Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Arkansas GardenCorps and Training New Counselors!

Monday, May 23, Arkansas GardenCorps came to our farm for a meeting.  They toured the farm and helped us weed, plant beans, form rows, and hill potatoes.  "Hilling potatoes" is when a farmer piles dirt up around a potato plant that is 20-60% mature.  This is meant to encourage the growth of more potatoes, since they are tubers (essentially parts of roots) that need soil to grow in.  Also, if sunlight touches a potato while it develops, it becomes inedible.

A farmer hilling potatoes in Queensland, Australia (source)

Tristan Odekirk, one of our regular workers, actually came to us from Arkansas GardenCorps, so we were happy to have them here.  In case you do not know, gentle readers, this is their self-description, from their website:

"Arkansas GardenCorps is an AmeriCorps program hosted by the Childhood Obesity Prevention Research Program at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute in Little Rock, Arkansas. The mission of Arkansas GardenCorps is to promote the use of school and community gardens to provide nutrition education with the purpose of reducing childhood obesity and to increase environmental awareness and sustainable agriculture practices in Arkansas communities. Members assist Service Sites across the state of Arkansas with the following objectives:

  • Development and maintenance of school and community gardens
  • Garden-based nutrition education for youth and adults
  • Recruitment of volunteers to support sustainability of gardens
  • Increase access to fresh produce grown in gardens"
 
Tristan With His GardenCorps T-Shirt

We may have more information to give you on this great organization later.  In other news, on Wednesday, May 25, Camp Mitchell started training people to be camp counselors.  They will be living  at camp all week, and at some point they will be given a farm orientation.  It should prove exciting!

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