subscribers & so far it seems the results are great.  We’ve heard lots of stories of yummy meals & excitement to know where their food has come from.

Special thanks to our incredible Farmer’s Market team this week that was run by Jeff Melton, Anita Rausch and Mark Casey.  Huge thanks to Hannah at The Farm for making things go as smoothly as they could.

Everyone should have received their weekly update by now, but if you haven’t please let us know at TheFarm@CobblestoneProject.org.

Harvest-Share-Full-Season-2012

2012 Farm Harvest Share Subscriptions on Sale

We are happy to announce that 2012 Harvest Share Subscriptions are now available for purchase (limited number available).

The Farm’s Harvest Share Subscription program is designed to allow “certified naturally grown” food to be purchased from The Farm in order to enable food to be distribute to the hungry in our community.

However, it does more than simply deliver food.  The Harvest Share program also creates economic development in the form of jobs and educational opportunities to students in local schools to provide solutions to ending hunger and poverty in our community.

It’s simple.  The Farm gives you the opportunity to buy one, give one.

One Farm subscription purchase simultaneously provides a season’s worth of healthy food (approx. 22 weeks) for your family and for your neighbors in need – the people in your own back yard, the ones you may never have met but care for deeply.

By simply buying fresh, homegrown goodness for your family from The Farm, you can plant seeds of compassion and grow positive change in Northwest Arkansas.

For complete details on the 2012 Harvest Share Subscription program, please visit the Harvest Share web page.  Questions or comments can be directed to TheFarm@CobblestoneProject.org

The Farm Fall Broccoli

Fall Harvest Begins!

We are excited to share that this week we begin to harvest the first of our fall crops.  It’s been a tough year, but this Fall has been a gift from above.  We are expecting a full and bountiful crop for the next month.  For that we are truly thankful.

Weather permitting, we should be able to harvest until the first week in November.  However, if the weather changes, we will keep you updated on the end of year at the Cobblestone Project Farm and what that means for you.

It’s a beautiful time to be at The Farm, so we hope you and your family will have a chance to visit & join us for our Fall Harvest Celebration on Sat, Oct 22nd (click for more info).

Gary’s Weekly Update

Harvest Update

Thanks to you, we have been able to give away 46% of our total harvest this season to local relief in Northwest Arkansas! That is 3,017 pounds of produce. To date, we have harvested 6,586 pounds of produce.

In the last week we harvested 412.1 pounds, with 226 pounds of that going to Hunger Relief which we were able to give to Restoration Village and Samaritan Community Center.

Community Update

Last, but certainly not least, our Fall Harvest Party is coming up! Please join us on October 22nd from 4-8pm for a family-friendly event to celebrate the 2011 season at The Farm. This will be a time of fun and fellowship at The Farm, and will also be a time for the community to gather around what they have helped accomplish this season. We will have hayrides, kids’ activities, a bonfire, smores, and a showing of “The Great Pumpkin – Charlie Brown”.  Our pumpkin patch will also be open, and pumpkins and BBQ will be available for purchase.

(Click on image below for more information)

The Farm Rain on Leaf

Rain, Relief & Community (The Farm Weekly Update)

RAIN!

After such a wet spring, we never thought we’d be excited for it to come back.  However, the heavens have opened and provided some desperately needed rain (over 2 inches this week) and temperature relief.  As a result, things at The Farm are starting to buzz once again & we are in the process of executing plans for a bountiful Fall harvest.

This week was a critical period as we desperately needed to start planting Fall crops.  We asked for your help & you came to help in a big way!  We are so thankful for the many individuals and families that came out on Friday & Saturday to accomplish the day’s work.  You made this happen, and we are honored to watch it all unfold.  Still have work to do, but things are on track.

Gary’s Weekly Update & Our Incredible Community

Crop Update

It’s planting time at The Farm!  Over the next two weeks we will be working to put as many plants and seeds into the ground as possible.  We have a small window, but so far so good.  Last week we planted over 500 broccoli plants and approximately 200 cabbage plants.  We have a lot more to put in the ground, so if you’re interested in coming out to The Farm to help we could use it.

We have extended our Friday & Saturday planting times & would invite you to come and spend some time planting these fall crops.

Please check the volunteer page for more details.

Unfortunately, it looks like we won’t have any corn this year, but the okra, tomatoes, herbs, and squash are continuing to produce nicely.  We should have some beans ready in the coming weeks which will add some of the variety that has been lacking.

