Preparing for Fall

Just as the summer internship wound to it’s end, we put an eye towards Fall.  We’ve been planning our Fall home garden and field plantings, as well as preparing for a couple seed variety trials we will be doing in partnership with the Baker Creek Seed Company and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association.  One anticipated goal of the variety trial is to determine what varieties of broccoli would  do well in this region, as North Carolina imports the bulk of this highly demanded vegetable from California.  So far, it’s meant a lot of seed counting and checking on germination rates.

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Fall home garden and field seedlings emerge

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Fall variety trials have begun.

We pulled up most of the remains of the home garden, anticipating planting for Fall soon.  However, the rice remains in the ground for now.

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Home garden rice crop

We’ve also been busy preparing for the this year’s Sustainable Agriculture Education Association conference, in Raleigh this last week. The Small Farm Unit was on the tour schedule, so we’ve been cleaning, organizing and planning for that, and pitching in our efforts at the NC State Agroecology Student Farm, as well.  I was fortunate to attend the conference, and it was good to hear about all of the new Food Systems Studies and Sustainable Agriculture majors, minors and student farm projects growing across the country and to meet interesting, dedicated people doing work in this field.

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Sustainable Agriculture Education Association attendees listen to a presentation about Sterling College’s Agriculture curricula.

Marisa, the Small Farm Unit Farm Manager, worked in bee keeping in The Gambia during her time in the Peace Corps, and takes a special interest in rearing bees for conservation on the farm.  This week she gave us an introductory lesson in bee keeping.

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Marisa shows us the top bar bee hive.

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Bees are amazing!

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Jordan, an apprentice at the Small Farm Unit shows us the queen of the hive.

We’ve been very fortunate over to have fairly mild temperatures and overcast days for the past couple of weeks, which has come as a huge relief!  It’s meant less irrigation, less sweat, and more wrestling in the mud and rain.WP_20140724_002Stay tuned for what’s around the corner….

 

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