Sunday, March 26, 2017

Time To Plant...We Are Ready

There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the sun

Now is the time to sow.
Spring has come very early this year. Luckily we have learned to stagger our plantings so that when ever spring does decide to come, most of our plants will be ready. 

Bac Choi transplant ready to go!
It is planting time at Camp Mitchell. We are growing great transplants this year! With the money that the Camp Mitchell Board of Visitors raised and donated to the Agri Program, we bought, greenhouse equipment that has allowed us to grow top notch seedlings this year.

The hydroponic system that Tristan Odekirk designed and installed in the greenhouse is in full lettuce season now! So the lettuce has made several appearances at farmers markets and meals here on Petit Jean Mountain, as well as Little Rock. 
 At the Petit Jean Farmer's Market, our hydroponics lettuce was used to make BLTs!

Below are our neighbor's tomatoes plants, ready to be put outside! 
Below is some sweet potato slips we are starting in the office. 

I have been traveling lately and scouted out two ideas for garden beautification.
Above is a garden gate made of small cedar poles. At Amazium, Crystal Bridges, AR.
Below is a raised basin where a plant may trail vines downward. At Chicago conservatory.

More spring planting action to come! Now we start looking at summer vegetables like potato, beans, okra, and peppers! 

Follow us at our Facebook Page
as well as Camp Mitchell's
 Raised bed workshop on the 29th of April. To register, Email Doug Knight



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Shiitake Mushroom Seminar

 Last Saturday we held our first seminar in our Home Food Production Series. It focused on teaching participants Shiitake Mushroom Log cultivation. 

CMAP is big on learning by doing, so after a quick introduction, we spent most of the day actually inoculating oak logs with shiitake mushroom spawn! 

Growing these mushrooms allows us to participate and benefit from a local ecological relationship. Our forests at camp Mitchell need thinning to allow for healthier growth. We grow these mushrooms on the logs we cut while thinning, giving us a new food source as well as a a new ecological relationship to teach and explore.
Participants trimmed mushrooms off logs that were inoculated last year, and sent them to the camp kitchen.

Chef Adam crafted a great meal from our garden produce, including the shiitake mushrooms! 


All the participants took home a log of their own that should start producing mushrooms by this time next year. 

Their work also helped us get started on Camp Mitchell's stock pile of mushroom logs. Jenny and I were able to finish up the logs the next day and counted 50! So be on the look out for our mushrooms at our market tables next year!


Hope you can join our next seminar on April 29th, for raised bed gardening. You can see the other seminars we will be offering on our 2017 events tab. 

Hope to see you there!

Doug Knight
Farm Program Director 
Camp Mitchell

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Winter Post

This winter has been very exciting. Our newly hired directors Robert Wetherington and Betsy Baumgarten, are breathing new life into our farm program. We are excited to offer a new farm camp summer session, new workshops, and new produce (mushrooms and flowers).
We have been gearing up the greenhouse for seed starting season. So far so good!
A successful summer has left behind lots of tomato, okra, and morning glory vines, to be cleared out and composted.

We have also been busy planning our home food production seminar series that we will be offering this year. The first of these is Shiitake mushroom log inoculation day, on February 25th. We cut the logs last week. 

Last year we inoculated 20 oak logs, and had so much fun doing it that we decided to do 80 this year! If you would like to join us, see our flyer below for more info.

All participants will receive a mushroom lunch and a Shiitake log to take home!

If you would like to support our farm and our mission, look for us at the Downtown Conway Farmer's and Crafts Market, where we will be selling our fresh vegetables, herbs, and cut flowers. Also check out our volunteer opportunities tab to see how you can get involved in our gardens and programing! 
 Peaceful Planting Everyone!

Doug Knight
Farm Program Director
Camp Mitchell Agricultural Program



Friday, September 9, 2016

Last Post by Lauren

On Wednesday of this week, 9 out of 9.  All of them are the offspring of our hens and our rooster, before the fox killed him.

My internship has run out of time, and school is starting to kick into gear.  As a result, it seems I must stop writing articles for the farm and this auxiliary blog.  It has been fun, and I hope my articles gave you a little more knowledge about the world of agriculture!  Farewell!

Monday, August 29, 2016

They Grow Up So Fast

The chicks had their first day in the big yard with the big chickens last week!

They grow up so fast...

Our peppers are finally coming on really well, which is a relief after the tomatoes didn't do as well as we'd like.  They were ravaged by caterpillars, and many split after all of the rain.  We're getting a lot of good lunchbox peppers.

The habanero peppers Doug planted last year are a strange red color.  We think they probably cross-pollinated with some other peppers, so it'll be interesting to see what they taste like.

Mystery Pepper
The purple hull peas are doing very well, as per usual.  PHP's are really a great crop!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

More Chicks!

Last week was the last week of summer camp.  We're sad to see it go, but everything needs an end to start again!
The plum tree
The plum was harvested last week by two hard-working campers.  Those campers also made peach pie for everyone!

Unfortunately, the vixen has found a way into the chicks' old enclosure, so we've had more chicken losses.  Luckily, 5 out of the 8 chicks we recently hatched have made it, and we've created a new enclosure using Carabiner hooks, which have seemed to work in the past.  Hopefully this one will be fox-proof.

Meanwhile, the purple hull peas are still producing like crazy!  Also, the chicken tractor is progressing slowly but surely.  Soon, we should have a mobile chicken command center.

Next week, we plan on starting a monthly volunteer program where youth help us with maintenance.. They will be helping us keep up the garden in Tristan's absence.  We encourage all readers to join in!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Chicken Models and Monsoons

Last week, we hosted an arts and crafts camp, which ended Thursday.  We picked farm flowers with the campers, collected honey, and picked tomatoes. The poor bees might be getting stressed from all of this honey collection! 

If bees get stressed, they can die.
The campers also drew sketches of our chickens.  That is no easy task, since they are always twitching their necks and walking around.

(Not Made by a Camper -- From Wikimedia Commons)

This week, it's been extremely rainy.  Thus, it has been quiet due to the lack of outside activities we can do.

Only a Slight Exaggeration