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.
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!