Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Buy Local- OrGaNiC fArMiNg

Our Red Dirt Diggers 4-H Gardening club went to a local organic farm. It was great to see all they had to offer.  Tumbling Shoals Farm gave us a wonderful tour of their green houses despite the rainy day. About 3 years ago me and my sister had the opportunity to see their farm while learning about entrepreneurship and going back after these past years and being able to see how they added on was really inspiring. I know it seems like slow going when you're in the middle of it all but these farmers have come a long way in the little time they have been up and running. So it was the perfect opportunity for our blooming club to see how they did it, get ideas, and be encouraged. I'm sure everyone had a great time on our trip, especially when Mrs. Shiloh let us pick a whole row of strawberries! They were delicious. The club had good questions, and we learned a lot while Mrs. Shiloh was talking to us.
 In their green houses they leave one side "removable" (for lack of better words) so that each year they are able to bring in a tractor and til the soil inside the green house. A great idea! Mrs. Shiloh also told us that a few years ago they had some tomato plants out in the field, and it was a very wet, rainy season so they had barely any produce from the tomatoes. The next year they put a tarp of sorts over the plants, just to shield the top from rain and elements, and they had 3 times the produce off of Half the amount of plants they had grown the previous year. In the green house, that they have strawberries planted, the sides of the house have the ability to be rolled up so that there is air flow and rain getting to the plants. They have lots of great ideas and there is a link below that will take you to their website.
One more thing I thought was great...and incredible was this:  Whatever crop they have a planted out in their fields then it is 7 years!! before they plant the same crop there again. If it is in the green house then it is 3 years before the same crop is there again. If there is anything to be learned in the art of gardening (and yes! It is an art!) then it is that it's not an automatic thing, it takes a lot of time. Everything in life takes time but in the life of Agriculture it take more time, because it bring the best results if done properly.
Like always, here are some pictures of our trip... like I've said before, you take pictures to have a memory. And a memory is nothing unless you can share it. I love sharing it with yall, hope you enjoy it!

                       Tumbling Shoals Farm- Organic Farm  
        ^^CLICK HERE^^ I highly suggest you seeing everything they have to offer on their site... learn more about them, read their story! They are more than ready to share anything they know and they are have a wealth of information.
Inside the green house, the wall behind us is the removable one.

The tomato plants look great! 

Us in our..ummm...Memorable Attire :) 
This was part of the field she showed us at the farm.
Strawberry Time!! 
Everyone gets so excited for strawberry time! They were sooo good.

After our trip to Tumbling Shoals Farm we had a picnic at Rendezvous Mountain. Ohhh that was a fun part of the day. You can see everyone in their wind and rain gear, trying to stay warm...all of us were trying to convince Mr. Morris to make a fire in that big fire place behind him. No matter how "manly" you were trying to be up there, it was still freezing! We were high enough up that the clouds would surround us and wrap a chilly blanket over any part of us that wasn't covered. Despite the cold and dreary, rain and windy, the group took away some laughs and "bonding" off the mountain.  

Gabby .V. 

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