Harvest, Planting & Hunger Relief Update

Harvest amounts this past week continue to be lowers due to loss of the corn.  However, The Farm is still producing and the crops we are putting into the ground right now should provide a nice fall harvest.

This week we harvested 156 pounds of food from The Farm with 46 pounds going to hunger relief.  We also distributed 96 eggs towards hunger relief this week to help offset the lower vegetable harvest.

This brings our season to date harvest to exactly 5,155 pounds with 45% (or 2,334 pounds) of the total harvest being given to local hunger relief in Northwest Arkansas!

Additional, we have harvested 877 eggs this season and have been able to donate 40% of those eggs to local hunger relief.

Community

We are in the early stages of planning our Fall Harvest Party, so save the date for Saturday, October 22nd.  We’ll have all kinds of fun activities including the chance to pick your own pumpkins and enjoy the fruits of the season’s labor.

More information to come & if you would like to volunteer to help plan or prepare we’d love the extra hands.

Andy Pruit & Team at Farm

An amazing community! (The Farm Weekly Update)

We probably sound like a broken record at this point, but the weather isn’t changing.

It has been a rough week at The Farm as we’ve had to face some hard realities & try to adjust plans to meet our goals for the season.

However, we have so very much to be thankful for, and, while this has not been an easy season, we know that it is making us stronger & wiser for future years.  If this is the worst it has been since the 1930′s, then we will know that we have made it through the hardest of times.

The Farm Weekly Update

Weather & Crop Update

We have now gone almost 8 weeks without any measurable rainfall at The Farm, and while we are irrigating non-stop the conditions are finally taking their toll.  As you can see from this graphic from Channel 5 News, June and July rain fall has been way below normal after flooding in April & May.

As a result, we have called approximately 30 rows of corn a complete loss.  We estimate that this would have produced over 8,000 ears of corn.  This was a crop that would have largely been used for hunger relief efforts, so the loss hits on two fronts for The Farm.

However, we have not given up and we are going to be planting another round of corn on Tuesday as a last attempt to produce some much needed corn.  The okra, tomatoes, and squash all continue to produce; however, without some relief from the heat we may see these start to fail as well.  We are pulling out all stops to try and prevent having a week with no harvest, and with some rain and heat relief we’ll make it.

We are adjusting plans to significantly expand the fall planting that will take place in the coming weeks, and if we have some relief from the heat our prayers are for a very large fall crop to try and salvage our failed summer crops.

Harvest, Planting & Hunger Relief Update

Harvest amounts this week were expectedly higher as we harvested the remaining potatoes.  Unfortunately, we estimate that we lost approximately 20% of our potato harvest due to heat.  We expected to begin harvesting corn this week; however, with the corn loses the next month’s harvest will slow down significantly.  We are praying fall comes early to The Farm.

This week we harvested 822 pounds of food from The Farm with 668 pounds going to hunger relief.  This brings our season to date harvest to 4,577 pounds with 49% (or 2,224 pounds) of the total harvest being given to local hunger relief in Northwest Arkansas.  Additional, we have harvested 589 eggs this season and have been able to donate 44% of those eggs to local hunger relief.

Poultry Project Update

In order to offset the corn losses, we are planning to increase the number of hens at The Farm over the next two weeks to produce additional eggs that we can use to replace the lost crops.  We had not originally planned on being so dependent upon the eggs, but at this point in the season we are truly grateful that our efforts have been diversified enough to give us other options.

Stay tuned for more information.

Our Incredible Community

In a season of incredibly difficult weather, the one thing that has been consistent is the presence of our community in this initiative.  The people who have given of their time and energy week after week are the backbone of this project.  Without all of your efforts, we would not be where we are today.  You have given much, and we are truly grateful.

Life Harvester Church

This week we had the opportunity to host Life Harvester Church at The Farm.  Their Eagle’s Camp leadership and character development summer camp spent the morning with us learning what it means to serve their community.

Pole Barn

We also began work on the concrete footers for the pole barn at will serve as our produce processing and storage facility at The Farm.  We could not have done this without help from Andy Pruitt of Garver Engineering and team who gave their Friday & Saturday to set the footings.  We have a beautiful story to tell and we will share it all together once the final install is completed.

 

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!

 

Being the Farmer is Tough (The Farm Weekly Update)

It probably doesn’t come to any great surprise that the weather continues to be the biggest challenge at The Farm; however, we are continuing to manage through it as best as possible.  This was a busy week at The Farm and we had the opportunity to accomplish a couple very important milestones.

The Farm Weekly Update

Weather Update

The weather conditions are affecting small farmers all over Northwest Arkansas, and we had the opportunity to share a little of the impact on The Farm with 40/29 News.

40/29 TV Report: Rain Doesn’t Help Farmers

University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Services Update

We also had the opportunity to collect some information from one of The Farm’s closest advisers, Mark Bray of the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Services.  We would encourage you to take a few minutes to read his update that we posted on the Cobblestone Project Farm website earlier this week.  He shares some statistics of historical weather patterns to show just how extreme this season has become.

Feast or Famine…Flooding or Droughts (by Mark Bray)

Harvest & Hunger Relief

On the positive side of things we continue to harvest significant amounts of produce from The Farm as we irrigate like crazy to try and keep summer crops on schedule.

This week we harvested 673 pounds of food from The Farm with 296 pounds going to local hunger relief via the Samaritan Community Center.  This brings our season to date harvest to 3,755 pounds with 41% of the total harvest being given to local hunger relief in Northwest Arkansas.

While we are a little behind on donations to hunger relief, the good news is we have approximately 2,000 lbs of food in the ground that just needs to be harvested and delivered to local hunger relief  partners.  We had planned on doing that Saturday; however, with the intense heat, we did not have the volunteers necessary to harvest the food.  We fully expect to harvest this food during this week and that should bring our hunger relief donations back in line.

Poultry Project Update

We made some significant progress this week in upgrading our poultry house to use solar powered lights to provide the 17 hours of light needed each day to gain maximum egg production.  A huge thank you to Flint Richter of the Rocky Grove Sun Company (love that name) for installing all of the equipment on the houses.  He was able to ensure we continue to have a zero-impact poultry project in place saving us money on electricity, and allowing us to increase egg production that we can then provide to our hunger relief efforts.    This is an incredible example of how our sustainability and hunger relief platforms are empowering each other.  Thanks Flint!

This week we also were able to retrofit some of the existing hen houses to combine them into a large house that will allow us to almost double the number of hens we have at The Farm.  Obviously, this should also double the number of eggs the hens are able to produce.  In order to ensure the houses were retrofitted correctly, we were able to partner with Seven Hills Homeless Center’s Job Assistance Program to hire two skilled carpenter’s (pictured at right with Gary).

Here’s a quick video of Carolina (our University of Arkansas Student Project Adviser) explaining all that we were able to accomplish.

Community Involvement

And, of course, nothing would be happening at The Farm without all of the incredible people who come out each week to lend their hands and backs to do all the crop maintenance, irrigation, planting, and harvesting.  These are some incredible people who work tirelessly every week out of the abundance of their desire to serve Northwest Arkansas.

We had an opportunity to meet Jerry and Krista Clark who moved to Northwest Arkansas from San Diego, plugged in to New Heights Church, and made it a top priority to engage in serving this community and their new home.  Here is a little of their story.

Week after week the students of Fellowship Bible Church’s Collegiate Student Ministry continue to come out to The Farm and work tirelessly to meet the demands of The Farm.  We can not express how grateful we are for their continued week after week investment.  It’s this type of consistency that allows us to plan efficiently the week’s work, and have peace of mind that our efforts will not be in vain.  Here’s a quick video of them from last week.

As you can see if was a crazy busy week and we desperately need some relief from the heat and lack of rain.  We will continue to tirelessly work the fields and leave the heat and rain to the One who is truly in control of the harvest.

Thanks Northwest Arkansas Community 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!

The Farm Weekly Update…drought conditions!

No surprise, but it’s HOT outside. We haven’t had any significant rain in the past month, and it’s beginning to take it’s toll on The Farm. Unfortunately, the 10 day outlook doesn’t show much hope for rain either. We have been irrigating non-stop, but it’s been hard (& really expensive) to keep up with the water demands of the crops.

However, we are working hard to care for the crops in the ground and this past week we harvested almost 870 pounds of the freshest food in Northwest Arkansas to include: 584 lbs of Yukon Gold Potatoes, 99 lbs of Red Pontiac Potatoes, 14 lbs of Squash, 141 lbs of Cabbage, 2 lbs of Okra, 6 lbs of misc Peppers, 10 lbs of Green Beans and 14 lbs of Cucumbers, miscellaneous herbs and some flowers. Season to date we have harvested 2,395 lbs of food from The Farm.

Gary’s Weekly Update

Hunger Relief

This week your efforts at The Farm were able to deliver over 570 pounds of food (mostly potatoes) to Central United Methodist Church Community Feeding Program, Restoration Village & the Samaritan Community Center.

We had the opportunity to talk with Glenn Miller, Local Missions Director for Central United Methodist Church in Fayetteville to hear how this food could support their efforts to provide for our community.

Season to date, we have distributed 1,082 lbs (45% of total harvest) to local hunger relief efforts. We are incredibly thankful to all the volunteers, our sponsors & Harvest Share subscribers for making this happen.  As we harvest more potatoes, corn and tomatoes over the next month (after tough spring season) we will be able to significantly increase the percentage of food going to local hunger relief efforts.

Potatoes Harvest & Special Thanks to Williams Tractor

We continue to be so incredibly thankful to Williams Tractor in Fayetteville for providing us with the power & tools we’ve needed to make The Farm come to reality. We wanted to give a sneak peak of how this tractor is allowing us to significantly expand our ability to provide food to Northwest Arkansas.

You’re Invited to Participate

Yes, we work really hard at The Farm, but we also can’t deny that we have a lot of fun.  Maybe this will bring a little laughter to your day as we tried out our very own Hee Haw show one Friday Harvest Party. Community is very important to us & when we can serve together with friends and family, it is a beautiful day.

There are many ways that you can participate with the efforts of The Farm & we invite you to come out and see for yourself all that is taking place at The Farm.  We have regularly schedule service days posted on our volunteer page or send us an email (TheFarm@CobblestoneProject.org) and we can schedule a special time for your business, church or civic group to come out to The Farm.

If you would like to learn more about how you can get involved with The Farm, please visit the Volunteer Page for dates or email TheFarm@CobblestoneProject.org.

This week at The Farm

Summer officially begins this coming weekend, and no surprise to anyone that this Spring has had its challenges. However, we have learned much and have been making adjustments along the way to make the most of this summer production.

We were able to accomplish a whole lot this week including planting another 12 rows of corn, some much needed maintenance on our squash & okra crops, and pruning of our first round of 200 tomato plants.

Harvest for week of June 20th – 571 lbs & Season to Date (5 weeks) – 1,531 lbs with hunger relief Donations to Samaritan Community Center & Central United Methodist Church Fayetteville Community Meals Program

Gary’s weekly update

KLRC at The Farm

It was a true gift to be chosen as the focus community initiative by KLRC & we have had an incredible increase in not only interest in The Farm, but also a lot more volunteers during a time we really need the help.

Last Friday, Keri, Kalynn & Jeremy came out to visit and help with the Harvest & we had an opportunity to hear their impressions of The Farm.

Faces of The Farm – Anita Rausch

Anita has been with The Farm from the very beginning & we are truly grateful for all that she has given to make The Farm a reality. She quietly serves almost every week asking for nothing in return but a smile.  Thank you Anita!  You are a gift to so many.

Friends from SVI

We have had the privilege of working with the team from SVI on a pilot plot program to see if The Farm can serve to accomplish both our primary goals as well as the goals of building community within this incredible company in NW Arkansas.

We had an opportunity to talk with Michelle from SVI to hear about their experience so far.

If you would like to participate with The Farm, we invite you to join us every Friday and Saturday for our open volunteer days. However, at this time of the year there is always something to be done at The Farm. For more information, please visit The Farm volunteer page or email Farm@CobblestoneProject.org

The Farm Weekly Update (Week of May 28th)

It was a big week for The Farm as this marked the first Harvest week and first distribution of Harvest Share subscriptions.  After months and months of hard work and managing through less that ideal weather conditions, The Farm is producing food!

It’s still early in the season and while the Broccoli was more abundant that we’ve ever seen it, the potatoes and lettuce weren’t quite ready.  As a result, it will be a few more weeks before we are able to maximize the produce being given to local feeding programs. However, we should see some amazing progress over the coming weeks as the summer weather pattern begins to set it.

Friday, May 27th was first Harvest and we are thankful for all of those who came out to be a part such an incredible time.

On Saturday, we caught up with Gary at The Farm in Fayetteville & Rachel at our Bentonville Farmer’s Market Booth

Rachel at The Farm’s Bentonville Farmer’s Market Booth

So very thankful for everyone that came out on Saturday as well to help with cultivating, maintenance and planting.  It’s been an incredible season so far and it looks like we are well on our way to keep that momentum going.